Bamboo Coconut Curry with Kabocha, Lotus Root, and Soy Beans

I’ve noticed a lot of people find my blog by searching for bamboo shoot recipes. This year, I wanted to develop a new recipe to add to the list and to make something other than bamboo-rice with the shoot I bought. My temporary roommate mentioned that she had seen a bamboo and kabocha curry at…

Kabocha Soba Oyaki

The more I learn about cooking and food culture, the more I’ve become fascinated with cultural concepts of portable foods. As I’ve written before, Japan’s main example is onigiri, rice balls, but in the Shinshû/Nagano region, it’s oyaki, the steamed buns often made with savory fillings and soba-flour dough. Combine oyaki with another one of my…

Vegetarian Curry Nabe

Curry nabe is combination of two of Japan’s great comfort foods: curry-rice (karê raisu, カレーライス) and nabe (鍋). Curry-rice is a Japanized version of Indian curries via Britain: served with rice, this dish is a thick, brown sauce, more sweet than spicy, combined with onions, carrots, potatoes, and chicken or beef, which are sauteed before…

Curried Cauliflower with Tuna

I used to refer to cauliflower as “broccoli’s sad cousin.” Years of veggie trays at family functions taught me that dip does not make raw cauliflower taste good. A month of a “let’s try new vegetables” experiment in high school taught me that no amount of cheese will make me touch boiled cauliflower. (Seriously. There…

Spaghetti-Squash Okonomiyaki

Updated April 2, 2016. While on my squash spree last month, I picked up a spaghetti squash, which has a great name in Japanese, too: soumen kabocha (そうめんかぼちゃ), like soumen noodles, or kinshiuri (金糸瓜), “golden thread squash.” This was my first time cooking this type of squash, and I had no idea what to do…

Korinky Squash Chijimi

When I mentioned eating all that squash, you didn’t think I’d leave you hanging, did you? Korinky (konrinkî, コリンキー) is a strange little squash. I bought it without recognizing the name, since many orange squashes are more or less interchangeable, and to my horror, I found no information on it in English other than this…

Pasta Pomodoro: The Easiest Pasta

Perhaps “The Easiest Pasta” is a misnomer. Perhaps boiled soba in dipping sauce is actually easier, but when you want a new flavor profile on easy summer pasta–i.e., when you spend all summer eating cold Japanese noodles–this is your recipe. The ingredients are easy to find in Japan: fresh basil was in the produce section of…

Tomato Challenge: ALL the Tomato Recipes

I couldn’t resist buying a box of 10 large (230 g), gorgeous tomatoes for only 598 yen at the grocery store a few weeks ago. Tomatoes in Japan can be quite expensive, and although the price drops in the summer when they are in season, 600 yen might get you 5 if you are lucky….

Broiled Sawara with Paprika

While at Omicho Market a couple weeks ago, I spied a fish-seller with sashimi-grade sawara (サワラ, 鰆), Japanese Spanish mackerel, on sale–for 250 yen, I could get a plate of huge filets much bigger than the ones I usually get at the store–about 500 grams’ worth.* “Two, please,” I told the clerk (the fish monger?)….

Broiled Sawara with Paprika

While at Omicho Market a couple weeks ago, I spied a fish-seller with sashimi-grade sawara (サワラ, 鰆), Japanese Spanish mackerel, on sale–for 250 yen, I could get a plate of huge filets much bigger than the ones I usually get at the store–about 500 grams’ worth.* “Two, please,” I told the clerk (the fish monger?)….

Fit for a Dinner Party: Summer Pasta with Eggplant Sauce

Who needs meat when you have the bounty of summer produce? Today I’m happy to share a recipe I think would be amazing at a dinner party–or simply to make something nice for yourself on a quiet evening at home. Bring out the best in summer tomatoes and eggplants with fresh basil, garlic, and a…