Posts from the Road: Three Ohio Winter Ales

My family was super excited to see New Belgium Brewing (Ft. Collins, CO) has finally made it all the way out to Cincinnati. Conversely, I’ve actually been really excited about the Cincinnati (and Ohio!) beer Renaissance, so I tried three very different local winter ales while in town this year.

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…

Whole-Wheat Ginger-Squash Muffins with Chocolate Chips

One last(?) squash purée recipe for the season! I live in a country where the only cold cereals available at regular grocery stores (Tokyo Metro, you don’t count) are frosted flakes and cocoa puffs.*  As a result, I’ve learned to make a variety of breakfast foods. I’m actually not sure how I only ended up…

Thanksgiving Recipe Round-up

On my first Thanksgiving in Japan as an exchange student, I had cold tofu for lunch and felt exceptionally sad. After two years of not celebrating the holiday while I was in rural Japan, I decided to host a Thanksgiving potluck for my friends last year, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve…

Kabocha Hummus

On the themes of both autumn and non-chickpea hummus-adjacent spreads, I present kabocha hummus, one of the many fine uses for kabocha purée. As I stated in my baba ghanoush recipe, chickpeas/garbanzo beans (Japanese: hiyokomame, ひよこ豆) are relatively expensive in Japan, so I’ve been trying to less expensive chickpea alternatives. If chickpeas are cheap where…

Roasted Vegetables and My Obsession with 安納芋

Orange sweet potatoes, ubiquitous in the US, are often nowhere to be found in Ishikawa. Depending on where you are in the prefecture, you can usually locate some in one brief part of late winter in the local-vegetable section of the grocery store with the Noto- and Kaga Yasai (heirloom vegetables from Noto  [northern Ishikawa]…

The Wrath of the Kitchen God

While working on a translation about osechi ryôri, the Japanese New Year’s meal, today, I came across a passage about how the meal is prepared in advance of the holidays to avoid using the cooking fire. From a practical standpoint, not having to cook while one’s extended family is visiting gives the primary household cook…

Cookie Exchange

Although my friends and I all seem to be pretty adamant about making very specific Thanksgiving dishes, I’m much more flexible about my Christmas meal as long as it’s good. Last year, my friend from Wakayama visited me, and we made a small Christmas dinner at my place: stuffed chicken breast, canned chunky cranberry sauce…