When I was a college student in Tokyo, I would often pass mobile food stalls, called yatai, late on blustery winter nights and be completely overwhelmed by the powerful aroma of oden, or Japanese hodgepodge stew. Oden’s pungent smell and taste have made it a perennial favorite with drinkers, no matter the season. It is
Last year, my daughter’s Japanese teacher at the local high school asked me to teach about 40 kids how to make yakisoba. So one early morning, we crammed into the very small ‘parent’s’ kitchen, set up a number of different stations with electric frying pans, and cooked away. There wasn’t a leftover in sight, and
With a light, crispy, oil-free coating enveloping a perfectly cooked and succulent piece of seafood or vegetable, tenpura (also written tempura) is considered a quintessentially Japanese food. Both the word and the dish, however, are almost certainly of foreign origin. The source: Spanish and Portuguese missionaries called nanbanjin (southern barbarians) who came to Japan to
NEW YEAR’S IS ONE OF THE BEST TIMES IN JAPAN – at least for eating. Shogatsu, the New Year’s holiday, is celebrated from midnight on December 31 until January 3 or 4, or even longer by diehards. No New Year’s banquet would be complete without a bowl of zoni, soup with toasted mochi (pounded rice
IN JAPANESE CULTURE, soba (buckwheat) noodles have always been seen as a “happiness” food, served on special occasions. It is traditional, too, when moving into a new house to greet your neighbors with hikoshi soba (moving soba). This involves a play on words, as soba also means “close” or “near” – like neighbors. Another soba
A little unknown fact about me is that I love sumo! It is one of the few sports I’ll watch. When I lived in Japan, you couldn’t tear me away from the television whenever Sumo was on. I even went to a live Sumo tournament in Tokyo with my then father-in-law and it was sublime!
We are having another heat wave in the Bay area, so spending as little time as possible in the kitchen is my modus operandi at the moment. I have been hankering for mushrooms a lot these past few weeks. This is a yummy and quick pasta dish that incorporates East-West elements. Although I use shimeji
This is a simple yet delicious stock base to make for any of your Ramen recipes. If you want to try other bases for the stock you can use cracked pork bones (for a richer stock) and even shelled short-necked clams. You can also quickly sauté the clams in sesame oil for a lighter stock
This recipe uses another traditional ramen ingredient, namely menma (Manchurian wild rice stems), which I love. Along with fishcake (naruto), spinach, lard, and green onion or Japanese leek, the garnishes add a nice touch to the salt flavoring. This is part of the “Art of Ramen” series. The basic chicken stock for ramen that’s used
This is a traditional, yummy and simple Soy Sauce flavoring for Ramen noodles. Directions: Mash the garlic, ginger and leek together. Mix together the mirin, soy sauce and sake. Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan and let cook slowly, over low heat, for five minutes. Combine the soy sauce flavoring with hot stock. Place garnishes on top of the cooked noodles in the soy sauce flavored soup.