International Sushi Day

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Who would have thought... an international sushi day! Unlike food festivals such as Oktoberfest and Taste of Chicago, the International Sushi Day isn't geographically-based. It is Facebook-based. Yes, you read that right. Facebook-based. Apparently, a sushi lover created a Sushi Page on Facebook in 2009 and, according to a (now non-existent) article in Wikipedia: … [Read more...]

Tips for making a great bowl of ramen at home

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Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish. What exactly goes into a bowl of ramen is something that differs from region to region and from cook to cook so there are endless varieties of ramen. The broth can be brown and transparent (the soy-flavored shoyu ramen), clear and colorless (shio ramen which is seasoned with salt) or light brown and cloudy (when miso is added). The meat and … [Read more...]

Tips for making good tempura

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I like making tempura using the flour-egg-panko coating -- dredge in flour, dip in egg, roll in panko then fry. Sam prefers the camaron rebosado way -- dip in seasoned starch mixed with iced water then fry. It's simpler and there are less bowls to wash. She's like that. She doesn't like complicating things. So, when we go to the grocery, she keeps her eyes open for … [Read more...]

Tonight’s dinner: seafood ramen and watermelon salad

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We bought a pack of seafood balls and sticks -- the kind one often finds at shabu-shabu restaurants. Then, I bought a pack of soup bones. When we got home, I made broth from the soup bones (like this), boiled enough Japanese noodles for four, microwaved the seafood balls and sticks, cut some vegetables and, presto! We had ramen. … [Read more...]

Agedashi tofu

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According to Tastefully Done, age means deep fried and dashi, of course, is the stock made with bonito flakes and kelp. Hence, agedashi tofu. For me, it's the queen of tofu dishes. Squares of fried delicate soft tofu served with a light salty-sweet sauce.Two characteristics make this dish stand out. First, the contrasting textures of the fried tofu -- soft inside … [Read more...]

Cooking oyakodon

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My first attempt at making oyakodon was better. This one turned too dark. The third attempt will, hopefully, get posted in the blog. … [Read more...]

Oshitashi or goma-ae? Whatever. It’s spinach salad with roasted sesame dressing

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When I first came across this spinach recipe in The New York Times health section, it was labeled as an appetizer. The recipe itself was not all that simple -- the dressing had to be boiled and reduced. Wondering if there were simpler versions, I searched around using "Japanese spinach sesame seeds" as a key phrase. The results were confusing. In some sites, the very same … [Read more...]

8 great ways to prepare miso soup

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There was a time when, having recently discovered the availability of dashi, miso paste and wakame in local groceries, we'd have miso soup almost everyday. We were so happy that we no longer had to go to some expensive Japanese restaurant to enjoy good miso soup that we were practically gorging on it. Sam and Alex had become so adept at preparing it that they no longer … [Read more...]

Sam’s sisig stuffed futomaki

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Each time I posted photos of Sam's homemade sushi, there would inevitably be requests for the recipes among the comments. I really don't know how I can give any recipe since Sam rarely follows any but often uses just about whatever she finds in the fridge. She doesn't follow traditional combinations of ingredients, she's bold and gutsy with her choices, and she really … [Read more...]