Author Archives: Azusa


It seems impossible we’re in the middle of October. My mind is still in late summer, partly because of the hot weather here, I’m sure. I need to brace myself for: HalloweenThanksgivingChristmasNewYears. And if you’re like me, I vow every year to be better prepared and more thoughtful for the holidays. But it’s hard to […]

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5 New Breakfasts Round Up

I had a blast thinking up new breakfasts last week. In case you missed one, here’s a list of all the ways to start your morning off right. Humble Bean 1. Shiitake and Shimeji Okayu 2. Caramelized Onion Muffins 3. Rice with Okra and a Poached Egg 4. Nori no Tsukudani 5. Black Sesame and […]

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Black Sesame Pear Tea Cake

5 days, 5 new breakfasts. I think we should celebrate with cake. And this cake—from the archives of my breakfast partner-in-crime—is the way I want to end the week. The sight of this dramatic black loaf may be unappetizing to some but I’m a sucker for black sesame. Besides, I had this bookmarked for a […]

Posted in Contemporary Recipes, Sweets | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Responses

Nori no Tsukudani

The classic combination of rice and miso soup. If you’ve had a Japanese breakfast, you know there’s also a pickle or condiment: umeboshi, furikake, nukazuke, or the highly divisive natto. At my dad’s house in Tokyo, there’s usually a container of kimchee and nori no tsukudani. Nori no tsukudani is a paste you slather on […]

Posted in Basic Techniques, Fish, Rice Dishes, Soups, Traditional Recipes, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Rice with Okra and a Poached Egg

Rice, egg, shoyu: mix. That was my favorite breakfast growing up. Sometimes it was a raw egg, other times it was a hardboiled egg steeped in the juices of a sweet oden broth. These days my stepdaughter continues the tradition with her go-to afternoon snack: rice, scrambled egg, shoyu, and mirin. But I feel better […]

Posted in Contemporary Recipes, Rice Dishes, Tofu + Egg, Vegetables | 4 Responses

Caramelized Onion Muffins

You can’t go wrong with caramelized onions, even in muffin form—even in muffin form with no eggs (!). The recipe is from an (almost) vegan Japanese cookbook titled, “Meal-like Cakes and Muffins You’ll Want to Eat Everyday,” which is very wordy when loosely translated by me. Despite the skepticism I had about the lack of […]

Posted in Appetizers + Snacks, Contemporary Recipes, Sweets, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Responses

Shiitake and Shimeji Mushroom Okayu

First, I want to say the 5-DAY BREAKFAST CHALLENGE is going down this week. Today’s recipe is: Shiitake and Shimeji Mushroom Okayu. Second, I want to quickly introduce you to Noelle and tell you about the challenge. Her blog, xobreakfast is crisp, funny, and packed with thoughtful, purposeful recipes. I see her every week because […]

Posted in Contemporary Recipes, Rice Dishes, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Responses

Pan-Tossed Green Beans and Pork

As you can imagine, a lot has changed since I had my daughter a year and a half ago. I used to enjoy the challenge of recipes that took a bit of time, skill, and rapt attention and thought the extra work and care gave it the made-with-love charm. I’ve since revised that opinion and […]

Posted in Contemporary Recipes, Favorites, Meat, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Responses

Sesame Miso Dressing

My stepdaughter does not do salad but she said she’d actually like it if it was always dressed with Kayanoya’s creamy sesame miso dressing. It’s an amazing dressing. I’d brought a bottle of it back home from our trip to Japan last summer and—now that it’s gone—I was set on making a version of my […]

Posted in Favorites, Salads | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Responses

Salt-Massaged Napa Cabbage with Meyer Lemon

After a long hiatus, I’m easing back into things with this simple, delicious recipe. It comes from Nancy Singleton Hachisu’s Japanese Farm Food, a book my very generous (and wildly talented) cousin Kathy let me thumb through. It’s a fairly thick tome, with a mix of approachable recipes (like this one), and complicated ones (like […]

Posted in Basic Techniques, Traditional Recipes, Vegetables | 8 Responses
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