Category Archives: Contemporary Recipes

Beer Beef Stew with Bacon and Shimeji

When we have dinner guests, this Beer Beef Stew with Bacon and Shimeji is often on the menu. I didn’t think twice about including it in this month of recipes until my husband pointed out that he didn’t know it was Japanese. What makes a recipe Japanese? The source? The technique? The ingredients? The cook? [...]

Also posted in Favorites, Meat, Rice Dishes | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Responses

Pickled Smashed Cucumbers

These pickles are quick and they balance the salty, sweet, and sour flavors beautifully. There’s also something gratifying about smashing cucumbers with a rolling pin, so if you have some aggression to let out, here’s your chance! The result is a more rustic pickle, crunchy, refreshing, and delicious.

Also posted in Appetizers + Snacks, Favorites, Pickles, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Responses

Matcha Roll Cake

To change things up, I baked this Matcha Roll Cake. I don’t post many sweets, but my friend Christy very casually made a similar cake and thought it was one of those easy, but impressive desserts. Impressive—yes. Light, airy, and delicious—yes. But it took me a few tries to get it right. Each time I [...]

Also posted in Favorites, Sweets | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Responses

From the Archives: Tuna + Avocado Donburi

For today’s look back, I want to re/introduce you to Tuna + Avocado Donburi. This was one of those one-bowl meals that sprung out of necessity and surprised me when it turned out as good as it did. I love that the ingredients are few and the method is simple, and yet you get a [...]

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Bacon Korokke

Korrokke are Japanese potato croquettes. They’re especially nostalgic for me because in junior high, my friends and I would stop by the butcher on the way home and order them as an after school snack. They were warm and crispy and felt like such a treat. If you’ve never come across korokke, they’re basically mashed [...]

Also posted in Meat | Tagged , , , , | 4 Responses

Egg Drop Soup

I make this Chinese-influenced soup when serving a batch of gyoza or fried rice. I don’t know how it’s traditionally made, but here dashi is used as a base, which gives it a smooth, smokiness I like. If you have dashi on hand (I usually double a batch and freeze what I don’t use), this [...]

Also posted in Favorites, Soups, Tofu + Egg | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Responses

Chicken Soboro

Chicken soboro is ground chicken cooked in shoyu, mirin, and sugar. It’s layered on top of rice and sprinkled with sake-cooked scrambled egg on top. It’s great for bentos and you could also use it as a filling for musubi without the egg. I made this the other day and my stepdaughter loved it, so [...]

Also posted in Favorites, Meat, Rice Dishes, Tofu + Egg | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Hamburger Steak

Hamburger steak is essentially Japanese meatloaf in patty form. Many of the ingredients are the same—softened onions, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, etc. The only difference is meatloaf takes an hour in the oven and this is cooked on a stovetop in minutes. I usually make a sauce that combines tonkatsu sauce, ketchup, and sake, but lately [...]

Also posted in Favorites, Meat | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Responses

Carrots with Sesame

If you need a new way to eat vegetables, this sesame sauce is versatile. Here, I tossed it with steamed carrots cut into matchsticks, but you could also use this on green beans, asparagus, or broccoli. I imagine cooked chicken would be just as delicious. I keep a jar of it in the refrigerator and [...]

Also posted in Salads, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Hayashi Rice

Have you ever had hayashi rice? It’s a beloved dish, right up there with omuraisu and curry rice, but doesn’t get as much attention here in the U.S. I ate it growing up, but it fell off my radar until our last trip to Japan. Quickly, it’s become one of our favorites so I knew [...]

Also posted in Favorites, Meat, Rice Dishes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Responses
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