Category Archives: Contemporary Recipes

Carrot and Tuna Salad

I stop at the Little Tokyo Public Library from time to time and go through stacks and stacks of food magazines and cookbooks. And this recipe keeps popping up. Harumi Kurihara’s books are my favorite and I noticed this carrot and tuna salad recipe making an appearance in a couple of her books, some Japanese, [...]

Also posted in Fish, Salads | Tagged , , , | 7 Responses

Kabocha Shiruko

I can’t say enough good things about this oshiruko. Oshiruko is a sweet porridge traditionally made with azuki beans and a few pieces of shiratama (dumplings made of shiratamako—glutinous rice flour). This recipe uses kabocha instead, blending it with creamy coconut milk and condensed milk to allow the natural, earthy sweetness of the kabocha to [...]

Also posted in Favorites, Sweets | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 13 Responses

Avocado and Tomato Bake

Japanese love mayonnaise. They bake it on toast, on pizza, toss it straight up with sliced cabbage, and mix it with mentaiko (spicy cod roe). Here, it’s combined with shoyu and wasabi, poured over sliced avocados and tomatoes, and baked. Maybe it sounds strange, but I was immediately drawn to this recipe.

Also posted in Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Responses

Keema Curry Udon with Burnt Tomato

Chewy udon noodles blanketed in thick curry and topped with a pan-fried tomato seemed just the right thing to welcome the cool autumn weather… except that we’re still experiencing 90+ degrees, here in Los Angeles. No matter. Hot weather calls for hot food. My dad would tell me that after sweating over a steaming bowl [...]

Also posted in Favorites, Meat, Noodles | Tagged , , , , | 2 Responses

Nasu Pizza

I had the most unexpected epiphany while eating the Arturo pizza at Folliero’s in Highland Park, CA. I love this pizza. It’s mozzarella, eggplant, and garlic—that’s it. No sauce. Imagine crunchy, chewy dough with ribbons of roasted sweet eggplant, salty melted mozzarella, and an occasional bite of garlic. I love it so much, it’s pretty [...]

Also posted in Favorites | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Responses

Shiso Lemonade

We moved to a new house over the summer. My mom visited, carefully carrying 2 small green Japanese shiso plants with her on the plane. She planted them in our yard and they’ve thrived all summer, exploding with leaves—almost to the point where I can barely keep up. My mom suggested making preserved shiso or [...]

Also posted in Drinks, Favorites | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Responses

Yoko’s Sesame Dressing

Anyone who knows my mom, Yoko, knows she can cook. Her Japanese beer beef stew, crab cream croquettes, chirashi, and spring rolls are some of my absolute favorites. She sets the bar ridiculously high that, because of her, I’m often disappointed when I eat out at Japanese restaurants. Recently my mom sent me this simple [...]

Also posted in Favorites, Salads, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Responses

Chilled Tomato Somen

There’s no escaping the record-breaking 113 degree weather in Los Angeles. It wouldn’t be so bad except my husband and I are all about gaman. That means we’re the only crazy people on our street to tough it out and not turn on our air conditioning. I had to figure out a dinner plan that [...]

Also posted in Favorites, Noodles | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Responses

Tomato and Shiso Salad

I need to ease back into things here. I’ll start with this simple, delicious salad—a recipe I’ve set aside for a long time. My mom grew these beautiful tomatoes this summer and I carefully carried them with me on the plane, hoping not to bruise them. This isn’t a complicated recipe and I think it [...]

Also posted in Salads, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Responses

Tuna Chirashi with Snow Peas

I would’ve never thought pairing sumeshi (vinegared sushi rice) and curry powder could deliver such a great combination. The flavors in this unconventional chirashi are so delicately nuanced, I couldn’t help but feel it exemplifies a Japanese sensibility. I’m not always in the mood for curry-flavored foods because I expect it to be overwhelming, but [...]

Also posted in Favorites, Fish, Rice Dishes | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Responses
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