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 I wanted to share it with you here.

The flavor is hard to describe—it’s beefy and tomatoey—both savory and sweet, which is why it’s popular among kids. It’s one of those fusion foods that has made its way into the cuisine. There are different versions that use mushrooms and peas, but for me, eggplant is a must.

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Posted in Contemporary Recipes, Favorites, Meat, Rice Dishes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Responses

4th Anniversary!

I started Humble Bean 4 years ago with a personal mission to cook more Japanese food at home. This blog was a place to hold myself accountable and explore a wide variety of recipes while improving my skills as a home cook. I’ve had many failures and disappointments, but I’ve always been encouraged by your interest in what goes on here. Blogging can feel isolating at times, but your comments and emails have been such a happy surprise. Thank you!

To commemorate this anniversary, I’m posting a recipe every weekday for the month of March. I hope you enjoy the recipes and that cooking Japanese food has been made more approachable in your own home as it has in mine.

Happy cooking!

Posted in Perspectives | Tagged | 8 Responses

What’s to Come

Next month is Humble Bean’s 4th anniversary! While past anniversaries have gone by without mention, I thought this year we could do something different. I’ve been planning a string of new recipes—one for each weekday—starting Monday, March 4. Hope you stay tuned.

An update on recipe booklets: I’m sold out but, because I’ve had several inquiries, I’m considering a reprint. While I’m looking into costs, I’m making the first recipe booklet available for a digital download on my Etsy site.

Also, just a reminder—you can like Humble Bean on Facebook, where I post photos, events, and news relevant to Japanese food and cooking. I’m also on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, if that’s more your thing!

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Braised Daikon with Chicken

We’ve been getting great daikon at the market. I wanted a recipe with a well-seasoned broth that gently cooked its flavors into the daikon. I found this Chinese-inspired dish in haru-mi, Harumi Kurihara’s quarterly magazine. The savory broth is made from the reserved liquid from rehydrated shiitake, chicken broth, shoyu, oyster sauce, leek, and smashed fresh ginger. Then, it’s finished off with a drizzle of sesame oil. This is easily one of my favorite daikon recipes.

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Posted in Contemporary Recipes, Favorites, Meat | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Responses

Oshiruko

Oshiruko is a sweet red bean soup with mochi, often served around New Year’s. I made a contemporary version of it with kabocha, but this is the traditional way it’s prepared. The method is simple, so it’s a bit of a stretch to call it a recipe. I used the leftover New Year’s mochi I had in the freezer but I’ve also used shiratama (which is what I used in that previous kabocha shiruko post), when I don’t have any mochi on hand.

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Posted in Sweets | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Responses

Giveaway Winner!

Just a quick hello to say thank you to everyone who bought Humble Bean’s second recipe booklet. I’ve enjoyed mailing these out to you every week and hope you get cooking! Also, congratulations to Akina for winning the random giveaway—your care package of Japanese goodies will be in the mail this week! There are still a few booklets left, so place your order before they run out. Wishing you all a happy and healthy holidays, full of good food and company.

Posted in Books + Magazines | 1 Response

Recipe Booklet 2 and Giveaway!

After successfully selling out of Humble Bean’s first recipe booklet, I’m excited to announce a new collection of recipes, just in time for the holidays. The new booklet features some my favorite recipes from the past year as well as new ones you won’t find on this site. I’ve made every effort to create a booklet that will be cherished by people who are interested in cooking Japanese food at home. These are not elaborate recipes, but personal favorites that are on regular rotation at my house. In other words, these are tried and true dishes my family loves. I designed and handcrafted each booklet with care, making it a unique compilation. Read on for more info and for the special giveaway!

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Smashed Kabocha on Toast

I’m going to make this short and sweet. I sprang into action with a kabocha I had in the fridge after watching Mark Bittman’s latest video. I had other plans, but quickly changed course after I saw jammy caramelized onions being smashed into roasted kabocha and layered with fresh ricotta on toast. And wow. I ate it for lunch, had it as a little appetizer before dinner, then ate it again on my breakfast toast.

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The Year Was 1973

I found this gem at my mom’s house. It’s a 1973 issue of a magazine called 秋のおかず • 基本と秘訣 (Fall Side Dishes • Basics and Tips). 1973 is the year after my mom and dad married, here in California. Without the presence of their parents at the wedding, they flew back to Japan to formally introduce each other to their families. My mom bought this magazine during that trip, when they were young and in love. She was only 26. Although much has happened since, I’m amazed she’s kept this magazine for nearly 40 years and still cooks from it to this day.

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Posted in Books + Magazines | 11 Responses

Roasted Peppers with Mentsuyu

On a recent visit to my husband’s hometown, we visited his aunt and uncle who live across the street from his parents. Auntie Jackie is one of those home cooks I greatly admire. She can decipher recipes from taste, has a discriminating palate rooted in Japanese cuisine, and is incredibly confident in the kitchen. All this, of course, comes from cooking countless meals over decades. It’s always a huge treat to taste something she cooks, whether it be a slab of apple pie or nishime.

This time she made an incredible cioppino. Since I do all the cooking at home, I can’t say what a treat it was to have such a delicious meal cooked for me! While the cioppino was the star of the meal, there was a bowl of roasted green bell peppers to the side. I could eat those peppers for days. They were soft and sweet the way roasted peppers are, but had an incredible flavor that I can only describe as Japanese. My palate isn’t discerning enough to tease out the individual ingredients. All I know is those peppers and a bowl of rice will make me plenty happy.

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Posted in Contemporary Recipes, Favorites, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Responses
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