All posts filed under: Recipes

Japanese Curry Rice (not from a box)

If you haven’t heard of Japanese curry or it seems like an odd pairing of words, then I’m glad to introduce this wonderful comfort food. This dish is where the Venn diagram of childhood foods of my husband and I squarely intersect. While my version was served with a side of kimchi and his with some Japanese pickled ginger, it’s a nostalgic dish for both of us. A typical home cook would make Japanese curry composed with a protein, vegetables and starch (e.g. beef, onions, carrots and potatoes). One of the most popular ways of cooking this dish is to use convenient curry cubes you can find at the Asian grocery store – S&B Golden Curry Sauce mix. As with many convenient shortcut flavoring devices when you look closely at the fine print, there’s an ingredient lurking in it that explains a lot of the sluggishness, bloating and general food coma that seems to ensue after consumption. It was through a book I’m reading called “The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices …

Lentil Soup with Mushrooms for a Blizzard

Since moving to New York at the end of January we’ve been through two snowstorms.  I think I’ve had my fill and caught up from the snowless winters we experienced in Northern California. The snowstorm wasn’t as bad as meteorologists had expected, in fact the NYT says the city narrowly escaped the worst of this storm. Regardless, it was a snow day which means it’s a great day for soup. I’ve been wanting to redeem myself from a terrible lentil soup recipe I cooked from the internet – it was flavorless, one-noted and didn’t have any of the hearty goodness that seeps into your soul that soup, in my opinion is required to do. I have a great Indian-inspired lentil soup that is now my go-to, but I was looking for a more mediterranean-style without the warming spices. After comparing notes and melding together several recipes the frankenstein recipe was satisfaction and full meal in a bowl. If I have the time, I generally like to tackle a particular dish by researching several different recipes and notice …

New Year Traditions and dduk guk (Korean Rice Cake Soup)

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it has been one year since I started this blog. I honestly didn’t think I would make it this long. It’s been fun to share recipe discoveries and archive family favorites here. This new years day, we spent it focused on keeping culinary traditions from Korea and Japan, honoring the heritage of me and my husband. I love traditions that involve food – like Turkey every Thanksgiving – there’s comfort in knowing exactly what you’ll be eating that day every year. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate 2017 than slurping up some soba noodles and eating chewy rice cakes in dduk guk (Korean rice cake soup)! Out of curiosity I researched background on dduk guk (Korean rice cake soup) and I found a Facebook post by the official “Korean Food Foundation” with some historical background. If you’re interested take a look here. Here’s a solid recipe for Korean Rice Cake soup that I use all the time from my trusted source for Korean food, Maangchi. I typically use a beef broth as the recipe calls …

Sushi at Home (with the kids)

One of our favorite ways of entertaining before having kids was to serve “make your own” sushi or temaki sushi (hand rolls). It’s simple to prepare and feels special to have fresh sushi presented beautifully at your own table. Our guests could fill the rolls with what they want and it’s much more affordable than dining out in NYC. I won’t take any credit for this idea as it was ushered into my life by my husband who grew up with this tradition at home. The shopping, the prep, assembly and presentation is all done by him. While I like to cook I keep this sacred as “his” thing. (I don’t mind being “served” a meal either!) During an attempt to plan a birthday gathering for my mother-in-law we realized that most sushi establishments worth going to didn’t open until dinner, and the idea to entertain sushi at home resurfaced! Not to mention, two members of the party are under five years old, and trying to enjoy dining out with those two would be a delusion. The fun …

LEMON VERBENA TISANE

When we first moved to the bay area, Chez Panisse was absolutely one of the restaurants on our bucket list. As the restaurant that started the ripple effects of how we are eating today – seasonal, high-quality and local ingredients I was excited to make my pilgrimage. Booked months in advance we finally made it for our sixth wedding anniversary. Of course the entire meal was just amazing. I had the single best salad of my life there – and I really do believe it was because every salad leaf and each ingredient in that dressing was of upmost quality and the best it could be. I just can’t even put it into words. But this post isn’t really about the perfection of every course and how satisfying each portion of it was.  It’s about a small little detail after all the plates had been served. I pleasantly discovered the tisane, which was given to us after our meal.  A tisane is an herbal infusion, an herbal tea if you will, and the one served at Chez Panisse was made …

ROAST CHICKEN AND PRESERVED LEMONS

Preserved lemons have been on my radar for a while and I had a feeling I would love it. I first tried it at a friend’s house who brought out a jar to accompany our Indian take out dinner. And as I suspected, I loved its salty, lemony-umami blast of flavor on the warming spicy Indian flavors. Tonight as I was contemplating dinner, I opened my fridge and was greeted by the whole chicken and the jar of preserved lemons that I snatched up when I spotted them at Whole Foods. And lightbulb, lemons are a classic ingredient in a roast chicken so why not the preserved kind? Roast chicken is usually a meal reserved for weekends but I was motivated and eager to try the combination. Plus, I wasn’t sure this bird was going to last another day. Surprisingly making roast chicken on a Tuesday night is really not that bad in terms of the prep work,  the important ingredient of time is what might make it a bit intimating for a week night. So, …

HEARTY VEGETARIAN CHILI

I’ve been looking for a good vegetarian chili recipe for a while. When I say good, I mean healthy, flavorful and filling without missing the meat. I found a few that called for interesting and non-traditional ingredients like lentils and quinoa – all darlings of healthy eating and a good source of protein! So I decided to give it a go for a Meatless Monday family meal. I think its imperative to serve with some good bread. And by good bread, I mean the best bread you can find. Around here, Acme bread reins and I can find it at my local Safeway too. And of course serve with a side of more veggies – it’s Meatless Monday, go all out! I made a 2 ingredients salad. Roasted Golden Beets and Kale with a simple apple cider vinaigrette. A couple of notes. I love heat, but my kids can’t take too much yet so I added half a jar more tomato sauce to tone it down. After I realized the chili was too spicy for …