Japanese snack

Karintou aka Japanese brown sugar crunchy treats

“Care for some poopy senbei?” Having only met the guy offering me something questionable a few hours before, stalling for a response was automatic. He pointed to a small pile of rounded, semi-thick, stick-like objects sitting on a tissue that looked like, well, poop! Were they edible? Was this a trick? Had I been plopped into a new…

pork and tofu stir fry

Mabodon or glistening tofu pork stir fry on rice

Mabodon or mabodofu, if served without rice, is another classic comfort food from Japan like country-style miso soup or basic onion miso soup. The main ingredients are tofu, ground pork and chili paste. Variations include adding mushrooms, chingensai (bok choy) or green onions. Miso paste replaces the chili paste in the version here for a milder take. And while you…

preparing to roll out gyoza dough

Gyoza from scratch – the wrappers, too!

Hitoshi’s last gyoza attempt was from almost scratch. Everything was done by hand except for growing the vegetables and pig and making the dough wrappers. His dream of making wrappers has now been achieved. At our gyoza making party, we got help from our friends and learned from our mistakes. Take care using a food…

miso soup and rice

In Pictures: Country miso soup and rice with homemade sprinkles

Country miso soup is a kinder way of calling the product unsophisticated. Yet unpretentious food is warmth and a hug from within. Adding to the basic miso soup recipe, the country version has carrots and Chinese cabbage. The ingredients were what we had in the fridge and measuring was by taste. Rice is the natural complement. Hitoshi made furikake from dried…

adding pastes to ingredients

In pictures: raw to yum, gyoza from almost scratch

Hitoshi took on the challenge of making gyoza from almost scratch. The “almost” comes from using pre-made wrappers. Next time, the wrappers will be homemade. As observer and second-half photographer, making gyoza didn’t seem difficult. Wasn’t it just chopping, mixing, and wrapping filling into little parcels? True, but it took Hitoshi a solid, uninterrupted hour to make…

homemade tantanmen

Photo Fridays! Take 1: Tantanmen at home in Canada

Janaline’s superb Wordless Wednesdays from her blog, Janaline’s World Journey is the inspiration behind Photo Fridays. Thanks for the idea! Take 1 is my favorite food from Japan. Hitoshi got me hooked on tantanmen after trying a multitude of different variations of ramen. The promise of peanut butter, chili peppers and pork was enough to entice and…

gyoza in boiling water

Japan-sick gyoza lovers face an electric stove

Chinese pork shumai, grandma’s Romanian/Ukrainian pyrogies filled with cottage cheese or Korean kimchi dumplings; almost every culture seems to have its take on a filling wrapped in dough. Japan’s version, imported from China, is gyoza. Eating gyoza with freshly cooked rice became a regular meal after Hitoshi and I moved to our new place in…

rice topping

Cooking with baby: accidental furikake

Three magical ingredients dance together in perfect time. A little heat, a dash of richness and an incredible crunch; flavors united under a banner of outstanding flavour. Hubby asked EIGHT times for a repeat of my creation during and after dinner. The ridiculous fact is my “dish” was a failure. What was supposed to be a benign…