All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Dinner, June 25, 2011

A salted, small sockeye salmon fillet is waiting to be grilled. Tom has been curious what I am going to with the small piece. I only need 1/4 of the small piece to make a light side dish.

Shiozake no oroshiae / grilled salted salmon with grated daikon radish

A pleasantly light salmon dish, simple enough to be included in Tom's top repertoire.


Breakfast, June 24, 2011

Two small usuage thin deep-fried tofu are sitting in the fridge. The first batch of komatsuna needs to be finished and some kabu turnip leaves that are shading eggplant and basil plants in the greenhouse need to be removed. Together, they make a good nibitashi, vegetables in light warm broth.


Kuromame gohan / steamed rice with black soybeans

Breakfast, June 21, 2011

There are lots of hoshi-shiitake mushrooms in a jar, and we still have the last piece of astuage deep-fried tofu. A few days have been passed since its best-by date, but we won't die if it's fried.

After I chopped up ingredients for champuruu, an Okinawan-style stir-fry, I realized that I made exactly the same dish a few days ago. Oops. Not very creative.


Breakfast, June 20, 2011

Because lunch and dinner today will be something greasy, breakfast needs to be low in fat. No pancakes, no buckwheat crepes, no French toast, no cheesy toast. How about Japanese? What a surprise!

Two items are left from the night before: fuki in sesame broth and kabu turnip leaf ohitashi. The amount of kabu leaf ohitashi is barely enough for one person. So, grill and add shiitake mushroom to the ohitashi marinade 30 minutes before we eat. It should be long enough for shiitake to absorb the flavor.

Retasu itame oisutaa soosu gake / sauteed lettuce with oyster sauce

A super simple tasty dish.

Dinner, June 19, 2011

Since last night, the inside walls of my digestive tract have been coated with oil. It is olive oil and fish oil from the rockfish I put in the paella. No matter how good or beneficial they are, more isn't always better. All the organs attached to my stomach are gasping. And we only had one vegetable today. What a poor diet. Dinner is the only opportunity to fix these issues. Something not greasy and many vegetables are needed.


Lunch, June 18, 2011

Japanese food for lunch? We usually don't do that. But today, there was concern over not getting enough vegetables.

Problem 1: There were no vegetables in the morning. For breakfast, I had one pancake. Tom also had a pancake along with one egg, which were covered with overflowing maple syrup. Sick. How much sugar does he need? At least he doesn't usually lick his plate afterward anymore.

Problem 2: There will be only a few vegetables with the paella we are going to have for dinner.


Vegetable curry tomato base

Can be made in advance and frozen.


Dinner, June 16, 2011

Dishes cooked in broth have deeper flavor when cooled and heated up several hours later. I made a dish with daikon radish and deep-fried tofu in light broth yesterday. When I made it for the first time, we ate it without waiting for hours, and it was nothing but a bland soupy disaster. After anxiously waiting for day, I tried a small piece of daikon. It tasted very sophisticated. When I tasted subtle ginger flavor with the daikon, the clouds in my head disappeared, and I knew what to make. A simple meal for a good break.


Ika no nitsuke / calamari in reduced soy sauce broth

A standard calamari dish, made a little lighter.

Daikon to atsuage no nimono / daikon radish cooked with deep-fried tofu

Make a day in advance -- takes on a subtle but deep taste. What a difference!

Breakfast, June 16, 2011

There are two leftovers, only a small amount each, in the fridge. Satoimo baby taro root from last night and zucchini with bonito flakes from two days ago. They can be put on the same plate, but taste-wise, they are not in good balance. If I can add one more, and put three items on one plate, it should be okay. And, Tom was complaining last night that there were too many plates. Aha, less plates for Tom's happiness. I'm so nice.

Kiriboshi-daikon to kaibashira no nibitashi / dried radish and scallops in light broth

Satoimo no nikkorogashi / baby taro root in soy sauce broth

One of dishes that often appeared on my grandmother's table.

Ika to koebi no chijimi / jijigmae Korean savory pancake with calamari and bay shrimp

Dinner, June 15, 2011

Carrot leaves sway in the breeze...
Carrots in a wine barrel on the deck are growing, leaves are getting taller and larger. The best-by is here. While they are still tender, we've got to eat them. Young leaves are the best part for tempura.

My tempura is not greasy. But, hey, it is still a deep-fry. Other dishes shouldn't have oil. Something strong and something mild would be nice. And something sharp to define the meal.


Komatsuna to atsuage no miso-itame / sauteed komatsuna and deep-fried tofu with miso sauce

Ninjin gohan / carrot rice

Orange color rice on a sunny day.

Zukkiini no okakaae / zucchini with bonito flakes


Who said it comes from a store shelf?

1 tbsp:
91 calories; 0.2 g protein; 9.6 g fat; 0.2 g carbohydrate; 0.2 g net carbs; 30 mg sodium (26 mg with karashi Japanese mustard powder); 14.6 mg cholesterol; 0 g fiber

Broccoli with mayonnaise


Breakfast, June 14, 2011

It's the middle of June, which is supposed to be early summer. But it's cold. Without another layer over a long-sleeve shirt, I would easily catch a cold.
There are so many recipes I want to try, but it's difficult to come up with a good combination menu without a clear sense of detail or enough information to get an idea. One new dish a day, that's something I can do. There was a small ball of cabbage in the fridge. Cabbage is a vegetable for cold times, just like today. I thought, there must be something I can make with this ball of leftover cabbage.

Dinner, June 13, 2011

There is an infestation of komatsuna in the greenhouse, and baby komatsuna is gaining vigor everyday. Gee, I can make ohitashi, gomaae, shiraae, nibitashi, miso soup, Okinawan saute, saute with miso, .... but Tom would know it is the same damn leafy vegetable, day after day. I clearly remember him saying "a leafy vegetable again," pointing at a young Japanese green floating in miso soup on a sunny, beautiful morning some years ago. If I say this is Chinese, his focus would be on cuisine category, not vegetables.

Mabodofu / mapo spicy tofu

Originally a meat dish. Bay shrimp work fine and result in milder flavor.

Kyabetsu no umezuke / cabbage plum pickle

Tom's kind of dish -- salty and sour.


Hotate to komatsuna no karamiae / scallops and komatsuna in spicy sauce

Hotate gohan / rice cooked with dried scallops

Aroma of dried scallops will fill the table. Tastes good on cold days.

Buckwheat crepes

Good for breakfast or brunch.

Namasu / daikon radish and carrot in citrus vinegar marinade

Yuzu citrus makes this little dish very aromatic.

Kyabetsu to kinoko no itameni / cabbage and mushroom saute

"This reminds me of garlic," said Tom, holding shami with his chopsticks. Duh, this dish does have garlic, only finely chopped.


Breakfast, June 12, 2011

Among a number of deep-fried tofu available the Seattle area, the one I like has pale skin color and very soft curd inside. It goes well with Japanese and other Asian dishes. Excellent. Just like bread, good stuff goes stale quickly, and I thought I should take full advantage of having this soft tofu.

Dinner, June 11, 2011

As soon as I found rockfish kama (triangle part with breast fin) at Uwajimaya in Seattle yesterday, I wanted to eat arani. Kama is fatty and tastes rich.


Simple Indian cheese.


Dinner, June 9, 2011

Dried daikon radish, when hydrated, tastes like the warm sunshine in the countryside. A dried daikon radish dish warms up your body on a chilly day. A soup is not a requirement for every meal, especially when there is a soupy dish included in the menu.

Breakfast, June 8, 2011

There was leftover hijiki and root vegetables from the night before, which tastes rich and bold. While cooking daikon radish in dashi, I picked some chive leaves and flowers in the garden to garnish the miso soup.


Dinner, June 7, 2011

I've had enough salt and grease from cheese and smoked salmon toast for breakfast and cauliflower pasta with parmesan cheese (chili colorado and rice for Tom), so something mild with little grease seemed good. Also needed to catch up with vegetables for the day.

Hijiki to konsai no itameni / hijiki seaweed and root vegetables in broth


Cleaning frozen/shelled prawns

Frozen and previously frozen prawns tend to have a saggy texture and a particular smell from having been frozen. This simple process will eliminate, or at least minimize, these drawbacks. Frozen prawns become plump when cooked. This also works with fresh, shelled prawns.

Orange lentil daal

A quick Indian bean dish with fast-cooking orange lentil.


Breakfast, June 4, 2011

While feeling a little sluggish from having too much wine the night before, I needed to eat something substantial to get ready for a small hike.