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


Katakuriko & kuzuko / potato starch & arrowroot starch

Katakuriko / potato starch
Originally made of the lily-family plant katakuri (Erythronium japonicum, Japanese trout lily), katakuriko in the market today is mostly made of potato starch due to the rarity of the plant.

When using it as a thickener, mix one part katakuriko to one to two parts cold water.

Breakfast, August 28, 2011

Tom's sister and her husband are in town and joining us for breakfast.
I want them to try something different, tomato miso soup. Luckily we have several ripe tomatoes in the greenhouse.
The problem is that the soup contains only one vegetable (with chives as a garnish). So I’ve got to get to work and make some other vegetable dishes.


Kakitamajiru kukonomi iri / egg flower clear soup with goji berries

Clear soup with mild egg and fruity goji berries.

Kuko no mi / gou qi zi / goji berry, wolfberry

Semi-dried raisin- or currant-size red berries of two evergreen solanaceae-family shrubs (Lycium barbatum, Lycium chinense). It adds a fruity, softly sweet and sour taste to various dishes.
Rich in antioxidants. As a Chinese medicinal cuisine ingredient, it is used for nourishing the liver and kidney and helping with languor, mental lethargy, dizziness, headache, declining vision and glycosuria (urine sugar).

Soft, large, pitted and bright color goji berries are higher quality than dried, small and dark red berries. Chinese grocery stores carry them, but Chinese medicine shops usually have higher quality berries and sell in small quantities (by weight).


Yum woon sen / bean noodle salad

Pork-less seafood version for a popular Thai mung bean vermicelli salad. Add calamari and scallops for a more complex taste.

Cutting tofu on palm

Soft kinugoshidofu easily crumbles when transferring it from a cutting board to a pot. This problem is solved by cutting it on your palm.


Put soft tofu on your palm, and first cut sideways at desired height.
(Tofu might slide off your hand if cut vertically first.)


Cut through lengthwise from top to bottom in desired width.


Cut through in a crossing direction from top to bottom in desired thickness.

When transferring, place the back of the knife on the palm holding tofu, and gently slide tofu into pot/pan while guiding with knife.

Breakfast, August 13, 2011

The daikon leaves are spreading and shading neighboring vegetables in a raised bed. To take care of the situation, we’ll eat those daikon leaves.


Dinner, August 5, 2011

We are almost out of our regular miso, and lately we've been using aka miso a lot. My body wants something mild after a series of strong-flavored dishes that go well with aka miso. So the soup choice is osuimono clear soup.


Gohan (nabe-daki) / pot-cooked steamed rice

Plain steamed rice cooked in a pot.

Dinner, August 1, 2011

Our friends gave us some tomatoes. Very round, small, ripe tomatoes. They should not go to waste. There is one tomato dish I've always wanted to try, tomato miso soup. Sounds radical, but it should taste pretty good.