Archive for the ‘Appetizers’ Category

Japan has a very season-conscious culture, and this is certainly reflected in the foods that are listed on my weekly food co-op order sheet. Nothing beats eating the produce of the sea and the hills when they are in season. There are products that become available to me only at this time of the year […]


Lately I’ve been substituting tofu (soybean curd, not soy milk) for water or other liquids in various standard recipes, and I find that there is invariably an improvement in flavor and texture. My experiments started when I used silken tofu (kinugoshi) instead of water to make the rice-flour dough for my shiratama dango desserts. Since […]


Here’s a wagashi (traditional Japanese confection) recipe that is more in the style of Chinese Dim Sum. I tweaked a recipe I found in Haruko Kanezuka’s book Wa no Oyatsu (Japanese snacks). It is not overly sweet, as so many Western desserts tend to be, but that’s only one of the reasons I like it […]


Burdock root is a very familiar ingredient in Japanese cooking, and is apparently just as popular in Korea and (according to Wikipedia) Italy, Brazil and Portugal. It is low in calories, and high in minerals and dietary fiber. I was at loss how to explain the taste, so I’ll just quote from Wiki: The root […]


Sushi fans will probably be familiar with shime-saba (pickled raw mackerel). Traditionally, saba is marinated in a sweetened-vinegar mixture before serving raw as sashimi or sushi topping. I have never seen saba served raw unless it has been marinated first. Years ago, I was taught how to salt, and then marinate, a fresh-caught mackerel, but […]


Sushi is a great hot-weather food. The vinegar in the rice helps lift a sagging appetite and aids the digestion. Depending on the kind of ingredients you use, you can get away with using minimal heat in the kitchen (and if you cook the rice in a rice cooker, it hardly counts as using heat). […]


In an earlier Pacific Saury post, I introduced a family favorite that uses Japanese ingredients and has a more-or-less traditional combination of flavors. A few months ago, I was experimenting with saury and came up with a more European-style dish that exceeded all my expectations. Ingredients: 4 Pacific Saury, fileted into eight strips 1 cup […]