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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

It has been quite the steamy summer here in Japan, with record high temperatures in the southern regions. Hot and humid is nothing new for August and neither are low appetites in this sultry season. Which is why salads are wonderful to have at dinner since they are refreshing and nutritious. One of my favorites, is a chickpea and carrot combinat...

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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

 Hot pot turns into a tea pot! A friend of mine made some shoyu braised pork with tea once, and that gave me an idea of using tea in cooking, which I had not done before at all, save for eating ochazuke (tea with rice) which doesn't really count as cooking. Taking advantage of the thinly sliced meats available here, I decided to do a <...

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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

It's raining and it's cold today. A perfect day for nabe (hot pot). This one is with ground chicken scraped directly into the pot. Add any favorite vegetables, and you're ready for a meal on the table, literally. The soup base can be plain water, chicken stock or dashi. For this particular nabe, I used potatoes, shitake mushroo...

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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

When I cook, I often ad lib or improvise, swapping ingredients here, loosely measuring there. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but that's the fun of cooking to me. Looking up the meaning of ad lib, it comes from the Latin ad libitum, translated as "at one's pleasure." I love that. That's what cooking is all about to me. Mich...

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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

Sorry again for the delay in posting, but I was feeling under the weather and on top of that, I had to travel to the US. August was a trip, a road trip, that is! My daughter and I spent about a week and a half together, driving from state to state visiting prospective college campuses, and trying not to drive each other crazy in the process. We ...

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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

Char siu? Charred shoe no matter what my daughter says. The other day, I attempted making homemade roasted Chinese-style pork and she laughingly described its look as a "charred shoe." Given there were some blackened edges and the color was not your usual bright vermillion shade of red like the strips of pork hanging from Chinatown markets, but ...

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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

After making pavlova, what do you do with the egg yolks? After making two pavlovas, what do you do with 8 egg yolks?! I had made a vanilla pastry cream which used up 3 egg yolks because I was going to use that as part of the topping on the pavlova. In the end, I decided against using the pastry cream. So what to make? A cream puff would be a won...

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Posted By: Jan Opdahl
My contribution to an annual holiday cookie exchange.
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