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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

Today my mother turns 80 years old. In Japan, traditionally, after age 60, these longevity celebrations called choju occur every 10 years. For year 80, it's called the sanju celebration and then there's a special one at age 88 called beiju. The number 8 is very auspicious in Japan and China, where many of these traditi...

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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

The sakura (cherry blossoms) are in full bloom in Tokyo. Although some people have refrained from partying, others have decided to continue with tradition. I was going to make this sushi roll for my preschool cooking class I taught last week, but decided in the end that it would be too complicated for little hands. I couldn't quite maneuver the ...

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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

Today, February 3, is Setsubun, the day known as bean throwing day. Thoughts of the coming spring, driving away evil spirits and eating roasted beans for good luck, are all encapsulated in the humble soybean. Unknowingly, dinner tonight was centered around the bean: miso soup with tofu and crys...

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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

Now that the weather is starting to cool down, I can think about eating chazuke, which is rice with hot tea, or cha cha rice, as it's sometimes called in Hawaii. It is such an easy lunch or even dinner, when you don't feel too hungry and want something quick. In Japan, you can buy packaged toppings, ochazuke no moto, and all yo...

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Posted By: Jan Opdahl

Shungiku (garland chrysanthemum) was harvested from our rooftop garden the other day. This glorious bunch, after a dip in boiling water, resulted in a miniscule palm sized serving. It was still very flavorful and delicious. Next time, plant more!

 

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