Sunday, July 16, 2017

Yakiniku Onigirazu (Japanese Barbeque Rice Sandwiches)

Some say that the Onigirazu is a rice ball. Others say that it's defintinely a sandwich. Either way, we are huge fans of Onigirazu. I mean how could you not like them? They are easy to make and is so easy to take with you for eating on the go. Take them on your next picnic and everyone will love you for making them.

Today, we decided to fill these rice sandwiches with one of Satoshi's favorite dish, YAKINIKU! In fact the yakiniku sauce is so delicious, you can just eat the meat with a hot bowl of rice. Of course if that's what you prefer. It's all up to you. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 1)

1/2 clove garlic, grated
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp honey
vegetable oil
1 thick slice onion
3 slices thinly-sliced beef (ribeye or tenderloin)
kimchi (optional)
lettuce leaves
3/4 cup cooked Japanese rice


First, grate the garlic and ginger and place in a bowl. Add in soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and honey and mix well. Set aside. Next, add oil to a frying pan and turn on the heat. Cook the onion on both sides and set aside for now. Cook the beef on both sides being careful not to overcook. Return the onion slice to the frying pan. Pour the sauce over the meat and onion. Flip over and cook for another 30 seconds. 

Place a sheet of plastic wrap onto your work surface. Then place a sheet of nori on top. Put half the cooked rice onto the center of the nori, followed by onion, lettuce leaves, beef slices and kimchi if you desire. Top it off with the rest of the cooked rice. Carefully fold the corners of the nori towards the center. Do the same with the plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting it in half. Don't forget to take off the plastic before eating. Enjoy!

Sushi Donuts

The first time we saw this on the internet, we were like...huh? Sushi Donut? Yes, they are a thing! And it's REAL people! Here in Japan, the trend hasn't caught on yet and most people have never heard of such craziness. But that's ok because we know that they exist and we're going to make some!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 6)

3 radishes
1 cucumber
1/4 red onion
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 avocado
lemon juice
smoked salmon

(sushi rice)
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cooked Japanese rice

(other ingredients)
sashimi-grade tuna
broccoli sprouts
white sesame seeds
black sesame seeds
silicone donut mold
nori sheets cut into squares (optional)
perilla leaves (optional)
soy sauce


First, slice the radishes thinly. Sprinkle some salt on top and give it a quick massage. Set it aside for at least 10 mintues. Cut off the ends of one cucumber. Slice lengthwise with a vegetable peeler to make very thin slices. Cut the cucumber sheets in half and set aside. Slice the onion and combine with 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tsp rice vinegar. Set aside until slightly soft. Next mash half an avocado with a fork with a squeeze of lemon juice. Cut the smoked salmon slices in half. 

Combine rice vinegar, sugar and salt and microwave for 30 seconds. Mix until dissolved. Add to the hot Japanese rice and mix well to combine. 

Now we're ready to use the silicone donut molds. Fill three molds halfway up with the seasoned rice, making a well in the center of each ring. Fill the other three molds all the way to the top. Fill the wells with the mashed avocado. Top off with more rice. Press the rice down so that they hold together. Let it sit for a few minutes. Flip the mold over and carefully lift the mold off the rice. Place three sheets of cucumber slices, cutting off the excess. Decorate with tuna, black sesame seeds and pickled radish. Your first set of sushi donuts are complete. 

For the next set, decorate with smoked salmon, broccoli sprouts, tobikko, red onions and white sesame seeds. Simple! 

Place the sushi donuts on a square sheet of nori or perilla leaf. Enjoy with a drizzle with a mixture of soy sauce and wasabi

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Baked Matcha Donuts with Matcha and White Chocolate Glaze

Many people really are into Matcha these days and I'm talking about people all over the world. Here in Japan, Matcha green tea is something we sometimes take for granted. You see it in everything....from everyday beverages to cakes. Matcha can be found all over the country.

Since Kyoto is famous for their high-quality foodstuff, naturally they are also famous for Matcha. Especially when it comes to sweets, good quality Matcha is a must and this is also true for these Baked Matcha Donuts. The better the quality of your Matcha, the better the results.

INGREDIENTS: (makes 6 donuts)

2 tbsp butter
1 cup cake flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp matcha powder
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg
1/2 bar good quality white chocolate, melted
candied lemon bits (optional)
(matcha glaze)
1 tsp matcha powder
1/4 tsp hot water
1 cup confectioners' sugar
tiny amount of water if necessary


First grease the donut molds with some melted butter, oil or non stick spray. In a bowl, sift in flour, sugar, baing powder and a teaspoon of matcha powder and mix well to combine. Next, add in the milk, melted butter and egg. Mix until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the donut molds. Then give it a couple of taps to eliminate any air bubbles. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 180C/350F or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

To make the glaze, combine the matcha powder and hot water and mix until smooth. Add to a cup of confectioners's sugar and mix until the consistency of glaze. It shouldn't be too thick or too thin. If it's too thick, add just a tiny amount of water and mix until you get the right consistency.

Once donuts are done, take them out and cool completely before glazing. Once they have cooled, dip them into the matcha glaze and put them on a wire rack to let the glaze set. Drizzle on the white chocolate and top with candied lemon if you like. If I'm serving them right away, I like to add some fresh lemon zest on top for extra lemony flavor. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Matcha and White Chocolate Mushipan (Steamed Cakes)

My mother loves Mushipan and she can eat it everyday without getting sick of them. I, on the other hand, have never cared much for them. Don't get me wrong. They are delicious! But most of the time, I feel like they need something to give it that extra oomph. It always feels like something's missing. Of course that's just me, because Mushipan is popular here in Japan. 

Mushipan is basically a cake that's steamed rather than baked so it's much easier to make than a cake and our recipe for Mushipan just doesn't get any easier. And just in case you're wondering, we had to come up with a Mushipan recipe that I actually liked and if you know me by now, I have been in love with matcha for like....forever!

If you're a fan of matcha and if like Mushipan, you'll probably like this recipe. I added some white chocolate chips to give it an extra layer of flavor and just a little more sweetness. These would be perfect for an afternoon snack or even for a light breakfast!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 3) 

1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp matcha powder
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp vegetable oil
white chocolate chips


First combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and matcha powder and mix to combine. Then add in egg, milk and vegetable oils and mix until the batter is smooth. Fold in white chocolate chips and pour mixture into muffin molds. Steam for approximately 15 minutes covered. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How to Make Katsudon-Pork Tonkatsu Rice Bowl Recipe

Tonkatsu is a Japanese pork cutlet that's deep-fried to crispy goodness. Combine that with egg and a special sauce and you get a dish called Katsudon!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 1 serving)

1/4 onion, sliced
2-3 sprigs mitsuba (or scallions), cut into 2-inch length
1 cooked tonkatsu (click here for recipe), cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tbsp water
1/4 tsp instant dashi powder
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sugar


Combine water, dashi powder, soy sauce, mirin and sugar in a small frying pan. Stir to combine and add the sliced onions. Cover with aluminum foil and bring to a boil. When onions are translucent, add tonkatsu and simmer over medium heat. While it's cooking, beat one egg. Pour egg over the tonkatsu and add the mitsuba. Cover and simmer for 20-30 seconds or until eggs are done to your liking. Pour mixture over a bowl of steamed rice. Enjoy while hot!


No-Churn Dairy-Free Matcha Ice Cream

Today we're going to show you how to make the easiest no-churn matcha ice cream on the planet. Not only is no churning required, it's dairy free too!

INGREDIENTS: (makes 1 serving)

1 tsp matcha powder
small amoung of very hot water
1 oz. marshmallows
1/2 cup coconut milk


Dissolve matcha powder with a small amount of hot water and set aside. In a bowl, combine marshmallows and coconut milk and microwave for 90 seconds. Take it out and mix until smooth and the marshmallows have completely melted. Add in the matcha and mix until combined.

Once it has cooled, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for one hour. After an hour, take it out. The mixture will still be soft. Give it a quick mix and freeze for another 2-3 hours. Take it out and it's ready to eat!

This no-dairy ice cream becomes very hard and difficult to scoop if frozen for too long so we recommend enjoying your matcha ice cream immediately. If you'd like an easy recipe for matcha ice cream but you don't mind some dairy, check out this recipe instead. This one will keep in the freezer without getting too hard.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Japanese Spaghetti Napolitan

I was five years old when I moved to Hawaii with my mother. By that age, I had already become somewhat of a foodie. My love affair with food had already started and my chubby frame made that quite obvious. I could also remember tastes.

The first time I had spaghetti was when my mother cooked for me in Japan. I was probably 3 or 4 years old, but I don't remember exactly. I'm bad when it comes to numbers. But like I said, I remember tastes. My mother used to make me a dish called Spaghetti Napolitan. It was the only pasta dish I knew. No surprised there because back then, Italian food wasn't widely know yet in Japan and the closest thing was Spaghetti Napolitan. It's far from authentic Italian cuisine and everyone knows. In fact, this dish is considered Yoshoku, which loosely traslates to Japanized Western Cuisine. I'm sure many of you are quite familiar with other Yoshoku dishes. Curry Rice, Tonkatsu and Omurice belong in the Yoshoku caterogy to name a few. 

Spaghetti Napolitan is simply comfort food for the Japanese. We used to eat it as kids and Yoshoku is making a comeback. Napolitan is once again, all the rage, at least here in Japan. My mother's recipe was simple and it's the one that I still make even in my adulthood.


INGREDIENTS (makes 1 serving)

1 clove garlic
1/2 onion
1 small bell pepper (or half a large one)
2 mushrooms
3 mini sausages
1 serving spaghetti
1-2 tbsp ketchup
salt and pepper to taste


Chop the garlic. Slice onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and mini sausages into small pieces. Add pinch of salt to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook spaghetti until al dente. Drain well and set aside. Pour olive oil in a frying pan and cook the garlic until fragrant. Add onions and saute for a couple of minutes. Add in mushrooms, bell pepper and sausages and cook until onions are translucent. Add in spaghetti and toss together. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Add 1-2 tbsp ketchup and toss to combine over low heat. Serve immediately.