Monday, December 29, 2014

How to Make Ozoni-Japanese New Year's Rice Cake Soup

It's hard to believe how fast the year went by. It went by in a flash and as I get older, the years seem to pass even faster than ever. It's kind of scary when you think about it but as long as you make the most of your time on this planet, it's all OK. What really matters is not how much time we have left, but how we use that time. 

Reflecting back on this year, I am amazed at how much my life has changed. Major changes, new challenges and lots of ups and downs accompanied me throughout 2014 and boy was it a ride! I am so grateful to be doing what I love and I am certain that next year will only get better! I feel it in my bones!

Speaking of 2014, it's about to end my friends and New Year's Day is just around the corner. Here in Japan, New Year's Day is the most important day of the entire year and the city is buzzing with the new year's preparations. 

Our decorations are up and the house has been cleaned. Now all we need to do is prepare the special dishes that are so important to this once-a-year occasion. 

All Japanese start off their day with a bowl of Ozoni. For those of you who don't know, Ozoni is a traditional Japanese soup but it gets a bit confusing. You see, it's prepared differently depending on where you live in the country. For example Ozoni is made with a white miso-based broth and round-shaped rice cakes in Kyoto while here in Tokyo, we prefer the clear dashi-based soup with square grilled rice cakes instead. 

Today I'm going to show you how to make Tokyo-style Ozoni because that's the way my mother used to make it. 

Serves 4


1/2 chicken thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 bunch Komatsuna ( Japanese mustard spinach )
1/4 block Kamaboko (fish cake)
Yuzu peel (you can substitute lemon if you can't find yuzu)
4-8 blocks of square mochi (rice cake)
4 cups dashi (japanese soup stock)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sake
salt to taste
*We've also added FU ( round gluten balls ) but this is optional as it's difficult to find outside Japan.


1.Put the chicken with water into a saucepan. Cook for 3-5 minutes until just cooked. Do not overcook. Take it out and set aside.
2.Replace the saucepan with fresh water. Cook the komatsuna for 30-40 seconds. Take out and immediately immserse in cold water.
3. Squeeze out excess water out of the komatsuna. Place on cutting board and cut into 2-inch slices. Set aside.
4. Heat dashi in a pot to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Add chicken, kamaboko and Fu( optional ). Set aside.
5. Grill mochi in toaster oven or grill until the mochi puffs up. Watch carefully and don't let it burn.
7. Pour ozoni soup into individual bowls. Place mochi on top. Garnish with komatsuna and yuzu. Serve hot.

Here are some links to hard-to-find products.

If you can't find fresh yuzu, yuzu juice makes a great alternative.

Yuzu juice

We like this brand of mochi best. Easy to use and good too. 

Japanese Mochi

How to make Ozoni : VIDEO TUTORIAL

As always thanks so much for reading. Subscribe to this blog, visit my YouTube channel and connect with me on social media by clicking on the social media icons on the sidebar. Thanks and hope you're all having a wonderful day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

How Do Japanese People Spend Christmas? And What They Eat.

HI guys. So Christmas Day has finally arrived here in Japan. The tree and decorations are up and we've already had our Christmas dinner. But wait...Christmas day has just started! I don't blame you for wondering that. But you see, here in Japan Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve!

It's true. Christmas Day in Japan is just another work day. Everyone goes to work and children go to school. It took me a few years to get used to this, but I'm OK with it now. I basically go with the flow and do what the locals do now. 

We did make a video for you to show you exactly what Christmas is like in Japan. Come join me in my Tokyo apartment for Christmas Eve dinner and stay for a few minutes while my friend and I talk about the odd things that make Christmas in Japan so unique. 


There is one Japanese tradition I adore during this time of the year, which is eating a Christmas Cake. In fact, without one, Christmas just isn't complete. This year, I decided to take the DIY route and instead of buying one, I sort of made my own. I say sort of because I was too lazy to make the sponge myself. 

I purchased my sponge cake at store ( it's sold all over Japan during this holiday season ) but I did make the frosting and decorated with strawberries and all. If you like Japanese-Style Strawberry Shortcake, you might like the simple way I make mine with store-bought sponge ( or one made from a cake mix ). 

Makes 1 Round Cake


1 round sponge cake cut into 2 layers
2 cups heavy cream-whipped until stiff peaks form
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
6-7 whole strawberries
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar ( powdered sugar )


Place one layer of sponge cake on a plate. Put a mound of whipped cream on top and smooth evenly. Arrange sliced strawberries on top. Cover with more whipped cream. 

Place the second layer of cake on top. Spread more whipped cream on top, making sure to cover the sides of the cake as well.

Place whole strawberries on top. If you have any leftover cream, continue to decorate the cake as desired. 


Now if that weren't enough, I also decided on making some doughnuts. But why did I do such a thing you ask? Here's the short story.

You see, a friend of mine came over and decided to make some doughnuts for some strange reason. Why doughnuts? I don't have the answer, but I'm not one to complain about doughnuts. It was good alright, but you know it was kind of....well how do I put it nicely...plain. So since I was in a holiday mood, I simply had to do something to spice things up.

So here's what I did with them. They look really pretty don't they? Now I also made a quick video tutorial on how to do this with just a few ingredients so if you have some doughnuts lying around, try this one out.

Makes enough for 5-6 donuts.


Green Matcha Icing
1. 1/2 cup confectioner's Sugar
2. 1 tbsp water
3. 1.4 teaspoon matcha powder

Red Strawberry Icing
1. 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2. 1 teaspoon strawberry jam
3. 1/2 teaspoon water ( add more in tiny amounts if needed)
4. red food coloring (optional)


Mix all ingredients for the matcha icing until smooth and slightly thick and not too watery. Dip one side of your donuts into the matcha icing. Put on wire rack and repeat with all of your donuts.

Mix all red icing ingredients until smooth and creamy. Add red food coloring if desired. Put into a piping bag or a plastic bag with the tip cut off. Pipe onto the matcha donuts.

For extra color and flavor, add more matcha powder onto the top of your donuts. Finally add a sprinkle of confectioner's sugar for a nice snow-like effect. Enjoy!

TIP: If you're making donuts from scratch, make sure they are completely cooled before icing.


Finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support and love. Without you guys, I would have never started this blog so thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your comments, suggestions and love help me continue to do what I love. 

So here's wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and eat well!

Monday, December 22, 2014

TabiEats Trailer

Just a quick update for today.I am proud to be the first to announce the release of our new YouTube Channel trailer. It's simple, quick to the point and hopefully is a good representation of what TabiEats is all about.


Just to let you know, we currently release 3 new videos every single week and so far, have amassed a collection of over 50 videos! We hope to continue to bring you fun and informative videos that you guys want to watch. 

It would be great if you would check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks guys!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Chocolat Chaud-French-Style Hot Chocolate Recipe

One of my favorite cold-weather drinks, French-Style Hot Chocolate is perfect when you want something rich, silky and super decadent.

Serves 1
100 grams good-quality chocolate
1 cup milk
Sugar to taste
Whipped Cream
Candy sprinkles

Melt chocolate with milk in a saucpan over very low heat. Stir constantly being careful not to burn or scorch the chocolate. Stir in sugar if desired. Once chocolate is completely melted and smooth, immediately pour into a cup. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon and colorful candy sprinkles. Serve immediately and enjoy!!!

Check out the video tutorial right here!

If you enjoyed the video, subscribe to TabiEats' YouTube Channel. We release 3 new videos every week for your enjoyment so don't miss out! Subscribe By Clicking Here!

While you're here you might as well subscribe to our newsletter. That way you'll get regular updates from us as well as a free copy of my 10 Favorite Recipes. Thanks in advance and happy holidays my friends!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Imo Kenpi-Japanese-Style Crispy Sweet Potato Treats

Imo Kenpi ( Super-Crispy Sweet Potatoes ) has always been one of my favorite things to snack on. They are a traditional Japanese snack and sort of like a hybrid between Sweet Potato Fried, Sweet Potato Chips and Dessert. You see the sugar crystals on the outside of the potatoes? They are sweet with just a tinge of saltiness to balance things out. And they are oh so crispy! YUM!


Makes 4 small servings

  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • cooking oil for frying
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • cinnamon


  1. Cut sweet potatoes into sticks. 
  2. Soak in water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry well with paper towel. 
  3. Put cooking oil in frying pan about 2 cm ( 1 inch ) deep. 
  4. Add sweet potatoes into the cold oil. 
  5. Turn on the heat to medium and cook until golden brown. 
  6. Take potatoes out and drain on paper towel. 
  7. Make the syrup by mixing together the sugar and water in a saucepan. 
  8. Cook over medium-high heat,constantly stirring so it doesn't burn. 
  9. Keep cooking and stirring until it turns to a syrup consistency. 
  10. Turn heat off and add the potatoes into the syrup. 
  11. Mix and combine well until the sugar mixture crystallizes around the potatoes. 

Believe me they are quite addictive so I urge you to try these at home as soon as you can! They are super easy to make and worth the tiny effort. Seriously folks, these are that good!

As always subscribe to my newsletter if you haven't done so already. It's free and you even get a copy of my 10 Favorite Recipes so what's not there to like? Let me know what you thought of this recipe and don't forget to check out my video tutorial as well. 

Thanks so much for reading and Happy Holidays everyone!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How to Make a Christmas Sushi Tree

I hope you're all having a fantastic holiday season. I've been quite busy myself. An early holiday plus starting a YouTube Channel while maintaining my blog has been keeping me as busy as a bee. Funny thing though is that I'm actually having a ball juggling all these tasks!

I'm realizing just how true it is when they say, "Time flies when you're having fun!" because that's exactly what I'm experiencing at the moment. No matter how busy and hectic my life is at the moment, I love what I do. I really really do!

So with the holidays right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about Christmas dinner. Turkey perhaps? Or a Christmas Ham? Nah, been there done that. So this year I've decided to make something different and since I love sushi, this easy-peasy Christmas Sushi was a no-brainer.

This Christmas "tower" is so easy to make and so much fun too!


Makes 16-20 rice balls

Sushi Seasoned Rice ( Mix 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 4 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons salt and cooked rice )
1 block sashimi-grade tuna
20 Pirella Leaves
Daikon strips (optional)


For 16-20 rice balls and set aside.
Cut tuna into very thin strips
Spread plastic wrap on counter top
Place a strip or two of tuna on the plastic wrap
Dab a small amount of wasabi on the center of the tuna.
Put one rice ball in on the tuna.
Wrap the plastic wrap around the ball and squeeze to help adhere the tuna to the rice.
Unwrap and set aside. Repeat with all the rice balls.
Place 5 pirella leaves for the base.
Use a plastic cup to stabilize the tree.
Place rice balls to around the base of the cup.
Put a layer of pirella leaves on top of the first layer of rice balls.
Repeat and alternate until you reach the top. Finish off with one rice ball.


If you're a sushi lover, I urge you to try this one out at your next party. Your guests will be amazed!And hey, nobody has to know how easy it was right? That's just between me and you. :)

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe today! It's free to join and you'll get a FREE COPY of my 10 Favorite Recipes! SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

Also, if you haven't done so already, check out TabiEats YouTube Channel. We have amassed quite a collection of videos for your viewing pleasure.

I hope you're all having a wonderful week and until next time, Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Our Very First Holiday Giveaway!!!

Hi everybody! We've officially entered the holiday season and I'm excited to bring you our very first giveaway! We'll be giving away a special gift package which includes a couple of very unique Japanese candy that you have to make plus a box of Pineapple Tea that we got on our recent visit to Hawaii. Just look at what you'll get!

Pineapple Waikiki Tea from Hawaiian Islands Tea Company

Gummi Sushi

Candy Sushi Kit


2. Choose which Apple Recipe you'd like us to make this weekend. ( Spring Roll Apple Pie or McDonald's Style Apple Pie )
3. Write your choice down in the comments section on our YouTube Channel.

That's it! 

Deadline for entries is December 20 midnight EST. One entry per person please. 
We'll randomly choose one person from the comments to receive the gift package.
The more you share our videos with your friends ( any videos ), you'll stand out , which will increase your chances of being chosen so please share. Thanks!


We will release the Apple recipe video on Monday, December 22 along with the announcement of the winner. We will contact the winner on the same day for mailing address so we can send the gift to you. 

Thanks for your support and good luck!

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Shinjuku Illuminations 2014

Japan doesn't celebrate Christmas like they do in Western countries. Sad but true and it has taken my many years to get used to the fact that Christmas Day is just a normal working day for most folks here.

Now, I just roll with it and enjoy what the city does offer such as the spectacular illuminations that are on display all across the city. In fact, I think Japan goes all out on holiday decorations even more so than Hawaii, where I grew up. Interesting no?

Since Shinjuku is just a few train stops away for me, this place is hard for me to ignore. But who would want to when it's just so beautiful. As the weather gets colder and the leaves fall off the trees, the lights add some much-needed color and cheer to the rather dreary winters.

Check out my video of the Illuminations in Shinjuku by clicking on this link. 

I hope you enjoyed this tour of the Shinjuku Winter Illuminations. If you did, let me know in the comments below. Next time, I'll be showing you more beautiful holiday illuminations throughout the city of Tokyo...well as much as I can go to anyway. 

Cheers everyone and hope you're all having a wonderful day. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Japanese Chicken Rice-Easy Comfort Food

When I was a kid, my mother used to cook a lot more than she does these days and Chicken Rice was one of them. She used to make them all the time because it was a favorite of ours. We could pretty much eat it all week!

The Japanese version of Chicken Rice is one of the easiest dishes to make but don't let the simplicity fool you. It really is one of the most delicious things you'll ever put into your mouth. This is a great way to use up your leftover rice. If you're a vegetarian, simply omit the chicken.

Here are some tips for getting the best results. If you can, I suggest using Japanese rice for the best results. Cut up your ingredients to the same size for quick and even cooking and have them ready to go before starting to cook.

Japanese Chicken Rice

Serves 4


  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 onion diced
  • 1 skinless chicken breast chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (cooked and thawed)
  • 4 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • cooking oil


  1. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil to a frying pan and saute the chicken and onions for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add ketchup, peas, salt and pepper to the mixture. Stir to combine the ingredients well.
  3. Add the cooked rice and mix thoroughly. Heat for another 2 minutes or so.
  4. Divide the rice into four plates and serve warm.
I also made a video for you to show you just how easy this is to make. 

Watch the Chicken Rice Video HERE!

I hope you try this recipe out as it's one of my go-to comfort foods. Let me know what you think in the comments below and if you haven't done so, subscribe to my blog for updates. 

Hope you're all having a great day!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Tart-The Perfect Sweet Ending to Any Meal

There are so many things I love about autumn. The cooler air pushes out the heavy clouds, making room for clear blue skies. The air becomes nippy and cold,  making a mug of hot chocolate or apple cider my drinks of choice. 

However what I like most is the abundance of fall produce that's available at this time of the year. Sweet potatoes, chestnuts and pumpkins. Sure they're available year around, but this is when they taste their absolute best. And don't get me started on the sweet persimmons, pears and apples that dominate the produce section. I can hardly stand it!One drawback to all of this good food is that it's way too easy to put on those extra pounds. 

So what does a foodie like me do? Should I forsake partaking in all the fall bounty in exchange for a svelte physique? Or should I ditch the diet and eat as much sweet potatoes and pumpkins as I can manage to stuff into my mouth while it lasts? 

I've done it before, yes I have. A few years ago, I actually avoided food that were high in carbs. This included sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and all the fruits that I love. I stayed slim and trim and I was happy to a certain point. But who am I kidding? I missed those damn persimmons. I pretended to hate my chestnut rice that I'd been eating for years. 

So this year, I decided to do something unbelievable. I decided to let myself eat all this wonderful food like any other sane person would. I indulged in baked sweet potatoes and pumpkin soup. I ate the sweetest persimmons that have ever passed my lips. And guess what? I managed not to gain any weight. As long as I was sensible, I could pretty much eat anything I wanted. Haha!

 Now I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love dessert. In fact, that's probably the understatement of the year! I can just see all my friends knowingly nod in agreement and I don't blame them. All year, I whip up batches of cupcakes, buckets of ice cream and cakes.

Come autumn time, my mood changes and I start to crave something just a little bit heartier and this usually means pumpkin pie. Apple pie is good too but for me, pumpkin pie is what epitomizes the entire fall season.

This year was no different but instead of making a pie, I decided to go with a tart instead. The photos on this post clearly show that I've created a beautiful tart. Now I sort of knew that there was a difference between the two, but while eating a slice of pumpkin tart, I got to wondering. What exactly are the differences between a pie and a tart? After some research, this is what I learned.

A pie is a dish with a crust and a filling, baked in a pan with sides that are sloped. The goal is a crisp and flaky crust and pies are usually served straight from the dish in which they were baked.

Tarts are baked in a pan with shallow sides. The crust should be firm and crumbly. Tarts are usually baked in a pan with a removable bottom, so that it can be unmolded before serving.

If you think about it, pies and tarts are very similar in that it wouldn't be too strange to see them in the same category. In fact, on my Pinterest Board, I group pies and tarts into one board because I just don't see the point in separating the two.

Now the reason for all the unnecessary babbling is because of the fact that while I assumed I was making a pie, in reality, I was actually making a tart. And a gluten-free one at that!

OK, I sincerely apologize for the long story. I'll get straight to the point.

This gluten-free pumpkin tart uses almond flour instead of the usual wheat flour. This helps me to not gain unnecessary weight ( believe me it works ) while letting me indulge in a delicious pumpkin dessert and let me tell you, this one is really good! The whipped topping really makes this tart special and elevates it to a whole new level.



1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pumpkin Filling

2 cups pureed pumpkin
3/4  cup honey
1 large egg
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin spice


Preheat oven to 350F or 180C. In large bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda. Add grapeseed oil, honey and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined. Press the mixture into a 9 1/2 inch tart pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Take out from oven and cool completely before filling. 

To make the filling, add pureed pumpkin, honey, milk and cinnamon or pumpkin spice in a large bowl. Mix well until the filling is smooth. Pour into tart crust. Bake in preheated oven at 325 F or 170C for 30-45 minutes. Check the tart at 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean it is done. If not, continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes. Cook the tart for 30 minutes before serving. 

Let me know how you liked this recipe in the comments below. Also check out my how-to video to see just how easy it is to make. 


I hope you enjoyed this dish. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I'd love to know what you've thought. 

As always thanks so much for reading. Subscribe to this blog, visit my YouTube channel and connect with me on social media by clicking on the social media icons on the sidebar. Thanks and hope you're all having a wonderful day!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tofu Loaf-An Alternative to Turkey

I've always been a fan of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner and although I no longer live in America, I still like to enjoy something that reminds me of a traditional Thanksgiving feast. I don't make turkey and stuffing simply because they aren't readily available here in Japan. It's also not an easy task to get things such as canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce. Of course if I make the hour trek to one of the few grocery stores that cater to Americans, I could but I unless I'm in the neighborhood, I simply cannot be bothered. I mean, we're busy as is already right? 
So instead of going through all that trouble, I prefer to make this tasty tofu loaf that I first made a couple of years ago. I like to serve it with a side of sweet potatoes and some green vegetables such as green beans or broccoli. All you need is some pumpkin pie for dessert and you're all set!

For non-vegetarians too!

Although I'm far from becoming a vegetarian, I do enjoy vegetarian dishes on a regular basis. For the past few years, I've been serving a delicious tofu loaf that's easy to make, delicous and healthy. Although it contains absolutely no meat, it's a hearty dish and should satisfy any meat lover. It's basically a tofu loaf that's filled with the stuffing of your choice and with your favorite gravy, it makes a perfect alternative to the traditional turkey.
Today I decided to stuff my loaf with a simple mixture of rice and vegetables.  I simply combine these ingredients ( 2 cups cooked rice, 1/2 cup minced vegetables, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoon cornstarch, fine bread crumbs ) in a large bowl until they are well combined. 
The vegetables add some much-needed texture and vitamins to the loaf while the ginger gives it a nice kick. I usually like to serve it with a Japanese sauce made of equal parts soy sauce and lemon over a mound of grated daikon radish. However for a more traditional holiday taste, serve with your favorite homemade or store-bought gravy.

Serves 4


  • 2 blocks firm tofu
  • 2 medium onions finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot finely chopped
  • 2/3 cups panko(fine bread crumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 cups of your favorite stuffing ( or use my rice stuffing )


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Oil and flour loaf pan.
  2. Place tofu in a bowl lined with a couple of paper towels and microwave for 5 minutes.
  3. Take the tofu out and drain excess water. 
  4. Saute onions and carrots for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  5. Put tofu, vegetables and the remaining ingredients into bowl and mix with hands until well combined.
  6. Spread a layer of tofu mixture on all sides of the pan setting aside 1 cup for the top.
  7. Gently add stuffing inside the loaf. Cover with remaining tofu mixture.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes. If the top browns too quickly, place aluminum foil over the top and continue to bake until done. Test doneness by inserting a knife into the loaf. It should come out clean. 
  9. Remove from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before unmolding.
  10. Slice and serve with your favorite sauce or gravy.
To make it even easier, I made a video so you can see just how easy this is to make. 

Step-by-Step Video Instructions for the Tofu Loaf

I hope you enjoyed this dish. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you. What are you planning to make this Thanksgiving? Do you think you would enjoy this dish?

As always thanks so much for reading. Subscribe to this blog, visit my YouTube channel and connect with me on social media by clicking on the social media icons on the sidebar. Thanks and hope you're all having a wonderful day!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Visit to Yokohama's Chinatown, Kawagoe and Eating Awesome Curry Buns

As the temperature drops in Tokyo, I find myself more in the mood for soups and stews as I steer away from anything that helps lower body temperature. Salads, raw vegetables and plain old fruit goes out the window. My body doesn't handle the cold too well and I will do anything to raise my core temperature to help myself survive the long winter. 

Every year come autumn, I will make use of this time to venture out to explore the world around me. It's really one of the best times to get out and about to discover new sights, sounds and of course food! So it's not surprising that I've created three new videos during the week. 

And although the videos are mostly about traveling, this blog isn't called TabiEats for nothing. There is always food and lots of it as you'll see. 

 Yokohama Chinatown

Chinatown in Yokohama has always been one of my favorite places to visit when I'm in the mood for something exotic. In fact, one of my Chinese friends proclaimed this place even more Chinese than Hong Kong. Not sure what that means, but I take it as a good thing because whenever I visit, I feel transported to a different country.

My travel video of Yokohama's Chinatown includes a visit to an order-as-much-as-you-like-until-you-can't-move restaurant, where you'll see my friend and I eat until our belt buckles pop! Oh, don't worry. We also show you some culture as well including a Chinese temple and a look at Yokohama's Harbor.


After a trip to Chinatown, why not head on over to Kawagoe, to remind yourself that you're still in the land of the rising sun. Kawagoe is located less than 40 minutes by train from where I live so I tend to visit this place often, not only for its amazingly well-preserved old Edo buildings, but also for the local food they are famous for. 

This trip to Kawagoe features my favorite bean shop, where I never fail to visit on any trip there. From sweet beans to savory ones ( black pepper and mayonnaise beans anyone? ) , this bean shop is a must-visit. 


Last but not least, I stopped by Angelica, a bakery famous for their curry buns and miso breads. Now, I have no idea why I haven't been there in years, but I'm glad I remembered about this place because their bread rocks! Especially their curry buns.

I really think they have the best curry buns ever. Their miso bread is unique and something I've never seen elsewhere. These are quite addicting so those on low-carb diets, you've been warned!

Here are the links to my videos.

Please press the LIKE button while you're over there and let me know what you thought in the comments below each videos. And if you haven't done so already don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel. We release 3 new videos every single week so you really don't want to miss out on any of them.

As always thank you for visiting TabiEats today. Please let me know what you think below and subscribe to this blog to stay updated with my latest recipes, travel stories and more. I hope you are all having a wonderful week. Cheers!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Marmalade-Stuffed French Toast Starts My Day Off Right!

This morning I woke up to an incredibly beautiful day. The sky was blue and the birds were happily chirping away and I was instantly put in a good mood. That's exactly the way I like to start my day and what better way to celebrate the beautiful day than with a good breakfast!

Today I'm going to share with you one of my favorite ways to make french toast. One word of warning though. It's incredibly easy to make yet tastes amazing! I'm serious! If you are a fan of orange marmalade, you'll love this. Of course if you prefer jam, I don't see why you couldn't make it with that instead. In fact, I think that's what I'll do tomorrow.

So here are the simple instructions for making my favorite Marmalade-Stuffed French Toast.

This recipe serves 2. Here are the ingredients.

  • Four slices of bread
  • Orange marmalade
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • powdered sugar ( optional )

  1. Spread some orange marmalade onto two slices of bread.
  2. Put the other two slices of bread on top of them.
  3. Mix together 2 eggs, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla extract in a bowl. Whisk until combined. 
  4. Soak the bread in egg mixture ( 1 minute on each side ) until well absorbed on both sides. 
  5. Melt some butter in a frying pan. Cook the french toast until golden brown and slightly crispy on both sides. Cook on medium heat to make sure the bread is cooked all the way through. 
  6. Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and serve with extra marmalade. 
This beautiful french toast is perfect with coffee or tea. A side of fresh fruits would complete this gorgeous breakfast and will put a smile on anyone's face.


Are you a fan of french toast? Marmalade? Or do you prefer pancakes? Let me know in the comments below. Also check out this recipe on my YouTube channel. Once you see how easy it is to make, you'll pinch yourself for not trying this out sooner.

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Easiest and Tastiest Furikake-Crusted Tuna Steaks

Being Japanese, many people assume that I love raw fish. Now I do eat sashimi and I do like it if it's really fresh. However I probably wouldn't say that I love it.

First of all, I only eat certain kinds of fish and seafood raw. For example, I love tuna and all kinds of fish raw. I also like ikura ( salmon eggs ) . But that's pretty much it. Raw clams? Don't really like them. What about sea urchin? Raw shrimp? Raw oysters? No, no and definitely no!

Whenever I go to a sushi bar, I usually start out with tuna and then go on to whatever I like. But I love cucumber, ume ( sour plum ) and inari ( tofu pouches ) and pretty much anything that's fully cooked. The good thing about this is that I'm a cheap date, especially when taking me to sushi bars!

Today I'm going to share with you one of my favorite ways to eat sashimi. It's mostly very rare and some would say raw, because it's just lightly seared on the outside. Coating the sashimi-grade tuna not only adds flavor, but gives it an enjoyable crunch. Serve it with some rice and macaroni salad for a true Hawaiian-style dish.

Serves 2

1 block fresh tuna (sashimi grade)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon grated ginger
4 tablespoons furikake

3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce

Cut the tuna into two blocks. In a ziploc bag, put all ingredients in. Marinate the tuna for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. While it's marinating, make the sauce by combining mayonnaise, soy sauce and mustard. Set aside.

Pour furikake into a shallow pan. Coat the tuna blocks on all sides well with the furikake. In a frying pan, heat some oil. Sear the tuna on all sides for 10-15 seconds per side. Once on a cutting board, slice the tuna and serve with steamed rice and macaroni salad for an authentic Hawaiian-style dish.

We now have a video for this wonderful recipe, cooked by my friend Satoshi, who manages TabiEats Japanese blog.


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Thanks for reading and hope you're all having a great week!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Coming Up With 5 Tomato-Based Dishes to Enter a Contest

Last month, an online Japanese magazine was running a small competition involving stewed tomatoes. More precisely, participants were required to create 5 dishes that included stewed tomatoes as a topping. It was understandable as the contest was run by the famous Kagome brand, a company known for their tomato products. 

As the winning entries would receive a mention on their website as well as a big package of tomato products, there was no doubt about whether we would enter or not. Sure there were just 5 days left before the deadline, but how hard could it be? 

It's interesting how easy it is to come up with recipes when you are bound by certain rules and in this case, each dish needed to have stewed tomatoes in them. They also made it quite clear that they would favor those that poured the tomatoes on top rather than hidden within other ingredients. In other words, the tomatoes had to be visible. 

So these are the five dishes we came up with and we think they came out great. All has been taste-tested in our kitchen and they are fairly easy to make. Let me tell you from the get-go that they are all quite delicious and we even managed to surprise ourselves with how good stewed tomatoes could be.

Which one looks the most delicious to you? Let me know in the comments below. 

Baked Pumpkin Stuffed with Bacon, Onions and Tomatoes

Basil-Fried Chicken with Spicy Stewed Tomato Sauce

Pan-Fried Fish with Garlic-Infused Tomatoes and Olives

Potato and Cheese Hash Brown with Stewed Tomatoes

Deep-Fried Tofu Pouches Stuffed with Ground Pork and Onions in a Stewed Tomato Broth Sprinkled with Shiso Leaves

Please do let me know which one you liked best and I'll make sure to put up the recipe for you in my next post. Thanks for your support! :)

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Hope you're all having a great week and thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Celebrating Halloween-Japanese Style

Who would have thought that Japanese food could be fun and themed to a Western holiday?! To celebrate this coming Halloween, my friend Satoshi (who runs and maintains the TabiEats Japanese blog) came up with some pretty awesome ideas for a Japanese Halloween dinner.

At first I was skeptical to say the least. He started telling me about his plans to make sushi mummies, Halloween-colored sushi and jack-o-lantern simmered vegetables. As I listened to him go on for a few minutes, my mind started to wander to other things. What should go into my Rocky Road? What about a Halloween Pancake? As you can tell by now, I was far from excited.

As we got the kitchen set up for this, I realized how labor-intensive this could be. Choosing just one of these items to make doesn't take long. However making multiple items pretty much took up most of the afternoon.

Still, the results were so much better than I expected. In fact, I now love the entire concept. The dishes are festive and just looking at them puts a silly grin on my face.

So the entire spread consists of a savory custard, simmered vegetables and sushi. Doesn't that sound utterly boring? You can see why i started falling asleep during the explanation process. But one look at the photos below and you'll most likely agree with me that they are far from boring.

As the sushi is pretty complicated to make, today I'm going to share two of the recipes here. I promise to share with you a proper sushi recipe in the near future.

Just to let you know, these are very traditional Japanese dishes and call for Japanese ingredients so make sure you can have them before you attempt this recipe. For example, you can substitute the dashi broth with another broth of your choice, but it will result in something more akin to a Western dish.

So if you're ready to get started, here are the recipes.


Ingredients ( Serves 2 )

3/4 cup broth
1 egg, beaten well
Salt to taste

Pumpkin soup
1/4 small pumpkin, cut into small blocks
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup water

1. First, microwave the pumpkin until soft. ( about 5 minutes ) repeat if necessary.
2. Peel the pumpkins and set aside.
3. Sauté the onions with butter until translucent.
4. Add pumpkins and water to the mixture. Simmer until soft. (About 20 minutes)
5. Using a hand blender, purée until smooth.
6. Add milk and heat under medium-low heat until warm. Turn off heat and set aside.

Making the custard:
1. Add beaten egg and broth into bowl and mix until well incorporated.
2. Pour mixture into heatproof cups and cover with aluminum foil.
3. Put a metal colander into a pot with just enough water to fill bottom of colander.
4. Put the cups into the colander, cover and steam on medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until the custard is soft set.
5. Carefully remove the custards and pour 1 tablespoon of pumpkin soup on the top.
6. Decorate to make a jack-o-lantern face if desired. I cut up pieces from a sheet of nori, but you can use anything you have such as black olives instead.


Ingredients ( Serves 2-4 )

2 medium-sized carrots
1/2 daikon radish
6 shiitake mushrooms (optional)
1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce ( regular soy sauce is fine if you can't find light soy sauce )
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon sake
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup dashi ( made with Japanese instant soup stock )

1. Cut carrots into 1/2 inch slices. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter.
2. Slice and cut out the daikon in the same way.
3. Put all ingredients into a large saucepan including the shiitake. Bring to a boil.
4. Simmer on medium heat until vegetables are just tender. About 10-15 minutes.
5. Take cooked vegetables out of broth and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
6. Place face parts onto the cooked vegetables. Serve.

Helpful Tips and Notes:

For the Nimono, I would suggest using light-colored soy sauce rather than the typical dark version. However if you can't find any, the regular kind is fine.

We've used cookie cutters for this recipe, one in the shape of a jack-o-lantern and one in the shape of a ghost. They are small enough to cut out shapes from the carrots and daikon radishes so please make sure yours does too.

For the carrots and daikon, I've cut out shapes from a sheet of nori with scissors. For the shiitake, I piped mayonnaise onto them for the eyes. I simply put some mayonnaise into a plastic bag, snipped the corner with scissors and piped it on. Please feel free to substitute these things with what you wish to use and have on hand.

If you enjoy Japanese food and have access to Japanese ingredients in your area, I hope you try these out this Halloween. Remember that you can simply skip all the halloween theming by simply skipping over all the tedious face-making steps and cutting things into ghosts and stuff. In the end, you'll still be able to enjoy traditional Chawanmushi and Nimono. Make a bowl of miso soup and steamed rice and you have the perfect Japanese meal.

To make it easier, we've created a video for you. Check it out below.

If you've been following this blog, you probably already know about these too-cute-to-eat corn dog mummies. The best of all is that they are made from scratch and what makes them better is that they were actually easy to make. Aren't they just absolutely adorable? 

Check out the video on how to make these adorable corn dog mummies below. 

Now if you need a cool dessert for your Halloween party, check out my Rocky Road Video by clicking right here.

Make sure to subscribe to my blog for regular updates plus a free copy of my 10 favorite recipes! If there is something you'd like me to make in the future, let me know in the comments below. As always thanks so much for reading.

Happy Halloween!