Friday, April 24, 2015

Beautiful Strawberry Shortcake-Japanese Style

Have you ever heard of Strawberry Shortcake? Most likely than not you have. But did you know that Japanese-Style Strawberry Shortcake is very different from the ones you're used to seeing? In fact, the Japanese version is more like a cake than a shortcake because is. It's so popular here in fact that it's the preferred cake for celebrations such as birthdays and Christmas.

Even minus the celebrations, you'll find this cake sold all year around at almost every bakery, cake shop, convenience store and even supermarkets. Of course the ones at the bakeries are so much better and quality does make a difference.

Here is my version of the Strawberry Shortcake and I have to say, this turned out even better than I expected. In fact, it was pretty awesome if I may say so myself. Here's the recipe just in case you might want to try making it yourself. I would love to know what you guys think of this very "traditional" Japanese cake.

INGREDIENTS: Makes 1 17-18 cm cake( 9-inch )

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cake flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons milk

6 whole strawberries
1/3 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons strawberry jam or jelly microwaved until liquid.
Confectioner's sugar ( powdered sugar )


Preheat your oven to 170C/340F. Whisk the eggs in a bowl for 30 seconds. Add sugar and mix until ingredients are incorporated. Boil some hot water in a pot. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Put the bowl of egg mixture over the hot water. Mix until the sugar is dissolved and is warm to touch. Beat mixture on high for 3-4 mintues or until thick. Lower the heat and beat for 1 more minute.

Add half the flour into the batter and mix. Then add the other half of the flour and mix until incorporated. Add melted butter and milk. Fold them in until blended.

Pour into your cake pan and bake for 25 minutes. Cool cake before frosting.

Cut off the top of the cake to make it level. Cut into 2 slices.

Combine heavy cream and sugar in bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Brush sugar syrup on top of one layer of cake. Spread a layer of cream. Arrange sliced strawberries on top of the cream. Then spread another layer of cream.

Brush second cake layer with strawberry syrup on one side. Place second layer of cake on top with jam side down. Frost the entire cake with the whipped cream. Arrange whole strawberries on top. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and you're done! Refrigerate for one hour before eating. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Click here for Strawberry Shortcake Video Tutorial

I hope you enjoyed this cake recipe as much as I love making and devouring this deliciousness. Please check out my video tutorial and if you enjoyed it, be sure to check out all my recipes on YouTube and subscribe to our channel. I would love you forever!

See you back here for another TabiEats update! Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mochiko Chicken-An Island Favorite

I have a lot of fond memories of going to picnics and parties on the weekends when I was growing up in Hawaii. People love their get-togethers there and it always revolves around food. The menu is diverse, mirroring the melting pot that makes Hawaii so unique. It also makes the food exciting and for me that's what I looked forward to the most.

One dish that was always on the menu was Mochiko Chicken. It's similar to the Japanese Karaage Fried Chicken but in my opinion, is way better and so much more flavorful. The special marinade that the chicken soaks in gives this dish an intense flavor that Karaage can't compare to. One bite and you literally have a party in your mouth!

We make it often right here in Japan and it's definitely a favorite when we make it for friends. It's super easy to make and I'll gladly share the recipe with you today.


Ingredients:Serves 2

1 pound chicken breast breast or thigh
1 tablespoon mochiko flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white wine
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup green onion minced
1/4 cup white onion minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg


Whisk one egg in a small bowl. Add all ingredients except chicken into a zip lock bag. Massage until well incorporated.
Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Put chicken into ziploc bag and massage for 15 seconds. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.
Heat oil to 180C/380F and cook for 5-6 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Drain on paper towels. Enjoy!

Mochiko Flour can easily be purchased online or at most Asian supermarkets. Mochiko can also be used to make Mochi ( sticky rice cakes )  and it's really easy to do. Replace regular flours with mochiko for a variety of recipes.

I found a site that has quite a number of delicious recipes using Mochiko. Check it out by clicking here.

If you can't find it at your local supermarket, just click on the picture on the left to purchase online. You'll be taken to Amazon where you'll be able to review your order.

I hope you enjoyed today's recipe. Please let me know if you try this out and post your pictures to any of my social media sites with #tabieats. Subscribe to our blog and check out our YouTube channel for daily videos. Thanks so much for reading and until next time, take care guys!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Most Delicious Red Velvet Cupcakes

If you would to ask me what my favorite food is, it would usually be some kind of dessert. Whether it be chocolate cakestrawberry pie or a plate of chocolate chip cookies, it really doesn't matter because I love anything that belongs in the dessert category. For me, there's nothing worse than being disappointed by a lousy dessert after a spectacular meal. It's like watching a movie with a bad ending. It's hard for me to tolerate and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Making red velvet cupcakes for the first time

Last week, I received a beautiful cake stand for my birthday. I always wanted one and I couldn't be any happier! I promised my friends that I would make them some cupcakes that would look pretty in the cake stand. So yesterday, I decided to spend my day making some red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Now I have to admit that I was a bit scared. I've made red velvet cupcakes before but I never quite got them right. My first attempt resulted in a dry cake while my second attempt was one with an extremely sweet frosting. The other challenge was that most Japanese, including my friends, find American cakes too sweet for their tastes. So some adjustments were needed.
So how did my red velvet cupcakes turn out? I am thrilled to say that they were pretty awesome. The cake turned out moist and, dare I say it, perfect! And my cream cheese frosting was just sweet enough without it being too overpowering. I liked this less-sweet version of red velvet cupcake so much, I even had one for breakfast this morning.

Additional tips:

  • You can increase the confectioners's sugar to 2 cups for a sweeter frosting if you desire.
  • Decorate the cupcakes with berries for a beautiful presentation.
  • Overbeating the cake batter will result in a dry cake. Don't overbeat.
  • Make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting.


  • Cupcakes:
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 ounce red food coloring
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 8 -ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add sour cream, milk, food coloring and vanilla to the mixture. Mix.
  5. Gradually add flour mixture while beating on low speed until just blended. Don't overbeat.
  6. Spoon batter into cupcake holders 2/3 full.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Cool completely.
  9. For frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla extract in large bowl until light and fluffy.
  10. Gradually mix in confectioners's sugar until smooth and creamy.
  11. Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting.
  12. Decorate with berries if desired.
Are you a cupcake lover? If so, what is your favorite type of cupcake? Let me know in the comments below. Oh, before you go, don't forget to subscribe to this blog for regular updates. It's free and convenient. Thanks for reading guys and hope you're all having a great week. 

How To Make Japanese Castella

Castella is a popular Japanese cake that's loved by everyone. It's especially popular in Nagasaki, where you can find Castella being sold in almost every store. I remember the first time I went on holiday to Nagasaki many years ago, I ended up buying at least 10 loaves of Castella from different stores. I'm not even joking! Believe me, that was a lot of cake!

It did take us a few tries to get this right, but I think we finally perfected this recipe. This cake is light, airy and only needs 4 ingredients! It really is a simple cake to make and relies on simple ingredients. The sweetness comes from honey and that's all there is to it.

To see just how easy it is to make, check out our Video Tutorial. CLICK HERE to see the video. So without further ado, let's get started.


Makes (1) Using a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons honey
4 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons warm water


Line loaf pan with parchment paper on all four sides.
Dissolve honey with warm water.
Put 4 eggs and 1 yolk in a bowl. Whisk for 1 minute.
Add sugar and mix for 1 minute.
Whisk on high for approximately 10 minutes.
Add honey mixture and mix.
Add 1/3 of your flour into bowl. Mix until combined. Repeat two more times.
Pour batter in loaf pan 2/3 of the way. Smooth top with spatula.
Tap gently on counter to get out any air bubbles.
Cut into batter with wooden skewer or fork.
Bake for 5 minutes at 170 C or 340 F on middle rack.
Lightly spray top with water. Bake for 5 minutes.
Spray top with water again.
Lower temperature to 150 C or 300 F. Bake on lower rack for 40-60 minutes.
Check by inserting wooden skewer in the center. If it comes out clean, it is ready.
Take out of the oven and cool for 20 minutes. Take it out of the pan and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight. When you are ready to eat, slice and enjoy!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Mother's Sweet and Sour Meatballs

When my mother used to cook for us when we were kids, there were definitely some favorites. I had more than a few but these sweet and sour meatballs were definitely something I begged her to make me all the time.

In fact, I used to ask her to make this for me so often that she simply got sick of making them. But I remember how she used to make them for me as I watched carefully as she prepared this awesome dish for me.

These sweet & sour meatballs explode with awesome flavor. Please give these Japanese-style meatballs a try. You can also check out my video tutorial on how to make this dish by clicking HERE.

Ingredients: Serves 2-4

1 pound ground meat
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 egg
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper

3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons sliced ginger
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons water


Add ground meat, minced onions, panko, minced ginger, egg, salt and pepper into a bowl. Mix with hands for 3 minutes until incorporated and ingredients are sticky. Roll into 1-inch balls. Deep fry in oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

To make the sauce, add soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, ginger and water into saucepan. Heat until just before boiling. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl until dissolved. Add to sauce and stir. Bring to slow boil while stirring to avoid clumping. Cook until sauce is thick. Pour over the meatballs and serve hot.

These meatballs make a great main course but also can play the role of awesome appetizers. Now can you say YUM?

Don't forget to subscribe to this blog for regular updates. And if you like what you see on this blog, you'll love our YouTube Channel! With 6 videos released every week, you'll never run out of things to make! We also have a whole lot of travel videos over there so check it out when you have time.

CLICK HERE to teleport to TABIEATS YOUTUBE CHANNEL. Thanks! :) I hope all of you guys are having an awesome day!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Japanese Curry Rice

Everybody knows how popular Japanese Curry Rice is and it's the same here in Japan. In fact, I've never heard of anybody not liking it. It's so popular that you can easily find it almost anywhere you go. Of course not all of it is good and a lot of it is mediocre. But good curry rice can be found all over the city.

It's also very easy to make it at home and is one of the easiest things to make, especially if you make it like everyone else does...from a box! Yes that's right. Most Japanese would not go through the trouble of making curry from scratch because the boxed roux that's available is just so good it's hard to beat them. Homemade from scratch curry just doesn't compare unless you're a top chef or something. Of course we sometimes make curry from scratch and it's really good, if I may say so myself. Still we make the boxed kind more often than from scratch because it's just so much easier.

Today I want to share with you some tricks that I use to make my boxed curry even better. Remember to do these things and your curry will taste like restaurant quality!

Don't forget to watch our video tutorial by clicking here!

Subscribe HERE for weekly videos! 


Follow the directions on the box of your Curry Sauce Mix. The typical ingredients are potatoes, carrots, onions and meat. Here are a few additional tricks I use to make the curry taste even better.

*Saute 1 onion (minced) until transluscent before adding the rest of the ingredients.
*Add a little salt and pepper to your meat while cooking.
*Serve with steamed rice and enjoy.

You can purchase the Vermont Curry online.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Eating My Way Through Honolulu

So Much Food So Little Time!

Hawaii is truly a melting pot and when it comes to food, this can be a very good thing. Whether you're looking for some old-fashioned local food or feel more like biting into a juicy gourmet burger, Honolulu's got it all.
On my last trip to Hawaii, I naturally gravitated towards my favorite eating spots. However on this trip, I made sure to visit some new places as well and boy was I glad I did. Trying out a variety of new places for the first time taught me a few things about myself - I have a love for Cuban food, and I can't seem to carry a box of cupcakes straight.
So if you're ready for the ultimate food tour of Honolulu ( as much as I could fit in on a 2-week holiday ), keep reading!

Plate Lunches

There is nothing more "local" than plate lunches. In Hawaii, that usually means a plate with two scoops of rice, a scoop of macaroni salad and an entree, which could be anything from chicken katsu to hamburger steak. If there is more than one entree, it would be called a mixed plate.

In addition to old-fashioned plate lunches, there are "gourmet" plate lunches that are created with the gourmand in mind. If you're eating for good health, they've got you covered. These days, many places let you choose brown rice and a green salad instead of the typical white rice and mac salad.
Since it was my friend's first visit to Hawaii, I made sure that he tried as much authentic dishes as he could consume on a short holiday.

Fried Rice, Pancakes and Chinese?

People in Hawaii love all types of food including fried rice, pancakes and Chinese food. However they know how to put their own special twist to these typical dishes from abroad, making them uniquely their own.

Typically, local-style fried rice usually includes ingredients such as spam, kamaboko ( fish cake ) and a handful of chopped green onions, although other ingredients can be substituted. Pancakes also get adorned with Hawaiian flavors such as guava puree and coconut syrup. Local Chinese food is far from authentic, but good nonetheless.

You Can Have Your Burgers Too!

If you're not as daring as I am when it comes to food, you can always go for some honest-to-goodness American cooking. Of course if you're in Hawaii, you can find your favorites with a little island twist.
There are many American restaurant chains here, but most of food that they serve are just ok to down right mediocre. So it is my responsibility to point people in the right direction and not all restaurant chains are that bad.

The Cheescake Factory is probably my favorite restaurant chain in Hawaii with California Pizza Kitchen coming in at a close second. Both have a solid menu with good food and sometimes feature items with an island flair.

When it comes to burgers, Hawaii does it right. Various burger joints battle it out to see who does it best and opinions will differ depending on who you talk to. One of my favorite burger joints in Honolulu is The Counter, where you get to build your own burger. In fact, their website claims you can make over 312,120 burger combinations!

Dessert, The Most Important Part of any Meal

After perusing my library of iphone pictures I took on my trip, I decided that posting all my pictures of desserts would take at least three lenses. So instead I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite bakeries on the island.

Liliha Bakery has been in business since 1950 and has been a favorite of locals and visitors alike. They are mostly known for their coco puffs, but they offer so much more.

Did you enjoy all the food porn? I hope you did! I sure enjoyed eating every single morsel of delicious food in Hawaii. Until the next update, happy eating!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How to Make Light and Crispy Tempura

Who told you that making tempura at home is difficult? It wasn't me that's for sure. I've always made them at home and yes, it's easy to screw it up if you don't know what you're doing. But once you know how to make it, you'll never go back to eating mediocre tempura again.

True tempura batter should be light, crispy and not too oily. Fresh ingredients should be used, especially if you're using shrimp. They should be eaten while hot and served with a wedge of lemon, some sea salt and tempura sauce.

Now here are some pointers to keep in mind.

  • Water should be ice cold.
  • Shrimp should be very fresh
  • Hard vegetables should be cut very thin for fast cooking
  • Keep tempura warm in a warm oven on paper towel

It's easy to make light and crispy tempura at home with this foolproof recipe. Watch our video tutorial, which will make it easier to do.

Don't have time? Buy tempura batter online. It's easy:

Ingredients: Serves 2

***Use your favorite ingredients. This is what we used***

4-6 medium to large shrimp
4 slices pumpkin
4 slices sweet potato
1/2 bunch maitake mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced onions
1/4 cup julienned carrots

***Tempura Batter***
1 cup flour
1 egg and ice-cold soda water to make 1 cup

***Tempura Sauce (Tentsuyu)***
1 cup dashi
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin ( or white wine )
1 teaspoon sugar
grated ginger and daikon ( optional )


Prepare vegetables and shrimp. Pat everything dry.
Heat oil to 160C. Put vegetable into batter and deep fry for 2-3 minutes.
Increase oil to 180C. Batter and fry shrimp for 2-3 minutes.
Add onions and carrots into remaining batter and mix.
Spoon a mound into the oil to make kakiage. Deep fry for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Serve with salt and tempura sauce.

Watch our video tutorial to see just how easy tempura is to make at home. 

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