Savory Cabbage Pancake – Okonomiyaki

These are a fun and delicious way to use up leftover veggies in your fridge, and they make use of my favorite underrated vegetable, cabbage. I was inspired by something I saw in a beautiful Korean movie I watched recently called Little Forest. In the movie, the main character, a young woman from a small …

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Baby Food World Tour

  Please check out my latest podcast on DocSmo.com! Doc Smo is a pediatrician and prolific podcaster with whom I’ve collaborated to bring you interesting tidbits about kids and food. Here are some notes and highlights from our conversation about how cultures around the world introduce their babies to the world of food! Visit your … Continue reading Baby Food World Tour

Instant Curry

I want to share a family-style dish that you may not think of as Japanese but it is very popular in Japan, especially among young people. It’s the Japanese version of a curry, and you can easily find packaged squares  of curry roux that are really a great little weeknight secret. Just look in the … Continue reading Instant Curry

Bonkers for Bento

As a follow up to my pop tart post, I thought I would explore another area of food art, which thankfully does not require buttercream icing. It is bento, those adorable Japanese lunch boxes that house individual compartments of meticulously prepared food. I have heard that in Japan, bento runs the gamut from simple fast food picked up in … Continue reading Bonkers for Bento

UMAMI!

One thing all Asian cuisines seem to maximize is the taste experience called umami, a Japanese term coined at the beginning of the 20th century. Umami refers to a sort of earthy, savory, or meaty quality that foods can have, and scientists now know that there is a scientific basis to this. It comes from amino acids called glutamates, which occur naturally in a wide variety of foods, but are especially concentrated in meats, mushrooms, tomatoes, aged or cured products, and stocks. Note that this list covers all of the things mentioned in the flavor-building techniques of both Western and Asian cuisines that I listed above. Continue reading UMAMI!

Onigiri

Did you know that the Japanese love fast food? And no I’m not talking about Big Macs with Japanese writing on them, although they certainly exist. Knowing the Japanese, it is of course something far simpler, healthier, and more beautiful. They are called onigiri. I first discovered onigiri when my colleague Jessica brought a couple of them in for her lunch in … Continue reading Onigiri