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Goya Season is Back

One of the most popular keywords that brings new visitors to my blog is Goya (aka bitter melon). One of my very first posts back in 2010 included goya in a recipe. I’m thrilled to see that goya awareness has grown so much over the past few years. If you’re looking for an in-depth article on growing or cooking with this healthy plant check out THIS POST. With 2014 well underway we’re heading into goya season, and although my current

How Miso is Made

Ever wonder what miso is?  If you’ve been to Japan or eaten at a Japanese restaurant, you’ve likely had or at least seen miso.  I remember my first time having miso soup.  I was in college trying out a little Japanese restaurant that had popped up just outside the UofA.  I was pretty green as far as Japanese food went so I ordered teriyaki chicken (I’m sure the chef was thinking all kinds of bad things about me).  Before the

Daito Sushi Recipe

Daito Sushi is a specialty of the Daito (Borodino) islands in Okinawa prefecture.  The islands are located 320 kilometers east of Naha and the mainland.  I had the privilege of living on Kitadaito for three years and enjoyed the fresh maguro (tuna) and sawara marinated sushi they are so well-known for.  I don’t have the super secret recipe they use out on the islands, if you want that you’ll have to go visit, but here’s a good taste of an awesome type

Cabbage and Tofu Chanpuru

Today marks the start of my fifth year in Japan, and since school is out and there won’t be a School Lunch post this week, I thought it only proper to revisit my very first blog post on More Things Japanese.  Back then I did a recipe for Goya Chanpuru.  Today, I bring you another, more common version of this Okinawan favorite. Ingredients Small block of Tofu cut into large cubes 1 small cabbage 1 carrot 1 onion 1 green

Goya – The Bitter Melon

One of the most popular aspects of Japanese culture throughout the world is its unique culinary traditions.  There are innumerable three, four, and five-star restaurants domestically, while sushi, teriyaki, and even teppanyaki have become well-known internationally.  Still, there are many delicious and healthy Japanese food items that have yet to hit the mainstream.  Today I hope to introduce you a bitter melon that can do more than fill your belly. This article covers a lot!  I go from seed to dish

Yakisoba Recipe – Japanese Fried Noodles

Yakisoba is a favorite summer food in Japan.  Essentially a conglomeration of fried noodle, vegetable, and meat it is often found at festivals (matsuri) and beach barbecues.   Students also often make this dish during ensoku since they can simply fry their food over a large pan (teppan) and open fire. [A bit of a Japanese lesson- Ever wonder what teppanyaki is?  teppan is pan, yaki is to fry or bake]. Ingredients Cooked noodles – soba noodles usually come pre-cooked in packages like the

Making Miso Onigiri (Riceballs)

Onigiri are the original Japanese fast food.  An onigiri is simply a rice ball.  Like bread to westerners, onigiri is the go to food on the move.  Its portable, easy to make, and contains plenty of calories.  Today there are a lot of different types of onigiri in different shapes and sizes.  Here’s a deliciously easy version that will take you a step or two past plain rice.  Its also something you can make with the left over miso after

White Day

Last month marked Valentine’s Day around the world.  As I mentioned in that post, things work a bit differently here in Japan.  Since girls do all the work on Valentine’s day, boys will return the favor this month.  The companion day is called White Day in Japan and takes place March 14th. Boys will give return gifts for all the chocolate they received.  For the giri choclate (obligation) gifts they received, there are plenty of specially decorated chocolates available for sale.  For the homei (homemade) gifts

Okinawan Sumo

Okinawan Sumo, also known as kakuyukai, is a form of the famous Japanese martial art practiced in the southern islands. A cross between Edo Sumo wrestling and judo, the goal of Okinawan Sumo is to toss your opponent on their back.  Unlike Edo Sumo wrestlers, Okinawan Sumo-ka generally wear a heavy gi (a martial arts outfit) tied with a simple white or red cloth belt. How to Sumo, Okinawan Style Okinawan Sumo takes place on a sandy patch of ground.

Mochi

It’s the New Year, and in Japan that means its time for mochi!   Mochi is a Japanese treat made from pounded rice.  While mochi is now eaten throughout the year, it’s a favorite for the New Year’s season.  It’s generally served as a stuffed dumpling with fillings varying by region, taste, and tradition.  On the left is a sweet bean filled mochi served on a getto leaf. How to Make Mochi Mochi starts out as cooked (steamed) white rice.   Small

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