Perilla – shiso

If you like Japanese food or have traveled to Japan you that green leaf for sure!! Perilla, or shiso 紫蘇, or ooba 大葉 grows very easily and spreads like weed in both planters and the garden. It requires very little maintenance and grows every year with more and more plants, only the caterpillars seems to... Continue Reading →

Pumpkin

At last... the beautiful autumn days have arrived and with them the most typical autumn vegetables (with mushrooms): the pumpkins!!! While in Tokyo supermarkets you may find only Japanese kabocha, the one with the soft dark green skin and the vibrant orange flesh, that is also found all year round... In the countryside, in farmers... Continue Reading →

Autumn days

With the sudden change in weather, my inspiration is back! Though I'm still tired of the rainy weekends and sunny week days (when at work... when I'd rather be in my garden...), I've been busy with some sewing projects, perfect for the weather. A. has challenged me to make a cover for his surfboard, and... Continue Reading →

Ginger

For most people outside of Asia, ginger is this wrinkled beige root that can be found all the time, but in Asia, even if you can find more or less fresh ginger all year round in supermarket, there is still a season for harvesting fresh new ginger, and it's now! Ginger is often use as... Continue Reading →

Umeboshi tasting

Remember, I told you about my pathetic failure with one batch of umeboshi a few weeks ago... well when we came back to Tokyo I had a little surprise: I had a tasting set of umeboshi!!! Three types of red shiso umeboshi, with slightly different preparations and different kinds of plums all prepared by K.... Continue Reading →

Bouillabaisse my way

As you already may know or you can check here, bouillabaisse is a classic summer dish in my family. My grand mother, and now my mother prepare it for family gatherings. While I love it and have helped preparing it many times with my grand mother as a child (I even fished the soup...) this... Continue Reading →

Plum works

A story of great success and massive failures... Like every year in June I did my share of plum works. With a garden that produces a lot more fruits that I can handle, I actually spend more time picking fruits to give away rather then cooking them. This year I prepared umeboshi like every year,... Continue Reading →

Nimono – 煮物

There are things that I love but never cook. I only have them in restaurants. One in particular is nimono - 煮物 a simmered Japanese preparation, often used for vegetables and fishes, or at least for those I eat. The base for the simmering is almost always the same: sake, mirin, sugar, soya sauce. As... Continue Reading →

Tofu ae – 豆腐和え

This recipe is a classic from Japanese cuisine and Japanese cha kaiseki. I've eaten it many times when going to typical Japanese restaurants and I learned how to make it properly when I was taking cha kaiseki lessons. I use the same base in a persimmon recipe I created and it's called tofu ae. It's... Continue Reading →

Potatoes Japanese style

Day 2 for this week of freshly harvested potatoes. Today it's a Japanese simple recipe that can be made everywhere, every time. Of course it is much tastier with new potatoes but it can work with old ones too. It has all the distinguishable flavors of Japanese cuisine: the cooked sake, the soya sauce, the... Continue Reading →

Potatoes week

In March we planted potatoes in our new kitchen garden. We went for two species: some melty white potatoes and some purple ratte potatoes. It was our first time ever growing potatoes on our own, so I guess we made some mistakes: soil too rich and too compact, lack of leaves clearing... but I still... Continue Reading →

Plum plum plum…

June is the time for the rainy season, and every day the weather reminds us that, but it is also the season for plum harvesting and plum pickling. Even though I trimmed many of our plum trees this winter, the amount of fruits they produce it still enormous and it's also time for giveaways. 1Kg... Continue Reading →

Fava beans gyoza

I could have started a "fava beans week" and write everyday a new recipe using them, whether Japanese, Italian or French... but I was alone these days, A. traveling again for work, and my work is kind of busy... a lot of things have suddenly started to move forward since February, after months if not... Continue Reading →

Urui

In the series of spring greens now is the time to talk about urui - うるい or hosta in English is not really a wild plant but rather something that grows freely in gardens. Their beautiful leaves and flowers are a nice ornament but what is most interesting is the leaves right after sprouting as... Continue Reading →

Wild mountain plants

More than 10 years ago our friends K. and S. invited us to their home in the Niigata mountains to go picking wild plants - 山菜 - sansai with them, and to cook and eat them together. Of course we couldn't say no, and we had an amazing time with them walking deep in the... Continue Reading →

Green plate

The golden week continues with friends visiting and a lot of cooking for our guests. So when things get quieter I cook some very simple things with one of the seasonal product: yama udo. The first time we ate yama udo was in Tsunan with our friends when we went to pick some. Compared to... Continue Reading →

Shoyu pasta

There are recipe stories that are longer than others and that reflect how "agile" I manage my cooking!!! Last week I was telling you how much I love new onions and that you will see more recipes with them because I had in mind to prepare some ravioli filled with new onion. Everything was clear... Continue Reading →

Ashitaba gnocchi

This is far from being the first time I post about ashitaba (明日葉), or if you prefer angelica. I love this herb and the magic combination with potatoes and pork. I know I should be trying new combinations, but you have a solid recipe, it's great to do it again and again with small variations.... Continue Reading →

Sakura risotto

As I was writing last time, it's just the peak season for sakura viewing. And therefore I thought of using sakura flowers in some recipes again. The classic would be sakura rice or sakura rice balls, but since my parents are staying with us and my dad was crying for a risotto, in remembrance of... Continue Reading →

Burdock – 牛蒡

There are a few vegetables that are hard to find in Japan and I really love: fennels, artichokes, salsify... When I first ate burdock (gobo ゴボウ 牛蒡) I was quite surprised with the very peculiar taste, and I realized it was a good alternative for both salsify and artichoke at the same time. This long... Continue Reading →

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