Sansho – 山椒

This shrub looks like nothing particular in the garden, yet it bears fragrant leaves and fruits. It is sansho -山椒 or Japanese pepper. I planted the tree the very first spring we started our kitchen garden, and without failure it has produced the fragrant leaves we often eat during early spring with bamboo shoots, and... Continue Reading →

Loquat – 枇杷

Among the many trees in our garden we have in the very back of it a loquat tree. Loquats-枇杷-biwa are quite common in Japan and have been there around for long enough such that a music instrument bears the same name but writes differently 琵琶. The location of the tree in our garden was very... Continue Reading →

One week…

This week was just like another, but it felt looooong and painful, busy with work (I’ve started a new online robotics course that keeps me busy, among the many other things I work on)... It was also our first week of telework for the both of us together in our new apartment with schedules not... Continue Reading →

Yama udo

One of the wild spring green I like to cook is udo or rather yama udo ヤマウドウ. It is a kind of long stick that likes to grow on steep road sides and is very easy to prepare, with a distinctive taste but not strong such that of fukinoto. One preparation that is really easy... Continue Reading →

Bamboo shoot again!

We are moving in our new apartment tomorrow, but getting everything ready and working doesn’t mean not cooking, we have to eat 😉 Luckily we are only moving vertically so it’s quite easy to go and meet with the workers in between two online meetings, and anyway we decided not to do a lot of... Continue Reading →

Gynura bicolor – 金時草

Riding our bicycles has given us a new perspective on the neighborhood. Circling a 15km radius from home we have discovered a few new things and stopped at new places that we may have driven through many times bit didn’t really stopped by. When you cycle it’s easy to take a small street or a... Continue Reading →

Bamboo shoot

The short season of this delicious and subtle vegetable has started and it’s time to enjoy it now!!! Usually I would only cook it on the weekend because it requires a very long boiling, but thanks to telework this is something I can cook any day now! That’s the one good thing of working from... Continue Reading →

Over excited…

not about the fuss about this damn virus, nor about my duty as exam supervisor at the university entrance exams... but there are many things going on around me that have gotten me very excited recently. First, spring is coming and with it the new greens are on their way for sure. Then, it is... Continue Reading →

Miso, again…

Making miso every winter is now a tradition. Our friend S. prepares everything for the event and we gather together for a couple of hours to chitchat and squeeze soya beans. Well, for non Japanese people or not used to Japanese cuisine, miso may be a rather intriguing ingredient and not so easy to use... Continue Reading →

Steamed gyoza – 水餃子

As I was saying in my previous post, I'm a big fan of dumplings of all kind. But recently I have a crush for sui gyoza-水餃子 which are simply steamed gyoza. And because I want to make some more often, last time we went to Kappabashi (to buy bowls for my sister xmas present) A.... Continue Reading →

Ochazuke – お茶漬け

Those who are familiar with Yasujiro Ozu's movies must know "The flavor of green tea over rice" or "お茶漬けの味", while being a cinematographic beauty and a brilliant socio-cultural representation of the the Japanese society transition of the time, it also introduces to a large audience ochazuke. Literally, as in the movie, it's a dish that... Continue Reading →

Cooking with A.

When I was supposed to rest, I still cooked a bit for myself. One has to eat anyway. But during the weekend, A. wanted to help a bit with the cooking. So his main responsibility was to make apples or pears compote, one thing I invariably love, sick or not. He varied all the possible... Continue Reading →

Gyoza

I cannot hide that I have a thing for stuffed food, for pies and for dumplings... whether they are Italian ravioli, Japanese gyoza, French ravioles, Russian pilmini, Chinese shumai and other little stuffed breads... I simply love them, how the filling is steamed in the little poach and when opened all the captured flavors develop... Continue Reading →

Yuzu!!!

Japan has hundreds of different citrus fruits, strangely few oranges but surely many types of tangerines, lemons, natsumikan, kinkan, kabosu, sudachi, shikwasa... and of course yuzu. Yuzu 柚子 is used either non ripe in September and becomes ripe in the end of October or the beginning of November. It is used a lot in Japanese... Continue Reading →

Persimmons

When the season for persimmons comes it means that autumn is clearly here and with shorter days, the chilly evenings will be coming soon. And here they are. Not cold enough to tuen the heater on yet, but it's coming. While we are not big fans of raw persimmons, like pretty much everyone in Chiba... Continue Reading →

Call it cooking… or not

But damn... this was a super delicious combination... You remember me cooking in apron over my suit right after work? Well I was preparing dinner with the leftover veggies: kabocha and tomatoes. I also picked some fresh parsley in the garden and was thinking about what to do with them when the crave for soba... Continue Reading →

Changing habits

Like pretty much every one we have our habits. Ours change with seasons and adapt to our agendas. And sometimes we pick up new ones and abandon those that don't fit with our philosophy or ethics anymore. There has been two major changes recently, one by choice, the second forced. We used to go swimming... Continue Reading →

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 →

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