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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 or cooked by someone else. 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,... 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 →

Spring is here!

After the fukinoto and the canola which both announce the arrival of spring and the cold unstable weather that usually accompany the plum blossom end, the next step is the real arrival of spring in late March or early April with the famous cherry blossoms of course, Mole's quince and the jonquils putting beautiful colors... Continue Reading →

Tofu

I am a big fan of tofu... most of you may say that tofu is an insipid, watery, white thing, but it is actually much more than that. I was convinced very quickly when we went to a tofu restaurant near Nezu (we used to live in Nezu) the very first months we lived in... Continue Reading →

Italy meets Japan again

Saturday I spent some time browsing cookbooks, looking at their beautiful pictures and slowly moving from the winter mood to the spring mood. I was focusing on two very different books: a Japanese macrobiotic cookbook from Brownsfield owner elder daughter Shinema Nakajima, and a Sicilian cookbook by bloggers Maria Teresa di Marco and Marie Cecile... Continue Reading →

Simple food: rice

Though when we were first traveling to Japan about 20 years ago, I would get tired of eating rice 3 times a day after one week, now I think I eat rice not enough and I am never tired of it, be it 3 times a day, every days! It can be plain white rice... Continue Reading →

Fukinoto miso

I harvested a few fukinoto very early in January, but now is the pick season in Isumi. We have quite a lot growing in the garden, so I just have to walk around where the fuki grow and search under the fallen leaves for the little yellow-green buds. Can you spot them in the below... Continue Reading →

Shojin cuisine

As I was questioning myself about Buddhist cuisine in China regarding these Chinese beancurd noodles, I decided to do a bit of search and reopen my Shojin cuisine book. I was right, until the 18th century in China buddhist and taoist temples would only serve vegetables soup and tea to pilgrims, the same thing monks... Continue Reading →

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