Saturday, October 31, 2020

Miso Eggplant

Slice in half lengthwise and score cut surfaces in a criss-cross pattern, about 2 mm deep:

2 Japanese eggplants

Heat frying pan, coat eggplant on all sides with olive oil and fry skin-side down, covered, for 3-4 minutes, until the bottom is browned and it is mostly soft. Turn over and cook the cut side, uncovered, until lightly browned.
While the eggplant is cooking, make the miso sauce.

Mix together:

1/4 C miso
2 T mirin 
1 T fine sugar 
1 T sake 

The eggplant can be grilled in the oven or in a fish grill in a Japanese stove. Put a little foil on the bottom to catch any drips, then place the eggplant, skin side down, on the grill. Cover with 1-2 mm of miso sauce. Grill until the sauce is bubbly and lightly browned. 


Monday, September 21, 2020

No-Knead Bread


Mix together in a large bowl:

400 gm bread flour (I use 350 gm white, 50 gm whole wheat)
8-9 gm salt
¼ t dry yeast


290 ml water

Stir the water into the dry ingredients and form into a sticky ball of dough.

Put a plate or something on top of the bowl, and set aside (in a warm room, if possible) for 18-24 hours. If you want to leave it for longer, put it in the fridge for a little while to slow down the rising. 

Don't be shocked at how wet the dough is. 

Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface (that you can later pick up — I use a plastic placemat) and use a floured spatula to loosen and pour the dough out onto the floured surface. As if it's a square, pull one side up and over, then another side up and over, then another, then another. Finally, pick up the gooey mass and turn it over. Put a big bowl over it (or a cloth, if you prefer), and let it rise for 2 hours.

Place a dutch oven, donabe, or other oven-safe covered pot into the oven and preheat to 230ºC (450ºF). Carefully remove the pot from the oven, sprinkle a little flour on the surface to prevent the dough from sticking, and pour the dough into the pot. If you can manage to pull the dough over into a loaf-shape as you do so, great. But the goal is to get the dough in the pot. It will turn out to be awesome bread. Don't worry.

Bake for 30 minutes, then carefully remove the lid, and bake for another 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven. Check doneness with a thermometer. The bread should have an internal temperature of at least 96ºC (205ºF). 

Cool on a rack before cutting.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Chocolate Walnut Bread (for bread machine)

Prepare ahead of time: 

70 grams FROZEN chocolate chips or broken chocolate bits 
40 grams finely chopped walnuts

Place in bread machine in this order:

140 ml cold water (if the weather is hot, include an ice cube)
25 grams egg that has been mixed
20 grams butter
250 grams bread flour (180 grams white, 70 grams whole wheat)
4 grams salt
20 grams sugar
6 grams milk powder

If your bread machine has a separate compartment for yeast, put it in there, if not, make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and pour in:

3 grams dry yeast

Turn the machine on to bake a soft loaf of bread (if you have that setting, if not, use what you have). When the machine alerts you that it is time for additions, first put in the walnuts, then when they are thoroughly mixed in, add the frozen chocolate chips. It may be necessary to take out the dough and mix in the chips by hand. Try to get them inside the dough as much as possible, and not stuck to the outside. Return dough to pan and leave it to rise and bake.

When the loaf is done, remove it from the pan, and cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Making the sauce the day before seems to heighten the flavor.

Place in a pot:

2 chicken breasts, skin removed (about 500 grams)

2 cups water
1 t chicken (or other) bouillon

Boil on a low flame, covered, for 5 minutes. Turn off fire, and leave until cool. You will use the broth for your sauce.

Now make the enchilada sauce:

Measure these spices and place in a small bowl:

2 T chili powder

1 minced clove garlic
½ scant t salt
½ t powdered cumin
¼ t powdered oregano

Place in a pot and heat:

2 T grapeseed or other oil

Add and whisk for about a minute:

2 T all-purpose flour (中力粉 churikiko in Japanese)

Add t
he spices and continue to whisk. After about a minute, slowly add while whisking to prevent lumps:

2 C chicken broth
(1 T tomato paste)

Simmer for about ten minutes.

Now, back to the chicken. Shred with a fork on a plate. Put the shredded chicken breasts in a bowl and pour in about ½ cup enchilada sauce. Mix in the sauce and set aside.


350 grams cooked beans (black, pinto, whatever)

T butter
1 clove garlic
¼ t salt

Heat the beans, butter, garlic, and salt in a ziplock bag (not airtight) in the microwave until the butter melts. Seal the bag and gently pound with a rolling pin to mash and squeeze it about to incorporate the butter, salt, and garlic into the beans. If you prefer not to use a bag, heat them in a bowl in the microwave or in a pan on the stove and mash with a fork. Set aside.

Heat in a frying pan:

1 T olive oil

Stir fry:

1 minced onion

When cooked, mix into the chicken.

Now it's time to put together the enchiladas.

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).

Lay tortillas on a clean surface. Place small amounts of each of the ingredients on each of the tortillas: grated cheese, beans, meat. Roll them and place seam side down in an oven pan lined with cooking paper. Pour on 
½-1 cup enchilada sauce. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges start to turn golden. Sprinkle a little mozzarella or other cheese on top of the enchiladas and return to the oven until cheese is melted. Serve with green salad, and guacamole and chips. (If you have leftover sauce, freeze it to use later.)

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Sugar Cookies

Thanks to Jaime-Leigh Gorham for sharing her simple and delicious recipe!


114 gm unsalted butter
140 gm sugar

When butter and sugar are creamy, blend in:

1 egg
1 t vanilla

Set aside.

Sift together:

260 gm all-purpose flour (中力粉 churikiko in Japanese)
½ t baking powder
½ t salt

Add sifted ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture. Don't overmix. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. 

If you want to save some dough for another day, wrap it in plastic and put it in a ziplock freezer bag in the freezer.

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).

While the oven is heating, put a little flour on a clean surface and a little on a rolling pin. Roll the dough to 5-7mm thickness. Use cookie-cutters to cut. 

Place cookies on a parchment-covered tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. The cookies should be only lightly brown. Cool on a cooling rack.

When cookies are completely cooled they can be iced.


Mix together:

250 gm powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 t lemon juice

If you are going to make a small batch of cookies, you won't need so much icing. Instead, place a pile of powdered sugar in a small bowl, add part of an egg white and a squeeze of lemon. Mix. Add more sugar as needed to make the right consistency for icing.

Divide the icing and mix in a tiny bit of a different color food coloring to each bit. Put icing in the corner of a small plastic bag. Push the icing towards the corner. Cut the tip of the corner. Do this with each of the colors. You now have icing "pens" with which to decorate your cookies.

Wait until the icing on the cookies is completely dry before serving or storing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Almond Butter Cookies


½ C butter

Add and beat:

½ C brown sugar
½ C white sugar
(OR 1 C Japanese brown sugar)

Beat in:

1 egg
1 C almond butter (OR ½ C almond butter + ½ C peanut butter)
½ t salt
½ t baking soda
½ t vanilla extract


1-1½ C flour (more or less, depending on the wetness of the nut butters)

Press dough into about a 2 cm flat square. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or freeze in a ziplock freezer bag.

Cut into 2 cm cubes, and place 5 cm apart on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. To flatten them a bit, press with a fork once across and again from top to bottom. 
Bake at 190ºC (375ºF) for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Simple Ministrone

Heat 2 T oil in a deep saucepan. Add:

150 grams chopped bacon

Stir fry until golden. Then add:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
2 carrots, peeled and roughly cut
½ t oregano
⅓ t basil
½ t salt
½ t pepper

Stir fry until garlic and onions are tender. Add:

2 potatoes, scrubbed and chopped
1 can mixed beans, rinsed
2 cans chopped tomatoes

1 liter of water plus 3½ t Better than Bouillon or other bouillon
1 liter stock

Stir until mixed. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked. If a fork goes into a potato easily, it is cooked.


100 grams broken pasta

After about 5 minutes, add:

1½ C chopped cabbage or other greens

Cook the pasta for about 10 minutes in all or until pasta is al dente. Taste. Season with salt and pepper. Add more bouillon if necessary.

Serve. Top with fresh basil and/or grated cheese.

Saturday, August 11, 2018


Be sure to use a blender that can blend ice. This recipe makes 2 servings.

Pour in to reach the top of the blades:



1 pack of ice coffee concentrate
2 t Kahlúa (mocha or regular)
1 T cocoa mix (2 parts cocoa to 3 parts fine sugar, like kibi-sato)
(sugar to taste)

Blend, and gradually add:

1 tray of frozen milk sticks, made in water-bottle ice cube trays (long and thin ice)
(5 small ice cubes)

When everything is blended to your desired consistency, it's done.

If you want to make a chocolate shake, just leave out the coffee concentrate and add a little extra cocoa mix.

Banana shake

Pour in to reach the top of the blades:



½ frozen banana
½ t vanilla extract
1 t sugar

Blend, and gradually add:

½ tray of frozen milk sticks, made in water-bottle ice cube trays (long and thin ice) about 5-6 sticks
(3-5 small ice cubes)

Monday, July 2, 2018

No-bake Stuffed Peppers and Eggplant

Prepare vegetables

The number of green peppers and eggplant you will need depends on their size. I used 8 small green peppers and one Japanese eggplant for this recipe. 

Cut green peppers in half and carefully remove seeds, some pith, and the stems. Rinse and put open-side down in a sieve to dry. Wash the eggplant and cut lengthwise, leaving on stem. Cut out about ½ cm from the edge all around, and then scoop out the center part of the eggplant with a spoon. Chop the center part and set aside.


Finely mince:

1 garlic clove
½ onion

Mix lightly with:

½ pack tofu (first rinse it and squeeze out as much liquid as you can)
⅓ C Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
1 egg
about 300 grams minced chicken
¼ t salt (more or less)
¼ t pepper (more or less)

Gently fill peppers and eggplant with meat mixture extending about ½ cm over the tops. Place on a plate until all vegetables are filled.

Heat in a frying pan:

1-2 T garlic infused olive (or other) oil 

Turn fire to low and place peppers and eggplant in the pan meat side down. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn them over, cover, and cook for another 3 minutes or so until the meat is cooked and vegetables are soft.

Put foil on a grill tray. (In Japan, I use the fish grill portion of the stove.) Place peppers and eggplant meat side up on the foil. Sprinkle cheese on top of the meat. (Be careful not to let a bunch of cheese fall on the foil.) Grill until cheese is melted. While the vegetables are grilling, stir-fry the center part of the eggplant, salt, and serve as a side.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Pan-fried Chicken with Garlic and Lemon

Slice 2-3 chicken breasts lengthwise to make two thin slices each. 

Rub with:

1 clove finely grated garlic or garlic paste

Coat lightly with: 

flour mixed with salt and pepper

Heat in a frying pan:

1 T olive oil 
1 T butter

When hot, turn flame to medium low. Shake off excess flour and lay chicken in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on one side, turn over and cook for 3 minutes on the other side. Cut the thickest one and make sure it is white (cooked) all the way through.

Put the chicken on a plate, and pour on one of the following sauces:

Sauce 1

¼ C lemon juice
2-3 T honey, to taste

Sauce 2

¼ C lemon juice
2 T water
¼ C honey 
A pinch of salt
1 T cornstarch - mixed with 3 T water until smooth

Heat lemon juice, water, honey, and salt. When very hot, add cornstarch mixed with water. Keep stirring until slightly thickened.