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Yesterday I spent New Years Day with my mother, stepfather, middle sister, her husband and kids. It's the first time in years that I've spent New Years with my mother. It's still hard to get all my family into one place - my husband had to stay back home in France, and my other sister is in Ohio - but it was still a lovely day.

Our osechi (New Years feast) was a mix of Japan, France, England and America - besides traditional food like nishime (simmered winter vegetables), namasu, ozouni and a whole roasted tai (sea bream), we had chicken karaage, meatloaf, brownies, galettes bretonnes (butter cookies) and a Christmas pudding! Whew. It's fun to enjoy tiny morsels of so many different dishes though.

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Keep reading Happy New Year! →

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Butter shortages in post-modern Japan.

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This month's Japan Times column is about the basics of nabe, or hot pots that are usually cooked at the table, with everyone taking what they like from the pot as it cooks.

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A brief history of the hambaagu in Japan.

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Eggs, plus the history of ranking restaurants and food in Japan.

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My latest article in the Japan Times is about the history of corn (maize) in Japan, and includes a recipe for chilled corn soup that's really easy to make.

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Did you know that mirin used to a a high class, expensive beverage rather than a cooking ingredient?

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A new article in the Japan Times about bamboo shoots, a quintessential springtime vegetable.

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