Snow Peas

Gregor Mendel’s Peas?
Crisp and Tender, Raw or Barely Cooked

Snow PeasUntil recently, Snow Peas were considered an exotic Oriental specialty in North America.  Now they are available most places at supermarkets and in frozen form around the year.

There is a question where this vegetable comes from: Some Japanese encyclopedias and cookbooks assert Continue reading

Meat Dumplings (Siu Mai) 燒賣

A Cantonese Classic Dim Sum Pastry
A Japanese Take on a Chinese Favorite

Shu Mai/Sio Mai, Frozen

Shu Mai/Siu Mai, Frozen

Here;s a Japanese way of preparing the Chinese Meat Dumplings called Siu Mai using the minimum of heat and energy. This is another of the recipes circulating in Japan in the aftermath of the 2011 Kanto Earthquake, when cooks were looking for ways to reduce energy use in the kitchen and also to avoid heating up kitchens.

The result was a group of recipes for flash cooking techniques using applied physics to shorten cooking time while preserving the natural flavors of food.  This is not a recipe for making Siu Mai from scratch, but rather for preparing the frozen variety, available in many Continue reading

Simmered Kabocha 煮付けかぼちゃ

The Cambodian Squash
Pumpkin’s Japanese Cousin

Kabocha

Kabocha

Kabocha is not the easiest vegetable to cut open the first time, but once cut, it cooks quickly and makes an excellent side dish in a Japanese meal.  Chicken or pork are sometimes added to make a main dish.

Simmered Kabocha

Japanese

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Bitter Melon

Quinine-Like Bitterness
Mentioned by Kipling

The house-beams shall fall,
And the Karela, the bitter Karela,
Shall cover it all!
— Kipling, Jungle Book

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon is sometimes called Turia, Kerala or Karela  in English, the last names alluding to its possible Indian origin.

The vegetable is also known as Bitter Gourd or Karela. In botany its name is Momoradica charantia. It is one of Continue reading

Sauteed Vegetables, Bento Style

Ideal for Box Lunches
Crispy After Many Hours

how to make crispy vegetables for bento lunch

Bento Style Crispy Vegtables

Here’s a recipe for juicy sauteed Vegetables, Bento Style, which incorporates the latest research from Japan on how to prepare dishes that hold up well under long storage between cooking time and eating time.

Sauteed vegetables are a common ingredient in Japanese box Continue reading

Nepalese Cuisine

The Roof the the World
Chandradeva’s Pathway

“The wildest dreams of Kew are the facts of Kathmandu.” — Rudyard Kipling [1]

Vale of Kathmandu, Nepal

Vale of Kathmandu

What is Nepalese cuisine? Actually, the question should be, What Nepal? Or, what cuisine? For a relatively small country, Nepal has an astonishing variety of cuisines that can be called Nepalese.

Often thought of as a lofty, mountainous  land, home of the world’s Continue reading

Peas and Mushrooms

A Vegetarian Dish
Indian-Hawaiian Fusion

This is really an Indian way of treating these vegetables, although it’s listed as Hawaiian, because I first encountered it in Honolulu in the home of a Kamai’ina lady of Indian origin.

This dish illustrates how Hawaiian cuisine is perhaps the ultimate Fusion ½cuisine,incorporating elements from all its varied cosmopolitan elements. Continue reading

Chinese Cuisine

A Fanfare of Chopsticks
The World’s Best Cooks

“There would have been universal insistence, with a fanfare of chopsticks, upon irresistible Chinese food.” — Richard Hughes [1]

“It would not be an overstatement to maintain that the Chinese are the best cooks in the world.” — V. R. Burkhardt [2]

Jade Chopsticks

Jade Chopsticks
Collected by Berthold Laufer

Chinese food is everyone’s favorite cuisine, it seems.  This holds true whether you are chef, foodie, food writer, or ordinary eater.

It is true not only in China, but Chinese food is hugely enjoyed in Japan, Australia, North and South America, and Europe.  These days, excellent Chinese food is increasingly available in the Middle East and Africa, as restaurants open to serve expatriate Chinese workers in those regions. Continue reading

Burdock/Gobo 蒡

These Roots are Not Parsnips!
A Cocktail Ingredient

Using burdock roots in Japanese cuisine

Burdock Root – Gobo

In the market, bundles of Burdock or Gobo  look like a stack of brown sticks.  About three and a half feet long, and maybe as thick as a forefinger. Sometimes they are tied with a string, so they look exactly like Continue reading

Chopsticks and Weight Loss

Using chopsticks to lose weight

Chopsticks – a Tool for Weight Management

Can Chopsticks Help You Lose Weight?

Kimiko Barber thinks so. The Japanese-born British food writer came to this conclusion a few years ago while writing two Continue reading