Saturday, December 14, 2013

It has been a tradition in my family to have sopas every New Year. We usually sit on the couch doing movie marathon while sipping some sopas, sometimes after a clean game of cards, scrabble or word factory. That's how we usually pass the last few hours of the year.

Sopas, as in the title, is just macaroni (or any pasta) in milky soup. Although my lactose intolerant vegan mom would have ginger and/or celery in her soup instead of milk.


  • macaroni

  • cabbage

  • carrot

  • soy ham (...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I eat broccoli. But most of the time, just because it is nutritious. However, recently, I have started to learn to love it for its unique taste, so I started training myself to eat it, including its stalk.

I don't remember anymore where I got the idea or inspiration to make this recipe, but I do remember that my husband and I loved this very much. 


  • broccoli

  • ginger

  • bell pepper

  • breadcrumbs

  • olive oil

  • black pepper

  • seasonings

  • nori


Friday, December 13, 2013

Three months ago, my husband met up with his junior in the university who now lives in the same district as ours. We drove for about ten minutes to his place and went to an okonomiyaki shop a block away from his apartment.

I really wasn't into Japanese food before I came to Japan, and it was my first time to see okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki is a mix of vegetables (and meat/seafood) that is stir fried and flavored like savory pancakes. Some people call it Japanese pizza.

My Japanese was still so v...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

​Well, the point of this recipe is definitely not to produce these left over ingredients so that you can have a recycled pasta. That is insane, I know. But don't you ever have that feeling of disappointment in yourself whenever you have to throw away food? And yet you cannot push yourself to eat those food even just one more time?

I love recycling left over food. And spaghetti is my first fairy godmother in mind.

This is not a recipe, but just to give you a delicious hope on saving your on-t...

Friday, December 6, 2013

Almost six weeks ago, I started studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (shortly known as JLPT). Last August, my husband sent an application form for me to take the JLPT-N3 level exam. However, in September, I got a part time job at a vegetarian restaurant 45 minutes away from home. I got too busy and couldn't study for the exam.

Oh, you got me. I was lying. Yeah, I took just a once-a-week shift at the restaurant and definitely had plenty of time for studying....

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I'm not sure what a Mushroom Alfredo is, to be honest, but I tasted a mushroom Alfredo once when I was in the university.

​Soon outside the gate of my campus is a commercial building. It has McDonald's and computer shops and an office supply shop and a triangular café.

I don't know why buy I don't remember the name of the café. But I remember its smell very clearly: utter and sweetness.

I used to pass time with friends on one of its three corners. They have very delicious frappes and cookies and...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

​Jack Johnson, if you know him (if not, you should check out his songs and maybe play it while reading my blog), has a very sweet, loving, manly voice. I love listening to him any time of the day and he immediately brings me to a breezy Sunday afternoon by the beach or in a house on top of a tropical cliff looking over the sea. It makes me sigh and believe that the rest of the world is one and in harmony.

Yesterday, I got an email from a language school who wants to interview me for a job at...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

When you are married to someone who doesn't share the same food preferences with you, it can get difficult to prepare meals for them. Lucky me, I live in a world with a long, beautiful, invisible thread that connects everything and everyone easily-- the Internet.

​It has become a routine for me to Google pictures of food to give me inspiration and ideas on what to cook, whenever I feel like my husband might be getting bored with my menu. Yes, I Google just photos-- I don't like reading recipes....

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sometimes my husband comes home with gifts (omiyage) from his co-worker's trip. He usually brings home his share and hands it over to me and says, "Hai, omiyage". So sweet, isn't he?

​But he usually ends up eating it in front of me. Hohoho!

​Last week, he came home with a small pack of honey-roasted macadamia nuts from a co-worker who went to Hawaii. My eyes were ogling and my heart thumping and shouting even in my sleep, ​Don't let him munch on it! I neeeeeed those little nuts!​

I was sure...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

​I'm in a cross-cultural marriage. I love it because it teaches me many things about the people of the world, our differences and similarities. Not just in reference to my or my husband's culture-- all of the world. We're fond of having light and serious talks about different countries and races and we get surprised and laugh and wonder like crazy about all sorts of things all the time.
We also enjoy different foods of different places. However, I've been vegetarian since I was thirteen and wa...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm not sure how to read their company name, but it goes something like: Taichu Jitsugyou Kabushiki Gaisha (大中実業株式会社). Their store is located near Kyoto Station, about 15 minutes on foot. They ship products to other parts of Japan, you just have to call them. As for now, they haven't set up a website so I asked for their product list and prices but it's in Japanese, so I translated it the best I can for those who can't read Japanese (see photos of product-price list at the bottom).


Saturday, November 30, 2013

I have seen two kinds of mirin in the supermarket. However, for people like me who prefer not to consume alcohol even in cooking, it's necessary to know these two kinds properly. 

My husband explains that mirin is simply just sweet Japanese sake. That's the original type, called hon mirin. You'll usually see the characters 本みりん on the bottles of this kind of mirin.

On the other hand, the one I use has alcohol content as much as those in non-alcoholic beers. And I assume that...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Furikake, according to my Japanese dictionary app called Midori, is "dried food sprinkled over rice". I have seen it several times used in onigiri, as topping on rice and spaghetti, and as ingredient in other dishes like tamagoyaki. There are numerous kinds and brands of furikake, but most have katsuo (bonito) and other kinds of meat and seafood in them.

A strict vegetarian Japanese woman (the owner of the vegetarian restaurant I worked for a few months ago) taught me about this vegetarian...

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Kombu is a kind of wide, large seaweed. In Japan, it is usually dried and sold as is (see picture below). However, I think just recently, Japanese have started transforming it into powder form. I say recently because another mom here first heard of kombu powder from me (in 2017) and even my husband's parents (and his father is a professional cook) doesn't even know about it until I brought one to their house (in 2013).

I find it quite tedious to get dashi from kombu itself (because it usually ta...

Friday, November 29, 2013

There are many kinds of mushroom powder. I've probably used 7 types in all. But as I have very limited stuff at hand, I will show you only some of those.

My husband's favorite is this one (see picture below). It usually goes in an airtight plastic container and I know "Knorr" will come to your minds when you stare at the logo. I actually believe it is a product of Knorr but I'm not sure. Anyway...

My husband once said that it tastes like some non-vegetarian food he has eaten (which, app...

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