General Cooking and Recipes

Five principles of Japanese cooking

Niceties mentioned the "five principles of Japanese cooking" in her guest post last month. Apparently they should all be part of traditional cooking. They go something like:

Five colours - white, red, yellow, green, black/other dark colours
Five tastes - salty, sour, sweet, bitter, umami/spicy (which is right?)
Five cooking methods - simmering, grilling, steaming, frying, aemono (cooked salads)
Five senses - taste, smell, sight, sound, touch continue reading...

Help!! no english instructions

I'm not sure if I ma posting this in the right place but please move it if I have put it in the wrong section.

When I bought my first bento and sushi mat from Japan Centre the other day I also bought some of this ramen noodle soup because it was on sale.

Now although there are basic pictures on the back all the cooking instructions are in japanese and I don't know how much water to use. Has anyone had these before? Do you know how to make them and could you let me know?


Yours, being really dumb
Rachael :p

Pea Shoots!

I just tried this veggie at a local restaurant and I am hooked!! It was stir-fried lightly with lots of garlic and sesame oil, spring greens like, and it was just super yummy!!

I am adding it to my list of spring veggies that I adore, like asparagus, artichokes, snap peas and chard. Now I have to get some from the grocery and try it out at home.

I would imagine if you wound them into little circle packets they would go well in a bento, if they were drained well.

Anyone have any other recipes besides the garlic/sesame one?


It's me again!

Anyway I've been eying quinoa as something healthy to add to my diet, but I have really no idea what its benefits are. Is it good for protien replacement? I'm leery about packing meats in my bento since it's Texas, it's getting warm out, and yeah. Quinoa seemed a good deal since it can be cooked in with rice and all. Help? What are some things I can make with it?

Adventures in Udon Making

Before I scare anyone away from udon, the link Stephanie includes below shows a MUCH easier way to make them.

single bento boy's link in this thread: got me watching the movie "Udon"
Within minutes I started drooling and hankering after the kind of udon I'd eaten in Takamatsu.
I went back to a recipe I'd used before: - worth reading to get an idea on how the weather affects the amount of salt you should use continue reading...

Broccoli help!

I've always hardboiled broccoli and sometimes roast it a bit before putting it in my bento but I find it rather soft and mushy and it doesn't have any kind of flavor (we usually dress it with some vinegar), besides the color is not very appealing.

I thought about steaming it in my rice cooker (that way it'd be brightly colored) but I don't know how much time should I keep it? Should I roast it after steaming?
can broccoli actually be roasted or fried raw??


Because of the delicious Buchimgae recipe that Maki posted on the home page, I've become intrigued by Kimchi.
I had no kimchi so I made the recipe with rinsed sauerkraut mixed with hot chili paste and they were really good.
But I'm hoping some folks here could give me some advice about buying kimchi. Are there different kinds, favorite brands and why? Best way to buy it and store it? Etc. continue reading...


I found a market near my place that sells fresh avocado and i love it so i thought of buying a lot and store them in the fridge but I never "owned" avocado so I need some advice...

- How much will an avocado last in my fridge?
- Can I pre-peel and cut them and store them in a tupper-ware in the fridge?
- Should I buy them when they are hard to touch or when they are slightly 'bland'?
- if I put them in my bento will they get brown? Should I wash them with lemon juice first?

any bento-friendly recipe involving avocado will be VERY welcome! ^^

Thanks in advance! ^^