Ask Maki Almost Anything

roe substitute for hamaguri-zushi?

I'm having a dinner party on Saturday night, and I REALLY wanted to make some of those cute pink hamaguri-zushi as part of the first course. But can I find salmon roe, or for that matter ANY sort of fish roe, in any sort of shop? No I can't. I can't find fresh (the fish place said that season finished a couple of weeks ago), I can't find frozen, and I can't find it in little jars the way I have had it before.

So, help Maki! What can I sprinkle on top of hamaguri-zushi that is not any sort of fish egg?

Japanese seaweed salad

I've had them quite a number of times and I've been pondering how to make them myself. They're pretty costly here.. $3 for 150g at asian grocery stores (they're made by a Korean Kimchi manufacturer) or $4.50 as a full (small) salad at japanese takeaways.

I have seen some types of dried seaweed at the nearby grocery store and judging from the picture, there are those that can be made into salad.

Today, I've just had it with finely julienned cucmber and my verdict: too good for summer. I think they work well for cucmbers (an alternative to seaweed) and I hope I can get the recipe here..

Shiso thinnings

Hi Maki,

I've got a little bowl of green shiso seedlings which I collected while transplanting today, just a tiny little bowlful, so I was wondering what you think might be a special perfect first shiso tasting idea.

I could make one lunches worth of pretty shiso onigiri, I figure, but I would love any suggestions to make my first shiso-eating delicious and memorable. The red seedlings are a bit smaller, and don't need thinning, just potting up. But soon!

Marinated Garlic Cloves

Hello Maki,
A while back I was at a party for my friends birthday.
She had at her party garlic cloves which I think had
been left to soak in soy sauce or something similar
for a long while. She said that they were sort of a
Japanese snack. With that being said, have you ever
heard of this and if so, is it really just as simple as
leaving cloves of garlic to soak in soy sauce?

Thanks for your time ^_^

Foodie Movies

Hello all,
So, yesterday I introduced my girlfriend to the excellent foodie film, Tampopo. In the process
I began to wonder about other good foodie movies out there. Anyone have any recommendations?


Organic meat in Japan

I just saw your post about miso pork and wondered whether you recommend buying organic meat in Japan. I moved to Tokyo a year ago and don't know anything about how meat is raised in Japan, whether there is widespread use of hormones and/or antibiotics in treating cattle or poultry. Thanks!

what is tori no renjinseeji?

I got a Japanese cooking magazine for the bento stuff in it (magazine is called "renusuhurabu", I think, blocky katakana throws me)

I can't really read much Japanese, but I can recognize the characters and the pictures work - but there was one thing called "tori no renjinseeji" (I may have the spaces wrong). It kind of looks like sort of hot-dog shaped rolls of ground chicken? or something, I don't know. Help? What is it?

pdf files are doing funny things

Hi Maki,

I've been downloading a bunch of the pdf versions of your recipes, and I've noticed that in at least one case, the file has omitted parts of sentences (the one I noticed is in the gomashio furikake article, where the pdf file says "I think I'd want a bit more than that in my bento box, but there osekihan Japanese azuki beans and rice."). continue reading...