Ask Maki Food Questions

The Onigiri (Omusubi) FAQ

In the subject FAQ, you say that omusubi can be any shape. I am a fan of NHK Taiga drama and I noticed that during the Sengoku Jidai period, the warring states era, that the omusubi was round. In Hawaii where I am from, round omusubi was only served at funerals and never any time else. And fell into the category of only at funerals. Like passing anything from chopsticks to chopsticks.

I have also heard it said that triangular omusubi represented ten-shi-jin, heaven-earth-mankind.

Any information you have on this aspect of omusubi would be appreciated. continue reading...

Spices and sauces in the Bento.

Hello Maki!

I am a brand new addition to JustBento (and Bentos in general...and Japanese cooking in general) but your site has been a million times more helpful than the internet as whole in answering questions and giving ideas and how-tos so thank you for that.

Currently, I'm in the preparation and research stage and that includes recipes and I had a few questions:

1. As far as spices and sauces go, what are some "staples" I should have in my kitchen? continue reading...

homemade azuki bean paste for anman

I tried to make some azuki bean paste-filled buns the other day, and while the steamed bread turned out great, the azuki bean paste was...just okay. I followed a recipe I found online. I was wondering if you had a recipe for the paste? I would buy it pre-made, but I had a hard time finding azuki beans in my town, let alone premade azuki bean paste.
Onegai shimasu!

temaki katsuo sheets

Dear Maki,
I'm looking for temaki katsuo sheets after I found some nice recipes in combination with them in Yukiyo Moriyama's "Quick and Easy Sushi Cookbook" (Tokyo 1983). Are they available outside of Japan? A friend of mine is now hunting them in Hongkong, until now without success.
Thanks and congratulations to your great blog! It's really encyclopaedic.

Hagi no Tsuki - perhaps a post/recipe for them?

I was on another forum, one that shall Not Be Named, when I saw someone request a recipe for hagi no tsuki. I of course hit up the Google Image Search, and found a few lovely pictures, and thought, "Maki's probably done a post or two about these!"

So of course, I did a search, and came up with goose eggs.

What's also surprising is that searching online for a recipe came up with another few goose eggs, so I'm set for custard making, but not the cake itself. Any chance we could see a special about these delightful little desserts?

How do I store tempura bits?

I made tempura prawns and veges, and scattered little bits of batter around in the oil so I'd have the crispy bits for okonomiyaki. Now what do I do with them? Air-tight container in the pantry? Treat them like cookies?

is my bulldog sauce expired!!??

ok so I bought this bulldog yakisoba sauce bottle and I just noticed on it there is a date of 2004.01.21!

I cant read the kanji and I do not know if it means expiration or sell by date...

any thoughts?

Im hungry for yakisoba! yummmmmm......

That book!

I'm impatient, I had to buy it. Shoujin cuisine was something I've heard about but never had the opportunity to try.

Maki's review is pretty accurate for all the non-winners who are considering parting with their cash -- the first impressions are pretty good. continue reading...