recipe

Green onion and thyme low-carb gluten-free muffins

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Low-carb, gluten-free savory muffins that are perfect for bentos, or for snacks, or for breakfast, or…. continue reading...

Bento sized mini cabbage rolls

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I love cabbage rolls, whether rolled or deconstructed, but regular sized ones are a bit too large and sloppy in my mind to put into all but the largest bento boxes. These are little bento sized cabbage rolls, just a bit bigger than a ping-pong ball. They aren’t too showy to look at, but are deliciously juicy hot or cold. They are kept compact and slim by using napa or Chinese cabbage instead of regular cabbage leaves, since napa cabbage leaves are thinner and more tender, and using the smaller inner leaves that are about 10 inches (25cm) long.

Another feature of these mini cabbage rolls is that I tried making them in a rice cooker, and they came out great. I’ve also given instructions for making them on the stovetop, but if you’re looking for more ways to utilize your rice cooker, you may want to try it out that way. continue reading...

Kinpira rice burger and how to keep the rice of the 'bun' together

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A quick and easy trick for keeping the ‘bun’ part of a rice burger from falling apart. continue reading...

A sushi roll bento, plus how to make sushi rolls without a sushi mat

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Here is something that I had in my archives - a sushi roll bento, made with ingredients that you might not have thought belong in a sushi. Plus, how to make a fat sushi roll without a sushi mat! continue reading...

Rice cooker frittata with summer vegetables

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Here’s the first recipe from my minimal non-kitchen kitchen (see previously). This recipe has proved itself to be a keeper already - I’ve made it 3 times in the past couple of weeks. It is basically a vegetable frittata that is cooked in a rice cooker. continue reading...

Just a bigger dorm room for the summer

At the moment my life is rather full of excitement in many ways; there’s the book of course, my mother had major surgery just today (in Japan), my father is almost ready to go home after many months in the hospital and a physical rehabilitation center (in the U.S.). But the part that is having the most immediate affect on daily life around here is the fact that I’ve just moved to a new house, which at the moment has no kitchen. continue reading...

Muffins for spring: Ramp Pesto Muffins and Carrot Purée Muffins

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Spring is the time for one of my favorite vegetables - the mildly garlicky wild greens known as ramps, wild garlic, ramsons and so on in English. Ramps are still too obscure to be cultivated much, so you can only get them for a short time - which is not a bad thing really, because then you can look forward to them for the rest of the year. Carrots on the other hand are available year-round, but locally grown spring carrots just seem to be sweeter and tastier.

The best way in my opinion to capture the essence of ramps is to turn it into a pesto, a very easy thing to do if you have a food processor. And I’ve recently discovered the joys of carrot purée - finely shredded carrots that are steam-braised with a little butter just until they are tender, then mashed. And then, you can turn the concentrated vegetable paste in either case into a delicious savory muffin.

These little muffins take a bit of effort to make, since you need to make a pesto or a puree of vegetables first. But they are worth it. The muffin batter itself is very easy. Make a batch at a time and freeze the extras. If you make them small enough, you can pull one out of the refrigerator in the morning and it will be defrosted and fresh-tasting at lunch time. continue reading...

Char siu or yakibuta - Chinese style roast pork

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I have posted a recipe for char siu, or Chinese style roast pork, previously. But that was way back in 2004, and my standard go-to recipe has changed a bit since then. Plus, it makes a great staple for bentos, so here it is. continue reading...