tracking code

Monday, May 2, 2011


In spring you can buy three-color mochi dango. Apparently they are a traditional food for O-Hanami (cherry blossom viewing parties.)  The white ones are plain, and the green ones are colored with a herb named mugwort in English. It doesn't have any flavor that I can detect. It would be nice to think the pink ones were flavored with cherry blossom petals, but I couldn't taste it if they were. But they are good - soft and chewy and not too sweet. And they look pretty in spring colors. I love mochi.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Nabe (pronouced nah-bay) is the Japanese word for a kind of cooking pot, but it also refers to a one-pot meal including meat or fish and lots of vegetables cooked in broth. In Japan eating nabe is very popular in winter. There are dozens of different flavored nabes. Formerly my favorite nabe was kimchi nabe, and one of my friends has been raving to me about carbonara nabe. But recently at the house of a friend I was privileged to eat Hokkaido style Ishikari Nabe. It's fabulous!

Salmon, potatoes and cabbage (possibly onions too?) are simmered in stock, then milk is added. Japanese miso paste is thinned with some of the broth, and added. A generous slab of Hokkaido butter completes the gorgeously rich flavor. This nabe is one of my new favorite things! I like the way it is a blend of Western and Japanese cuisine. I sincerely hope you can eat it one day!