Thursday, May 4, 2017

Donabe Story on Cook's Gazette

The latest issue (Issue 10) of a popular culinary website, Cook's Gazette, is all about Japanese food and its culture. And, they have a special article about DONABE. It's a wonderful story featuring our donabe, Nagatani-en, and myself. Please check it out!

Happy donabe life.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Donabe Cooking for Flavors of Los Angeles Event

My donabe chicken sukiyaki, ready to serve

Last Sunday, I had a pleasure participating in a big charity event, hosted b American Liver Foundation.

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The event was titled Flavors of Los Angeles, and many talented chefs from popular restaurants in LA gathered to cook for the guests in this event. The chef chair of the event was Chef Kevin Meehan of Kali, one of my favorite restaurants in LA!

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I teamed up with my friends and super talented chefs, Kuniko (formerly the head chef at Hinoki & The Bird) and Shiho (partner/ chef of Sweet Rose Creamery) to offer 5 courses for 12 guests at our table. Our table was set up and ready to go.

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We started with Kuniko's kombu-cured fluke carpaccio dish.

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The second course of roasted yam dish was also made by Kuniko. Both of her dishes were so beautiful and delicious.

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Other tables were busy, too.

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Sommelier, Mark, talking about the wine he poured, to the guests at our table.

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Time for my donabe dishes!

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I made Tori Suki (chicken sukiyaki) with classic-style donabe, Hakeme and Kyoto Ame-yu.

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I also made English Peas and Hijiki Rice in my double-lid donabe rice cooker, "Kamado-san". I used the large 5 rice-cupsize of Kamado-san, and it came out very nice.

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Shiho made really delicious matcha parfait and everybody fell in love with it. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the finished dish, as I was busy helping plating the dish.

I had such a great time working with such talented people, and it was also my honor to be part of this charity event for American Liver Foundation!

Happy donabe life.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Our Iga-yaki Donabe and Pottery on Food & Wine Magazine

I was so happy to see the latest (April 2017) issue of Food & Wine Magazine, because my friends, Kyle & Katina, and their restaurant, Single Thread Farms, are featured!

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It's an extensive 8-page article, and many of our Iga-yaki donabe, including a full-page color photo of tagline-style donabe, Fukkura-san, and Katakuchi Ring Sake Pourer are beautifully featured!

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Also, my DONABE Cookbook was selected in Serious Eats' Kitchen Essentials as one of the cookbooks they love! Yay.

Happy donabe life.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Donabe egg recipes for Lucky Peach's All About Eggs

It was my honor to contribute Japanese egg recipes for All About Eggs Cookbook by Rachel Khong/ Lucky Peach!

I wrote Chawanmushi (savory custard) and TKG-TamagoKakeGohan (raw egg over rice) stories/recipes for the book. Chawanmushi is perfect to cook in donabe steamer, Mushi Nabe, and TKG is definitely great when the rice is cooked in double-lid donabe rice cooker, Kamado-san.

Besides my recipes, the book features all the essential information about egg cookery and recipes from different cultures. So, I hope you will check it out.

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I was invited to the book launch party in LA the other day.

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It was great to see Rachel and others. Great book!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Back in Japan...Local Sushi Night

My stay was only for a week this time, so it went so fast.

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On a final night, we went to a local sushi restaurant.

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I was ready to pound!

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Grilled young bamboo was served with miso and shaved katsuobushi. Hokkaido uni was so sweet.

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Extra-large Hokkaido scallop was shelled, chopped. and quick-simmered with sake and butter in its own shell. It was super good. Oysters from Saga were so huge and packed with flavors.

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Then, I think I had more than 15 pieces of sushi! Between tomoko and I, we had 5 flasks of sake.

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The next day, I flew back to LA. I had Japanse meal in the flight again.

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Back in LA, my usual unpacking ritual. This time, I brought back some old albums.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Back in Japan (Spring 2017)...Mom's Memorial

Back in Urawa, we had mom's memorial for her 1 year passing anniversary. Our aunt (mom's younger sister) and uncle came to join us. My mom passed away 4/16 last year. I can't believe it's been almost 1 year since then.

The memorial service was very nice.

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Then, we had dinner together at a local French restaurant, where Mom used to dine often.

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We enjoyed the beautiful spring menu. Lobster and spring vegetable appetizer, spring cabbage & mushroom potage, Tile fish with watercress sauce, Lamb filet, and dessert.

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We shared fond memories of Mom.

We miss you, Mama.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Back in Japan (Spring 2017)...Dinner with friends, and Snowy Hakone

It was the end of March, sakura (cherry blossom) trees were getting to bloom more and more.

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Lunch at Akomeya Tokyo. I love their lunch so much.

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Dinner in Roppongi. I got together with Akiko and Megumi...we belonged to the same study group in the university. Akiko made a reservation at a wine izakaya near her work. We had such a great time catching up each other. They had a cute donabe dish of whole shin-tamanegi (tender seasonal onion) bulb and duck meat, slow simmered in consommé broth and finished with cheese on top. It was like a unique version of French onion soup and so good!

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The next day, I had a family trip to Hakone with my sister and nephew. Tomoko was going to drive, but the weather forecast said it would snow in Hakone. So, we decided to take a train. From Urawa, we hop on to a express train to Odawara, then the hotel's microbus came to pick us up. We had a quick lunch at a soba restaurant in Odawara. I had Yamakake-soba (hot soba with grated mountain yam on top). So good.

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Once we got to our regular hotel, we enjoyed relaxation. Tomoko and I had a long onsen (hot spring) dip. Then, we hung out in the lounge. The snow was already starting.

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Champagne with fish and chips hit my spot. Wataru was enjoying his favorite cheeseburger.

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Haru-kun, the hotel's mascot dog, was relaxing, too.

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The next morning, it was still snowing. The calendar already April 1, but it was n was not April Fool!