Holiday Gift Guide
Skankynavia

Skankynavia: Edamame Explosion Salad

Last week I attended a birthday party at a friend's house. He rarely cooks but when he does, he is highly experimental and innovative. I had a drink and was busy chatting with fabulous guests, discussing the recent catastrophic Christian...

The Ume Project: Foraging

Yoko and I tagged along with Sylvan of Peko Peko last week to forage for ume (Japanese plums aka Prunus mume). We had been planning this for weeks, going back and forth and patiently waiting for the perfect moment to pick the ume,...

Japanify

Japanify: Nuked Potato

Microwave cooking is big in Japan. Just like buying panties from vending machines. People do it all the time and there is no need to be ashamed when doing it. One of the most genius ideas I acquired while living...

Japanify

Japanify: Kombu Tsukudani

I am home in Berkeley after taking a week-long road trip through the American southwest with fellow Umamimart writer Anders, bookended by a five-day trip in NYC. I am so excited to be back in my own kitchen that I've stocked...

ReCPY

ReCPY: Ramps, The Sign of Spring

When you see ramps at the Greenmarket, it is a sign that spring is here. These delicacies are only available for short period of time. I discovered this awesome plant last year, and its flavor of onion, garlic, scallion, mixed all into one is very...

Ode to Japanify: Natto-A-Day

I'm going through Yoko withdrawl. We were literally joined at the hip for the last month, gearing up for our GIFT OF FOOD benefit: chatting, Skyping, meeting with each other, organizing, coordinating, planning with our other awesome collaborators. It was definitely a huge team...

Japanify

Japanify: Shira-ae (Sesame Tofu Dressing)

Kayoko let me borrow Japanese homecooking maven Elizabeth Andoh's new book "Kansha: Celebrating Japanese Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions" and for that, I am brimming with kansha (thanks). I had always wanted to try my hand at making shira-ae (sesame tofu dressing) after playing the...

ReCPY

ReCPY: Kabocha Gnocchi

I've tried making gnocchi in the past, but the whole thing dissolved while boiling, so it was a complete failure. Since then, I haven't even thought about making it again. A few weeks ago, I pondered what I would make for a small gathering. I...

Japanify

Japanify: Tsukudani (Condiment Crack)

Mottainai is said in Japan when something perfectly usable is abandoned or sent to the trashcan. In the past ten years, Japan has seen a trend in awareness regarding waste and reusing whenever possible. It's ironic that this has become a trend because...

Japanify

Japanify: Matsutake (Pine Mushrooms)

Matsutake are to Japan as truffles are to France. They are hard-to-find, fragrant, expensive and coveted. "Matsu" means pine and "take" means mushroom. Matsutake are harvested in the fall, the earliest occurring in September from pine forests in diverse locations around the world...

Japanify

Japanify: Tamari Popcorn

A trip to Brattleboro, Vermont was just what I needed this winter... it provided a little R&R and an idea that was perfect for Japanify. Brattleboro put on quite a show for this Californian. It snowed just enough make the...