Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Portobello Mushroom and Crab in Puff Pastry_DSC3738

Deja-vu, I think I have already seen this before…while my husband is working on this Portobello mushroom creation. I can’t shake the feeling of familiarity… it’s not identical but fraternal twins of one I made before…Stephen King? Return of  Dome recipe?….Hmmm.

However, this chef Chris Czarnecki of The Joel Palmer House recipe placed my ’dome’ dish as a cousin once removed rather than next of kin. The rich and creamy sauce and the Portobello’s wholesomeness stands alone as an impressive main course._DSC3733

The size of the portobello was huge and thick, end up cutting in 4ths. With the absence of truffle oil and other substitute, perhaps it didn’t achieve a perfect 10, nonetheless, you leaned well grasshopper…I mean my dear.

Ingredients and Instruction makes 4 servings (Print Recipe Here) ( in parentheses was what he actually used)


  • 1/2  cup fish stock (Japanese dashi)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • kosher salt
  • 4 ounces tomato paste (2 ounces)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (1 cup)
  1. Combine stock, bay leaf, onion, pepper and wine in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan at medium- high heat._DSC3702
  2. Season to taste with salt and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer. Cook until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Whisk in tomato paste and cream and simmer until sauce has thickened. 5 minutes.
    The onion looks like noodles.

Portobello Wraps

  • 4  4 to 5 inches diameter Portobello mushrooms, brushed clean, stems removed
  • 1  1 pound package frozen puff pastry thawed (takes about 40 minutes to thaw)IMG_1087
  • Flour for dusting
  • 4 ounces Havarti cheese, cut into 1 ounce portions
  • 4 ounces Dungeness crab meat, divided
  • 1 egg beaten with whipping cream below in a small bowl.
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • White truffle oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place Portobello mushrooms, gills facing up. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes, until tender. Set aside mushroom but keep oven on._DSC3710
  2. Unroll the thawed pastry and cut into 6-inch squares. Dust work surface with flour. Roll each square out with rolling pin so that you can wrap around a Portobello cap, approximately  7 inches square.
  3. In a center of the pastry, place 1 ounce of cheese, and a fourth of the crab meat. Top with baked Portobello cap, gills facing down._DSC3712_DSC3713_DSC3715
  4. Fold each corner of the puff pastry up and over the stack so that none of ingredients is exposed. Pinch the edges together. repeat the rest._DSC3718_DSC3719
  5. Turn over the wraps and put on the parchment lined baking sheet seam side down. Brush with egg mixture all over. Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden brown._DSC3725
  6. Divide warm sauce in 4 bowls, drizzle with truffle oil. Place pastry on top and serve immediately._DSC3727_DSC3731


Relic of Easter…I gave some away but we still had left over ham. Put roughly chopped ham on the tomato along with cheese and bread crumbs bake in the toaster oven for 10 minutes (385F). Voila! We relished this for breakfast._DSC3656_DSC3661

Sadly with accelerated speed, April passed by…Cinco de Mayo, Japanese Children’s Day is just around the corner. I made carp windsock sushi.._DSC3198

May health and success be upon all children!




Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Fried Rice With Pea Sprouts

_DSC3478I heard that pea sprouts' popularity is on the rise in Japan. The mild flavor and no pronounced aroma present in this veggie makes it versatile and easy to adapt for use in many dishes.IMG_1072 

When you a want quick meal or time is short, this dish works. It took less than 10 minutes (not including the time for cooked rice), was easy and  very satisfying. I used ground pork but there are no clear rules on this recipe., so use whatever you have… like chopped ham, bacon or so on. And above all, you are basically washing only one skillet. That’s an added bonus for me._DSC3427

Ingredients and Instruction for 2-4 serving. (Print Recipe Here)_DSC3450Because speed is important, you need to have all the ingredients ready

Necessary equipment: Wok or large skillet

  • Ground pork 1/2 pound
  • Tokyo long green onion approximately 5 inches white part minced_DSC3448
  • Vegetable oil or sesame oil or half of each 1 Tablespoon Note: If you are using extra lean meat then you may need some oil when you sauté the meat also.
  • Cooked rice 3 cups, keep warm
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Pea sprouts 1 cup
  • Salt and pepper (white pepper preferred)
  • Soy sauce (I used Tamari soy sauce)
  • Pine nuts about 1/4 cup, lightly toasted
  1. Heat wok on medium high. Put in the ground pork and green onion. Sauté until the pork is no longer pink. Transfer the pork to a plate. Set aside
  2. Clean the wok with paper towel. Heat oil in same pan at medium heat. Add the rice and egg and *sauté quickly with wooden spatula,1-2 minutes.Salt and pepper to taste. * Do not press on the rice. _DSC3458_DSC3461
  3. Put sautéed pork back in the wok. Add soy sauce and  pea sprouts and continue to sauté for 1 minute or so. Check the flavoring at this point, adjust seasoning
  4. Serve with pine nuts on top. _DSC3474_DSC3480


We’re blessed to have neighbor friends over for Eater dinner. We had the usual,  honey baked ham which I stood in line to purchase…this is like an Easter ritual. Japanese style potato salad, beans, butter rolls and strawberry kasutera short cake rounded out the meal. We were busy talking, I forget to take pictures with them, that’s a shame.

Crunched for time, I let the bread machine make the butter roll dough, still mighty fine result!_DSC3585One of my comfort foods – potato salad._DSC3596

This is a new 30 minutes Kasutera recipe (in Japanese) that I saw in  NHK ‘s ‘Tameshite Gatten’ (ためしてガッテン) broadcasting.IMG_1065You shouldn’t have…They brought an awfully cute flowering plant as a hostess gift. Sweet!IMG_1071

We had egg sandwich made from left over boiled eggs…not Baaa…d, right? _DSC3605

I had such a grateful feeling all day on Easter.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a nice day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


No Egg Mango Marshmallow_DSC3533

As if my week had sprinted to a new record, I woke up Saturday with a little panic. Until Tuesday…two more days yet I hadn’t made anything fa..bulous to post. Rats! I glanced at my calendar, wow, Easter is next Sunday? I suppose I would like to create something Easter…ly? _DSC3522

Intrigued by Koichi Izumi’s no egg guimauves (French for marshmallows) recipe (yeah, this fits my Happy Easterish theme) however, I was missing a few key ingredients. Where could I get passion fruit puree?  I dunno…the mangos I bought at Wholefoods were on sale for 69 cents each, nice! But not so nice was that, at Winco, they were 59 cents. How in the world? The 10 cents less means a huge dime difference, right?… OK back to my subject, I substituted with these precious mangos I paid the premium for.   

I refer to his recipe but a few compromises were made and perhaps the most ‘I don’t get it’ moment is his method of soaking powdered gelatins. After 2 hours of waiting “supposedly” the gelatin would be macerated in water. But it didn’t. Impossible! I cried. Could it be that Japanese gelatin and American are not same? Nice fellowship by my husband.

Ingredients and Instruction (Print Recipe here)

Necessary equipment: 6x6 pan/mold (I used 7x4 and1/2 inch plastic case), line with parchment paper on bottom, blender or hand held immersion blender, hand held mixer, food thermometer and small sieve

  • Water 30g or more
  • 2 packets (14.4g) of unflavored gelatin
  • 4 mangos (I prefer Madame Francique or Shindhri)_DSC3443
  • Sugar #1 -3 Tablespoons If the mango is very sweet, add less sugar.
  • Lemon juice 1-2 Tablespoons
  • Sugar #2 – 90g, more or less
  • Corn starch 25g
  • Powdered sugar 25g
  1. Prepare gelatin – Pour water in small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin in and wait for it to eventually absorb the water, 2-3 hours. Note: sprinkle a little bit more water if the gelatin is not completely macerated after 2 hours._DSC3439
  2. Making mango purée – Cut mango lengthwise into three sections with the middle section containing the pit. Lay the skin side on your palm, make a grid pattern on the flesh with knife (see photo). Push flesh out from skin side. If you like, scrape the fruit off from the pit to use. Put all the flesh into a sauce pan then add sugar #1 and lemon juice. Cook for 30 minutes on low heat. Stir frequently and crush with a wooden spoon to break down flesh. Turn off heat and puree with immersion blender or put into a blender to puree. Need 150g of this puree in the recipe._DSC3445Store extra mango puree in airtight container and keep in refrigerator.IMG_1052 
  3. Put macerated gelatin and sugar #2 in a large bowl set aside._DSC3484
  4. Prepare 1 size smaller pan than the above bowl filled with 1 cup of hot water to use as double boiler. The water should not touch bottom of the bowl.
  5. Put 150g of mango puree into another pan and add 1/4 cup of water.  Frequently whisk the puree and cook to reach the temperature of 200F –230F range*. The laser instant thermometer is very helpful. Careful not to burn puree * The original recipe said must keep at 230F.
  6. After reaching the desired temperature, dump the contents from above into the step #3 bowl. Place bowl on the top of the prepared pan in step #4 
  7. Double boil the pan on low heat – this keeps the temperature of puree mixture above 108F. Lower than that it will get too hard to pour in the mold. Mix with hand held mixer slowly at first then speed up to max. Mix for 6-8 minutes,scrape off sides mid-way through. The color of the mixture will get lighter and thicken. This photo is misleading, the right texture is when you lift up the mixer, it  drizzles down and makes a spiral pattern at the bottom._DSC3489
  8. Pour mixture into the mold. Cover with paper towel until it has cooled to room temperature then  cover with plastic sheet. Let rest for overnight._DSC3499
  9. Combine powdered sugar and cornstarch then sift once.
  10. Dust pallet knife and top of marshmallow with powdered sugar mixture (step #9) through small sieve, insert knife along edges of the mold. Turn onto flat surface then peel off parchment paper, sprinkle with  powdered sugar mixture. Cut in cubes or other fun shapes. Don’t forget to dredge cut sides with sugar mixture too. IMG_1046_DSC3523Peep,peep!_DSC3529_DSC3521

Getting ready for Easter_DSC3508_DSC3512

Left over mango puree is very nice as an ice cream topping._DSC3537

I shared some marshmallows with my neighbor friends so that we don’t have to consume the entire sugary snack by ourselves.

Happy Easter to you all!