Spice Up Your Life With a Taste of Japan

*Fun Bento Box**Cute and Natural Food From California*


Sake white sauce seafood gratin

I've seen a lot of Sake lees recipes on a Japanese cooking website, cookpad lately.
I found out why by reading this article about sake lees in Japan Times.
A popular Japanese science TV program introduced the health benefit of sake lees.

So I bought a bag of sake lees at a Japanese grocery store to try some of them.
Sake lees are the leftover from sake production and quite nutritious!
The most popular dish using sake lees is "kasuzuke" which is made by pickling fish in the lees. But today, I made sake white sauce for the gratin.

Sake white sauce

2tsp sake lees
1cup soy milk
1tbs miso
1tbs tahini
1tbs soy source
1tbs vinegar

Put the sake lees in a pot with soy milk and stir while heating over a medium low heat until the lees melt. Add the other ingredients and use as white source for gratin.


Pumpkin Mochi

1/4 pumpkin
3tbs potato starch
some pumpkin seeds

1.Place pumpkin chunks into water and bring it to a boil.Cook until tender.
2.Push pumpkin through a mesh sieve.
3.Mix the pumpkin and potato starch together.
4.Make pumpkin shape with the pumpkin.(usu the back of a knife to make pumpkin ski)
5.put in a microwave and heat about 3mins.
6.put a pumpkin seed on a top.


Tofu Nama Chocolate (ganache)

In Japan, women give chocolate to men on Valentine's day.
This article is about Valentine's day in Japan!

Nama chocolate is one of the most popular valentine's chocolate.
Nama means raw in Japan, but it's not raw food. In this case, nama means "melt in your mouth".

I used tofu instead of creme so it's much healthier than regular nama chocolate!

150g chocolate
100g silken tofu
cocoa powder

1.Drain tofu between paper towels with a heavy weight on top for about 1 hour.
2.Add to a blender and blend for about 3mins
3.Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over hot water.
4.Add the tofu using a mesh sieve.
5.Line a container with plastic wrap and pour the chocolate. Refrigerate well.
6.Cut and dust with cocoa powder.


Non Daily Pumpkin Puddings

For caramel source
2tbs sugar
3.5tbs water

1.Place the sugar and water in a souecepan.(dont't stir now)
2.Bring it to a boil and then swirl. Shift this caramel souece into puddings cups and cool it down in a fridge.

For puddings
2tsp agar
1/4 pumpkin
2cups soymilk
1/2cup agave

1.Place pumpkin chunks into water and bring it to a boil.Cook until tender.
2.Remove the pieces and let cool.
3.Push pumokin through a mesh sieve.
4.Add the other ingridients and mix together.
5.Shift 4 into a bowl and bring it to a boil.
6.Place into the pudding cups.

Sesame cookies

Here is my favorite sesame soft cookies' recipes.

★2tbs canola oil
★2tbs tahini
★3tbs apple source
★1/2tsp vanilla extract
☆3tbs beet sugar
☆1/2cup brown rice flour
☆1/2cup whole wheat flour
☆1/4cup oatmeal
☆1/2tsp baking powder
☆1/3tsp salt
☆dry fruits

Preheat oven to 320F.
Shift ☆ into a mixing bowl. Stir the mixture to blend evenly.
Place ★ into the mixing bowl.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 mins.


My favorite pickles

Best pickles ever! My friends love this recipe too.

1cup vinegar
1cup water
6tablespoons sugar
2teaspoons salt
2 red peppers
1 baby leaf
3 cloves
2 peppercorns
1 garlic clove

Remove seeds from red peppers and mix all the ingredients in a pot. Bring it to boil. Cool it down and then pour in a jar. Put your favorite vegetables in it.

Sushi Cup Cakes

Happy New Year!
Celebrated Japanese new year with sushi cup cakes:)
It's easy to make sushi cups.
Just line a small cup(column shape is desirable) with plastic wrap.
Put sushi rice on the cup and push with plastic wrap to shape.