Spice Up Your Life With a Taste of Japan

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


Quick Apple Pie

Who says you need nice pie crust to make yummy apple pie?? Not me!
All you need is the filling and....GYOZA SKIN!
You can make it with your frying pan. Can't be easier!

For the filling (for about 10 pies)
1 apple
1/4cup sugar
1TBS lemon juice

Cut apple into small pieces.
Mix all the ingredients and stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Bring it to a boil.
Let it cool.

For the pie
The apple filling
20 gyoza skins
Almond oil

Place the filling on the gyoza skin. (double wrap)
Roll it up.
Fry with almond oil.


Vegan cupcake with Cashew frosting

I found a post about the vegan frosting made from cashews on a food blog, Roost and it sounded very interesting! What a clever idea.
I gave it a try and it turned out very good. It's a good alternative to buttercreme.
I followed the recipe below, but replaced coconut oil with Tahini.

The cashew cream (The recipe from Roost)

2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 3 hours, drained and rinsed
juice from 3 lemons
4 dates, pits removed
1 TBS coconut oil (this does not need to be warmed just scoop it right out of the jar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
orange juice

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender (a rinky dink blender will not do the trick!) and blend until you have a very smooth consistency. Add more OJ if you need to thin it out.

Since the frosting is vegan, I wanted to make some kind of vegan cupcakes.
I was browsing around for it and found this interesting cupcake recipe on a Japanese website!
This recipe requires no egg, no milk(even soy milk)........ but the chemical reaction of baking soda and vinegar to increase the volume!!
I've used this reaction for cleaning......
When those two are combined, it starts bubbling up and breaks down stains.
Well you might say "Seriously? Vinegar for cupcakes?".
But trust me! It doesn't taste vinegar at all.
I changed some ingredients of the original recipe to make it healthier.

Vegan cupcakes

100g Whole what flour
3TBS Cocoa powder
3TBS Brown sugar
1.5tsp Baking Powder
1/2tsp Baking Soda
2TBS Oil
110cc Water
2.5TBS Vinegar

Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine dry ingredients.
Add wet ingredients except vinegar and mix well.
Add vinegar and mix quickly.
Bake for about 25mins.

*Don't try to make many at a time.. You might not be able to get the volume you want.
The softest cupcake I've ever had! Enjoy:)


Mitarashi Dango

Mitarashi dango is one of Japanese traditional sweets.
Dango is a Japanese chewy and bouncy dumpling made from rice flour, related to mochi.
The caramel colored sauce is called mitarashi and made from soy sauce, sugar and starch. This sweet but savory sauce is perfect with dango. It's similar to the taste of teriyaki sauce.

You need special rice flour(mochiko) to make dango.
But today I'm introducing how to make dango with more familiar ingredient, RICE!
And it's much easier to make it than using rice flour.

For the dango
1cup Cooked rice ( I used brown rice)
2tbs Potato starch

For the mitarashi sauce
3tbs Soy sauce
80g Sugar
100cc Water
1tbs Potato starch

Mix together rice and potato starch to make dango.
Knead until it form a ball.
Divide the dough into 6 balls.
Cook in boiling water until it comes floating to the surface.
Place into cold water.
Put the dango on skewers.
Grill the skewered dangos on a grill until slightly grill-marked.

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small pan.
Cook until it gets thickened.
Pour the sauce over the dango.


Mickey and Minnie onigiri (rice balls)

Found a great onigiri idea on one of my favorite Japanese bento blogs!
You need crab meat to make clothes of Mickey and Minnie.
It's really easy!
You can find the pictures of each direction at http://ameblo.jp/kaerenmama/entry-10873988142.html.