Month: August 2014

Fig Pound Cake | 無花果のパウンドケーキ

My oldest memory of ‘fig’ comes from the FIG ROLLS, dry fig jam wrapped around in pastry, having lived in Ireland during my childhood. Since then figs have become one of my favorite fruits, especially the dried one to use for baking. I always wish that if we had a larger garden, a FIG TREE is definitely in the list but unfortunately….land and space is pure luxury here in Japan so I don’t think it will every happen unless we decide to own a summer or country house at a good distance from the metropolitan Tokyo area, which we currently reside. Anyway… even without a FIG TREE…. I keep a container of dry figs soaked in rum all year round which I use for breads, cakes and desserts. This is very simple basic pound cake with a combination of dried fig and fresh fig. It keeps well in room temperature as well as in the refrigerator.       Fig Cake recipe pdf written by Hisako Makimura/Tokyo, Japan

Roasted Sardines with you like..herbs

Sardines are worldwide. I hear that is used to be an extremely popular eaten fish in Japan, mind you – IT STILL IS, but the fast food ready made culture is slowly but surely contaminating our country and there is a growing tendency dislikes of handling fish in their own kitchen. So… the fishmonger does all the cleaning. You can also request how you are going to eat the fish which he will kindly treat the fish – into a fillet, or a sashimi, remove the guts if you are just grilling it..etc.etc. Service is a virtue here in Japan so one cynical word or so will scare the customers from ever coming back. So…ask the fishmonger to ‘fillet’ the fresh sardines, which he would even recommend eating it as a SASHIMI but tonight we will go this route – ROASTED with lots x2 of HERBS. Scenery before going into the oven….   Serving for 2 Sardines…..4 (8 fillets) Salt & Pepper Breadcrumbs…..about 2 cups Olive Oil…..3 tablespoons Shiso Leafs…..10 leafs Leaks…..3 tablespoon Garlic…..1 tablespoons …

Rhubarb Almond Crumble Cake

Is RHUBARB a fruit or vegetable? Rhubarb has always been one of my favorite – vegetable? fruit? since having lived long in Ireland during my childhood. Looking it up in wikepedia; Rhubarb is considered a vegetable, whichever it may be…. it is a great baking ingredient!! Rhubarb seem to prefer the cooler climates and since the Japanese climate are quite hot and humid in the summer; vegetation of rhubarb seem limited concentrating in higher elevations such as some parts of Nagano (Shinshu-area) and Hokkaido.   A moist almond crumble rhubarb cake. No sugar added to the rhubarb, blends well with the cake mixture.   I have a tendency of collecting upside down fruit cakes recipes, but since I came across an interesting crumble recipe with roasted almonds in it; I tried the recipe and changed it slightly to my version.     Rhubarb Almond Crumb Cake Recipe Butter…..85g Flour…..156g Sugar…..125g Eggs…..2 Salt…..1/2 teaspoon Rhubarb…..1 & 1/2 cups For the Crumble : Butter…..28g Flour…..2 tablespoons Almonds…..2 tablespoons Rolled Oats…..2 tablespoons Sugar…..25g Salt…..1/4 teaspoon Heat the oven …

Japanese beef, wa.gyu – Boeuf Buruginyon

Japanese beef is I, personally think is one of a kind of beef in the world. I’ve tasted many; US, Aussie, Argentina, Firenze(Italian), Argentina, Spanish and British but Japanese beef – we call it wa.gyu, is far off of a kind, a pure delicacy.   So if you’re ever in Japan, try the wa.gyu, ‘wa’ meaning Japanese and ‘gyu’ meaning Beef in any form of cooking; shabu shabu, sukiyaki, steak, grilled Korean yakiniku style, etc. You will probably agree the difference in the taste and tenderness which I hear some of the gourmets in California are totally addicted to.   There is even a home page on Wa.gyu, so worth checking if you are real beef eater!!!   Here is a French style cooking of BRISKET cooked in Red Wine with tomato sauce which is one of my husband’s favorites. It adds stamina to your body, to fight the gruelling summer!!!         Boeuf Buruginyon Recipe   written by Hisako Makimura/Tokyo, Japan

simple&delicious cake….Financier (Almond)

This is a simple recipe which I picked from a recognized pâtissier (Ash Tsujiguchi) – Financier (Almond flavor). His website displays the type of confectioneries which he produces, which I think is work of craft and art.     The original recipe is a Hazelnut Financier but I’ve replaced the hazelnut with almonds since hazelnut products come expensive in price and not an off the shelf item. It’s simple! It’s easy! So bake some for the house and drop me a note if you do!     Almond Financier recipe pdf written by Hisako Makimura/Tokyo, Japan

on a hot summer day…Fukagawa Hachiman Festival

The annual festival of Tomiokahachimangu takes place around the August 15, this year on August 17th. It is also known as the “Fukagawa Hachiman Festival”, one of the “greatest three festivals of Edo”, along with the Sanno Festival of Hie Shrine in Akasaka and the Kanda Festival of Kanda Myojin. Once in every three years, the town portable shrine of the 120 number groups, 54 portable shrines parade to the largest shrine, Tomiokahachimangu which makes “Fukagawa Hachiman Festival”.   It is a ​​street “Water Spraying Festival”, shouting the traditional “Wasshoi, Wasshiyoi”. Spectators from all over Japan gather to the center of Tokyo to feel our tradition, to feel the heat, to feel the excitement.   written by Hisako Makimura/Tokyo, Japan

Easy homemade Garbanzo pâté | HAMMUS

Pâtés are not quite difficult to make, once you know the recipe. These ready-made bottled or can foods, blended condiments,  factory made pâtés come in handy at delicatessens and grocery shops; but I when you think of all the chemical preservative that are required to preserve for days…..think twice. Believe me, a simple pâté or a bread spread is not hard to make… just takes a little bit of effort, having the ingredients to blend them together. HAMMUS, which is a chickpeas (garbanzo beans) spread is one of my favorites. Since it is a vegetable base pâté, indulging into this like butter should not be a sweat, rather healthy. It goes well with most any bread but my favorite is the French breads which I also make at home.                                               These are the ingredients to make HAMMUS.                           The recipe is …

Japanese buckwheat noodles…SOBA and SOBA SOUP

I am sure you have come across, Japanese buckwheat noodles – SOBA served in many Japanese restaurants. Maybe not as many compared to the Italians, Japanese noodles still come in varieties, ‘SOBA’, ‘Chinese Noodles – RAMEN’, ‘SOMEN’, ‘UDON’, ‘HIYAMUGI’, etc. Probably each household have their preference on noodles, but one of ours is the SOBA (Buckwheat Noodles) and SOMEN (similar to a the Italian Capellini, Angel Hair Pasta). ‘SOBA’ is also considered a low calorie diet food.     The set up for ‘SOBA’ looks like this…. it is served with a ‘SOBA’ soup & ‘YAKUMI’ (spices). Ready made ‘SOBA’ soups are available in stores but certainly, it is not difficult to make and the soup can be stored for about a month or so in the fridge so if you are a home make addict….give it a shot!!! The ‘SOBA’ soup can be used for other Japanese cooking so it does come in handy to have a one the fridge.                             …

Summer Vegetable Dishes

Vegetables come in great variety during the summertime. Aubergines, green peppers, cucumbers, various type of beans, etc. etc.  Japan, especially Tokyo is, I think the best place to shop from groceries to any type of delicacies and even worldwide gourmet. On a daily basis, I personally dislike supermarket shopping (vegetables are mass produced and tend to come tasteless) and I squander small shops; which I keep a personal rated list of good and fresh vegetable shops, butchers, fish monger, fruit shops around my vicinity. Our dinner table is mostly filled with vegetables with one or two dishes of fish or meat, eating light and healthy becomes a habit; more so religious. I will be introducing the how to simply make these everyday Japanese side dishes (homemade washoku) in due course on my recipe pages; which I’ve been trying to build but not so smoothly as I imagined having transferred my site to quite recently.   Braised Pumpkin with aduki (red beans)         Sauteed Green Pepper with Jyako (dried tiny fish) in …

Osekihan / Sticky rice with red beans

August 13th to 15th is the ‘Obon season‘ in Japan. Obon is a Buddist custom to honor the our ancestors. Family reunite returning to their regions, each Obon customs differ regionally. Visiting ancestors’ graves and temples. It is also the height of summer season, so if you would to experience the genuine summer of Japan; it may not be the best experience of your life but it is the perfect time to do so. However during the Obon week, be careful with your traveling plans as the bullet trains, flights and inter-highways are packed, I mean over packed – too fully booked.   Since it is the Obon season, I’ve decide to make a typical seasonal dish; shōjin ryōri (Buddist Vegetarian Food) dish called ‘Osekihan’; which is a steamed sticky rice with red beans. Osekihan is a typical household (mother’s) dish cooked for any festive occasions.   Osekihan (Sticky Rice with red beans) Recipe Sticky Rice:::::::: 3 Cups Aduki:::::::: 1 Cups Aduki boil water::::::: 5Cups Black Seasame & Salt             …