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Cooking in Japan

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve never seen myself as a blogger who needs to update constantly to stay “relevant.” After all, this blog is about my life, and if there isn’t anything post-worthy to write about, well then why write at all? I never did like people who only post say, once a month, but are constantly complaining about how they’re so sorry they haven’t updated recently. I hold no belief that there are people waiting on hand and foot for my next post. They check in every once in a while and are able to catch up on my life, and that’s just fine for me.

These past few weeks since my trip to the U.S. and Mt. Fuji have been incredibly busy, but not entirely news worthy. At least, I haven’t felt the need to write about it. Maybe I will in the future but it’s not a priority.

Anyway, today as a treat I thought I’d share some of the food I’ve been making since coming to Japan. Those of you who check facebook may have seen these because one of the few albums I’ve shared on facebook include photos of my food. I don’t cook for myself as often as I ought to because 1) it’s not as fun doing it by yourself and 2) Nakatsu has an amazing amount of good restaurants! On the occasions I do take the time out to cook though, I’ve come up with a number of delicious dishes, both original and family recipes. Enjoy! If you have any questions about how I made any of this, I keep detailed notes (about the only thing I keep detailed notes on…) so don’t hesitate to ask!

This was my first attempt at "stuffing" various vegetables. This time, a daikon radish. The verdict was too much daikon! It's a really spicy radish so eating too much really just is too much. I haven't repeated it yet but I think I can improve it somehow.

The first pizza I ever made. Verdict: too long! Making dough round looks so easy but it's really not! As a result of the shape and perhaps the toppings the dough in the middle was a little soggier than I would have liked. Over all it tasted great though!

Fresh off the heals of my first pizza I made my first bagel. It was no New York bagel that's for sure, but considering it was my first time I thought it was a smashing success! The outside was crunchy and the inside was nice and soft, just like a bagel should be. I had some trouble getting the dough to rise (I still don't quite understand how yeast works, I don't think I'm doing it right...) but really I was unbelievably impressed with myself after these guys, and I'm quite a harsh critic of myself

Inside vs. outside

This was my second attempt at pizza. As you can see I learned from my mistake! The shape was rounder and the crust came out crunchier too! I still can't duplicate the real pizza crust taste (I think you need a brick oven for that) but for home-made pizza it's really quite tasty.

My family's secret apple pie recipe! The top burned a bit because I forgot to take into account the shorter cooking time due to the smaller size, but it tasted exactly the same. Delicious!

I don't just make foreign food though! This is zaru soba, a cold soba dish I attempted during the beginning of this absurd heatwave Japan calls summer.

This is the sauce you dip the soba in! YUM. Perfect for hot nights.

I believe these have been featured on my blog before, but I thought I'd post them along anyway. Delicious truffles. So easy to make, and so good to eat.

My cheesecake is quickly becoming my signature dish. I get nothing but compliments on this one and the variations I make on them. Whether it's in college, at home or in Japan, people just love my cheesecake. This one is plain.

This is a cake salé, a French savory "cake." These were made with ham and cheese, and came out Mmmm Mmmm good.

At home we used to make tuna fish casserole and it was so delicious. This is the same recipe using ham instead of tuna. It looks so damn good because after you put everything together you put it in the oven for 20 minutes to let the cheese get all crunchy.

In case the cold soba doesn't do it for you in the hot summer this gazpacho certainly will. It's cold, it's tasty and has the perfect amount of sweet and tartiness to keep you wanting more. But that's a shame because I ate it all.

My latest cheesecake invention: chocolate mousse cheesecake. It's moussy, it's chocolaty, it's cheese cake. Really, there isn't much better in the world.

We began with stuffed Daikon and we'll end today with stuffed kabocha, or pumpkin! This one was a bit tastier than the daikon I must admit. And on top of that it looks absolutely amazing.

My stuffed kabocha with the lid off! The other veggies I added were onion, okra, and snap peas. I generally don't like okra but if it's cooked just right (which it is here, not too much so there's still some crunch left) it takes away from the slimeyness just enough to make it really tasty.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post. I should have some more things of interest up within the next few weeks as I have a number of fun trips planned around Japan. I may also find the time to blog about a few things which have happened but I have not yet written about.

Until next time!


Categories: Pre-Japan
  1. October 7, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Looks great! You and I still need to have a (cheesecake) bake off!

    For pizza have you tried getting a pizza stone? I heard those help with the crunch.

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