Home Contact Recipes About

(Homage to Japan, # 1) The Ten Commandments

another world

“By the time you read this, I will be across the big pond.” This is how my very last post on this blog started, many months ago.

So by the time you are reading this, I have just arrived back home, from yet another big trip  across another big pond, and in the opposite direction than that time before. I spent the past two weeks in Japan, a place I first had visited and fallen in love with 25 years ago. This recent trip showed up on my horizon fast, furious and completely unexpected, and of course I was not just beyond excited but mighty curious about how things would be different now, or how not. (Just a hint: They are even better now than what I remembered them from back then. Seriously. Japan is stunningly clean, has beauty and art everywhere, is easily and totally safely accessible, and full of friendly folks. About the food, that glorious food, I will talk – many times on this blog – later.)

soba lunch

This post is the beginning of “Homage to Japan”, a series on Japan and its food, traditions and specialties. The articles will be served in tiny portions or multiple courses, as a one-pot-affair or an elaborate, staged story. Just like the Japanese cuisine shows up on the table, basically, depending on where and what you chose to eat that day. I will weave in other, non Nippon posts, now that I am happily back to blogging again, but please be prepared for some steady and pleasant rains of recounts from the “Land of the Rising Sun”.

As a starter, today, i am presenting you “The Ten Commandments”. This is a simple but functional list of restaurant and food related habits, tips and rules I observed and learned by eating, well… lots of foods in lots of different places (to say the least). Look at it as a pocket sized, basic but practical guide to make most of eating out in tasty Japan. Itadakimas! (Bon appétit!)

seafood bowl Continue reading “(Homage to Japan, # 1) The Ten Commandments” »

Yukhoe – Tartare with a Twist

raw beef tartare

Both my husband and I are frequent and fanatic travelers. Of course, the thing we like most about exploring the wonderful, wide world is to discover its different foods and related traditions.

One of Daniel’s absolutely favorite trips, speaking of the food, was a month in Korea. He seemingly admired – and ever since fondly remembers – every single bite and sip of those four weeks. So when I stumbled upon “Growing up in a Korean Kitchen” by Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall (Ten Speed Press), a cookbook packed not only with recipes but stories, memories and clear info on products and techniques, it immediately came home with me.

We have cooked many dishes out of this book, and liked every single one of them. But one recipe has become our favorite and by now, in a slightly adapted way, is a staple on those nights we have to work late but still want to enjoy a nice supper at the end of it all. This raw dish requests a little prep and a few hours of rest in the fridge. That’s it. Very convenient.

sesame oil, rice vinegar, spring onions, spices

Yukhoe is a fine and somehow lighter interpretation of the classic Beefsteak Tartare. Even though the original recipe suggests to fold in an egg just before serving, we found out – simply by forgetting about that last step one night – that we like the egg less version better. Ha, us egg nuts, of all!

The Korean Tartare uses sesame oil, rice wine, juiced garlic and ginger to hold the whole mass together. The meat is not ground but hand cut, which takes a bit of time, but is totally worth it. Also the intense and patient massaging of the meat – with, besides the mentioned liquids, sesame seeds and spring onions – pays off: The meat stays moist, and those manually worked in flavors later just burst out.

This is one simply beautiful taste and texture combination. With or without the egg, for once.

beef sirloin for korean tartare

Continue reading “Yukhoe – Tartare with a Twist” »

Past Supper #13 – P.E.B.T.

tomato salad dressed with olive oil, deviled eggs

Plantain chips, fried in coconut oil. Eggs, deviled, smoky & spicy. Beef, sirloin tip roast, slowly prepared in the oven and finished with a pan gravy. Tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, chopped onions, freshly ground black pepper and Criolla sea salt from Mexico. – Market dinner. Big, bold, bountiful. My kind of happy meal!

dinner of sirloin tip roast, tomato salad, deviled eggs and plantain chips

Past Supper #10 – @Salt House

raw oysters and champagne

Oysters (St.Simone, Malpeque and Kumamoto). White bean soup with agrumato. Roasted beet salad, candied pistachios, citrus and goat cheese burrata. Poached egg on pork belly hash, marble potatoes, chorizo, jalapeño mornay. Black cod, coco beans, clam parsley juice, meyer lemon, crispy brussels sprouts. Beef Duo – braised zabuton & flat iron steak -, roasted carrots, wheat berries, beef lardo vinaigrette.

The food was wonderful, the service – from a to z – the absolute worst ever. How very unfortunate.