When I saw my foodie friend Anh’s Matcha and White Chocolate Cookies post on her blog A Food Lover’s Journey last month, I knew I needed to make it. I love both traditional and modern Japanese sweets that contain sweet red bean paste or/and matcha (green tea).
My personal friends sometimes ask me if I become friends with any other food bloggers. I would reply yes and typically they follow up with the question if I have met any of them in person. The answer is yes, I got to meet up with Kay from My Home Cooked Meals twice when she visited SF this year. And yesterday, I was also fortunate to meet two new food blogger friends in person, Elisabeth from Food and Thrifts and Joanna of Chic & Gorgeous Treats.
Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. Since our birthdays are just one week apart, we used to go to a nice restaurant in San Francisco to celebrate our birthdays together. After our children were born, we started a new tradition: he prepares my birthday dinner, and a week later I prepare his birthday dinner and we celebrate together with our children. This year my husband cooked Thomas Keller’s Pork Tenderloin, and I cooked his favorite soup, Borscht Soup Hong Kong Style, as per his request.
It’s hard to believe we only have 2 more months left in 2011. I feel like I started blogging just a few months ago but it’s been already 10 months since I first started this blogging journey. Time flies. I hope everyone is enjoying the autumn weather and excited about upcoming holiday seasons.
Happy Halloween everyone and Happy Birthday to me! Yep, my birthday is on Halloween, and today’s recipe was prepared by my husband last night as my birthday meal. He is more foodie than I am in terms of his knowledge on food and restaurants, and he enjoys cooking on special occasions as well as barbecuing on weekends. We had nice pork tenderloin in the fridge so he decided to make a recipe from his favorite cookbook, Thomas Keller’s ad hoc at home.
I’m so excited to share this traditional Japanese dessert recipe today. If you are a regular reader of Just One Cookbook, you probably know that I rarely make dessert. I know a lot of readers come here to look for Japanese dessert recipes but are probably disappointed at what little dessert recipes I have. I am aware of that and I hope to increase my desert collections on Just One Cookbook. In fact, I have one more dessert recipe coming up next week as well. So I’m working on it…slowly… Today I’m guest posting at my fellow foodie friend Mai’s blog, A Cup of Mai. Mai cooks delicious food and takes gorgeous pictures, and she has a good fashion and artistic talent which I am completely lack of. I love how Mai updated her master bedroom and how she cooks delicious spare ribs and bakes chocolate macarons with ganache filling! You will see what I mean when you visit her blog – so click Here to check out my guest post and spend some time on her blog with a cup of coffee or tea!
One of the great things about being a food blogger is that I am constantly exposed to all kinds of recipes. I read a lot of food blogs daily and I have learned so much about food preparation this year since I started blogging. I always enjoy eating good food but I wasn’t as knowledgeable last year about all kinds of recipes, cooking techniques and how to present food deliciously.
Sanma or Pacific Saury is one of the most well-known seasonal fish representing autumn in Japanese cuisine. It’s usually salted and grilled whole even with intestines intact, and served with grated daikon and soy sauce to intensify the flavor of the fish. The Japanese enjoy the combination of the bitter intestine flavor with fresh grated daikon soy sauce. The kanji characters used in the Japanese names of the Sanma (秋刀魚) mean “autumn sword fish” in reference to sanma season and its body shape resembling a knife or a sword.
While growing up in Japan, I didn’t really eat food that contained spices. If you have been to Japan or are acquainted with Japanese cuisine, you probably agree with me that the Japanese do not use many spices in our recipes, and the food is rather mild and subtle. Time has changed and the current generation of youths in Japan enjoy more international food that includes spices such as Thai and Indian food, but the vast majority of spices are still “foreign” to most of us.
Lately I’ve been struggling to find time to cook dinner between my kids-related activities. I’m a stay-at-home mom who’s also a full-time chauffeur between 2 schools and activities. I also spend some time volunteering at school and having play date with my children’s friends. I do laundry every other day, clean the house, and work on children’s homework and Japanese lesson in between. From the time I wake up around 6:30am to the time my kids go to sleep around 8:30pm, I’m constantly busy without much of a break. When I had a newborn I really thought the busiest time as parents was when baby was newborn. I was wrong. It looks like every year I get busier and all the moms who have older kids tell me my life is not the busiest yet!
Today’s recipe Chicken Katsu Don might “look” time consuming but it’s actually not. It’s perfect for a busy day. I usually serve this dish with a bowl of miso soup and a small salad. It’s a pretty balanced meal that is quite fulfilling because of donburi (rice bowl) style. You can make Tonkatsu instead of Chicken Katsu. My mom always make Chicken Katsu with chicken tenders so that’s how I make it, but you can use chicken breasts or thighs. If you use chicken breasts, make sure to cut each piece thin so it will cook faster (Here’s the basic cutting technique to cut breast thin). Even though you don’t like deep frying, shallow deep frying is less scary and the easiest way to deep fry. I hope you give it a try!