The last time my fiance and I visited Hawaii, we went to Chinatown in Honolulu to enjoy a delicious bowl of beef noodle soup. It was perfect; well-seasoned broth and fresh chewy noodles topped with heavenly slices of beef in one, umami-packed $5 bowl. This was my third favorite meal the whole trip, which was a difficult feat to manage considering the amount of amazing food we hunted down. For those of you who are wondering, Sushi Gaku and Okata Bento came in first and second.
As you’ve probably figured out, I’m the roasting queen. I’ll roast any vegetable I can find with a bit of salt, pepper, and olive oil; cauliflower is no exception. It’s easy, quick, and minimizes dishes; what is there not to love?
Niku Jaga Meat and Potato Stew
Niku Jaga is a Japanese style meat and potato stew that’s quick, easy, and reheats well. It’s a soy sauce-based stew, so this dish is packed with that umami flavor Japanese food is so well known for. You can also make this dish with pork, chicken, venison, bison, or turkey. It’s very flexible and versatile.
Szechuan Green Beans
Here is a quick green bean recipe that is positively delicious. Sweet, spicy, and a little bit tangy make these Chinese-style beans go perfectly as a side dish for almost any Asian meal. I recommend pairing them with rice and tonkatsu, yummm.
As promised, here is my Pasta Alfredo recipe. I love this dish because I can actually eat it, despite my weird dairy “allergies”. I make the sauce with 4 tbsp butter per 1 lb of pasta and fat free milk. It’s still just as creamy as Alfredo with real cream in it, but a little bit less fatty and 100% cheese-less. I hope you enjoy eating it as much as I do!
Roasted Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash just happens to be one of my favorite vegetables. It’s hearty enough to be left in the pantry for 2+ weeks, it goes well in many different dishes, and it’s an excellent substitute for sweet potatoes or kabocha. It also just so happens to be an excellent vegetable to roast! Here’s a quick recipe to roast this beautiful veggie into sweet, caramelized goodness.
Nabe – Japanese Style Hot Pot
Nabe is not so much one specific recipe as it is a style of eating. The entire family sits around a table laden with cut veggies and meats, a burner, and a very large pot of boiling broth. Each person has rice and their own dipping sauces, and everyone selects what they would like, adds it to the pot, and starts eating. It’s a very interactive meal; great for cold winter nights or dinner parties.
Ttukbaegi Gyeranjjim – Korean Steamed Egg
This is another one of those super easy, super delicious recipes that are always a favorite in my arsenal. Eggs are actually a very difficult food to cook well. For one, they are pretty delicate, easily burned or overcooked in a matter of seconds if you aren’t paying attention. Next, the natural flavors are subtle, making them difficult to showcase and even more difficult to not overpower. Fear not, as this dish removes all of the difficulties with cooking eggs, leaving them bright, fluffy, and perfectly seasoned.
Napa Cabbage Kimchi – *The Secrets of Cabbage Part 2?*
I started making Kimchi at home last year when I realized that a gallon of Kimchi costs nearly $20. I can make the same amount of Kimchi at home for $2 and it tastes just as good, if not better. On top of that, Kimchi is actually really easy to make, it just takes time. Spend one day every 6 weeks making Kimchi, and you will always have it in your fridge. How can you argue with that kind of logic?
Ebi Fry – Japanese Fried Shrimp
Ebi Fry, AKA Japanese fried shrimp, is a Western style shrimp tempura dish created in the early 1900s. It’s most popular in bento boxes because it tastes wonderful both warm and at room temperature. It also holds up well to being frozen and defrosted, like many bento boxes are. I like this dish because it’s crunchy (who doesn’t love crunchy food!?) and showcases the subtle flavors of the shrimp.