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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Cookdo Mapo Chuzu – Eggplant with Ground Meat
I’m going to preface this post with a simple statement; I love Chinese food, all kinds of Chinese food. Japanese style, American style, Korean style, authentic… it’s all deliciously bold and flavor packed.
Dakgangjeong – Korean Fried Chicken
I love all kinds of fried chicken, from American southern style, to Japanese karaage; the Korean version is no exception. This recipe is a cross between fried chicken and bbq wings, an unhealthy but delicious combination. It’s the perfect snack for tail-gating parties.
Smitten Kitchen Pot Pies
As I’ve said before Deb Perelman’s blog, Smitten Kitchen, has been a source of recipes for me for years. Her explanations are always clear, the recipes are creative, and the food never disappoints. This recipe comes directly from her and is actually almost completely unmodified.
Crock Pot Chicken Adobo
Chicken Adobo is actually a Filipino dish that one of my best friends introduced me to. It’s tangy, sweet, and salty all rolled into one simple, flavor-packed recipe. Chicken adobo also happens to be a common Hawaiian food, so it’s become somewhat of a staple for us. Generally, there aren’t many vegetables in this dish, so I’ve long since made it my own.