Archive for the 'Soups & Stews' Category

Clam Chowder

April 13, 2006

clam chowder

It seems that clams are in season right now. On Japanese television, clams feature in every cooking show right next to fresh bamboo shoots (I want to get one shoot to experiment, but they're so expensive!). Fresh spring potatoes and fresh onions are also appearing in super markets, but the weather is wet and uncomfortable for someone who loves to take her bike everywhere like me. So, I decided on clam chowder yesterday.

It was my first time cooking clams, so I had to look up the basics of handling them. Apparently, clams are fresh if they are tightly closed. About half of mine were open when I took them out of the refrigerator the same day I bought them, but when I tapped their shells, they closed again, indicating they were alive and fresh. To get the sand out of the shells, you're supposed to soak the clams in salt water, but clams from the supermarket are usually already clean.

When finished, the soup was lightly creamy and infused with clam juice (since I'd cooked the clams whole with the rest of the soup) and the flavors of roasted onions and butter. The clams were not chewy, the potatoes smooth in texture and the onion gentle in flavor. It was perfect for a rainy, unfavorable evening watching the fifth season of Sex and the City. Read the rest of this entry »


Ethiopian-inspired Beef Stew with Spätzle

March 11, 2006

beef stew

Beef and Vegetable Stew with Spätzle

I’m not even quite up on the whole Pete Wells thing. For a while I saw so many cheese sandwich recipes online, but had no clue what was going on. Now that I know a bit more, not Pete Wells, but MFK Fisher gave me the extra incentive to join this blogging event in her book How to Cook a Wolf about cooking on food stamps. Or rather, her grandmother inspired me, who is quoted to have said in response to some fashionable women’s conversation about cooking on war rations during the First World War,

“Your conversation is very entertaining indeed. . . It interests me especially, my dears, because after listening to it this afternoon I see that ever since I was married, well over fifty years ago, I have been living on a war budget without realizing it! I never knew before that using common sense in the kitchen was stylish only in emergencies.”

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Buta-don with Gobo and Koya-dofu Miso Soup

February 20, 2006

butadon and miso soup

Pork on rice with burdock root and Dried tofu miso soup

This is a two in one! Two recipes in one post. Consider yourself blessed… or just think about the fact that most Japanese meals are made up of many small dishes, and making two dishes like this is considered a fast and easy meal compared to the normal 2 to 4 dishes plus a separate bowl of white, sticky, yummy rice. But I don't have so much time during the week, so I made donburi and miso soup. Yummy! Read the rest of this entry »

Botan Nabe

February 14, 2006

botan nabe

Peony Hot Pot

On Monday, I get a call from my boss. We talk about work. He hangs up. As I'm about to leave the house, I get another phone call. It's him again. Oh, by the way, they're having a dinner together at the office today. Can I join them? Of course I can. They're having Botan Nabe, he says. We hang up again. It strikes me a second later, having read a few nabe recipes online, that I've heard of Botan Nabe. It's wild boar!! I actually ate wild boar last night! Read the rest of this entry »

Sukiyaki for One

February 5, 2006


Pork Sukiyaki – clockwise from upper left, shitake mushrooms, gobo chikuwa, pork, o-fu, a little more pork, and mizuna greens

Last week I bought a nabe (鍋). What's a nabe you ask? A ceramic pot used for making hot pot dishes like kim-chi nabe, kani (crab) nabe, dishes that are especially heart-warming in the winter. Generally these foods are cooked on the table, and everyone helps make the food, sort of like fondu or raclette parties. And like fondu or raclette, it's an incredibly fun idea for a party. However, I usually cook for only myself instead of a party. So I bought a two-person nabe, that I might at least sometimes invite my roommate or my boyfriend to join me… or eat a lot by myself. Read the rest of this entry »