It’s funny. Some of the easiest things to make can sometimes be the hardest. Case in point: rice. People have been cooking rice for thousands of years. It is a staple crop and a foundation for meals for hundreds of millions of people around the world. And damned if I can only make it well once out of every two tries.
I mean, I could always get a rice cooker, that could gauge the temperature and weight of the rice, and take all the chance out of my hands. But I already have so many kitchen appliances. And I only make rice so often.
Instead, I just stick to my saucepan Continue reading
Until recently, I had never heard of Soba noodles. Not once. When I first heard them mentioned, I ran into the grocery store and emerged with some form of lo mein noodles. The second time, replete with the knowledge that they were closer to whole wheat spaghetti, than chinese noodles, I came back with, well, whole wheat spaghetti, unable to locate the soba noodles.
Finally, I decided to no longer leave it up to chance. I walked into the grocery store – our neighborhood Schnucks no less — and asked whether they carried Soba noodles. Within a few seconds, a store employee had brought me exactly what I wanted – a clear package with Japanese characters adorning the label. This was it. I had found the elusive noodle.
In this case, Schnucks carried these Yamaimo Soba Noodles in their Asian aisle. I had never seen Continue reading
For the new cooking year, one of my goals is to make more dinners.
I’ve become very comfortable with side dishes, breakfasts, appetizers, and dessert, but sometimes I lack the motivation to make a full-fledged entrée. When I first started cooking, I didn’t think I’d ever use the word “comfortable” to describe how I felt in the kitchen. But now that certain cooking styles and methods Continue reading
As I’ve mentioned previously, chicken salad is one of my lunch-time staples. Almost without fail, Sunday nights are devoted to preparing my tried-and-true chicken salad for the work week ahead. That said, everyone can use some amount of variety. So, in the spirit of variety, I decided to try a different type of chicken salad. My sense of lunch-time adventure obviously knows no bounds.
This recipe, like the other chicken salad, comes together very quickly, and is perfect served cold. But unlike the other recipe, this Asian version has a little more punch to it Continue reading
Miso is a fermented, soybean paste, dating back to seventh century Japan.
Miso begins with a grain, usually rice or barley, which is then inoculated with mold spores. These molded grains, koji, are combined with soybeans and sea salt, and then pakced into wooden barrels, where the mixture ferments for anywhere from three months to three years. Indeed, the various types of miso owe their differences to the length of the fermentation period. The fermentation temperature, the proportion of koji to soybean, and the type of grain also influence the miso product.
Rice miso (kome miso), barley miso (mugi miso), and soybean miso (hatcho miso) form the three basic categories of miso. These groups Continue reading
Miso shiru, or miso soup, is a staple of Japanese cuisine. The soup is touted for its health benefits, much the same way chicken soup or matzoh ball soup is here in the West. The health benefits come from the active cultures contained in the miso – which is why you should look for unpasteurized miso, and avoid allowing the miso to boil.
Miso soup can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and usually Continue reading