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Haven’t posted for a while as I have been busily trying out different variations of steamed bread. Steamed breads, or mushipan (蒸しパン), are popular snacks in Japan and you will usually find at least a few sweet or savory options at any convenience store. They are ridiculously foolproof to make and while I haven’t been able to recreate some of my favorite flavors just get (no chestnuts and no satsumaimo around here) I have come up with some new favorites. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mmm, caramel cookies…

2009 September 28

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I made “raw caramel,” the fresh caramels so popular in recent Japan, and stuffed them in cookie dough. Oh. my. god. Read the rest of this entry »

We are back to normal life, which means Yuki’s back at home and at school, so I’m back to making bento every day, for the first time in a couple of months. This means that there hasn’t been much culinary exploration in the last week or two. I did make taiyaki and I also failed at making mushipan, or steamed cakes. I hadn’t noticed that the new bag of flour that I opened did not include bakpulver (baking powder) like my last bag and so they turned out flat and thick. I still kind of liked them — they were eggy and chewy and filling — but I have very low standards, you must recall. I grew up eating spray cheese out of a can and loving it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Well, the Yukster’s birthday is coming up and we are broke and so I am jumping on the “cheap-but-thoughtful-homemade gift” wagon. Namely, my ventures so far have been tackling the mysterious shiroi koibito (literally, “white lover”). These are a brand of cookies that are commonly brought back as souvenirs from Hokkaido and every since I first went to their factory in Sapporo in 2001, I have been a total convert. I only normally get them once every couple of years, but I never forget the taste. They are made up of small tabs of white chocolate sandwiched between two thin and delicate langue de chat or lengua de gato, depending if you’re coming from the French side or the Filipino. The cookies are crunchy, but not so crisp as to be hard or sharp in anyway. They definitely aren’t cakey, though, and that seems to be the real challenge when making proper langue de chats. I wasn’t totally satisfied with my results and they definitely aren’t up to shiroi koibito standards yet, but they are quite yummy.
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Tofu or not tofu?

2009 September 9

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In between unpacking boxes and organizing things (did we always have so many sets of clothes?) I embarked on the great tofu making adventure. Well, the first. Because it was a failure.

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