potatoes

Sweet potatoes (satsumaimo) in the Japan Times, plus an update

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This month’s Japan Times article is about sweet potatoes*, which are called satsumaimo in Japanese. continue reading...

New potatoes with sweet-spicy miso

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Here is another great way to enjoy new potatoes. It’s almost as simple to make as new potatoes with soy sauce and butter, though it uses a few more ingredients. Boiled whole new potatoes are panfried in a little sesame oil, then coated in a sticky sweet-salty-spicy miso sauce. The strong flavors of the miso sauce really go well with the blandness of the potatoes. continue reading...

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New potatoes with butter and soy sauce (Shinjaga shouyu bataa)

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A very easy way to treat yourself to tiny new potatoes. continue reading...

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A vegan version of nikujaga (Japanese meat and potatoes), plus how to remake Japanese recipes to make them vegan

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Nikujaga, stewed potatoes with meat, is a staple of Japanese home cooking. It’s filling and comforting, and appears quite frequently for dinner at our house. Recently though I’ve been making this vegan version more frequently, which is just as tasty as the meaty version. Thick fried tofu (atsuage) is the protein replacement, but it’s not just there for it’s nutritional benefits - I love the texture in a lot of dishes.

The recipe, plus some ideas on how to reform Japanese non-vegan recipes to make them vegan, after the jump. continue reading...

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2008 will be the International Year of the Potato

Next year, the United Nations wants us to celebrate the humble potato for an entire year. I’m not certain how the UN makes its decisions about such things (why not the Year of the Tomato or the Year of the Turnip?), but I have no objections against the humble potato, one of my favorite foods. Unless you are an avowed anti-carb person, how could you not love the potato? continue reading...

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Very easy Pao de Queijo, Brazilian cheese bread via Japan

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This may not be well known outside of the two respective countries, but there are pretty strong historical and cultural ties between Japan and Brazil. There was a wave of emigration from Japan to Brazil in the early part of the 20th century and later on around the ’50s and ’60s. And in the last 30 years, many Brazilians of Japanese descent (people of Japanese descent born in another country are called nikkei-jin) have in turn emigrated to Japan to fill labor shortages. Perhaps because of this, a few years ago one of the staples of the Brazilian diet, pao de queijo, little cheese breads, became very popular. While their popularity may have descended a bit from their peaks (Japan tends to be periodically swept up by big food or fashion trends, which after a time get dropped without warning when people move onto the next thing, but that’s another story), they are still made by bakers throughout Japan.

I think that pao de queijo appeals so much to the Japanese palate because they are small, round and cute, and have a distinctive gooey-sticky-glutinous kind of texture inside. This texture is called mochi mochi, after mochi, the very gooey-glutinous rice cakes. continue reading...

Pao de queijo, the very easy way

Pao de queijo, the very easy way

Japanese Potato Salad

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MasterChef challenge, day 12: Maple glazed duck breast with sweet potato, potato and parsnip oven fries

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Well it's day 12, the last day of the third week of the preliminary rounds. The ingredients were: continue reading...

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Masterchef challenge, day 9: Pork Medallions and Bubble and Squeak

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The ingredients for the 9th day (1st day of the 3rd preliminary round) of MasterChef were: continue reading...

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MasterChef challenge, day 7: Cabbage Rolls and Potato Pancakes

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The ingredients for day 7 overall, and day 3 of the 2nd round of preliminaries were: continue reading...

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MasterChef challenge, day 6: Not So Classic Fish Pie

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The ingredients for this day (day 6 overall, and the second day of the second preliminary round) were: continue reading...

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MasterChef challenge, day 5: Baby Lamb Chops and Stove-Top Pommes Anna

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It's now the second week. The ingredients for this day (day 5 overall, and the first day of the 2nd preliminary round) were: continue reading...

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MasterChef challenge, Day 1

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The ingredients for the first day of the MasterChef preliminaries were: continue reading...

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It's The Season For Shepherd's Pie

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Having spent some of my growing-up years in England, I have a special place in my heart for shepherd's pie, otherwise known as cottage pie. It's definitely winter food though, because nothing is as warming as piping hot shepherd's pie straight out of the oven. continue reading...

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Amour de pomme de terre

restaurant sign in Rennes, France, ©Ciprian Tutu

This great picture of a restaurant sign in Rennes, France was taken by my friend Ciprian. It naturally inspired me to contemplate that amour de pomme de terre —love of the potato. continue reading...

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Nikujaga: Japanese stewed meat and potatoes

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There is a category of cooking in almost every cuisine, "mother's cooking". It means something that's simple, homely, filling, and invokes strong feelings of nostaliga. In Japanese this is called ofukuro no aji (mother's flavor). Nikujaga, or stewed potatoes with meat, is one of the mainstays of Japanese-style mother's cooking. continue reading...

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Sunday Breakfast Fry-up

One of the strangest habits of the Brits is the Fry-up. A fry-up is consumed for breakfast, is supposed to be a great hangover cure, and is a big greasy mess. Here is a rather sedate version. I've seen ones with fried kidneys, blood sausage, and more too.

I sort of wonder how the British got into the habit of consuming this lethal mixture of fat, protein, and more for breakfast while throughout the rest of Europe people settled happily for bread and coffee. continue reading...

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