THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The reluctant gift giving guide

It’s about that time of year when I turn slightly green, not with envy, but more that Grinchly green hue. Why? Not because I’m a true Grinch, but because of everyone’s rush — namely the retailers — to get to Christmas as soon as possible, we’ve seemed to have bypassed Thanksgiving as an afterthought. Thanksgiving […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Kung Hee Fat Choy

Now that Lunar New Year has come and gone (it was two weeks ago if you weren’t paying attention) everyone is back to the reality of life as the holiday season is now a distant memory for all cultures. However, the Tatsumoto household still indulges in that traditional Lunar New Year dish, lo han jai, […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The grain that binds us

What is the one constant not just during Oshogatsu but throughout the whole year? It’s not toshikoshi soba (buckwheat noodles), which is usually only consumed right before the turning of the new year. Sure, we may consume soba during the year, but not with any regularity. And it’s not lobster or shrimp that symbolizes a […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: A spot of tea

From one single plant, almost every culture has a beverage based on the dried leaves of Camellia sinensis, whether it’s the drink of choice for the average Brit’s afternoon ritual, tea for the formal chanoyu (tea ceremony) or somewhere in between. In the case of the Gochiso Gourmet, it’s the rum cocktail. But tea has […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Oshogatsu of the past

Well, another year has come and gone in what seemed like a blur in time. This is partially due to that theory of relativity — since I’m down to that last third of my personal movie, with the credits waiting to appear in the wings, every year seems to be progressing a lot faster — […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Green with envy?

My local Marukai Wholesale Mart recently had a sale on all-things matcha. Matcha? Is that some local Hawaiian product? No, matcha is basically green tea leaves that are refined to the nth degree. For starters, the plants that produce matcha aren’t cultivated like your basic green tea plants (Camellia sinensis). Instead, they are shaded from […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Livin’ la vida local

Or more accurately, as I previously stated (in the article entitled “Support your community” in the Jan. 1, 2016 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly), I have been attempting in this Year of the Monkey to buy la vida local. Well, it originally sounded easy,  but after my first attempt, it makes me seem more […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: The wonderful curdled soy

It’s that time of year again, the annual Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival, where you can discover the joy of soy! On top of the Soy and Tofu Dessert Competition, live musical performances and soy and tofu vendors offering free samples, you’ll probably run into the city’s reigning Cherry Blossom Queen and her court. […]

THE GOCHISO GOURMET: Bulk up that diet

Americans tend to have a narrow view of what a diet is or what it means. It frequently is used simply in the context of losing weight. “Can’t have that, I’m on a diet.” “Which diet are you following?” “How much weight have you lost on diet X, Y or Z?” Well, the word diet […]

Kabocha squash soup: Accidentally vegan, intentionally delicious!

For as much kabocha squash as I’ve eaten, I’ve never thought to wonder about its origins. It is easily the most popular squash in Japanese cooking and is used in everything from savory dishes like tempura and stews, to sweet dishes like pastries and even ice cream. It is so popular in fact that, although […]

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