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 […]

Black sesame adventures

Despite being a big tofu fan and an even bigger sesame enthusiast, I am embarrassed to say that it was not until last summer that I discovered goma dofu (sesame tofu). Goma dofu is made from ground sesame milk and uses kuzu or katakuriko (potato starch) to help the ‘tofu’ set. I discovered it in Kyoto […]

Pickle your own ginger

Recently I was lucky enough to come upon young ginger for sale at Marukai — a local Japanese market. Now, when I say “young ginger,” I don’t just mean “really fresh ginger” — like you might find at a regular supermarket. Young ginger, or shin shoga (shin = new, shoga = ginger), still has its […]

Maitake gohan

As someone living in California I have no right to complain about winter vegetables. My local farmer’s market runs year round and supplies me with fresh kale and squash at a time when my northern neighbors are stuck shoveling snow. That said, I confess it was a welcome change of pace to turn my attention […]

Mochi chronicles: Just mochi

While there is no real substitute for mochi made by pounding mochi (glutinous) rice there is something to be said for the easy substitute provided by these two recipes. Both recipes use mochiko (mochi flour) to generate a final product that is softer than traditional mochi but very delicious and also usable in other recipes like […]

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