Umeboshi Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Vacation: Fourth of July!! Grilling, and pool, and family party time! mmmmm…: chicken breast rolls filled with umeboshi and shiso. Sounds very exotic, but everyone loves this recipe.

Many thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for inviting us to their beautiful home in Missouri. They had to put in a few appearances at work, we prepared food for dinner. My brother has a “secret” grilling technique for indirect heat on a Weber kettle grill: perfect for this recipe. He covers the charcoal with a cheap pizza pan punched with holes so the heat of the grill is tempered.

Taco Tips: Oysters and Avocados


I made fish tacos: not Japanese food, but I’m sure they would love them!
In this post, I discuss how to choose a ripe avocado, a convenient way to use oysters, using panko crumbs to make a fine crisp coat for the seafood, the joys of cilantro and corn tortillas…

Skewered Scallops


Scallops are fast food!

These sweet, succulent, toothsome tidbits smelling of the ocean are too delicious to eat only on special occasions.

Scallops are fast food. If you cook them too long they will become rubbery and inedible.

Bay scallops must be very fast. Smaller bay scallops are usually quickly cooked in a fast stir-fry, or in a sauce for pasta, or in a soup.

This recipe is unusual in that the little scallops are skewered, sauced, and broiled.

The scallops are fine served at room temperature so would make a nice appetizer or snack with drinks.


A Plantain Dessert


When I was 12, I read an article in one of my mother’s “women’s magazines” about grilled bananas. We lived in a big old house with two fireplaces where we would often toast marshmallows over the glowing embers. Roasted bananas appealed to my desire for the exotic beyond the isolated UP. My mom was skeptical while I was persistent. She finally agreed to the experiment if the bananas were wrapped in greased tinfoil and placed in the embers. She wisely prevented me from poking a banana on a marshmallow stick—the result was a gooey mash of burnt banana and margarine…

Japanese Panko Baked Chicken

Itadakimasu! and Gochisousama deshita!
Itadakimasu! (ee-tah-dah-kee-mahss) I humbly receive / Gochisousama deshita! (Goch-sou-sah-mah-desh-tah) thank you for the meal.

I love fried chicken, but deep frying is scary. I was inspired by a Japanese recipe which makes a nice crisp crunchy baked chicken. In the original recipe, bite-sized chunks of chicken breast are dredged in potato starch (katakuriko), and allowed to rest so the starch adheres. Then the chicken is dipped in egg white, then coated with black sesame seeds or crushed peanuts.

Nuts get snacked on so they are not a pantry staple, but breadcrumbs are. Panko and potato starch make lovey crispy chicken baked safely in the oven.

Stir-fried Liver and Garlic Chives

This Japanese Chinese-style recipe features Chinese chives and lovely tender calf’s liver which melts in your mouth with a salty-sweet gingery sauce.

The pretty green chives are sometimes called nira grass or garlic chives, and its Latin name, Allium tuberosum, means it is part of the onion family. It is a perennial plant which grows into clumps of flat straight leaves. Clusters of tiny white flowers appear at the end of summer on round stalks which rise above the clump. The flowers last well into autumn, providing a bright display in garden when many flowers are well past their prime.

Ebi Chili, Ebi Chirri, Shrimp in Chili Sauce


What’s better than chilli in winter? Japanese-style Szechuan Shrimp in Chili sauce!
Ahhhh…
Though the winter here has not been especially chilly, a nice spicy dinner is most welcome!

This recipe can be made quickly, and with only a little planning, it’s a pantry meal. We often have shrimp in the freezer, and the main seasonings are ginger, garlic, and toban jan.

Crabby Eggs and Ham

The first time I made this Japanese crab meat omelette, Mr. Tess said it tasted just like egg foo young! Wikipedia notes that creative Chinese cooks in the U.S. invented egg foo young in the 1930′s. (see this note.) Eggs are beaten together with minced ham, crab, or chicken, then fried and served with a chicken stock-soy sauce gravy thickened with cornstarch. Since the 1950′s kanitama-don is a popular dish in Chinese restaurants in Japan. It’s a fine example of a well-traveled yoshoku (multi-cultural!) recipe: a recipe sort-of-from China, to the U.S. and then to Japan.

Ginkgo Nut Bleu Cheese Bites

Yesterday, under a sunny sky with golden ginkgo leaves raining down on me, I gathered yet another bucket of ginkgo nuts. Yes, we have several hundred. It must be my squirrel genes! Thanksgiving is coming up so I have been thinking about appetizers to bring to holiday dinners. Hostess gifts! Crackers are good: they can be served immediately or saved to enjoy later. I thought of cheese crackers with ginkgo nuts and found a few recipes which inspired me to try a version of my own.

Sweet Potato Cakes

https://1tess.wordpress.comWhen the recipe says to broil on low (200°C) for only 15 minutes, believe it!
Also, set a timer so you know when the time is up…
Believe it or not, these were really truly very tasty once I cut the burnt tops off. They looked ok as well, once I turned them upside down. ≥^!^≤
The young woman at the little Korean grocery (Hyundai Asian Market) was arranging a display of pretty red sweet potatoes. They looked so fresh that two of them hopped into my basket before I knew it!

Oh sweet potato cakes!!