Korean Braised Beef: Chang Jorim 장조림

Beef braised in soy sauce is a popular appetizer in Korea. Like oxtail soup, it is made with a relatively inexpensive cut of meat which is unfamiliar to me. Like oxtail, beef shank is rich in fat and collagen thus making both good candidates for long slow gentle cooking which produce delicious broths.
To be honest, I had not planned to make this dish! There is a lot on my mind these days so sometimes I don’t pay close attention to what I’m doing. Twice I accidentally bought the wrong soup: wanted chicken and wild rice—got 1. spinach and wild mushrooms, 2. jalapeño chile! So at least oxtails and beef shank look almost similar in that they are both round, with a bone in the center…

Oxtail Soup 곰탕 (テールスープ)


Oxtail soup is the broth of the gods! It’s deeply robustly beefy delicious.
Shopping so often in the little Korean grocery store means that I see many foods which are unfamiliar. Though it leads me to a neighboring cuisine, I can’t help but be curious. I rarely see the tails of cattle for sale anywhere else! Imagine my surprise when I saw some lovely fresh oxtails in my regular grocery store. I grabbed a couple of packages and hurried home to find my Korean cookbook.

Home-made Japanese Curry


My house is redolent with the scent of Japanese curry. It has been so for days: I prepared Hiroko Shimbo’s recipe for karei risu from scratch, and it’s a long-cooking stew made with fresh ingredients that make your mouth water long before dinner-time. It thickens by reduction rather than addition of flour or starch to the liquid so the flavors are blended, complex, and intense. But even with a very nice ventilating fan, the odor is durable.

Chicken with Chestnuts


Sweet, salty, and smooth describe this seasonal dish from Japan. Sugar, sake, mirin, and soy sauce are the usual flavors of Japanese cuisine, but by some alchemy in this recipe they are transformed to a unique flavor. I was very generous to only watch as Mr. Tess finished the leftovers for lunch the next day!
Besides the recipe:
The moving story, illustrated: even with only some of my kitchen things moved to the new house, we seem to have a talent for making clutter. Of course, in making dinner, one can’t help but make a mess. I’d like to be one of those catalog people, you know, the ones whose kitchens are picture perfect at all times? And the dish towels are new and clean and have a perfect place to hang.

Braised Lamb Shanks

Happy New 2011 Year to all!

My husband and his step-father took their traditional New Year’s Day walk, and J. invited him for dinner. This post is about how I served leftovers to guests. Twice! and about how I now have two legs of lamb…
—we’ve come to a point in this moving house business where some things are here, some there…
I had to go out to buy a can opener, the coffee grinder is at the wrong house, the blankets are lost, what happened to our towels?
These braised lamb shanks played their role exceeding well (a nice Christmas Eve dinner), becoming stew (for my brother and his wife), then soup (for my father-in-law), making some unexpected guests warm and happy!

Nagasaki-Style Braised Pork: Buta Kaku-ni


Braised pork belly, buta kaku-ni, is a special occasion dish—so very rich and succulent that one wouldn’t eat it everyday. Today is this blog’s third birthday so celebrate with me! It’s Thanksgiving Day, and while it’s too late for you to make this recipe for the holiday, it would be perfect to serve as an appetizer for your other holiday parties.

Rice Consommé with Umeboshi

japanese rice porridge
Rice consommé is a fair title for this recipe, but it is better described as rice porridge. Porridge connotes comfort and warm pleasure. Picture Goldilocks enjoying the little bowl of porridge—it was “just right!” Porridge is poor man’s food, extending a little grain or legumes with liquid and vegetables. It can be so magical as to offer freedom from poverty and hunger.

From fairy tales to Shakespeare with humor

Japanese Baby Back Ribs



These Japanese style pork ribs are a mouthful:
tender, sweet, salty, spicy, and sour.
The surprise is that they are not grilled (yakimono), but simmered on stovetop!
Nimono (simmered) dishes are an essential part of Japanese cooking. Meat, fish, or vegetables are simmered in a flavorful liquid (usually dashi) containing one or more of the basic flavors:
Sa Shi Su Se So
(satoh=sugar, shio=salt, su=vinegar, shoyu=soy sauce, miso=fermented soy bean paste).
Almost like music: do ray me fa so la te do 

Nimame: Japanese Simmered Beans

Japanese Boiled Soybeans Recipe
In Japanese, ni refers to simmering, mame refers to beans. Simmering beans is a lovely picture, homey and simple with an otoshi-buta floating gently in the pot, allowing the smallest bit of steam to escape.
I like beans but many people find that beans don’t like them. Most cultures cook beans with special herbs to mitigate their gaseous effects. In Mexico it is epazote, in India they use asafetida, in the Middle East it is cumin, in Europe garlic is often used, Germans use bohnenkraut. In Japan they use kombu (giant seaweed), which adds umami. You won’t miss meat with this savory magic. I’ve been using kombu whenever I cook beans, and it really seems to work for Mr. Tess’s delicate digestive system.
So enjoy these salty-sweet Japanese style beans for dinner soon!

Fuzzy Beans: Edamame


Edamame pods grow in pairs. As alike as two beans in a pod! My three edamame plants yielded a good snack for two—next year I’ll double the number. I might be a jack of all trades, but not a master of gardening. I put in more than a dozen seeds, but maybe the soil was too cold, or some little critter had a snack. If only I could ask Jack about his mighty beanstalk!

Japanese Family Recipe: Tongue Stew

https://1tess.wordpress.comMs. Hiroko Shimbo is the author of The Japanese Kitchen, the book which started my adventure into Japanese home cooking; she is the source of many of the delectable recipes on my blog.You must read the very charming post on her blog when she reminisced about her mother’s cooking while she was growing up. (16 mar 09)Among many delicious dishes she recalled enjoying was tongue stew.

That made me curious because I’d made my version recently, so I commented that I’d be interested in the recipe.

She called her mother, who hadn’t made it for a long time. Hiroko’s mother and her sister collaborated to take make this delicious stew. You will find their recipe and notes they made in preparing the meal on her blog.