Stay Cool with Summer Ramen
Every summer, I look forward to preparing this recipe of chilly noodles in a sweet-sour-salty sauce, topped with colorful seasonal vegetables and meats (or tofu). Summer brings such a variety of colors, textures, and flavors that one could eat this everyday without repeating the combination. It’s all a pretty party in your bowl! It’s easy-on-the-cook party-food, too: guests can choose their favorite fresh vegetables.

Mushroom and Pork Nabe
…and melt your cold cold heart…
Oh Winter: the season for simple social nabemono. Gather ’round a hot pot and share a meal to warm your body and spirit.

I have finally begun to move kitchen things into the new house. I designed my old tiny kitchen myself to be as efficient as possible. This kitchen is large, with plenty of counter acreage, but it’s been a puzzle to figure out where things should be stored. There is plenty of cabinet space but much of it requires a ladder to reach! The drawers don’t slide well so I can’t pack too much weight into them. The bottom cabinets are deep and need slide-out trays in order to make items in the back accessible. Oh, the problems of such plenty!
At least Mikey knows where he belongs.

Hiyashi Chuka Soba: Japanese Summertime Noodles

Japanese Summer Ramen Hiyashi Chuka SobaThese ramen noodles are very popular in Japan, but apparently they are served only in the summer. Below is the recipe as written in my project book, but Ms. Shimbo has many suggestions for different toppings. Note that she says this dish always includes the thin omelette strips. You can use seafood (crab meat, shrimp, or squid), meat (chashu, ham, chicken) and a variety of vegetables (asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, carrot, chard, cucumber, fennel, lettuce, spinach, wakame, zucchini…).

Five-Color Mung-Bean-Noodle Salad

Harusame-SaradaThis Japanese noodle salad is refreshing on a hot humid day. Just looking at it will revitalize your spirits. In fact, the noodles are called spring rain ((春雨) harusame in Japanese) because they are clear and cool looking. The soy sauce dressing is light, using a pinch of hot pepper for punch and a small amount of sesame oil for flavor. Choose vegetables and cooked meats with a variety of colors. And don’t forget the golden tamago crown. A salad fit for royalty!

Crispy Harusame Chicken

How to roll chicken around vegetablesThis recipe is an example of pretty Japanese cooking. These deep-fried chicken rolls are both elegant and delicious. The chicken is rolled around a colorful filling, then coated with cut mung bean noodles. When the noodles hit the hot oil they puff up dramatically and turn pure white, then golden. Then the rolls are sliced to reveal pretty pinwheels of color. It’s truly food for a special occasion.