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.

Hayashi Rice (Mix)

Hayashi rice (ハヤシライス) is a popular Western-syle dish in Japan. It is made with thinly sliced meat (usually beef), onions, and button mushrooms, simmered in a thick red wine, tomato, and demi-glace sauce. The sauce is served atop or alongside steamed, buttered rice.

I bought a package of Hayashi Rice Sauce Mix, imported from Japan by S&B. Very convenient? I don’t know!

It would without doubt be a delicious dish made from scratch. Links to posts I’ve written related to this topic.

Autumn Chicken and Chestnuts

Chicken and chestnuts simmered in a salty sweet satisfying sauce is a favorite meal at this time of year, enjoyable for dinner guests—even folks who are not familiar with Japanese food). While a French fricassée of chicken might include olive oil, butter, garlic, herbs, and chicken stock or even some white wine, this Japanese recipe is both familiar and exotic with the flavors of saké, sweet mirin and caramelized sugar, soy sauce, and black pepper.
It’s a savory party in your mouth!

Another Thousand Leaf Cabbage

Cabbage does not bring to mind Japanese cuisine! But home cooks have a repertoire of recipes to take advantage of the humble inexpensive tender-sweet cabbages which come to market in autumn and winter. These meals are homely and comforting, warm and rich, and as you can see: they are not necessarily beautiful to the eye. Don’t be deceived. One cannot “judge a book by its cover.”
The “thousand leaves” (mille-feuille in French) in this casserole are layered horizontally with a pork stuffing. The casserole in my previous post involved layering the cabbage leaves vertically. The flavor of this version is also very different from the other. Enjoy!

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.

Shiso Pesto Pasta

So shiso. It’s been growing well in the messy little vegetable garden here at the new house.
So, this year, yes, I won’t be trying to save it for some special occasion.
Unlike my mother, who saved her silverware for a special occasion which never came. I don’t recall ever eating with those special forks, knives, and spoons!
No, I won’t save this crop of shiso for my “second husband.” We will eat and enjoy the moment now…

Corn Cream with Crab


Corn cream is comfort food in Japan, bringing memories of mom and happy meals at home. Mr. Tess was out of town when I made this soup last summer, so this was his first taste of the Japanese childhood treat. This version is a little bit grown-up because I used real crab rather than chicken or surimi. Something satisfying, sophisticated, and simple for lunch, dinner, or even guests.

Japanese (Pan-Fried) Chicken, Part 1


Honey and pepper, sweet and spice, sparks the traditional combination of soy and sesame in a marinade for chicken. As inspiring as the flavors of this dish are, it also proves to be a recipe which allows for much diversity. It’s an easy recipe, and what a good thing that turned out to be: life does not happen according to plan.
Sometimes it turns out better than one could expect…