Native Brooklynite living in Japan. You can follow my culinary adventures on my blog,

  • Website
  • Location: Japan
  • Favorite foods: Leeks, sourdough bread, arugula, soba, heirloom tomatoes, cardamom, buttermilk pancakes, prosciutto, spinach goma-ae, fruit tarts, peperonata, kumquats, toasted walnuts, fried plantains, apple pie, tonkotsu ramen, homemade pasta...
  • Last bite on earth: Pizza from Di Fara's and Junior's cheesecake.

Latest Comments

Dinner Tonight: Pasta with Bacon and Corn 'Pesto'

Yuuuum. Now, if only I could find decent bacon here in Japan... Oh, and pine nuts and cheese that don't cost an arm and a leg.

Whatever, I'll make this *somehow*!

Seriously Asian: Bitter Melon

Another Japan-dweller here: I can attest that goya is absolutely delicious in champuru. I've tried to eat it on its own, stir-fried, at Chinese restaurants in the States, but somehow that just didn't work for me. However, I think the pork and eggs (or tofu, etc.) in champuru really help balance out the bitter flavor and make it palatable. Nay, delicious!

Cook the Book: The Perfect Finish

Given that Michelle's involvement in the anti-childhood obesity movement, I think a seasonal, fruit-based dessert would be appropriate.

Apricots poached in white wine and thyme (from the garden, of course), browned-butter almond shortbread, and lightly whipped farm-fresh cream with just a hint of vanilla and sugar.

(PS: I worked on this book but still have not had a chance to make most of the recipes from it!)

Sunday Brunch: Brown Sugar Breakfast Cakelets

And I'm with pthom & elilonwy. These are pretty over-the-top! While they do look scrumptious, I wouldn't call them breakfast.

Brooklyn Chinatown Recs

Thanks so much for the recs! Looking forward to trying them.

Cook the Book: 'How to Roast a Lamb'

Lamb braised in warm Indian spices with yogurt.

Cook the Book: 'Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies'

Success: homemade brioche, using my KitchenAid stand mixer for the very first time.
Disaster: a 6-loaf bread recipe made with inactive yeast. It yielded 6 leaden bricks.

Chicago: Best Food Neighborhoods?

Funny, I just moved home to Brooklyn after going to school in Chicago... Totally agree with the above poster. A lot of the swankier neighbs' in Chicago are really only good for overpriced brunches and the like. The grocery stores in neighborhoods like Devon, Little Saigon/Argyle Street, Pilsen, etc. may be more limited in some senses (in that they cater to a particular ethnic group), but the ingredients they carry will also help you expand your palate!

That being said, I have to give props to Chatham: if you want ready access to incredible, fresh donuts (Dat Donut), awesome fried chicken and biscuits (Army and Lou's), and vegan soul food (Soul Vegetarian East), this neighborhood's got you covered!

Miso...Beyond soup

Mix with unsalted butter, slather on fresh steamed or grilled corn.
Mix with tahini and use as a sandwich spread.
Use as a dip for cucumbers (as you would with PB + carrots).
Make vegetables simmered in miso: simmer squash, green beans, eggplants (or whatever) in equal parts sugar, mirin, water + a little dashi, then finish with miso to taste, a little sake, sprinkle with sesame seeds.

French in a Flash: Purple Potato-Crusted Trout a la Francaise

What a gorgeous dish! Those parsley leaves look just like emerald earrings, and they are practically luminescent against the backdrop of the purple potatoes. Great post, as usual!

Cook the Book: Eugenia Bone's 'Well-Preserved'

Pickles of all sorts! I just recently returned from a trip to Japan and was amazed by the variety of pickles there.

Cook the Book: 'Urban Italian'

Pasta with bacon, corn, tomatoes, and hot red pepper flakes. Yum!

Cook the Book: 'Beyond the Great Wall'

The previous comment has reminded me of when I first went to Denmark at age five to visit some distant relatives. What little I remember of that trip centers on the food. One night for dinner we had several kinds of salmon roe, which I could not get enough of. Granted, I had no idea what it was - I called it "bubblies" and just happily munched away, letting the salty little eggs pop in my mouth. It was a wonderful introduction to the country's cuisine.

Cheesecake dilemma!

As per JT's comment, cook it less and definitely let it sit in the oven afterwards (door open or closed). If you do this + water bath + cover with foil, I should think you'd be fine.

Here is an excellent recipe + video tutorial:


Yep, B61 is the way to go. Or, if the weather is nice, just ride your bike!

Cook the Book: 'Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating'

Thanks to Bittman's influence (as well as that of other food writers and chefs), I've tried to take more of an ingredient-driven approach to my cooking. Now, I'm much more capable of improvising a weeknight meal and crafting my diet around what vegetables are in season (or on sale!)

Cook the Book: 'Kneadlessly Simple'

My grandmother's recipe for orange bread - a slightly sweet white loaf that's perfect for Christmas morning.

Savory Dried Fig Applications

Roasted potatoes with figs and thyme! Perfect side dish for chicken.

How do you make your fave brownies?

I also recommend Katherine Hepburn's recipe. Also Nick Malgieri's "Supernatural brownies" are great. Extremely rich, though a little sweet for my taste. Last time I made 'em, I threw in a very finely chopped (almost mashed) fresh habanero pepper. Recipe here:

French in a Flash: Chilean Sea Bass with Bouillabaisse Broth

Just a note: red snapper, monkfish, and halibut are not necessarily good choices, either. Go here for more info:

When Costco hands you lemons...

Listen up! This is a seriously awesome lemon chicken recipe: You roast the lemons and then use their juice to make a sauce with chicken stock, pan scrapings, and rosemary. Divine!