Jewish vegetarian Japanese fusion-eating blogger

  • Website
  • Favorite foods: peaches, blueberries, kabocha, soba noodles
  • Last bite on earth: zaru soba with a peach blueberry smoothie and some sweet simmered kabocha

Latest Comments

The Best Way to Store Fresh Herbs

My experience with herbs taught me that cilantro likes to stay dry and everything else prefers some drinking water. Kenji getting cilantro to last 3 weeks is very impressive; I'm wondering if Kenji might experiment with giving cilantro less water than he gives other tender plants. Would cilantro last even longer? I've had trouble with cilantro in pots because it bolts so fast but I don't like having to buy it at the store all the time because I only use a little.

Favorite ice cream flavor?

blueberry or jamocha. chocolate is a close and beloved second, especially when paired with any different flavor, especially hazlenut or peanut butter. For milkshakes, nothing beats a genuine in-season fresh strawberry milkshake.

Exciting brown bag lunches?

You can also purchase a three-tiered vacuum-sealed lunch thermos from an Asian grocer. Traditionally you put rice or noodles in one container, salad or cooked vegetables in another, and soup in the third. Or you could just buy a vacuum-sealed normal thermos and put a cold fruit smoothie in. That would be refreshing!

Or if you don't buy those things, I like pad thai with side of roasted CSA green vegetables!

Anniversary dinner - Rouge Tomate vs Dining Room at The Modern

My neighbor went to Rouge Tomate a few weeks ago and said the service was lovely, the food was some of the best she'd ever had, and her husband doesn't eat meat...just fish. He had wild mushroom ravioli that was apparently unbelievable. So that place would be good for you.

On Paula Deen

I live in the South and have never seen a single Deen recipe I wanted to make, but everyone's got different taste. My only opinion on the matter is that it's nice that the Food Network thinks that its audience for Southern cooking is revolted by racism. Maybe it's true, maybe not, but I think that says a lot about how far we've come as a country.

Favorite Recipes from The Joy of Cooking?

The French toast is my family staple; we make it with day-old fresh-baked challah. Plus the JoC offers a lot of lovely classic cookie recipes, like for ginger snaps.

What's your favorite green tea?

Dong Ding is pretty amazing green oolong, especially iced. I also love Ito En or Ooi Ocha chilled bottles of green tea, Ito En's matcha green tea bags, steaming hot genmaicha (toasted brown rice tea), and I kind of like Yamamotoyama for the cheap tea bags.

Favorite Kitchen/Food Smell...

Mulling apple cider, cinnamon rolls in the oven, simmering curries.

Lactose intolerance, how to deal with it?

Even if you do end up having to eliminate dairy from your diet, you might find comfort in knowing that roughly 75% of the world is also lactose intolerant (so said a science magazine I read). So there are a whole lot of foods out there for you to eat. Most Asian, African, and Latin American food will do you just fine. Unfortunately you're probably going to have to avoid your flatmate's delicious home baking. :-( I'm really sorry to hear about this!

My husband is mildly lactose intolerant. We switched to soy milk many years back--got used to it after 3 weeks. He's still fine with aged cheeses. We eat a lot of tacos and most of our creamy food has coconut milk in it.

The Vegetarian Option: Balena

Some people have severe, even fatal, reactions to fava beans. I wonder if the same holds true for their leaves, or if fava leaves are safe for everyone. I mean, I was shocked to find out that tomato plant leaves were poisonous!

A Big Big Bag of Spinach

Hey all, I went with enchiladas, but next time I'm going to make some of these other wonderful suggestions. Thank you!

Fainting Imam (Turkish Baked Stuffed Eggplant)

How good could it be if no one fainted?

Actually, this looks pretty amazing.

Favorite On-The-Go Bars

I use Larabars as well. There's nothing bad in them, but they are pretty small. My one-year old likes the peanut one. They can be pricey unless you buy them in bulk at Costco.

Favorite Japanese Food?

@beth1, ah but to get even more specific, you should try the soft-serve in Funadomari on Hokkaido's Rebun-tou island. Seriously the stuff of dreams. My spouse and I still talk about it 10 years later!
@Zinnia1, I totally agree about the miso soup.
@plazmaorb, what fillings/ toppings do you like with your okonomiyaki? I'm feeling nostalgic right now.

First time in Chicago

Here's a link to all the Greek restaurants and their websites:

Really highly rated Greek restaurants are Greek Islands Restaurant, Athenian Room, and Mythos Greek Taverna.

First time in Chicago

Chicago is one of the few American cities with a fantastic Greek town. If you go to a Greek restaurant, start with the saganaki... I doubt you've experienced anything like that before!

Cereal Eats: If You Could Bring Back One Discontinued Cereal...

Kellogg's Raisin Squares! I also feel like there was a shredded wheat cereal stuffed with blueberry, but I can't find the name of it.

I guess Barbara's makes something like that now, but it's not what I used to eat.

Seriously Asian: Perilla Leaves

@Karen, shiso will definitely grow in Colorado. It is weedlike and related to mint. Buy some seeds and start it in a pot indoors and it will thrive.

gochujang sauce uses

I use it solely for Kimchi Tofu Soup. Try the recipe on Serious Eats or the Mark Bittman one.

Friday night dinner @ home - Brainstorming a new tradition?

"Moderately elaborate." I love it!
Well, I'm one of those people who likes to make a moderately elaborate Sabbath dinner every Friday night, so I'm on the same page as you. Three hours is quite a decent amount of time, so what I like to do on Fridays is cook double what I need and thereby earn a break on Saturday, when I can still enjoy delicious fancy food. Some popular Sabbath dishes in our house:

Mollie Katzen's Gado Gado -- you store the turmeric rice, peanut sauce, and all the vegetables separately, so that you can make a plate of whatever combination you like.
A Meze plate -- a Mediterranean entree like shakshuka or imam bayildi, stuffed grape leaves, hummus, pickled onions, tzatziki, pita, yogurt cheese, tabbouli, fattoush, steamed artichokes, prunes, dates, raisins, almonds, olives, etc.
An elaborate soup (the divine Onion Sonata soup in The Voluptuous Vegan takes 3 hours, mostly of stirring) plus fresh baked bread (Bittman's dinner rolls in HtCEV take 2 hours) paired with a fancy salad combining green leaf lettuce with raddichio, Belgian endive, chopped toasted hazelnuts, slivered Asian pear, and a homemade Blue cheese dressing. Serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn't wilt overnight.
Mollie Katzen's Russian Cabbage Borscht and marinated mushrooms, fresh-baked potato bread, steamed green beans, and some really good cheese. Alternately you can just make cheeze blintzes, the mushrooms, and the borscht. This is one of our favorite meals.

Hope these ideas inspire you a little!

mother's day lunch, I get to bring desert

Tapioca pudding made with soymilk. I've done it and it's delicious. Or you could make mochi (Red beans and rice). Sounds difficult but you just stuff cooked sweetened adzuki beans (you can buy cans of prepared beans at many East Asian grocers) into prepared rice flour (mochiko).

Cook the Book: 'Gluten-Free Girl Every Day'

My spouse just went GF last month. I guess our favorite gluten-free meals right now are a casserole of corn tortillas, black means, and sauteed mushrooms, or a Persian stir-fry of leeks, spinach, parsley, and black-eyed peas.

A vegetarian + bacon= meltdown

I would notice if there was bacon in what I was eating, but it might take me a while to place the flavor because it's been quite a while since I partook! I have gotten my burrito mixed up with my spouse's on occasion and it can take me a few bites before I realize the weird thing I'm tasting is chicken and not just unusual seasoning.

I don't think that women was 100% all there. Was she of an advanced age?

Stories of Food Magic

@Littauer, my friend was nineteen when she made those scone things. She just invented them on the fly that day, never wrote down what she did, and never made them again. She doesn't even remember them. She can just do stuff like that. When I read about baking, it's supposed to be like chemistry, and exact measurements are supposed to matter. But not for Justine! She just bakes straight from her imagination and doesn't ever plan ahead of time--except for this one time last year when she baked her own 13-layer wedding cake. That day she measured quite carefully.

Garlicky Eggplant and Tomato Spread (Mirza Ghasemi) from 'The New Persian Kitchen'

As a shortcut, you can also microwave the eggplant until it's tender. It takes less than ten minutes. It probably won't taste quite as good as the baked version.