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Pumpkin Dorayaki


You may want to call these pancake sandwiches, because they look like ones.

But I refuse to do so (lol).

They look like pancakes, but these are called “dorayaki” in Japan and the cake is sweeter, softer, and it has a unique caramelized top.

I grew up eating dorayaki all the time, but this was my first time to make one.

When I was researching its recipes, I discovered that there are often unusual ingredients used, things not typically seen in the Western pancakes recipes.

Some of those examples are honey and mirin.

These sweetening agents are used in addition to sugar, and I believe they, particularly mirin, create the beautiful caramelization when cooked.

I even found a recipe that called for soy sauce!


You can see that the ones in the back are darker.

They are not burned but showing the caramelization. ‘


Dorayaki is typically two cakes sandwiching sweetened red bean paste.

But I decided to add some seasonal touch, and spiced pumpkin cream cheese was added.


These were so delicious!

The combination of the chunky sweet red beans and creamy cream cheese was just perfect.

The color balance was pretty nice, too.


Pumpkin Dorayaki

3 eggs
130g sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
50cc water
180g all purpose flour
50cc water
pumpkin cream cheese
1 package cream cheese
1/4 can pureed pumpkin
1~2 tablespoon sugar
1.5 cup Japanese sweet red bean paste

1. Mix eggs, sugar, honey, and mirin well.
2. Dissolve baking soda and powder in 50cc water. Add the mixture to 1.
3. Add flour. Mix. Let it rest in the fridge for a half hour.
4. Add 50cc water. Mix well.
5. Cook on a preheated (350F) griddle and make 4-inch diameter pancakes. When they start bubbling, flip them over. Cook for a few more minutes.
6. Make pumpkin cream. Mix all the ingredients well until smooth.
7. Sandwich the pumpkin cream and sweet red bean paste with two pancakes.


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Mushroom Chestnut Soup


What’s more seasonal than this?!

Fall is known as a season for having a big appetite in Japan.

There are several food items that are appreciated particularly during this season, and mushroom and chestnut are a few of those fall foods.



These beautiful mushrooms were from the local Asian grocery store.

If you ask me they have the best freshest mushrooms in town!



I also found these beautiful roasted chestnuts at the Asian market.

The only thing unexpected about them was that they were not shelled.

Luckily there was already a slit made in the middle, so it was pretty easy to get the job done.



This soup is super creamy, yet vegan.

And did I say it’s delicious?!

Mushroom Chestnut Soup

canola oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1.5 cups BunaPi mushrooms
1.5 cups Maitake mushrooms
1 cup roasted chestnuts
3~4 cups soy milk
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper

1. Sautee garlic, onion, and celery with oil. Tame them out.
2. Add some more oil if needed. Sautee mushrooms. Add chestnuts.
3. Bring the sauteed vegetables back into the pot.
4. Add soy milk and bay leaves. Boil and then turn down to low heat.
5. Add sugar, salt, and pepper.
6. Serve with paprika.


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Tofu Steak Plate


Just an idea for a weekend lunch.

Tofu Steak Plate.


The tofu was fried in a pan until it’s nice and crispy outside.


The tofu steak was served with BBQ sauce and green sauce made mainly with scallion and cilantro.

I’m a big believer that two sauces are always better than one.


The steak was served with quinoa and napa cabbage/daikon slaw flavored with sumac.



Since I learned about sumac at a friend’s post on facebook, I was intrigued.

So when I saw it at World Market (I think that was where it was.), I had to buy it.

If you are interested in sumac, please check its wikipedia page.

I had a vague idea but didn’t know exactly what to expect.

When I smelled it, I liked it.

When I tasted it, I loved it.

It kind of reminded me of dried Japanese basil (Shiso).

I can think of many ways to use it, but sprinkling it over my napa cabbage/daikon coleslaw was a great way to enjoy this wonderfully refreshing spice.


Have a great week, everyone!!

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