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Thai Basil King Mushrooms

We traveled so much this time during our stay in Japan, and we didn’t have a lot of time to spend at my parents’ house.

But when we were at their house, I enjoyed my time with my family, and my mom and sister cooked us terrific meals.

Our last meal the night before our departure was prepared by my mother and my sister both.

For an appetizer my mother made us veggie tempura which was divine, and for the main dish my sister made Thai basil chicken over rice, which is called “Gapao Rice” in Japan.

This dish was new to both of us, but the combination of basil, fish sauce, spicy and sweet flavored sauce, and a fried egg was intriguing, and my husband and I both devoured it.

So, here is my arranged version I made last night for dinner.

I used king mushroom and cauliflower in place of chicken, and this turned out delicious!!

You break the egg yolk and make each bite where you can enjoy everything together, the rice, the veggies, the egg, and the basil…

Thai Basil King Mushrooms

canola oil
3~4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 king mushrooms, chopped
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1/2 green or red pepper, chopped
salt and pepper
crushed red pepper
1~2 tablespoon cane sugar
1~2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1~2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon toban-djan (chili bean paste)
Thai basil, chopped
2 cups cooked rice
2 fried eggs

1. Cook garlic in oil.
2. Add mushrooms, cauliflower, and pepper, and continue to sautee. Salt and pepper. Sprinkle crushed red pepper.
3. Add sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and toban-djan.
4. Add basil, and combine well.
5. Serve over cooked rice and a fried egg. Sprinkle fresh basil.

Stores and shops in Japan I like to visit to look for kitchen/dining stuff…

Nitori: Furniture, home decor. Reasonable. Stores located all around Japan, but not in Hokkaido or Okinawa. The wooden trays (photos above) were bought at Nitori.

Mujirushi-Ryohin: Furniture, home decor, clothing, food. Reasonable. Simple design.

Tokyu-Hands: Home decor, appliances, electronics, stationary, everything! Fun and interesting stuff.

Loft: Home decor, stationary, cosmetics…

-100-Yen Shops such as Can Do, Daiso, and Seria. I probably had the best shopping time at these 100-Yen shops. They have a great selection of fun kitchen stuff.

Red Bean Cream Cheese Toast

This was actually made before my recent trip to Japan, although it screams Japanese (lol).

Buttered toast with sweet red bean paste is a local favorite breakfast choice in the Nagoya region where I grew up in.

But when I saw a combination of read bean paste, cream, and fruit confiture/jam on a toast on Instagram, that intrigued me.

Apparently a cafe called “Coffee House Kako” is famous for making this.

They use butter, sweet red bean paste, whipped cream, and jam/confiture.

My version is a bit different because I used cream cheese instead of whipped cream.

I personally think cream cheese is a better choice because of its texture and taste particularly for breakfast.

This time for jam/confiture I used store-bought cheery, marmalade, and lingonberry. I made kiwi confiture myself.

Red Bean Cream Cheese Toast

1 toast
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
4~6 tablespoons sweet red bean paste
2~4 tablespoons cream cheese

1. Spread butter on a toast. Cut the toast into four pieces.
2. Spread red bean paste. Place cream cheese and then jam/confiture on top.

Black Curry


Sorry about the absence.

I just got back from my vacation in Japan.

It was great to see my family and friends, and there are a lot of things about this trip I would like to share with you, but I figure many of my blog readers are probably the most interested in food.

So I am hoping to make and post some dishes for that I got inspiration from my stay in Japan.

I made this black curry for dinner tonight.

I had never heard of black curry until this trip.

We had this wonderful black curry at a cafe in Nara, and I fell in love with it.

When I did some research, apparently black curry has been pretty popular in Japan lately, and many restaurants do offer their own version of black curry.

There appear to be many ways to make your curry black, but when I asked the server at the cafe she told me that it was “black sesame” that made their curry black.

So my black curry has a healthy amount of black sesame, but I also came up with some other secret weapons to add flavor depth and additional black color.

My black curry turned out DELICIOUS and very black!

My black curry was served with wild rice and roasted Kabocha, cauliflower, and carrots.

Black Curry

canola oil
2~3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
3 cups water
1/4 cup Shio Kombu (Japanese salted seaweed)
1 cup Hijiki (Japanese dried seaweed), soaked in water and dried
1/4~1/3 cup black sesame
1~2 tablespoons canola oil
1~2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2~3 teaspoons curry powder
cane sugar
salt and pepper

1. Sautee garlic and ginger with oil in a large pot. Cook over medium heat while constantly stirring until browned.
2. Add water and Shio Kombu. Boil and then turn down to low heat.
3. In a tall container combine Hijiki and black sesame. Add about a cup of the liquid from the pot. Puree everything using a hand blender until smooth and creamy. Add to the pot. Mix well with a whisk.
4. In a separate small pan combine oil and flour. Cook over medium heat while constantly stirring until turned dark brown. Scoop about 1/2 cup of liquid from the pot, add to the roux, and mix well. Pour the loosened roux to the pot. Mix well with a whisk.
5. Add curry powder, sugar, salt, and pepper.

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