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Curried Coconut Risotto

When I saw a picture of “coconut risotto” posted by one of the popular local food Instagramers, Kat, I told myself that I should make something like this.

The coconut risotto she posted was that she had at a restaurant, Hasty Tasty and when I commented to express my interest in the dish, she replied and said the charred broccoli really made it.

She also said the dish was accompanied by peanuts, lime, and fried garlic.

My husband was under the weather last week, and when I asked him what he wanted for dinner, he said, “soup… with rice in it… with a lot of veggies… and a lot of garlic… maybe with curry”.

Me: Can I put coconut milk in it?

Hubby: Yes.

So I thought this was the perfect time to make coconut risotto!

I can’t believe sometimes how much my husband and I think alike (especially when it comes to food).

And if you know me, you probably already know.

I don’t like to follow recipes and I don’t like to re-create the exact same thing.

So my version is of course a quite modified one.

This is one of the things I decided to use to garnish my risotto: crispy onions.

I keep store-bought ones in my pantry, but I decided to make my own for this dish, because I wanted the visual.

And the star of the plate is this charred tomato.

I decided to go with tomato instead of broccoli because I thought tomato would go better with curry.


Here is my Curried Coconut Risotto with Charred Tomato, Roasted Veggies, and Crispy Onions.

The risotto was creamy and flavorful.

Have each bite with a little bit of charred tomato.

The tomato really brightens the flavors!

Thank you for the inspiration, Kat.

Ramen with Kuruma-Bu

Ramen time!

I like my ramen loaded with lots of veggies.

I liked the Kuruma-Bu so much that I decided to fry them to add to my ramen.

Got my noodles from a local Asian grocery store.



This is what we say when we eat in Japan.

We do this so many times, and it certainly becomes a habit.

There is no perfect translation for this, but you do this gesture and say this phrase basically to show that you’re thankful for the food.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Pina Colada ZENZAI

You may ask, what’s ZENZAI?

Well, what you are looking at is NOT the traditional zenzai, but a modified one.

Zenzai is a Japanese sweet red bean soup served with Mochi (sticky rice cake), and it’s a popular dish around the new year.

My version does have Mochi.

When I was growing up, my grandparents would make their own mochi at home for the family and they would usually cut it into quite large pieces.

I always felt like it was almost a chore to eat mochi because it would take me a long time to finish eating just one piece!

But now I buy my mochi at a local Asian grocery store and each piece is a nice small size (so much less intimidating!) and I like that they are individually packaged.

The key to cooking the mochi perfectly is to toast it until the outside gets crunchy but stop cooking before it explodes.

Do you see the beautiful cracks on the mochi?

Like I said earlier, this is a significantly modified version of Zenzai, and I’m not even sure if you can still call it Zenzai.

But since I don’t get to eat zenzai often, it still seems like one at least to me.

In this version, toasted mochi was served along with sweet red beans in rum flavored and lightly sweetened coconut cream and garnished with fresh pineapple and toasted coconut flakes.

Anyone skeptical about the flavor combination?

Well, coconut and sweet red beans surprisingly go well, and I really enjoyed this.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Stay warm.

Tempeh Veggie Pizza

Happy New Year!

I usually don’t do this, but this year I feel like making a resolution for the year seems a good idea for some reason.

My resolution for 2018 is simple.

“Get up and do it”.

“It” can be anything, but mostly the things I talk about wanting to do but I always seem to find an excuse for not doing.

Today I got up and went for a long walk in the skyway, which is not a huge thing but I think it was a good start.

My sister visited us from Japan the last few days of the last year, and the new year’s eve was the last day of her short stay, and we decided to make pizza together for our last meal of the year.

My sister eats healthy but she is not vegan, so I wasn’t sure if she would like the food we eat.

So I was so glad that she liked our homemade vegan pizza (and all the other vegan foods we had at restaurants).

We loaded our pizza with tons of veggies (portabella mushrooms, onion, yellow pepper, kale, kabocha squash, tempeh) and enjoyed it with cashew-tofu cream and basil sauce.

I must say this was probably one of the best homemade pizzas of the year!

Definitely not a bad way to ring in the new year.

Oat Waffles with Strawberries and Cream

We don’t eat a lot of “sweet” breakfast anymore, but when we do, we like to incorporate “whole” foods.

So these waffles were made mostly with whole wheat flour and oats.

There is only a very small amount of sugar in the waffles, but I used raw sugar (less refined).

These waffles are a bit more dense than regular waffles, but we like them so much better.

One of the reasons why I wanted to make waffles was this: coconut cream.

I had some leftover coconut cream I needed to use up.

I love coconut cream and I use it wherever I would use whipped cream.

I really don’t miss whipped cream, because personally coconut cream tastes better.

It’s by no means the healthiest food (I have a feeling that this has a LOT of calories), but I don’t care (lol).

Eating strawberries this time of the year is a bit strange to me (remember that Japanese people closely associate with food with a certain season? Well, strawberries always represent “spring”), but berries taste so good right now.

One more thing that made this breakfast so special, Bourbon maple syrup!

I initially made this plate for the photo shoot.

But my actual plate looked rather like this (lol).

Happy Friday everyone!

Persimmon Pie

I made these persimmon pies a while ago.

I forgot to post it and then realized that this year is almost over.

Japanese people tend to associate a lot of food with a certain season, and everyone agrees that persimmon is an autumn food.

So I felt I should post this before we go into the next year, although it’s definitely passed the right time for posting it.

It used to be difficult to find persimmon in the U.S., but now you can find it pretty easily.

I got mine at Costco.

Interestingly, the persimmons I buy in the U.S. never have pits inside.

Once they are peeled, it’s easy to dice.

They are tasty fresh, but I made some of them into jam/compote.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted to cover the top or not, and they ended up half covered.


The crust was flaky, and the persimmon filling was sweet and soft, but not too soft and still had some nice fresh crunchiness.

Stay warm, everyone.

It seems that it’s going to be below zero as the high temperature for the next few days in Minnesota…

We are definitely getting serious about planning our getaway trip finally.

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