Sashimi Rice

I don’t know about your family, but one of our family favorites at any get together is sashimi (raw fish sliced into thin pieces).  However, the thing about raw fish is that you really only want to eat it fresh.  It’s not something that taste just as good as next day leftovers.  So what do we do with the leftovers?  We cook it with rice, literally.  This is one of my leftover faves because it’s so easy to make and taste so good.  All you need is leftover sashimi, rice, shoyu, green onions, nori and oil (I use sesame oil).  Realistically, you could simple it down with just sashimi, rice and shoyu, but I enjoy the extra flavor that the onions, nori and oil add.  In all honestly, I do this purely by taste and what I have on hand at the time, but I think that this is one of those recipes that works best when adjusted to personal preferences.

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To make this dish just cook your rice in a rice cooker.  How much you cook really depends on how much leftover fish you have, and how much rice you like to eat with your fish.  I probably had enough fish for two cups of rice, but was cooking for one so I only made one cup of rice and took half my leftover sashimi.  Once the rice is done, dig a hole in the middle and lay out your fish.  Then sprinkle with oil and shoyu.  I also had some hot mustard and ginger, so I mixed it with the shoyu before I poured it over the fish.

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Once the fish is in there with all the seasonings, mix it with the rice and let the rice cook the fish.  Let it sit for a couple of minutes to give the fish some time to cook and the flavors to mix.  Since the sashimi is sliced thinly, the heat from the fresh rice and rice pot is all it needs to cook.  Once it’s done, top it with some korean nori and green onions and enjoy.

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Still have leftovers?  It’s okay, you can make them into musubis to snack on later.

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Pizza Puff Bites

Pizza Puffs

With the holidays and football season here, I’ve been looking for new finger food recipes for all the friends and family get togethers.  It’s always hard to find something that’s easy to eat, will travel well, and still taste good 30 minutes later (to accomodate for travel time).  In my hunt, I came across this Rachael Ray recipe.  When I found this recipe, I thought it could be perfect.  Plus, who doesn’t love pizza?  What I also love about these pizza puffs, is that they still taste just as good to me the next day.  I just put them in the microwave for around 15 seconds and enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C flour
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • 1 T italian seasoning
  • 3/4 C whole milk
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 C shredded mozzerella
  • 1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 C pizza toppings diced*
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 C marinara sauce

*Note: You can use your favorite pizza toppings in any combination.  I did one batch with a cup of diced pepperoni, and one batch with a cup of onions, mushrooms, bell peppers and pepperoni.  Note that if you are going to use sausage, I recommend pan frying the sausage first.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and grease a 24 cup (or two 12 cup) mini muffin pans.

Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk your flower, baking powder, italian seasoning and salt.  Then whisk in your milk and egg.

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Step 3: Stir in your mozzerlla, parmesan and pizza toppings and let stand for 10 minutes.

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Step 4: Fill your mini muffin pans and bake for 20-25 minutes (until golden).  Note that it won’t rise too much in the oven so you can fill the batter almost to the top in the mini muffin pans.

Step 5: While your pizza bites bake, heat your marinara sauce in the microwave.

Step 6: Once the pizza puffs are done, let them cool for a minute or two and then enjoy!

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Pizza Puff Bites

Spanish Bread and Garlic Soup

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One thing that I love about the colder fall and winter weather is that I feel like it’s an excuse to start experimenting with new soup recipes.  I’m not sure what it is about soup, but I absolutely love finding new and different soups to try.  So with the weather cooling down, I decided that it’s the perfect opportunity to start my hunt for some new recipes to try.  I was browsing on youtube and found this recipe from FoodWishes.com.  I must admit, once I saw the word “garlic” I was sold.  This recipe is so simple, but so good.  Perfect for a nice night in.  Hopefully, you like it as much as I do.

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Garlic and Onion Fried Eggs

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Lately I’ve been trying to find new ways to repurpose my morning eggs.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my scrambled eggs just as much as the next person, but sometimes I just want to change things up a bit.  So I was surfing on pinterest for some new recipes to try, and came across this recipe.  Reading through it I thought to myself, how can you go wrong with garlic and butter, so of course I had to give it a try.  I tweaked a couple of things just to my own preferences, but I must say I was quite satisfied with the end product.  Hopefully, you will be too.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

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  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/4C green onions sliced
  • 1T unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1/4t kosher salt
  • 2 pinches pepper
  • 2 pinches red pepper flakes

Step 1: Preheat a small non stick pan on medium heat.

Step 2: Add the butter and cook until browned (3-4 minutes).

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Step 3: Reduce your heat to medium low, and add the garlic and onions and cook until garlic is golden brown (2-3 minutes).

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Step 4: Add your eggs and sprinkle with your salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Cook the eggs until the whites are set.  Since we want the yolks to still be runny, you can poke some holes in the whites or hold a pot lid over the eggs to help speed up the cooking process of the whites.

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Step 5: Using a spatula, carefully remove from the pan and plate.

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Kabocha

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Lately my obsession has been learning how to cook authentic asian foods.  More specifically, Japanese and Korean food.  Since I’m Japanese and my boyfriend is Korean, I feel like it would be good to be able to carry on the traditional foods from our heritages, even if I’m fourth generation.  Plus, Japanese and Korean are two of my favorite types of food, aside from Italian.  My most recent challenge that I decided to take on is kabocha.  If you’ve never heard of kabocha before, it’s a Japanese pumpkin.  It’s typically boiled in a shoyu (soy sauce) sugar sauce and eaten as a side dish.  It kind of reminds me of sweat potato, but not as starchy. Some people also thinly slice it and turn it into tempura, which is probably one of my favorite tempuras.  This recipe that I used is from the Jean Watanabe Hee cookbook, with a few of my Aunty’s tweaks.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb kabocha pumpkin
  • 1/4C sugar
  • 1/4C shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1/4C sake
  • 2T canola oil
  • 1 1/4C water
  • 1t grated ginger
  • 1t salt

Step 1: Scrub kabocha thoroughly, and then cut in half and remove the seeds.  Please be careful when you cut the kobacha, they are not easy to cut at first as the skin is pretty hard.  I had to borrow my aunty’s knife since she was convinced the kabocha would break my regular knife.

Step 2: Cut in 1-2 inch pieces and set aside.

Step 3: In a large pot combine all the remaining ingredients.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Then reduce to simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes with the lid on.

Step 4: Add in your pumpkin and cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender.  Make sure you toss occasionally so that all of your pumpkin gets evenly cooked and has a chance to absorb the liquid.

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Step 6: Once the pumpkin is at the desired softness, you’re done.  Remove from heat and enjoy!

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Foodie Favorites: Cold Desserts

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As discussed, I’m happy to introduce a new monthly post highlighting some of my favorite foods.  To kick things off I decided to start with cold desserts.  Given that the hot summer weather is here, I figured it would be a good theme to start with.

1. Tasaka Guri Guri Shop: Guri Guri Ice Cream

IMG_0256This guri guri ice cream is a local favorite.  Every time I make it out to Maui, it’s a must stop.  The shop only sells two flavors, pineapple and strawberry, but don’t let the simplicity fool you because the ice cream is heavenly. The ice cream itself is more of an ice cream and shave ice hybrid.  It’s not as heavy and thick as your typical ice cream, but more like a creamier version of shave ice.  It’s so light and refreshing, and a perfect end to a hot day in the sun.

2. Dole Plantation: Dole Whip

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Oh Dole Whip, pineapple soft serve goodness.  What I love about this dole whip is that it taste so fresh and refreshing, like someone went pineapple picking in the morning to make it just for you. While you can find Dole Whipe at other locations, like Disneyland, there’s nothing better than the original at Dole Planation.  What makes Dole Plantation’s Dole Whip unique is (1) they offer it in a variety of ways (in a bowl, in a cone, with pineapples on the side, in a float, etc.); and (2) it’s made fresh with the pineapples from the plantation, or at least that’s what I like to think.  Whenever I’m taking a trip out to the north shore, this place is a must stop on the way back.

3. Serendipity: Frozen Hot Chocolate

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I’m sure by now most of you have heard of Serendipty’s frozen hot chocolate.  There’s a location in Las Vegas and NYC (the original).  Since I’ve only been to the Las Vegas one, that’s the one I’ve included above.  I know this may sound weird, but it taste just like what you would imagine frozen hot chocolate to taste like, chocolate creamy goodness.  The texture is like a milkshake, but not one of those super thick milkshakes.  Each frozen hot chocolate is topped with a generous amount of whip cream and chocolate shavings.  The portion is pretty big, so you can definitely share one with a friend or go wild and have a whole one to yourself.

4. Ono Pops: Butter Mochi

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The name says it all, ono pops (in Hawaii “ono” means taste good).  These popcicles are all homemade using local and organic ingredients, and come in a wide varaiety of flavors.  There are two types of popcicles, dairy based and water based, and they’ve got everything from guava chiffon to dark chocolate chinese five spice.  The popcicles are refreshing, and I love the innovative flavors.  My personal favorite, though, is butter mochi.  It’s creamy, dense and chewy, and taste just like butter mochi. I swear when you eat it, there are small pieces of butter mochi inside, which are like nuggets of heaven in your mouth.

5. Your Kitchen – Shave Ice

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Your Kitchen is a small mom and pop shop in Kaimuki, but don’t let it’s appearance fool you.  Their shave ice is the best on the island; it’s super fine and melts in your mouth as you eat it.  That isn’t even the best part, though.  They have a selection of homemade flavors, such as lilikoi, mango, haupia, strawberry and lychee.  When you eat these flavors, it taste like the real thing, none of that artificial stuff.  Words cannot express how amazing it is.  They offer a variety of sizes and various toppings, but my favorite is the tropical bowl.  It comes with mango and haupia flavored shave ice with haupia ice cream *drool*.  I feel like I’m eating melt in your mouth haupia with a side of mango every time.

Warm Caprese Salad

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Lately I have just been loving tomatoes.  Odd? Probably, considering up until a couple of years ago I would only eat them in sandwiches and burgers.  A few weeks ago, though, I found a heavenly secret.  Pan sauted/roasted tomatos!  Okay, is it really that much of a secret?  Probably not, but it doesn’t change how awesome they are.  What I love about pan roasting my tomatoes is that I feel like it intensifies the flavor and somewhat sweetens the tomato.  It also softens everything inside, but keeps the skin firm so they’re kind of a burst of flavor when you eat them.  This got me thinking, what if I make a caprese salad with these pan roasted tomatos?  It’s like a mix between a traditional caprese salad and caprese pasta (less the pasta).  Thus, this recipe was born, and let me tell you, I’m loving it.  It’s quick, simple and delicious.

Ingredients:

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  • 3 C Grape Tomatos
  • 4 oz mozzerella diced
  • 1/4 C chiffonade basil
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 T good olive oil (garlic olive oil if you have it)
  • 1 T (generous) good balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • a pinch (or two) of pepper

Step 1: Prep your mozzerella, basil and garlic, and preheat a large pan on medium high heat with your olive oil

Step 2: Add your tomatos and garlic to the pan, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook the tomatos for 4-5 minutes. You want to get a decent char on the tomatos but you don’t want them all to burst.  If you start to hear tomatos bursting, then they’re done.

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Step 3: Remove the garlic cloves, since they’ve served their purpose, and mix the tomatos in a bowl with the mozzerella, basil (reserve a couple pinches) and balsamic vinegar.

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Step 4: Plate the caprese salad and garnish with basil and freshly cracked pepper, and you’re done.  How simple was that!

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