eggplant miso & bell pepper


eggplant miso & bell pepper

I HATED eggplant when I was little. But you know how as you get older, your taste buds change? I don’t love it now, but I don’t hate it either. And one eggplant dish I like is a sweet miso based sauce. This is one that I usually make if I buy some eggplant. Even my foodie partner who doesn’t like eggplant will eat it.

One nice thing I like about asian eggplant is that it’s long and thing rather that the fat bulgy ones I used to buy in the US. It does tend to be expensive but there’s a weekly vegetable stall nearby the apartment that sells a bunch for cheap! Oh and I remember when I was little, I didn’t know the english name for eggplant until I was in 3rd grade. I just called it Nasu.






sweet & spicy tofu steak


sweet & spicy tofu steak

When I was living in New York, this was a dish I would make often for lunch. It’s pretty simple although a bit messy with the potato starch. One key point I’ve realized is after coating the tofu, it’s better to put it on the heated pan right away so that starch doesn’t come off the tofu and crisps nicely. Although with the sauce, it’s not crispy in the end anyways. If you don’t want a spicy sweet sauce, you can eat the fried tofu dipped in a soy sauce ground ginger mix.



simmered pumpkin


simmered pumpkin

In Japan, simmered pumpkin or kabocha no nimono is a common winter side dish. When I was living on my own in New York, I started making this since it reminded me of the food I would eat growing up. I always thought it would be hard to make but it’s not. Just make sure to use Japanese kabocha since American pumpkin does not taste good. Whenever I make pumpkin sweets I always use Japanese kabocha too.



zucchini pancakes


zucchini pancake (호박 부침)*
cheesy version**

I’ve realized small vegetable pancakes are an easy way to use leftover vegetables and a filling side dish. I tend to buy zucchinis forgetting to use them for a week or two before they are about to go bad. Both versions are my go to recipe. The first one is Korean and the second is apparently Turkish. I prefer the cheesy soft one but sometimes I don’t have any. (If you’re like me and don’t use cheese often, I would stock it in the freezer so it doesn’t go bad!)



carrot & onion stir fry


carrot & onion stir fry
serves 2

1 carrot
1 onion
handful of chirimenjako (dried baby sardines)
salt and pepper

1. julienne the carrots and slice the onions
2. add oil to a pan and stir fry the vegetables.
3. once the vegetables are slightly soft, add the chirimenjako
4. salt and pepper to taste

A couple of weeks ago, I had enough cooking supplies and ingredients to start cooking. Since I was only cooking for myself before, it was easy to cut vegetables and call it a meal. But now, cooking for someone else, it’s really not fair to feed someone rabbit food… I already had a main dish, rice, and some soup but I needed one more side dish. I was still missing a handful of condiments, so I decided to create something simple with what I had. Lots of vegetables with calcium from the dried fish! It ended up being delicious and perfect with rice. 1 point for me!


1個  人参
1個  玉ねぎ
一掴み ちりめんじゃこ
少々  塩胡椒

1. 人参と玉ねぎは千切りに
2. フライパンに油をひき、人参と玉ねぎを炒める
3. 野菜が少ししんなりしたら、ちりめんじゃこをたす
4. 味を確認しながら塩胡椒