The Kim Chi Department

Living near Tokyo means Seoul is a day trip. I was in Seoul last May to visit a friend for hanami, do a little shopping, and eat. The most prestigious department store in South Korea is a massive 12 story chunk of architecture named Lotte. Their food department is kinetic, laid out to show how much you’re spending and pulse you through the whole floor. Each pristine display has a salesperson fitted to the task. Toothsome young ladies in Confectionary, delicate women in Fruits, dishy old broads in Kim-Chi — I confess, I completely… Read More

Zero To Hero, Day 12: Fermenting, part one

(For a tutorial and recipe for Kim Chi please click the link)   I’ve made my own yogurts and buttermilk for a decade. Last summer I noticed the word “konbuchya” — which has a very different meaning in Japanese — coming up a lot online. The long and short is that I started thinking about fermentation in the home kitchen. I bought a few books, read the personal experiences from many, many bloggers and went shopping on Amazon.co.jp. By November I was ready. I prepared 3 litres of sauerkraut, 5 litres of… Read More

New Year’s Eve and soba

Though I’m from southern California, Japan is my home now. Since this blog starts just after the New Year I’ve been thinking to show you what a year in the life is like here through food. This is toshikoshi soba. Soba, a noodle made from buckwheat, is rolled very long and eaten in a simple soup just before midnight on new year’s eve to symbolise long life, luck and prosperity. There are lots of add-ins. (I like thinly sliced leeks and tempura.) This year we went with jumbo shrimp. Personally, I prefer… Read More