Makin’ Maki Sushi Round Up!

I am a big sushi lover… I’m talking BIG! I could eat sushi if it weren’t for how my body has a love/hate relationship with carbs. However, today I indulged in sushi and had friends come over to learn how to make maki rolls. For my sushi event, I prepped all the ingredients for our maki rolls. Some ingredients I offered included:

carrots, yellow pickled radish, cucumber, red & green bell pepper, mushrooms…

orange fish roe, egg omelet, broiled eel (unagi), avocado, crab sticks, cream cheese…

sashimi platter of white & red tuna, salmon, mackerel, yellow tail, & whitefish… After we made a couple rolls, we had ourselves a full Japanese meal where I served iced honey green tea, edamame, miso soup and Adzuki (sweet red bean) ice cream for dessert…

To join in the fun, my fellow bloggers have submitted their Japanese/Sushi recipes! As I do with each blogging event I host, a lucky blogger receives a giveaway related to the food theme. This event’s winner is Kristin of Tiny Kitchen Cooking! Kristin will be receiving a bamboo mat and fancy chopsticks for her entry. Congratulations Kristin and thanks to all that participated in the blogging event! Read on to check out the recipes submitted by my fellow bloggers…
Kristin of Tiny Kitchen Cooking
from Massachusetts
California Rolls
Kristin joins us to share her spring rolls and california rolls for her first every blogging event! Kristin recently learned how to make maki sushi from a friend, Masako. Check out Kristin’s blog for the recipes Masako shared!
Lalaine of The CookMobile
from Norwalk, CA
Sculpin Fish in Miso Broth
Lalaine joins us to share a beautiful dish of Sculpin Fish. Not familiar with this kind of fish? Check out Lalaine’s blog for more info and the recipe of this tasty dish!

Japanese Cucumber Salad

The following recipe was made for my Picnic Wine event. You can read more about it and get additional recipes HERE.

Japanese Cucumber Salad
shared at the event by Teresa
recipe HERE

2 medium cucumbers or 1 large English cucumber
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

1. Peel cucumbers to leave alternating green stripes. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Using a food processor or sharp knife, cut into very thin slices. Place in a double layer of paper towel and squeeze gently to remove any excess moisture.
2. Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve. Add the cucumbers and sesame seeds; toss well to combine. Serve immediately.

Japanese & Riesling Event with Round Up!

One way to beat the heat this summer is to enjoy some lighter cuisine – something that isn’t going to be too rich or heavy. One such cuisine is Japanese and this month we’ve paired it with a wine event focused on Rieslings. I provided a sampling of 5 Riesling wines and a handful of dishes, while my attendees bring over a Japanese inspired dish to share.Riesling is a white grape variety which originates in the Rhine region of Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are seldom oaked. As of 2004, Riesling was estimated to be the world’s 20th most grown variety at 48,700 hectares, but in terms of importance for quality wines, it is usually included in the “top three” white wine varieties together with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Riesling is a variety which is highly “terroir-expressive”, meaning that the character of Riesling wines is clearly influenced by the wine’s place of origin. — Wikipedia

Here are pictures of the events, along with some of the recipes of the dishes my guests prepared. (I’m still waiting for some recipes!) A couple of bloggers also participated in the corresponding Japanese & Riesling blogging event and their submissions are included below. Entries featuring Japanese recipes and recipes using Riesling wines were highlighted for this blogging event. A special congratulations goes to Becke of Columbus Foodie… she won the blogging event giveaway for this blogging event! She will be receiving a bamboo cooking utensil set to enjoy! Now onto the food & recipes…

Toasted Brown Rice
shared at the event by JoelenEdamame
shared at the event by JoelenCaramelized Sesame Sweet Potatoes
shared at the event by AbbieGinger Beef Stir Fry
shared at the event by LindaVegetable Gyoza/Potstickers
shared at the event by Linda Cucumber Wrapped Sashimi
shared at the event by Christie Pork & Vegetable Eggrolls
shared at the event by Joelen

Maki Rolls
shared at the event by Audrey Japanese Sweets
shared at the event by Yumi & Mom

Ginger Cheesecake
shared at the event by Susan
Mochi Sweet Bread
shared at the event by JenChocolate Chow Mein Spiders
shared at the event by ChristieJapanese Style Potato Salad
shared at the event by Sandra and Mike
recipe from

1 lb. russet potatoes
1/2 cucumber (see directions)
1/2 small white or yellow onion, thinly sliced (see directions)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard (a touch of Dijon mustard is also nice)
3 large sandwich slices of ham, cut into small squares
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt and black pepper to taste

Boil the unpeeled potatoes. Meanwhile, cut the cucumber lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut the cucumber into thin slices and place them in a small bowl. Add one teaspoon salt and mix well. Cut the onion into thin slices and soak them in cold water until you’re ready to use them. When the potatoes are done, remove the skins and cut the potatoes lengthwise, then cut them into pieces about 1 inch wide. Wash the cucumber with water and squeeze the water out. Also squeeze the water from the onion. Place the potatoes, cucumber and onion slices, ham, and the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Japanese Style Green Beans

shared at the event by Jen
recipe from

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 pound fresh green beans, washed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Warm a large skillet or wok over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, pour in canola and sesame oils, then place whole green beans into the skillet. Stir the beans to coat with oil. Cook until the beans are bright green and slightly browned in spots, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in soy sauce; cover, and let sit about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Cold Peanut, Chicken, and Soba Noodle Salad

shared at the event by Teresa
recipe from Emeril at

12 ounces dried soba noodles, or other buckwheat noodles
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped green onions (green tops only)
1 jalapeno, seeded, stem removed, and minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced gingerroot
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon Sherry
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 whole skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into strips and lightly poached, and chilled
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil, cover and refrigerate.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine 2 tablespoons of the green onions, the jalapenos, garlic, and ginger, and process on high speed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, the peanut butter, soy sauce, chicken stock, cilantro, fish sauce, sherry, lime juice, sugar, and pepper flakes. Toss the sauce to taste with the noodles.

To serve, toss the noodles with the chicken strips, bell pepper, cucumber, peanuts, and remaining 2 tablespoons of green onions, and serve.

Wasabi Ginger Salmon
shared at the event by Joelen
recipe: original

2-3 lbs salmon, cut into filets
1-2 teaspoons wasabi powder
ginger sesame salad dressing
salt & black pepper to taste

In a large freezer bag, combine wasabi powder, salad dressing, salt & pepper.
Place salmon in freezer bag and marinate for at least 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.
After marinating salmon, reheat oven to 350.
Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place salmon on parchment and bake for 35-40 minutes until done.

submitted to blogging event
by Becke of Columbus Foodie
from Columbus, OH
180 g package okonomiyaki flour
180 ml water
2 eggs
3-4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3-4 oz. savoy cabbage, sliced thinl
3-4 oz. diced chicken
Kewpie Mayonnaise, to taste
Okonomi Sauce, to taste

Mix together the okonomiyaki flour, water, and eggs into a batter, and then add in mushrooms, cabbage, chicken and any other ingredients you’d like to incorporate.

In a greased frying pan (I used olive oil spray) over medium high heat, ladle batter and spread out to fit the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook until underside is lightly browned and edges are set, and then flip over and allow other side to brown. Serve immediately dressed with Kewpie mayonnaise and Okonomi sauce.

Maki Sushi
submitted to blogging event
by Elyse of Dari Sapur Saya
from Osaka, Japan
Ingredients : Sushi rice, nori, kamaboko, tamagoyaki (eggroll), shiso leave, kampyou, lettuce, cucumber, mushroom, kani, mayonaise, denbu ( you can choose the ingredient for inside of sushi) but the primary ingredients are sushi rice and nori.

Place one sheet of nori lengthways across bamboo mat. dip finger in a bowl of vinegared water. pick up rice and place across center of nori and spread the rice over nori until covered, leaving little bit space of nori.

Place mushroom, eggroll, kani, shiso leave and lettuce ( or anything you want) on top of rice. Rolling the sushi forward with pressing gently but tightly. Cut roll with sharp knife in half, and slice both rolls again to give eight bite size pieces.

Friends & Fun

Today was another lazy day where we lounged around soaking up sun on the balcony, watched movies and surfed the web (or work… which I’ll confess I did while on vacation). I spent part of the day with business calls and setting up meetings for the coming days. Besides, I had to save up my energy for our night out!

We headed up to The Villages and Leesburg to meet up with some special girlfriends and their husbands. At The Villages, we had a great Japanese steakhouse dinner at VKI Japanese Steakhouse. It was a lot of fun seeing friends, catching up on things and of course, enjoying the fun show the “grillmaster” put on for us.

The hubby, my sister in law and I all ordered the bento box. Mine included teriyaki chicken over udon noodles, gyoza, shumai, shrimp tempura, rice and fresh fruit:
Here are some more pictures from the dinner:

It was a great night with friends over good food… what more could I want?!

Memoirs of a Geisha & Japanese Potluck

Today I hosted our monthly book/movie gathering between girlfriends. This month we read the book, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, prior to our get together. At the get together, we be watched the 2005 movie, Memoirs of a Geisha directed by Rob Marshall. We also tied the book & movie with a Japanese inspired potluck. Editorial Review by
According to Arthur Golden’s absorbing first novel, the word “geisha” does not mean “prostitute,” as Westerners ignorantly assume–it means “artisan” or “artist.” To capture the geisha experience in the art of fiction, Golden trained as long and hard as any geisha who must master the arts of music, dance, clever conversation, crafty battle with rival beauties, and cunning seduction of wealthy patrons. After earning degrees in Japanese art and history from Harvard and Columbia–and an M.A. in English–he met a man in Tokyo who was the illegitimate offspring of a renowned businessman and a geisha. This meeting inspired Golden to spend 10 years researching every detail of geisha culture, chiefly relying on the geisha Mineko Iwasaki, who spent years charming the very rich and famous.

The result is a novel with the broad social canvas (and love of coincidence) of Charles Dickens and Jane Austen’s intense attention to the nuances of erotic maneuvering. Readers experience the entire life of a geisha, from her origins as an orphaned fishing-village girl in 1929 to her triumphant auction of her mizuage (virginity) for a record price as a teenager to her reminiscent old age as the distinguished mistress of the powerful patron of her dreams. We discover that a geisha is more analogous to a Western “trophy wife” than to a prostitute–and, as in Austen, flat-out prostitution and early death is a woman’s alternative to the repressive, arcane system of courtship. In simple, elegant prose, Golden puts us right in the tearoom with the geisha; we are there as she gracefully fights for her life in a social situation where careers are made or destroyed by a witticism, a too-revealing (or not revealing enough) glimpse of flesh under the kimono, or a vicious rumor spread by a rival “as cruel as a spider.”

Here are pics of the fabulous Japanese inspired potluck luncheon we feasted on as we watched the movie:

Jen’s Salmon Pate Joelen’s Shrimp Tempura
Joelen’s Vegetable Tempura
Anna’s Cucumber Salad &
Sake (not pictured)
Jenny’s Shrimp Eggrolls &
Ginger Miso Salad (not pictured)
Christine’s Broccoli Udon Salad
Becky’s Sushi
Jill’s Sushi
Joelen’s Chicken Teriyaki
Joelen’s Sweet Fried Rice
Victoria’s Beef Shumai & Shrimp Gyoza
Marcy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Jessie’s Green Tea Ice Cream
(not pictured)

Watch Out – Man in the Kitchen!

It’s Monday and the first Monday after changing the clocks, at that. My internal clock is still getting used to the hour change and by the time I got home, making dinner was the least of my concerns. Thankfully, my husband was off of work and took the lead in getting dinner started. We decided on making something Asian (surprise, surprise) and came up with chicken teriyaki, pineapple fried rice and miso soup. He did most of the cooking while I “supervised”, and in the end everything was fabulous.The Teriyaki Chicken was made by baking a boneless skinless chicken breast that was brushed with teriyaki sauce. We baked it at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked. Just before serving, we brushed on some additional teriyaki sauce and sprinkled it with sesame seeds and sliced green onions.

We served this with Pineapple Fried Rice & Miso Soup.

Miso Soup

Miso Soup

The Miso Soup was made by heating about 4-6 cups of water just until hot, not boiling. We then stirred in 1-2 tablespoons of white miso paste (fermented soybean) and stirred until dissolved. We then added rehydrated wakame (seaweed) and diced soft tofu. Once it was all warmed through (not boiling!), it was ready to serve.