I have been wanting to try making chawanmushi for a long time now. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s a savory seafood egg pudding. Sounds gross from the description but it’s so good! It’s a dish that I love but have only been able to find at a few restaurants and it’s been pretty expensive. It seemed easy enough so I thought I would give it a shot. I actually ordered ramekins just for this! It turned out really delicious and was pretty quick to make. I used the instant pot on saute, with the steamer insert, to steam them. They did turn out a bit saltier than I would prefer so next time, i’m going to try diluting the dashi with water.

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  • Chawanmushi
  • The original recipe can be found here. I modified it a bit to suit my tastes. This recipe makes 2 ramekins worth.

  • 1 mushroom, chopped
  • 8 tiny shrimp, peeled
  • Shimeji mushrooms
  • 6 slices narutomaki
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup dashi
  • 1/2 tsp mirin
  • 1/2 tsp low-sodium tamari
  • Instructions
    1. Whisk the egg in a medium bowl. Add the dashi, mirin, and tamari. Mix well then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into another bowl.
    2. Divide all the ingredients into 2 ramekins. Pour egg mixture in and cover with tin foil.
    3. Steam for 15-20 minutes. Use a skewer or knife to test the center to check that it’s done (it should come out clean).


    “Pita” Pizzas

    Last night, we made “pita” pizzas for dinner. I put “pita” in quotation marks because only Dustin uses pita bread; I prefer to use garlic naan bread for my crust. These are super quick and easy to make and they’re better for me than regular pizza because I am lactose sensitive. A while back, we found this awesome substitute called Okanagan’s Soya Co. and it’s super convincing! We always have a few packs of their mozzarella in the fridge. The texture and the way it melts is just like real cheese. Sadly we ran out of spinach but I guess it makes for a better photo this way….

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  • Pita Pizzas
  • pita or naan bread
  • pesto sauce (optional)
  • pizza sauce (we usually use Primo)

  • mozzarella cheese
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olives (optional)
  • capers (optional)
  • spinach (optional)
  • truffle oil (optional)
  • Kewpie Mayonnaise (optional)
  • Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
    2. Place bread on a baking sheet. Spread the pizza and pesto sauce on the bread. Grate desired amount of cheese over top.
    3. Optional: lightly fry mushrooms.
    4. Arrange toppings as desired. Cover with spinach. Drizzle truffle oil over top.
    5. Bake in oven for 8 minutes or until reaching desired crispiness.
    6. Top with Kewpie mayo.


    Instant Pot Spicy Thai Butternut Squash Soup

    On Thursday night, we made spicy Thai butternut squash soup for dinner. We used light coconut milk instead of full fat and we also skipped the onions so it turned out a little less creamy than the first time we tried it, but it still had a nice texture. Dustin found it to be pretty spicy but I thought it was a good level of spice. There’s no way I can make this recipe without his help because I have so much trouble slicing the butternut squash but if you’re stronger than I am, you should definitely try this recipe!

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  • Instant Pot Spicy Thai Butternut Squash Soup
  • The original recipe can be found here.

  • 1 1/2 tbsp refined coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped (~4 1/2 cups)
  • 13.5 oz full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium tamari
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • Instructions
    1. Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot, and after a few minutes, add the coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook until starting to brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the curry paste, ginger and garlic; cook until very fragrant, stirring frequently, about 1 minute.
    2. Pour in the broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the butternut squash, coconut milk, cashew butter, tamari, maple syrup and salt. Stir to combine well.
    3. Once the timer goes off, allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes and then perform a quick pressure release.
    4. Open the pot and stir in the lime juice. Using an immersion blender, blend until you have a smooth and creamy soup. Alternatively, you can transfer the soup in batches to a blender, using a dish towel to cover the blender cap to prevent steam from expanding.
    5. Once the soup is pureed, stir in the chopped cilantro. If desired, garnish with coconut yogurt, scallions, peanuts and sesame seeds.



    I wanted to dedicate this post to the wonderful food that is konnyaku! It looks like some gross slimy sea creature but it’s actually a type of yam! The best part is that it’s said to be low calorie and high in fiber. I don’t know about the fiber part but I don’t really care because I personally just like it. Some might find the texture unappealing as it’s a bit rubbery, but I find it very similar to the texture of narutomaki, which I love. At Fujiya, in the prepared food section, they sell spicy konnyaku, so I have been getting the large size of that (pictured below) and eating it with a ramen egg for lunch. It seriously looks really unappealing but I think it’s delicious.

    I also tried making konnyaku steak! It turned out really well. The texture was nothing like real steak so if that’s what you’re looking for, this won’t be for you. I personally don’t like the texture of red meat so this is perfect for me. Next time, I would slice the pieces thinner but it was very easy to prepare, short to cook, and tasted great. Dustin said he liked how peppery it was. I looked up a few different recipes for this and ended up using one but modifying it a bit. I served it with the bok choy and dirty rice from this post, except instead of rice, I substituted quinoa, which was very tasty.

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  • Konnyaku Steak
  • The original recipe can be found here. I modified it a little bit to suit our tastes better.

  • 1 block konnyaku
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Mirin
  • 2 tsp BullDog Vegetable & Fruit Semi-Sweet Sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • black pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • Instructions
    1. Make shallow cuts into the konnyaku to allow the flavors to be absorbed, then slice into 5 mm thick pieces.
    2. Combine the seasoning ingredients in a bowl, then add the konnyaku and marinate for about 10 minutes.
    3. Fry the konnyaku over low-medium heat until crispy. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Transfer to a dish.
    4. Boil the sauce from Step 2 over medium heat.
    5. Drizzle the sauce from the boiled sauce over the konnyaku, season with wasabi, then serve.


    Since this post is all about konnyaku, i’ll also mention that the noodles I used in my japchae were konnyaku too!


    Tonight, I tried my hand at Japchae! We usually order from a place nearby but I found some Ajumma Republic Japchae Sauce when I was at T&T and thought I would give it a shot. It’s not as good as the restaurant’s but it’s still tasty. I also like that it uses shirataki noodles, which are healthier. They have a bit of a rubbery texture but I like it. I used some marinated tofurkey for the protein but it had a strange aftertaste so next time, i’m going to use regular smoked or pressed tofu.


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  • Japchae
  • sesame oil
  • 1 package smoked tofu
  • 2 packages shirataki noodles (approx 400g)
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 jumbo carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cup Ajumma Republic Japchae Sauce
  • Instructions
    1. Rinse noodles with cold water to remove fishy taste. Drain water then add a small amount of sesame oil and mix until coated.
    2. Blanch spinach and set aside.
    3. Press the tofu with paper towels to drain out any excess moisture. Fry the tofu in a wok with some sesame oil until lightly browned. Remove from wok and set aside for later.
    4. Fry the garlic on high heat until fragrant then add carrots and mushrooms. After a couple minutes, add the zucchini and sauce.
    5. Cook on medium-low heat until vegetables have softened and most of sauce has been soaked up.