Category Archives: food

Teriyaki Beef Soup

Here is one on my new favorite recipes. It’s good for the waistline too, with less than 200 calories per bowl!


8 ounces boneless beef sirloin steak
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large shallot, cut into thin rings
4 cups water
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
2 carrots, cut into matchstick strips (1 cup)
1/3 cup long-grain rice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon instant beef bouillon granules
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli
1 to 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium teriyaki sauce

1. Trim fat from beef. Cut beef into bite-size strips. In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef and shallot in hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until beef is brown. Remove beef mixture with a slotted spoon; set aside.
2. In the same saucepan combine water, apple juice, carrots, uncooked rice, ginger, bouillon granules, and garlic. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
3. Stir in the broccoli and beef mixture. Simmer, covered, for 3 minutes. Stir in the teriyaki sauce. Makes five 1-1/2-cup servings

Original recipe can be found here: This soup is wonderful, especially when the weather is a little chilly (see below).


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Baked Donuts

This weekend we stopped in Sendai on our way home from Nikko. If you are a shopper Sendai is paradise, more on that later. While we were wondering through the outdoor mall, I noticed a vendor selling baked donuts. I was intrigued so I began to look for recipes so that I could make my own donuts as soon as we arrived home.

This recipe is quick and easy. You can bake your donut in a this donut pan made by Wilson and available at Sur La Table. Or if you want, you can make your donuts in a muffin pan, as I did.

For this recipe, courtesy of Mrs. Fields Secrets, you will need:

1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter, melted (for sugared donuts)
1/2 cup super fine sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup jelly (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat sugar and egg together until creamy and light-colored. Add oil, milk, and vanilla and mix well. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Slowly add flour mixture into egg mixture until well combined. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. These would also work great in miniature muffin tins with a reduced cooking time of 8-10 minutes. Do not overcook! You want a nice, dense, moist cake.

For powdered donuts: While donuts are still warm to the touch, remove from tins and immediately roll the crust with powdered sugar, until it is well coated. Dust the tops with sugar as well.

For sugared donuts: Using a pastry brush, coat each donut with a thin layer of melted butter. Roll each buttered donut in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

 Yummy! I hope you enjoy your donuts!


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Chirashi Sushi

Do you like sushi, but just do not have the time to fashion all those precise little rolls? I have a fast, fun alternative to traditional sushi called Chirashi Sushi. As you can see in the picture below, it’s rather like a free-form sushi, almost like a casserole. It’s so fast and easy to make and would make a great week-night meal or even an easy dish to serve guest.

The ingredients can vary to include pretty much anything you like, however, the base of the sushi is rice, kinshi tamago (egg crepe), vegetables, and some type of protein. Our example includes salmon, fried tofu, mushrooms, cucumber, and fish powder.

To get started you will need:

Egg, one per person

Rice, about a cup, cooked, per person

Beef, poultry, fish or tofu, about a 4 ounce serving per person

Vegetables of your choice: carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, onion



Garnish of your choice. Fish flakes, pickled ginger, seaweed strips, rice seasoning

First, flavor your cooked rice. The idea is to make sushi rice, so flavor one cup of cooked rice with about one tablespoon of vinegar, 1/4 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Sprinkle this mixture over your cooked rice and then mix into the rice with a slicing motion. Set the rice aside.

Next, cook the kinshi tamago (egg crepe) by cracking the egg into a bowl and whisking vigorously then frying the egg in a medium-hot pan until done.

After it has cooled, julienne the egg into very thin strips. Next, cook your protein, I chose salmon.

Cut your protein of choice into very small slices. Now combine the egg, salmon, rice, and whatever vegetables and garnishes you choice in a medium size serving dish. This dish is wonderful served with miso soup. Enjoy! Wasn’t that easy?

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Make a Mushi-Pan! Oishii (Delicious)!

If you are looking for a new breakfast recipe to try this weekend, I have something quick, and also healthy. Try a steamed cake called mushi-pan! “Mushi” is japanese for “steamed” and this bread is very soft and sweet and more like a cake than a bread. This is definately a lo-cal recipe, because unlike cake, mushi-pan contains no butter or oil. I will share this basic recipe, courtesy of Misawa City News, and you can use your imagination and add whatever ingredients you want to flavor the mushi-pan. I added chopped apples to mine, but I think that blueberries or chocolate chips would be delicious! This is not a western-style cake, so if you like things really sweet, you may want to add more sugar or eat the mushi-pan with syrup or jam.


1 Egg

2 tsp of Milk

2 tsp of Sugar

50g (1.7oz) of Flour ( I used whole wheat)

1 tsp of Baking Powder

In a small bowl, beat the egg, then add the milk and sugar. Mix well. Add the flour and baking powder, lightly mixing it and taking care not to make the batter sticky. If you have a steamer, boil water in the pot, and place the bowl into the steamer basket. Put on the lid and steam for about 12 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.


If you do not have a steamer, you can turn a plate upside down in a pot, pour about a cup of water around the plate, heat until boiling and then place the bowl on top of the plate. Cover and cook for 12 minutes.

It should look a little like this when it is done. Also, you can try using a toothpick to see if the cake is completely done.

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