Recipe: Matcha Coconut Mochi Cake

I made this cake last week for a Chinese New Year’s celebration party. It was an instance crowd-pleaser.


I was asked to share the recipe so here it is.

Continue reading “Recipe: Matcha Coconut Mochi Cake”


Foliage Season in Kyoto – Day 4

How long would you wait for a bowl of noodle?

When we got to Ramen Sen No Kaze half an hour before its opening, there were already a dozen people lining up at the door.


Continue reading “Foliage Season in Kyoto – Day 4”

Foliage Season in Kyoto – Day 2

In Kyoto we stayed at a ryokan. It wasn’t one of those fancy schmancy places, but it does offer breakfast for the additional cost of 2000 yen. I like Japanese breakfast and would never pass an opportunity to try one.

Continue reading “Foliage Season in Kyoto – Day 2”

Gion Kawakami, Kyoto

After making a brief stop in the snow laden Kanazawa, we arrived in Kyoto late afternoon to a brilliant sunset.


For dinner, we went to Gion Kawakami (祇園川上). It turned out to be one of the most satisfying meals we’ve had in Japan this time around. Continue reading “Gion Kawakami, Kyoto”

Sushi Kashiba

Sushi Kashiba is an upscale sushi restaurant in Seattle. It’s conveniently located by the Pike Place Market and is owned by the Seattle legendary sushi chef Shiro Kashiba, who trained with Jiro Ono back in the 1960s. Sushi Kashiba is often regarded as one of the best sushi restaurants in Seattle. Tourists and locals alike queue up outside its door before the 5 o’clock opening time waiting to get a seat at the sushi bar.

But, does it live up to the hype? Continue reading “Sushi Kashiba”

Seattle Lunch Options – Kisaku Sushi

When we go to Kisaku for lunch, we always sit at the sushi bar order omakase. Then we sit down, have our bowl of salad and miso soup, and watch the chef work his magic.

First come the basics, which consists of, but not limited to: amberjack, yellow jack, bonito, gizzard shad, yellowtail, and sea scallop with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of sea salt.

Then follow the fatty fish…lots of fatty fish. They are so good, they give you this buzz that keeps you happy the rest of the day. Continue reading “Seattle Lunch Options – Kisaku Sushi”

Amazake – Sweet Sake Drink

Winter has finally arrived in Seattle. On Thursday, we had our first snow of the season.

I suddenly remembered that I still have some sake kasu (sake lees) from our sake brewery visits earlier this year. If you happen to be in Japan late January – February in a sake brewing region, don’t miss the opportunity to participate in a brewery tour. It is really fun as well as educational. We even happened upon a once-a-year brewery gathering and tasting event that day.  I am by no means a drinker, but I had a BLAST! Continue reading “Amazake – Sweet Sake Drink”

Hiro Tawara Kaiseki Pop-up

As a food writer, do you have a secret place that you just want to keep to yourself? <ponder on this for a second before answering…>

Chef Hiro Tawara is a gem. His monthly kaiseiki pop-up in Pike Place Market serves up an elaborated multi-course menu, showcasing his years of experience as a kaiseiki chef in Kyoto, while incorporating local seasonal ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. Continue reading “Hiro Tawara Kaiseki Pop-up”