It seems like the recent typhoon activity ushered in some cooler weather here in Okinawa. It’s a welcome change from all the heat. Warming soups and stews are particularly good during the changing weather. They’re also great for balancing vata.
I picked up some Okinawan spinach, or handama, this week. Handama has a beautiful purple color on one side the leaf. It can be eaten raw or cooked. It’s got a pleasant and mild taste. I also found fresh lotus root, known as renkon in Japanese. It’s easy to find packaged renkon in the local Japanese stores, but this is the first time I’ve been able to use it fresh. It’s cooling and great for the liver. Continue reading →
Oh, hey kabocha. You delicious lil thing, you. Continuing on with the delights from the Japanese farmers market. Will it ever end? I hope not.
Kabocha is a winter squash, but it’s often called Japanese Pumpkin. I remember seeing it occasionally in the states. Additionally, a kabochayarou is a man with an unattractive, unusually-shaped face. Yay! Fun Japanese words!
I was inspired this week to try some new Okinawan summer veggies. I saw this huge green vegetable, with a sticker price of around $1.75, and decided that I must learn to like this, based on the price alone. I stood there in the middle of the market, entering kana into my Japanese translation app to discover that yuugao is bottle gourd! Then I Google what the heck a bottle gourd is good for. Apparently, they make delightful liquid vessels once they’re dried. Also, people eat them. I’m off to a good start! Continue reading →
I rarely use a recipe. I don’t use measurements. It’s actually really hard for me to write recipes. Sometimes I just make up rough amounts of ingredients (shhh, don’t tell!) to share with people. It’s more like a guideline to avoid disaster. I taste as I go. You should too. Every now and again, my brilliant husband, who knows me well, tells me to write one down. I never do because I always think that I’ll remember what I’ve made. It’s. Never. Happened. I decided to listen to him this time, and I’m so glad I did. I’ll get better at the picture-taking, too… Continue reading →
This is one of the first dishes I made when I returned from India. And I made it nearly every other day for two weeks. Yum! I learned to make a variation of this chutney while in Kerala, but had to make some substitutions based on what I could find here when I got home. I also made it friendly for people with pitta constitutions (like me!). Continue reading →