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Entries in food (5)


paper bento from hello sandwich

the talented graphic designer hello sandwich has created this lovely paper bento for japan vogue.

you can download the pattern (in japanese) here:


after a few weeks away, i am back in japan, and can't wait to eat yummy japanese food (not the paper kind!)

i'm going to be posting a little less frequently, as i will be busy with the disaster recovery (my first 2 day jobs are related to disaster recovery research), but i will be here!


japanese cooking class at uzuki

last month i had the pleasure of taking a cooking class at uzuki  emi hiyayama teaches traditional japanese cooking in her home in kyoto, and i highly recommend that anyone who is interested in japanese cooking take her class if you have the chance.

in our class, we made some traditional fall menu items, learning about the ingredients and processes as we went along. not only does emi speak perfect english, but she also is very good at explaining the step by step process for each dish while cooking. our menu was steamed lotus root renkon mushi れんこんむし (with tosted ginko nuts, blanched sawara fish, parboiled lily root or yurine ゆりね, ginger and wasabi and amber sauce); spinach with sesami dressing (one of my personal favorites), grilled yellowtail tuna (with simple but delicious marinade of soy and mirin), tempura battered shitake mushrooms stuffed with prawns, and wonderful rice cooked in a clay pot with black rice.  i want to go back for another class next season, or maybe a sweets-making class.



wasabi root, and sharkskin grater

yellowtail tuna marinating, with shitake mushrooms

blanched sawara さわら fish in the background

sawara and the other ingredients that went into the steamed dish

spinach with homemade sesame sauce

rice with black rice, which gives the rice the red color and a wonderful flavor.




isbn 9784529046046 many cute fruits and vegetables

this book is the most amazing book i've seen for making play food. it includes lots and lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as some other japanese lunch/bento items. some of the fruits and veggies are distinctively japanese, although most are recognizable around the world. what sets this book apart is not only the wide variety of projects, but also the precise and well thought out level of detail to really make these foods look delightful!

this book is really lovely in the way it depicts the foods, whole or in cut pieces, often including the pieces of food that could be put together or taken apart. for example, a bunch of bananas, apple slices, or lemon wedges. some of these use velcro in a few spots or magnets to let them attach to each other.

it has a whole huge array of fruit (apples, pears, grapes, bananas, kiwis, lemons, persimmons, strawberries, watermelon) and veggies (tomato, peas, cucumbers, carrots, onions, potatos, garlic, corn, lettuce/cabbage, japanese sweet potato, mushrooms, turnip, carrot, daikon radish, pumpkins, gobo, green onion/leeks). in addition, there are also all the parts to make a ham sandwich, or egg on toast, and japanese lunch classics like fried shrimp, dumplings, and rice balls. also, there are pancakes and desert food like strawberry cake, and ice cream.

the names of each food are written in english and japanese, but all the instructions are written in japanese only. that shouldn't be a problem for you to make them though, since there are detailed step by step photos and diagrams of the process, and patterns for the pieces are also included!

flickr set here.


isbn 97845290044158 wool felt sweets

this is the most amazing needle-felted food i have ever seen. seriously. so detailed and perfect!

'sweets of wool felt: wool desserts made by needlefelting' is the title of this book, which has the most amazing and realistic needle felted food i have ever seen. it's just be published this year.

they are intricate and very realistic cakes, breads, pastries, cookies, and so many cream and fruit decorations. all made with some very clever needle-felting, which is all explained through photos and step by step diagrams and directions. written instructions are in japanese, but the pictures and diagrams should make it easy to figure out.

this book would be a bit difficult for a complete beginner at needle-felting, but if you have the basics of needle-felting down, there are tons of great ideas, excellent photos and details to make really really realistic looking felt desserts.

there are over 42 projects, and in addition there are many more more variations of cookie shapes, fruits tarts, or japanese candies, for example.

80 pages.

flickr set here.


muji restaurant

larger muji stores also have muji restaurants, usually at the basement level, where you can choose items a la carte, or try a healthy combination meal.

in the kansai area, muji restaurants are in the kyoto muji, the kobe muji store (in the kobe BAL building) and in the osaka namba muji store.