Some recipes and other food ideas for the #stayhome (or forage?) era:
- Pasta carbonara relies heavily on meat to create what is essentially the ultimate bacon, egg and cheese dish. But it doesn’t have to be this way, explains W. Tanner Kirk, if you have access to maitake mushrooms. This dish pairs well with sauvignon blanc for an impressive at-home dinner date.
- Yuzu koshō, a citrusy, spicy paste made with chili peppers and the yuzu fruit, has become quite trendy overseas. But there’s another deserving spicy chili-and-yuzu mixture that is not as well known: kanzuri. It takes three years to fully mature, but it’s worth it, writes Makiko Itoh (whose Japanese Kitchen archive remains open to all-comers amid the pandemic).
- A traditional confectionery, sweet Japanese wagashi go wonderfully with green tea and are definitely a sight to behold as well as being a treat to eat. Mio Yamada showcases five top wagashi stores in Tokyo based on reputation, uniqueness and beauty — and of course, tastiness. All shops offer takeout and sell online.
- Balls to the world! A Tokyo-based group has turned to a Japanese staple — the omusubi rice ball — as a vehicle to promote international exchange in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics. For the Omusubi Unites the World program, participants will combine local rice with fillings inspired by popular international dishes. Can’t wait to see what combos they come up with.
- In “Eating Wild Japan,” Winifred Bird traverses Japan searching for edible plants and the stories of those who pick them, eat them and live surrounded by them. The book is a botanist’s guide, a cookbook, a collection of essays about local food culture, and a memoir about rural life in Japan, writes Kris Kosaka.