Pineapple Raita

Raita is an amazing versatile side-dish of Asian origin. When paired with chutney, it adds a tangy brightness to the spiciness and earthiness of a good curry. When poured over rice or salad, it gives them a sunny lightness. This fruity raita reminds me of the classic “cottage cheese with pineapple” that goes with anything […]

Umami Bomb Beans

This simple recipe was inspired by a special occasion at a lovely restaurant, which was both a real treat during the coronavirus epidemic and a vacation substitute! (Needless to say, the restaurant was not very busy). The rich dark gravy in one dish had notes of mushrooms, anise, and clove, the latter of which are […]

Mixed Vegetable Yakitori Skewers

I asked around what to make for lunch one day, and Doin gave me this wry look and said, Yakitori? There is a wonderful Yakitori restaurant called Torishige (鳥茂) in Gotanda, Tokyo where we’ve been on many a night out with Hojosan. The owners are members of his temple, and he often goes there to […]

Mexican Tomato Rice

On our cookbook shelf stands a small cookbook called “America Likes It Hot“. I bought it during the pre-Amazon years for just £1.95 from a local book market somewhere in the ’90s. It has a few short recipes that are quite surprisingly simple. However, because of its pamphlet size, it’s small enough to loose between […]

Indian-style Spiced Millet Upma

Millet is usually too dry for my taste, but this Indian-Style recipe adapted from traditional Upma is delicious. I discovered it thanks to a cookbook that someone gave the Zen River kitchen several years ago. Serve this delightful recipe with Apple Chutney, Cucumber Tzatziki, and fresh coriander. To make a complete meal in and of […]

Tanuki Soba

This recipe is a Japanese-style heartwarming dish. I asked Shuho-san our resident Japanese monk what he would call this at home? Tanuki, he said. What is that? I asked. It’s a small mythical creature (like a racoon), and when we serve it with Udon, it’s called Kitsune (a mythical fox).The name certainly adds a mysterious […]

Sunflower and Lime dressing

This is a lovely creamy dressing, with a vibrant green hue. Tozen was intrigued and asked if it was either in the book or on the blog? I said it was barely out of my head and into my notebook! So he took a quick snapshot of my handwritten scrawly note just as he left […]

Mole Verde with Butter Beans

This is fast becoming a green favourite. But I have to confess, it took a while to make it yummy enough without the chicken and the tomatillos, a small green tomato-like fruit that doesn’t seem to grow in shops around here. When we’ve been served this is Mexican restaurants, there was lots of sauce and […]

Cool Potato Salad

Tenkei first introduced me to this festive cold potato salad not long after I met him. He told me his mum often made it for summer parties. I imagine it was one of those post-war creations made on a budget? All you needed were potatoes plus whatever was at hand to mix through it. Sardines, […]

Fresh Thai-Style Veggies

Today The Netherlands became stricter on social distancing, as have many other countries in our world. The good side might be that, if we are still in good health, by being stuck at home there may be more time to cook? At least I hope so! Anyway, this might be a nice recipe to try. […]