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 […]

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, […]

Shitake “Bitterballen”

A favourite bar snack in The Netherlands is Bitterballen. Small, round, deep-fried croquettes formed from bechamel sauce and meat, served with mustard, and usually accompanied by a drink. These days it is not unusual to find vegetarian versions, but the ones I’ve tried so far have been no match for the real deal. So I decided […]

Single Pancake Recipe

I always imagined pancakes served stacked like a leaning tower of Piza surrounded by a noisy crowd of happy kids. (However, I’ve learned that stacking hot pancakes is not such a good idea!) Even though all those kids have long since grown up, the Zen River crew still love it when pancakes show up for […]

Kedgeree with Smoked Tofu

A long time ago, I read somewhere with great fascination that the British Royal family were served Kedgeree for breakfast on New Year’s Day. I never knew what it was and thought it was some exotic, mysterious, complicated recipe. Until I discovered nothing could be further from the truth. Turned out it was not just […]

Cream of Mushroom Pasta with Broccoli & Soy Slices

Pasta must be an all time favourite in Zen Centres. It hardly matters what kind and it’s always a win-win situation. At the old Kanzeon Zen Center in Salt Lake City, pasta would often be the meal of choice for a festive celebration. I recall going a little overboard one time. It was at the end of Ango […]