Red Miso Soup

This soup echoes the days spent in training at Toshoji temple in Japan, where meals are often served on long, low, narrow tables with seven to fourteen monks and guests kneeling on either side, one big soup pot in the middle and a rice cooker perched on the tatami mat floor. The navigation skill it took to pass the soup […]

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

I’ve always loved cake frosting, but real butter frosting always struck me as being a little heavy – both on the palette and on the waist line. This both tastes and feels a little lighter than its sumptuous buttery cousins. Combined with chocolate cake, it reminds me somewhat of those chocolate covered coconut bars you can buy in […]

Sweet & Sour Pineapple Dressing

During sesshin not so long ago, lunch was going to be Chinese-style and a complementary salad dressing just wasn’t coming to mind. Maybe because the times we’ve been in Japan and China, fresh green salads were noticeably absent from the menu and the raw vegetables that did make their appearance were either lightly blanched, used as garnish or simply served as pickles. So it was […]

Sukiyaki Spaghetti

Oh dear, yet another Japanese inspired dish…but it’s too nice not to write up. We encountered this in Salt Lake City in the mid 1990’s when Rev. Jerry Hirano, a dear friend and Shinshū Buddhist priest, invited us to the annual Japan festival, organized by the Buddhist Temple that he presides over. One noodle dish in particular got our attention. […]