Burdock Root Soup

“Ah, monastery soup!” exclaimed Shuho-san.  It does indeed taste like soups served in Japanese training temples. The signature flavour of this recipe is burdock, a long skinny root that grows wild in Europe but has seemingly fallen out of culinary use. In the UK it is more commonly known as a fizzy beverage; Dandelion & Burdock or […]

Ginger Cake

Jifu had bought a jar of stem ginger pieces in sugar syrup while shopping for the kitchen. She explained that when she was young her mother had often used it in ginger cake and it was wonderful. I was intrigued. I’d made it before using ground ginger, but it had always been a bit disappointing. […]

Cucumber and Red Onion Pickle

Marinated cucumber is (probably) the most popular type of cucumber at our lunch table. Tenkeis mother always marinated them in white vinegar, sugar, and salt; in Japan I’ve eaten very small cucumbers marinated in rice vinegar and sugar, then laced with shiso pepper and seaweed. Inspired by a visit to a Thai restaurant, this version is […]