Mung Dal Savoury Pancakes

While playing with some alternatives to scrambled eggs someone asked if I’d ever heard of a mung bean pancake, as it might be a good substitute for omelette? A Korean friend of theirs had given them the recipe and they were not at all difficult. However, I was rather puzzled when my first attempt looked rather like a fat burger (more on that […]

Five Colour Tagliatelle

Twice a year at Zen River, a junior practitioner makes the transition to a senior only after completing a traditional Soto-school rite of passage known as shuso hossen shiki. It’s held at the end of a three-month training period, or Ango. During this choreographed ceremony they must give a dharma talk on a koan in front of the sangha […]

Stir-Fried Tofu

Besides beans, lentils and nuts, tofu is one of the key protein ingredients used in many of the recipes at Zen River. How to prepare tofu is a big factor in getting it right. It doesn’t really taste much of anything in its pure form. So the trick is to prepare it in such a way that it has both texture […]

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. […]

Shepherdy Pie

Every day is a good day. And today was a very good day for Shepherds Pie. When I think of Zen food, Shepherds Pie is not the first thing that comes to mind. But when the chill from the incessant wind and slapping rain gives way to hunger pangs for oven dishes, it starts to make […]