Japanese Curry Rice

Here’s something from my mom’s standard repertoire when we were growing up. It was easy to toss together and made lots of leftovers, which is great when you want a fast meal for a family of 5. We probably had it at least every month. Really, this is like the Japanese version of mac and cheese — warm, filling and full of starchy goodness. Except without the lactose issues, because Asians, yo. My version departs only a little bit from hers, which in turn departs a little from the original recipe that is printed on the back of the box. …

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Steamed Eggs (Chawanmushi or Water Egg)

So, every mom has some sort of special dish they make for when you are sick. Most Americans whip out the chicken noodle soup. My mom preferred to make either rice porridge or steamed eggs. Mmm, steamed eggs. In Taiwanese, we called them “diem nung” which translated into something along the lines of dunked eggs. It’s chawanmushi in Japanese. They’re pretty much a savory custard, soft and silken and just lightly seasoned. It’s all about the texture — done properly, it jiggles when you hold it, scoops like soft tofu and melts in your mouth like the creamiest flan. I …

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Salmon and Scallop Inarizushi

The boy and I went out to sushi fairly frequently back in OC because we had a stellar local restaurant with an excellent selection of everything we could possible ask for. When I was growing up, though, going out wasn’t as common and my mother would often make her own interpretations of sushi, both with nori and with sweet fried tofu pouches called inari. Inari is great because it’s super fast to prep and doesn’t require as much effort as properly rolled nori does. Plus, if made with durable toppings like shredded dried fish, you can just stuff a few …

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