All posts filed under: Kitchen

Tea and Scones

In a world of commercial coffee and tea chains, Teja was an original. This one-of-a-kind tea house was located where the Himalayan Kitchen is now in Kaimuki. To this day, I still miss it. The first time I went there, it was with my mother. When we arrived at that second floor dwelling, rich in dark wood, the owner greeted us. She was a Japanese woman in her mid-thirties. She was well-traveled and had learned about tea all over the world.  She was also an amazing collector of cups and saucers and teapots, that would make even the grumpiest person smile. Her tea house wasn’t Asian, nor was it the frilly stuff that only appeal to women. For lack of a better word, it was more artsy. The owner invited us to smell a variety of teas. There were spicier teas from India and more herbal ones from Japan and China. I chose one called Wedding Chai. You never know. Tea could bring a man into your life. You should try for luck anywhere you can …

Konbu Maki: Tied, Sealed, Simmered–I’m Yours

I love New Years! Unlike other holidays, New Years is about possibility. Everything is fresh on January 1. You can have big dreams again and believe that yes, this year they will surely come true. In Japan, it’s the day you go to the shrine and get your fortune and pray for good luck in the coming year. But for me, the big draw has always been the food. When I was young, we would spend New Years Day at my aunt’s mother-in-law’s house. By the time we got there, the Red and White Song Festival was on and a multitude of traditional Japanese New Years dishes patiently awaited us. Sadly, I don’t remember what we ate. There was too much food! But to this day, I can never forget her ozoni or mochi soup. Ozoni is often times the first meal of the New Year and it differs by region in Japan. Some prefectures like Kyoto may use white miso, others may include lots and lots of seafood. But my aunt’s mother-in-law’s version was simple. It …