Mar 02, 2015 comments   

I promised to share two recipes earlier in the year and I’m finally getting around to it. These are both a combination of other recipes I’ve tweaked for my own tastes. For both I’m using a Le Creuset cast iron pot but any large pot should work, you may just need to adjust the heat level is all.

Please comment any questions even if you think it’s an obvious answer because I know what it feels like to suck at cooking.

Beef Sukiyaki


Serves 2~4 people

Sukiyaki Sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake
5 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup water

Hot Pot Items

~14oz thinly sliced beef or pork
1 head of napa cabbage (cut into 2″ wide sections)
1 bunch of green onion (sliced diagonally into 1″ pieces)
1 bunch enoki mushrooms (cut from root)
6 small shiitake mushrooms (stems removed)
1 block grilled firm tofu sliced
1 pack yam noodles (shirataki)
1 tablespoon grape seed oil

1~2 cups cooked rice


Mix ingredients into a small pot. Stir well over high heat. Bring to a boil and immediately remove the pot from heat. You just want to burn off the alcohol from the sake. Set aside.

Hot Pot
Par boil noodles first. Place noodles in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Remove from heat and strain immediately. Set aside in cool water.

Add grape seed oil to pot over med-high heat. Slice or cube tofu and grill about 3 minutes per side. Set tofu aside when done.

Add green onions to pot and grill on med-high heat for ~1 minute. Then add ~1/2 of the meat. Add about 1/4 cup of the sukiyaki sauce and sauté the meat and onions until brown. Lower heat.

Add all other ingredients (to fit) into pot. Best to place the noodles away from any meat to prevent the meat from becoming tough.

Add remaining sukiyaki sauce, cover and cook over medium heat until ingredients are tender. Usually about 5 minutes.

Ready to eat!


- I always double the sauce amount for a second boil of remaining ingredients.

- Ready-made sukiyaki sauce exists. This recipe tastes exact to a brand I use sometimes but is cheaper.

- If you can’t buy sake there are other sauce recipes out there. Many using mirin. I’d suggest Googling them.

- I remove the pot after cooking everything for a few minutes. I set it on top a trivet in the middle of the table. The food continues to cook a little after being removed from the heat. Later I place it back onto the stove, add in more sauce and ingredients, and bring to a boil on high and bring it back to the table.

- Man if you got a tabletop electric or gas stove you’re set!

- I brown about 1/4 of the meat in the beginning but also add more meat when adding the other ingredients as well so I can have some meat well done & some just medium-rare.

- You can use white cabbage it just takes longer to cook, remains a bit tougher.

- Raw egg is often served with sukiyaki. I don’t really like eggs.

- The beef or pork might have “sukiyaki” or “shabu shabu” labeled on it but either way it has to be very thin! You might be able to request marbled sirloin cuts of beef to be sliced thinly at the butcher’s counter. Also go vegetarian, it’s just as good.

- Some sukiyaki beef packs come with the beef suet which you can use to grease the pot instead of grape seed or cooking oil.

Stove Top BBQ Ribs

Serves 2 people

- slab of pork ribs or beef short ribs (~2 lbs)
- 20oz bottle of ketchup
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke (optional)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 lemon squeezed
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 onion sliced


Place sliced onions into pot and cook over medium-high until they begin to soften. Add all other ingredients and stir well. Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes. Add ribs, bring sauce to a boil, lower heat to a simmer (low) and cover 90 minutes to 2 hours stirring about every 20 minutes to prevent the sauce from burning on the bottom. When the meat begins to fall off the bones, or internal temperature reaches 145F~160F remove from heat and ready to serve.


I season this to taste each time I make it. Sometimes I add more brown sugar or more water. I’ve also added white pepper powder for spice and honey for a sweeter taste. It’s pretty foolproof. You could actually just use a whole bottle of bottled BBQ sauce if you’d like!

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What I’ve Been Up to Lately

Aug 18, 2014 comments   

I’m just getting over a stomach flu from last week. I just wanted to share that. I also got a therapeutic (painful) massage recently to alleviate the spasm in my lower back. But I swear I’ve been up to more than just sleeping and shopping at Madewell.

So here they are in no particular order.

I made a set of mini apple and mini berry pies last week. Baking a whole pie feels like a much bigger hassle than whipping these guys. Basically within an hour I’m eating pie and ice cream. Having this one with Starbuck’s iced coffee. I was giving the brand a try. I prefer Illy’s more bitter taste for quick cold coffee.

I bought some essential oils from muji because they restocked their yuzu. Their yuzu is alright. The yuzu Anna sent me was a million times better but I can deal. Plus the other two scents I got from Muji are really great.

muji essential oils

I learned that ivy is another plant that you can propagate and grew in just water. So I clipped a few vines from the shared fence with the neighbor and started growing some in my existing topiary jars. Now I have devil’s ivy with lavender and english ivy.

muji essential oils

I found the “Harmony Aroma” body washes from Bathclin. These are really nice and different. The soap is creamy and creates a thick lather. The fragrances have a woodsy, herb note to them, even the rose version.

harmony aroma body wash

I also bought Lee magazine. It’s a casual, natural lifestyle magazine for women in their late 20’s to mid 30’s. It includes casual looks for the office, at home, out on dates, or out with young kids. I thought it might be too family oriented but it’s actually pretty balanced between family, working, single, etc. The home section is fantastic with simple aesthetics and recipes. The makeup and clothing is great too. Not too high-end but not overtly trendy and cheap.

I got to have some real German food for the first time in ages as well as remind myself how potent kirschwasser is.

Lastly I’ve started yoga. Though I feel “yoga” is a loaded word full of expectations of health, juice cleanses, studio visits, and kale chips. I didn’t start that yoga lifestyle. I just started Yin Yoga for my back and legs. Yin yoga focuses on stretching the skeletal muscles. There are fewer and easier positions. And I’ve kept doing it because I’m feeling the results. My back and legs are far less tight. I was having troubles walking recently from my calf muscles being so tight even after massages and muscle relaxers.

yoga for sleep

I do the stretches about every other night usually after a hot bath or right before bed. You keep the positions longer than in traditional yoga. So even though I didn’t get into it for the “peace of mind” you are sort of forced to relax and almost meditate as you keep some positions for 3~5 minutes.

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