Oomisoka  December 31,  2010

We call the December 31 "OOMISOKA".

Today we had the first snow in kyoto city as this winter.
It have been snowing all day long.

The neighborhood is so quiet and calm.

People must be staying inside of their house and be reluxed.

This is the view from the terace of my house.

I decorated the entrance to put the new year's flowers.


2011 is the year of rabbit!  She is smiling btween the pine trees.

This is called Kagami-mochi.

This is served for God and made of rice.

I have started to cook Osechi from the morning again.

Winter vegetables

Daikon&Kintoki ninjin(winter carrot)Yuzu(winter orange).


This is shreaded salad with daikon,carrot and yuzu peel
dressed with sesame dressing of rice vineger,sugar,and a little bit soysauce.


This is small dried sadine carameled soysauce,sake and mirin.


Konnyaku is one of the traditional ingredients here.

This is simmerd with dashi,soysauce and mirin.

●Kintoki Ninjin

Cooked carrot with dashi,sugar and mrin.

This carrot is a little bit sweeter and softer.

We can get this only winter time.

Lotus roots

● Subasu

This  is boiled renkon and simmer with dashi,rice vineger,sake and sugar.

It is good to be white color.

●Dashimaki Tamago

This is rolled omelet with dashi.

In evening,I decorated them in special box(Ju-bako).

● Ichi no ju (the first box)

● Ni no ju (the second box)

● San no ju (the third box)

I put them at a cool place until tomorrow.

We have a tradition to eat Soba the end of year.

Tonight topping is Temupura,thank for this year's happy things.

At 12:00am

I went to the local temple near my house to ring the bell.
It was so cold outside....

See you  2011!


The end of the year 2010

It was so quickly passing in this year.
I really enjoyed to meet interesting people who come from different
countries through my cooking lessons.

I am taking new year vacation from the end of December to the New year.
Then i am preparing the decoration in my house and cook the new years dishes.

I went to visit Nishiki market this morning to get special ingredients and vegetables for that.
Even morning,there are so many people and i could not walk through in the crowded small street.
But i like that.Because it make me feel the end of year.

We call new years dish,OSECHI.
I will make 16-18kinds of osechi.



This is dried cod and one of the traditional winter item in Kyoto.

I have been soaking this in cold water for a week.

Then simmer in water with kombu.

About 3hours later, add soysauce,mirin and sugar.

Cook with Ebi-imo(kyoto local potato) together for 3 hours more.


Kuro mame(black beans) is famous in Tamba area(northen part of kyoto prefecture).

It is simmerd for 6 hours in water including sugar.

It will be very soft and smooth.This is one of my favorite!


Marinated fish with sweet miso

A couple of days later,off the paste and grill the fish.

The fish will have beautiful miso flavor.

●Tataki Gobo

I introduced many time this loot vegetable,Gobo.

It is boiled and dressed with sesame,dashi,rice vineger,and soysauce.


 Kazunoko is herring roe.One of the popular Osechi ingredients.
This sells with salty,so I soak in water for 6 hours to remove salt.
Then marrinate with dashi,sake,mirin and soysauce for a day.

Serve bonito flakes on top.


The winter coming soon

Kyoto,it is getting colder and colder.

It is nice to walk in a mountain. The leaves are changing their colors.
So pretty!


I love the roots vegetables like gobo(brown burdock),renkon(lotus root)
Japanese red carrot.This carrot is sweeter than normal one and only can get in winter.


This is preparing for Chikuzen-ni,which is one of a popular home dish.
Cut the same size and stair-fry with the oil.

Add dashi or water with soysause,mirin and little sugar.Then simmer it. 


The other day,I had a Oden party with my friends.

Oden is one of the popular pot dish in winter.
It takes a lot of time for preparation,but you can cook everything
before your guests came.That is very convinient menu for party.


Daikon is boiled for preparation.


boiled egg,konjaku,boiled daikon

They are all fish paste prodacts.with cheese,mochi and tofu.

The fish paste products are very very popular ingredients here.



Cook vegetables with dashi soup including soysauce,mirin,and alittle sugar.

for a few hours.


Set on the table with pot and add fish paste product in last minutes.

You can pick up some as you like by yourselves.


I love the Daikon.
This food make your body warm very much.
It's good for cold day!


Create an Autumn Picnic Bento Lunchbox!

I like a picnic or hiking in autumn very much.
I often go hiking around northen part of Kyoto or Shiga area.
The mountains are not so high but the views are so beautiful
especially maple colors are changing.

Another fun is bento box.
It is more tasty to eat in the nature.

Autumn in Japan is an  especially popular time for outdoor events
and activities such as sports festival ,school hikes,and shrine/temple festivals.

Many poeple bring homemade bento boxes to these events.
It is always exciting  to see what inside when they are opened.

I feel the bento is special form of traditional japanese culture.

Especially we call the picnic bento Koraku bento.
They are always beautiful and seasonal.

I like to bring with my family or friends it and enjoy the colors of autumn
on picnic along the Kamo River or the river in Arashiyama or some other
lovely locations.

This is usu-age(thin deep-fried tofu) for sushi.
I get them at tofu shop.

Cut this age in half(triangle shape) then simmer with sweeten Dashi.
In another pot, this is cooking autumn vegetables(lotus roots,
gobo,and carrot)with dashi.

Add them in Sushi rice.

Put the sushi rice in a pocket. 

Inari Sushi &
 Chicken Tatsuta-age(Autumn deep-fried chicken)