Sesame Scallion Waffles

2 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup vegetable or canola oil, plus more for brushing the waffle iron
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon five spice powder
⅛ teaspoon Sichuan pepper powder
⅛ teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
1 ⅔ cups finely chopped scallions
⅓ cup toasted sesame seeds


(Note: Toast the sesame seeds in a pan and cool completely before adding them into the batter; we like to toast sesame seeds even if the ones you buy are already toasted – it really makes a huge difference. Make sure you use a clean, dry pan for toasting your sesame seeds.)
Beat the eggs and oil together until well combined. Next, whisk in the whole milk, sesame oil, salt, sugar, flour, baking powder, five spice powder, Sichuan peppercorn powder, and fresh ground white pepper until just combined. Be careful not to overmix!
Add the scallions and toasted sesame seeds to the batter, and mix until evenly distributed. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes.
Heat your waffle iron to the highest setting, and once it’s hot, pour enough batter in to cover. Most waffle irons are non-stick and do not require any additional oil, but if you have an old cast iron one, you can brush the iron with some oil or melted butter, especially if you want an extra crispy waffle.
How much batter you use for each sesame scallion waffle and the length of time the waffle needs to cook depends upon the waffle iron you are using, but you will know what to do after you make the first one. Most Belgian waffle makers can accommodate about ¾ cup of batter per waffle and will take 6 minutes to cook up a brown and crispy waffle. When the steam subsides, you can be pretty confident that your waffle is done.
If you have a waffle iron that flips, flip it once after you have poured in the batter and once more halfway through the cooking – or about 3 minutes. Check your waffle after 6 minutes and let it cook longer if you like your waffles darker and crunchier. Flipping helps to release the steam from the batter makes your sesame scallion waffles crispier. You can make adjustments as needed according to your setup!
Take the waffle out of the iron when done, taking care not to burn yourself because they are really hot.
Serve immediately or let them cool on a rack and freeze them for another day!


Ratatouille Pasta

2 cups diced zucchini
2 cups diced eggplant
1 onion, diced
3 cups cherry tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
5 sun dried tomatoes, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried basil
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
8 oz. spaghetti
fresh basil, julienned,
fresh parsley, chopped
Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combined diced zucchini, eggplant, onion, and cherry tomatoes.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, minced garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon minced onion. Add the herbs, salt, and pepper. Add this mixture to the vegetables and toss until everything is well coated.
Line a sheet pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper. Spread the vegetables evenly on the pan. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes, stirring the vegetables once halfway through baking.
Cook your spaghetti until al dente and toss with the roasted ratatouille, fresh basil, parsley, and parmesan. Serve!

Eggplant String Bean Stir Fry


¼ cup oil
8 oz. green beans, cut into 2-3 inch long pieces
1 long purple eggplant (approx. 8 oz), cut into ½” x 2” strips
2 slices ginger, julienned
6 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
1 red holland chili, de-seeded and sliced (you can also substitute some red bell pepper if you want the dish to be mild)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
Salt, to taste
⅛ teaspoon ground white pepper


In a flat bottomed frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat, and shallow fry the green beans. Roll the beans around slowly until they start to look wrinkly and slightly crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove them to a plate and set aside.
Using the remaining oil in the pan, do the same procedure with the eggplant using slightly higher heat. It’s done once the edges turn slightly browned, and the eggplant is tender. Remove the eggplant from the pan and set aside along with the green beans.
Add one tablespoon of the leftover oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and red chili, and cook for a minute. Mix in the green beans and eggplant, and then the light soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt, and white pepper. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, and serve.

Vegetarian Hot and Sour Soup

NOTE: this is made with eggs, tofu and mushrooms. omit/change up as you desire.
Maybe add carrots, corn and spinach instead?


¼ cup cornstarch, plus 1 teaspoon
¼ cup water
1 to 2 dried red chili peppers
½ teaspoon oil
¼ cup soaked dried lily flower
¼ cup soaked wood ears
¼ cup soaked dried shiitake mushrooms
1 small block of spiced tofu (1/4 cup)
¼ cup packaged firm tofu
¼ cup winter bamboo shoots (canned is ok and fresh is better if you can find it)
2 eggs
1 scallion
8 cups vegetable stock or water
½ teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
2 teaspoon dark soy or mushroom soy sauce
1 tablespoon light or seasoned soy sauce
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons white vinegar (or black, red or rice)
1 pinch of sugar


  1. Mix ¼ cup cornstarch with an equal amount of water and use a spoon to stir until completely dissolved.
  2. Cut the dried chile peppers in half discard the seeds. Mince them up and set aside.
    Soak the dried lily flower, wood ears, and mushrooms for an hour or two until hydrated. Once they’re ready, slice the mushrooms and give the wood ears a rough chop. Trim the tough ends off the lily flowers and cut them in half.
  3. Cut the spiced tofu and the firm tofu into 2-inch long and ¼-inch thick pieces. Slice the winter bamboo shoots into the same shape.
  4. Beat the two eggs in a bowl. Wash and chop the scallion and set aside.
  5. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a wok or pot and add the pork. Stir to ensure the slices are not clumped together. Skim off any foam that floats to the top.
  6. Add the chili pepper, white pepper and both soy sauces, and check the soup for salt.
  7. Add the lily flowers, wood ears, mushrooms and bamboo shoots and bring the soup to a simmer. Add the two kinds of tofu, sesame oil, vinegar and a pinch of sugar and stir. It should start to look and smell like the real thing about now!
  8. Use a spoon to remix your cornstarch slurry in the bowl so it’s all combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer and use your soup ladle and stir the soup at the center of the wok in steady a circular motion to make a whirlpool while slowly pouring the corn starch slurry in a thin stream. This prevents the cornstarch from clumping.
  9. Stop when you are about ¾ of the way done with your slurry to check the consistency of the soup. It should be thick enough to coat your spoon or ladle. Add the rest if needed.
  10. Keep the soup simmering and use the same technique with the beaten eggs and again, make sure the motion is fast enough or you will end up with egg clumps instead of the beautiful swirls or egg “flowers” (which is what the Chinese call it).
  11. Garnish with the chopped scallions and serve.

Asian Meal Planning and Shopping List

This is kind of a hodgepodge “Asian” recipe. I basically combined the Japanese and Korean sushi and kimbap recipes in a way that I personally like, and to minimize work I bought prepared stuff from Mitsuwa in Illinois.

Shopping List:

  1. Wasabi paste in a tube
  2. Nori seaweed wrap sheets
  3. picked ginger
  4. pickled daikon
  5. pickled burdock root
  6. Japanese cucumber (there is a pickled side dish version of this too)
  7. spinach (there is some kind of side dish in the store)
  8. eggplant (there is a side dish version in the store too)
  9. carrots
  10. avocado
  11. green onion
  12. short grain Japanese sushi rice (sticky rice?)

Miso Soup Shopping List

  1. White miso paste (shiro miso)
  2. tofu

Gyoza Shopping List

  1. cabbage (napa or regular)
  2. dumpling wrappers (or rice paper wrappers)
  3. green onion

Other stuff

  1. umeboshi (dried plums)(pickled to make onigiri)
  2. Korean plum paste/syrup/jelly (maeshil cha)
  3. jujube (dae chu cha)
  4. dried persimmon
  5. yul mu cha (job’s tears and walnut breakfast protein tea)
  6. bori cha (barley tea)
  7. kombu seaweed (for onigiri)
  8. lao gan ma chinese chili black bean sauce
  9. hong kong style pan fried noodles [hong kong style egg noodles]
  10. chinese five spice
  11. Shaoxing wine

Vegetarian Food at 711s in Japan:

Vegetarian Restauarants in Japan:

Tofu Kimbap (Korean Style)



5 gim (aka nori) sheets

2 cups uncooked short grain rice (standard measuring cup not the cup that comes with a rice cooker) – see note
1 tablespoons sesame oil
salt to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon)

For the fillings
10 ounces firm tofu
1 bunch spinach (about 8 ounces)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 kirby cucumbers
2 medium carrots
1 burdock root (uoeong), braised – see the recipe
sesame oil
cooking oil

Cook the rice using a little less water than usual. Fresh cooked rice is best for gimbap.

Cut the tofu into about 3/4-inch thick sticks. Pat dry with a paper towel, and lightly sprinkle with salt. Heat a small pan with enough oil to cover the pan. Add the tofu pieces and fry until all sides are golden brown.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and prepare an ice bath. Blanch the spinach, place immediately in the ice bath, then squeeze out the water. Cut into short lengths by running a knife through a few of times. Season with the sesame oil (about 1/2 teaspoon) and salt.

Cut the cucumber into 1/2-inch thick sticks. Do not use the seedy part. Heat the pan with a little bit of oil over medium high heat. Stir fry the cucumber until softened. Lightly season with salt.

Julienne the carrots. Heat the pan with a little bit of oil over medium high heat. Stir fry the carrots until softened. Lightly season with salt.

When all the other ingredients are ready, remove the rice from the rice cooker. While the rice is still hot, add the sesame oil and salt. Mix well by gently folding with a rice paddle or large spoon until evenly seasoned. Add more salt to taste. The rice will cool down during this process and be ready to be used.

Put a sheet of gim, shiny side down and longer side toward you, on a cutting board or a bamboo mat if available. Spread about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of rice evenly over the gim, using a rice paddle or your fingers preferably. Lay the prepared ingredients on top of the rice close to the side toward you.

Lift the entire bottom edge with both hands and roll over the filling away from you, tucking in the filling with your fingers. Put firm pressure over the roll with the help of the bamboo mat, if using, to close everything in tightly. Then, continue to roll again, putting pressure evenly over the roll using both hands.

Rub or brush the roll with a little bit of sesame oil for extra flavor and shiny look. Apply a little bit of sesame oil to a sharp knife. This will keep rice from sticking to the knife. Repeat as necessary after each cut. Wipe the knife with a damp towel if the rice still sticks. Cut the roll into 1/2-inch thick bite sizes.

Mix 1 cup regular short grain rice with 1 cup short grain brown rice for a healthier option.

Braised Burdock Root Recipe
Ueong Jorim

1 burdock root (about 1/2 pound)
1 tablespoon sesame oil (or perilla seed oil – deulgireum, 들기름)
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice syrup (jocheong, 조청) or corn syrup (mulyeot, 물엿)
1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds


Rinse the root. Cut into 2 long pieces. Scrape off the skin with a knife or the back of a knife.

Cut each piece diagonally into thin slices. Gather a few thin slices at a time, and cut into match sticks.

Heat a pan. Add the burdock root and a tablespoon of sesame oil or perilla seed oil. Stir-fry until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add 4 tablespoons water, the soy sauce, and rice syrup. Simmer over medium low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 7 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Cucumber Sushi (Japanese Style)

Inspired by:

YIELDMakes 12 cucumber rolls


Sushi Zu:
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups sushi rice
3 cups water

1/2 sheet of seaweed (nori)
Sesame seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon prepared wasabi
3 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced into long thin strips (matchstick size)


Sushi Zu Preparation:
Combine all of the ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil. Take off of the heat and allow to cool.

Rice Preparation:
Rice volume increases 2-2 1/2 times as it cooks. Almost all the short grain rice needs to be washed before cooking, because of the starch on the surface of each grain. If you cook rice without washing, starch makes the texture and taste less palatable. The following is the procedure to prepare rice:
Wash rice with care, putting rice in a big bowl and washing gently with cold running water for 10 minutes. Drain rice in a big colander and dry for 20-30 minutes. Place washed rice and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Allow to cook for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Turn off heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Place in a large bowl and pour over Sushi Zu mixture.

Sushi Preparation:
Place 1/2 sheet of seaweed (nori) lengthwise, shinny side down on a bamboo roller. Place approximately 3 ounces of sushi rice formed into a bar in the center of the seaweed, going lengthwise, spread rice evenly, covering entire nori except for about 1/2 inch at the top edge. Spread wasabi thinly in the center, on top of the rice, lengthwise from one and to the other. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of rice, if desired. Then place a couple strips of cut cucumber in the center to fill the length of the roll.
Bring seaweed and rice toward you to the edge of the bamboo roller and holding the edge of the bamboo roller with one hand and, holding the cucumbers in place with the other hand, lift up the edge of the mat closest to you. Begin rolling mat away from you, rolling over the cucumber and connecting rice to rice. Then stop to make sure you still have a 1/2 inch strip of just nori left over at the top (this is what seals the roll). Lift the edge of bamboo roller slightly and roll another 1/2 inch away from you connecting the seaweed to seaweed and sealing the roll.
Gently squeeze both sides while pressing gently down on top with both index fingers. Cut roll in half, then turn one piece around so they are parallel to one another, line them up, then cut both pieces twice, to make 6 pieces. Cut remaining rolls and serve.


For the rice:
3 cups short-grain Japanese rice, rinsed
1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar

For the rolls:
10 nori sheets (dried seaweed), halved
Sesame seeds, for sprinkling
1 cucumber
1 avocado
1 plum tomato, seeded
1 small red onion
20 asparagus spears, trimmed and blanched
Wasabi paste, for spreading and serving
1 romaine lettuce heart
Pickled ginger, for serving

Make the rice. Combine the rice and 3 1/4 cups water in a rice cooker and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A rice cooker is the best way to get perfect sticky-firm rice, but if you don’t have one, just use a saucepan. Fold in the vinegar. Combine the vinegar, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Transfer the cooked rice to a large wooden bowl (traditionally, a wooden tub). Drizzle a quarter of the vinegar mixture over a wooden spoon or spatula onto the rice. Fold the rice gently with the spoon to cool it and break up any clumps; be careful not to smash the grains. Fold in the remaining vinegar mixture and let the rice sit 5 minutes. Spread the rice.

Cover a bamboo sushi mat with plastic wrap. Place a half nori sheet rough-side up on the mat. Moisten your hands and scoop a handful of rice, slightly larger than a lemon, onto the nori. Press the rice to spread it evenly up to the edges of the nori, moistening your fingers as you go. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Prepare the vegetables. Peel the cucumber and slice into matchsticks. (Morimoto cuts the entire cucumber into a paper-thin sheet, then quickly slices it into strips-but he’s had some practice.) Thinly slice the avocado, tomato and red onion; peel the tough ends of the asparagus. Add the filling. Carefully flip over the nori so it’s rice-side down on the mat with the short end facing you. Spread a bit of wasabi paste in a line about one-third of the way up the nori-it’s spicy, so use it sparingly. Arrange a few pieces each of lettuce, cucumber, avocado, tomato and onion in a tight pile in the lower third of the sheet. It’s OK if the vegetables hang over the edges of the nori. Roll the sushi. Roll the sushi away from you with your hands, tucking in the vegetables as you go. Remove the mat from under the roll and place it on top. Press the roll into a compact rectangular log, using the mat to help you. Slice the roll. Cut the sushi roll into 4 to 6 pieces. Repeat with the remaining nori, rice and vegetables. Serve with pickled ginger and more wasabi.