Blog, Spring Food


Hinamatsuri is a festival in Japan celebrated on March 3rd.
Sometimes also known as girls day or dolls day. On this day parents celebrate their daughters happiness and good health.

It is tradition to display ceremonial dolls,sometimes past down from many generations. There are lots of special foods associated with this day. You will find three colours of significance often displayed in a layered mochi rice cake known as hishi mochi. I made a coconut ice in these three colours and also a tofu mousse dessert.

White is for purification, green for health and pink for luck.

Another sweet eaten is Sakura Mochi. Mochi rice cake with a sweet red bean paste filling and wrapped in a salted pickled Sakura leaf and topped with a salted Sakura flower. They are a nice combination of sweet and salty.

A drink called Umeshu or plum wine goes down well for Hinamatsuri. Have it chilled on its own or with soda or even a splash in green tea for a hot drink. Plum blossom is very significant at this time as it is the start of the Hanami or flower viewing festivals and marks the beginning of spring.

Temari sushi is one of the traditional meals you can have. These decorated sushi balls take their name from Temari balls which children used to play with. Temari means hand ball. They are beautiful embroidered balls that to day are mainly used for decoration.

Another food also associated with Hinamatsuri is chirashi sushi you can find a recipe for this in one of my other posts. Which is a simple scattered sushi dish.

For to day I also made Inari sushi for my final meal served with three colour coconut ice and a nice glass of Umeshu.

Happy Hinamatsuri 幸せなひな祭り


Somen Inari

Somen are very thin noodles and I always think these delicate noodles are at their best served cold.
Instead of stuffing my Inari pouches with rice I decided to stuff them with somen noodles and add a light no oil dressing .
The dressing was really simple just yuzu juice,mirin and brown rice vinegar.
This makes a really refreshing summer dish
Why not give it a try.

Blog, Summer Food

Inari pouches

One of my favourite go to snacks in Japan is Inari pouches filled with seasoned rice and they make a great bento lunch to make at home .

Inari is named after the Shinto god of farming fertility success and prosperity.  When you visit a Inari shrine you will find lots of statues of foxes ( kitsune ) these are the spirits ( kami ) of the shrine and it is believed they are rather partial to these little fried pockets of stuffed tofu. People often take Inari as offerings to these shrines .

The easiest way to make these is to buy some already prepared seasoned Inari pockets ( I buy mine from the Japan centre in London ) but most Asian super markets have these or you can get them on line .

They come in two packets of 8 pieces and they are seasoned with mirin and soy sauce . When I get mine I like to take them out the packaging and rice them with water to get off any oil and then pat dry with kitchen paper .

prepare some Japanese rice in your rice cooker and when done add some sushi seasoning to the rice . ( I use one by Clearspring )

These ones I then mixed in some cooked sweetcorn but you can add what ever you like or just have toppings instead .

Part your pockets carefully and spoon in your rice . I then topped these ones with some simple watercress and a scatter of black sesame seeds.

Other topping ideas could be

shiitake , pickled ginger, avocado, hijiki , edamame, furikake

Its as simple as that . Have fun .