Gohan means cooked rice in Japanese, and it is a staple in Japanese fare. Growing up, my dinners consisted of multiple dishes, a cup of miso soup and always a bowl of rice. My mother was a great cook, and as a kid, I always helped (or pestered) her in the kitchen, which was often filled with the pleasant aroma of cooked rice. When I became old enough, I occasionally cooked for my family. I flipped through many recipe books and always chose international dishes that my mother never cooked before. I prepared dishes like lasagna, potatoes au gratin, and Indian curry. I was curious about the food in other countries and wanted to try something new (and perhaps I knew there was no way I could cook better Japanese than my mother did). Little did I know, that would be the beginning of my culinary adventures.
In 2003, I left my hometown of Tokyo and moved to New York City for college. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was in a great place for an avid cook. Chinatown was my go-to place for Asian ingredients. A Chinese classmate took me to various grocery stores and places for cheap eats. The farmers market at Union Squire provided me with fresh vegetables in the summer time, and in the winter I went to Korean town to have a bowl of Sundubu jjigae, a soft tofu soup, to warm myself up.
Somewhere along the way, I met a boy (now husband) and eventually moved to New Jersey. His freezer was filled with pizzas and hotdogs, and there was not a vegetable or fruit to be seen. One night, he offered to cook for me. He boiled pasta, opened a can of marinara sauce and poured it onto the pasta unheated. As you can imagine, I’ve been the commander in the kitchen since then
We left our cozy apartment and bought a house in a town right next to Little India. I collected many Indian spices but I soon realized that they were just the tip of the iceberg. I loved walking through the aisles in the Indian grocery stores looking at the ingredients I had never seen or heard of. Luckily, one of my Indian friends is an awesome cook, and she introduced me to the unknown world of Indian cooking. How awesome! There is so much more to learn about Indian cooking alone, and yet, there are countless kinds of cuisines and cooking techniques that I want to learn more about. Well, it’s a lifetime process.
I left a bank where I worked for more than four years and
am preparing to enroll in culinary school enrolled in culinary school. This blog is for sharing my culinary adventures. All the recipes are created and tested by me, unless otherwise noted. Your constructive feedback is welcome. I always try to improve my recipes, and your input is valuable. If you have questions about my recipes, please feel free to leave a comment. I will try to answer your questions.
Lastly, I’d like to thank my guinea pigs, aka husband and friends, for their support. I will keep trying to cook something that will make you smile!
This post is also available in: Japanese