When you think of mochi, you usually think of Japan. Mochi has always been one of my favorite treats, because the texture is Ah-mazing. My mother has an electric mochi pounder machine where you just put the mochi rice and water in and it does the rest. We always made a bunch of fresh mochi during the new years, and we’d freeze them to last for the rest of the year… but actually eat it up within a few weeks. Actually, we’d overindulge and get a little sick of it, so we’d be good til the next new years anyways! Ha.
On my first visit to Hawaii, I was introduced to mochi a little different from the Japanese type I ate growing up. I think of these as “Japanese inspired”. The two types I tried were chi-chi dango and butter mochi. Chi-chi dango is a soft, squishy, colorful, and yummy, aaaand I think I need to post a recipe for it! Butter mochi is rich, dense, chewy, and, obviously, buttery (I am also planning on posting a recipe for this, hopefully soon). They are both really good!
On one of my trips to Hawaii, my husband’s grandmother made pumpkin mochi. It’s a variation of the butter mochi, rich and dense. It was flavored like a pumpkin pie, but had a great chewy bite to it.
I’m not a huge pumpkin fan, and while I like pumpkin pie, I don’t really crave it.
These are a great alternative for me, because I like the texture of it better than pumpkin pie, and it’s portable and easier to eat. My kids love it- I just cut it up into squares and they grab it and go! The dense texture means there aren’t crumbs falling all over, so when they (of course) immediately walk over to the shag rug black hole of crumbs and small toys, I don’t have to worry about it!
For this recipe, I made my own puree, but only because we had gone to the pumpkin patch the day before, and I had bought a pie pumpkin specifically to make something fall-y. The recipe just calls for a can of pumpkin puree, and that’s a-ok. Actually it’s better because it’s way easier and just a few cents more expensive. The recipe also calls for a jelly roll pan, and I had to go look up what that was. I mean, what is a jelly roll? I Googled it and the first thing that came up was a rapper! Anyways, turns out it’s a roll cake, but I ain’t got a jelly roll pan(the sides are a bit higher than cookie sheets), and the original recipe makes a TON of pumpkin mochi and I don’t know what to do with that much. So, I halved it and baked it in a 9×9. Unless you are planning on taking this to a potluck, I’d do the same.
As a side note, we had a church Halloween party on Friday night and I’m sitting here typing this while eating my kids’ candy. I pick out the best ones and eat them, and then I’ll dump the rest into our candy bowl we are passing out to trick or treaters. On Halloween tomorrow, my kids will get a bunch more and I will again pick through and take my favorites after they go to bed, and then dump about 90% of the rest. Am I the only one who does that? Well, I can probably only get away with it for a couple more years. My daughter is 4 and doesn’t notice these things yet. I just don’t want her to be eating so much candy, ya know? And I like milk duds… will it hurt her if I take all of them? No. It won’t. That’s right.
So, this fall, when you want to adventure outside of the typical pumpkin pie, try these pumpkin mochi!
- 1 stick butter melted
- 2 eggs
- 7 oz condensed milk half of 14oz can
- 15 oz pumpkin puree or half of a 29oz can
- 1 t vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t ground ginger
- 1/8 t nutmeg
- 1/8 t clove
Grease a 9"x9" pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine wet ingredients and mix well. Whisk together dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix well to combine. Pour into the greased pan and bake in oven for 50-60 minutes and allow to cool before cutting and serving.
Adapted from my Hawaiian grandmother-in-law's recipe.
When you go to a cafe or a casual restaurant in Japan, you will most likely find a dish called “omurice”. Japanese people LOVE to combine two words (or one long word) into one short word. Here are some examples. 1. Karaoke is kara (empty) orchestra, because you sing without… an orchestra or live music I guess. 2. Pokemon- pocket monsters 3. Pasokon- personal computer. Omurice is a combination of the words omelette and rice.
The filling is chicken rice, which is basically cooked chopped chicken, veggies, and rice flavored with ketchup. In this recipe, I use a lot of veggies and chicken because I want this to be a one plate dinner… and I want my kids to eat their veggies! When it’s mixed with yummy rice, they eat it up.
What makes this recipe a cheater recipe, is the way you prepare the egg. Now, Japanese people love their eggs a little undercooked. The key to a yummy omurice is fluffy egg on the inside, and a pretty and smooth outside (note: this isn’t always the case, sometimes the outside isn’t smooth, but it’s still fluffy and delicious). The problem is, it’s hard to get that pretty egg on your rice without it ripping. This is especially the case when you are working with fluffy soft egg, which is what we want. In a lot of recipes, you cook your egg in a nonstick pan, you place the rice onto the egg (while still in the pan), you delicately flip the egg over the rice to cover it, and you carefully transfer it to a plate… and you don’t rip it, and it’s perfectly shaped! Oh, and you also don’t overcook the egg while trying to get the rice on there and shaped nicely. Well, that’s too many potential disasters for me. I know, because my omurice is usually yummy, but ugly. I always told myself, “it’s the flavor that matters!”, but lets be honest… if you can make it pretty, you’d want to right?
The first step is to shape your rice into footballs. Using a damp paper towel makes this easy and keeps the rice from sticking. Next, you cook up your “outer layer”, one eggs worth, swirled around the pan to make a thin layer of egg. Set aside and repeat to make enough layers for each omurice you are making. With the remaining egg, scramble in the pan until set but but not fully cooked through. Place scrambled egg over each rice football and cover with the thin layer of egg you made first. Using another damp paper towel, reshape and tuck in egg around the sides, if necessary. See how we use a layer of egg and scrambled eggs, instead of just doing the egg in one step? Sure, it’s an extra step, but it takes the headache and the need for delicate handling out of the picture.
Now you can have fluffy omurice, and have it look good too!
Cheater's Japanese Omelette Rice
- 2 cups cooked rice Japanese short grain rice
- 1 chicken breast chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1/4-1/2 onion chopped
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup frozen corn
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/2 t salt
- 3 T milk
Heat oil over medium heat in a large frying pan and saute garlic for a few seconds until fragrant. Add chopped carrots and onion and saute until onions are translucent. Add chopped chicken and cook through. Salt to taste (we're adding ketchup next, so not too salty) and stir in rice. Stir in ketchup.
Take 1/3 of the chicken rice and place on a plate. Use a damp paper towel to shape rice into a football shape. Repeat with remaining rice, to make three footballs.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Whisk eggs, salt, and milk. Pour one egg's worth into the skillet and swirl pan to evenly distribute. Cook through and set aside on a plate. Repeat two more times. Add the remaining 3 eggs worth and scramble until set, but not cooked through. Add 1/3 of the scrambled egg on top of each rice football. Place the thin cooked-egg "skin" over each football, and using another damp paper towel, fix the shape and tuck in the along the sides.
Drizzle top with extra ketchup and eat while hot.
Recipe NotesIdea from: Orange Page (Japanese)
Since moving to Kansas City, I’ve become a huge fan of BBQ. We’ve only been here a couple of months and we’ve gotten barbecue like, ten times probably. We aren’t planning on being here forever, so obviously we need to get our fill while we have the chance. <- That’s the excuse I give myself whenever I look at the restaurant section of my monthly budget.
But long before I fell in love with American barbecue, I have loved Korean barbecue. Kalbi, or Galbi, is a popular dish where short ribs are marinated and then cooked over a hot grill. Don’t have a grill, or don’t want to grill? Well, it’s also delicious if you just use a cast iron skillet, like I did.
The type of short ribs you will want for this recipe is probably different from the ones you find at your local grocery store. American or European short ribs are a hunk of meat with a bone in it, but L. A. kalbi style short ribs are cut flanken style, meaning you have a strip of beef cut across the bones, so you have a few cross sections of bone running across the meat. I tried a slightly different cut of meat this time around. I was at the Korean market and saw a package of meat actually labelled as “kalbi”. That’s all it said, so I’m not 100% sure what the cut was, but it didn’t have bone in it, which I personally prefer. This particular marinade has kiwi in it as a tenderizer, so even other tougher cuts of meat can be used (make sure it’s thin sliced). You can even use it on pork or chicken! But if you want to keep with tradition, get the flanken cut short ribs at your local Asian market (you might also be able to find it at a Mexican grocery/butcher).
You can make these on the grill, which is more traditional, or you can just cook it up on your skillet. The marinade is delicious, and the enzymes from the kiwi help tenderize the meat perfectly. Yum!
L. A. Kalbi- Korean Barbeque Short Ribs
- 1-1 1/2 lb Korean style short ribs or other thin sliced meat
- 6 T soy sauce
- 3 T sugar
- 3 T sesame oil
- 2 T sesame seeds
- 1-2 cloves garlic grated
- 1-2 green onions chopped
- 1 kiwi
- pepper to taste
Combine all of the marinade ingredients except kiwi in a large resealable plastic bag and mix well. Remove flesh from kiwi, mush, and add to marinade. Add meat to plastic bag, remove air, and seal. Massage the marinade into the meat and marinate for 1 hour, turning occasionally. Remove from marinade and cook over high heat.
Recipe NotesAdapted from: cookpad (japanese). Make sure not to marinade too long, as the enzymes from the kiwi will continue to tenderize the meat while marinating.
Kabocha is basically Japan’s pumpkin. Actually, it’s called the Japanese Pumpkin, so there you go. It’s a squash, it’s orange inside, and you make sweet and savory foods with it. The main difference, in my opinion, is that kabocha tastes better. It’s described as being a cross between pumpkin and sweet potato. Just like most squash, kabocha has a thick hard skin, and it’s kind of a pain to cut and peel, so you’ll do best with a big heavy knife. Here’s a great post on how to cut and peel a kabocha.
Kabocha is used in savory dishes like tempura, soup, and nimono (simmered until soft in a flavorful stock), and in sweet dishes like pudding, cakes, and breads. This dish, which I am calling sweet kabocha bites, is a velvety puree of kabocha combined with just a few ingredients, baked in the oven to set. The texture is a little reminiscent of custard.
You can adjust the amount of sugar in it to taste, so you can make this a really healthy treat! Kabocha is naturally sweet, more so than pumpkin, so you could probably even get by with no added sugar. What a great way to get your kids to eat some veggies!
I decided to use my mini muffin tin because I had some cute Halloween mini cupcake liners. Isn’t the vibrant orange with the pop of black from the sesame perfect for Halloween? It’s a great healthy alternative to cupcakes and cakes. If you’re gonna get overloaded with sweets this Halloween, why not make a batch of these kabocha bites to balance things out?
Sweet Kabocha Bites
- 2 cups pureed kabocha 500 g
- 4 T sugar adjust to taste
- 1 1/2 T butter
- 1 egg
- 1 t vanilla
- black sesame for topping optional
Preheat oven to 400 and prepare 20 mini cupcake liners (optional: directly pipe onto silicone mat on baking sheet). Combine all ingredients except black sesame. Pipe mixture into the cupcake liners (ex. Wilton tip 32) and sprinkle with black sesame. Bake for about 15 minutes of until tips get lightly browned.
Recipe NotesTips for cutting kabocha at Pinch of Yum. You can also cut the squash without peeling and steam in the microwave and cut the outside off once it's all softened.
For all of my adult life, I’ve been a dark chocolate fan. I love shelling out absurd amounts of money for small bars of artisan small batch chocolates. I’ll read the flavor notes profile on the back and be like, hey, I totally got a hint of the tanned leather and cranberry. Oh and I think I’m getting the hit of citrus! Oh man, these beans from (some obscure town in a country far far away) have such a great flavor!
That changed for 9 months while I was pregnant with my third baby. Pregnancy does weird things to your taste buds, and suddenly dark chocolate did not sound or taste that great at ALL. On the flip side, I was buying milk chocolate and… dare I even say it… white chocolate! I was never a white chocolate fan but suddenly I craved it. Every time I went to the grocery store I would buy a bar or two of the Hershey’s cookies’n’creme bars. During my white chocolate binge, I came across something that I knew even my pre-pregnancy taste buds would have loved. Valrhona’s Dulcey bar. Apparently it was invented on accident when a chocolatier forgot he was melting white chocolate in a bain-marie (hot water bath type thing) and left it for ten (!!!) hours and voila! had blonde chocolate. Great things can come from mistakes huh? Anyways it’s amazing and I went back and bought like, two more bars. Expensive though. Pregnancy means I can do stuff like that sometimes, but… I can’t just go out and buy expensive bars of chocolate all the time or my husband will tell me he should be able to buy the things he wants too. And by “things” he would mean a nice new mountain bike. So, no, I had to figure out a way to get my caramelized white chocolate fix another way. Turns out it’s not even that hard. Thanks Google, for showing me a hundred different sites with recipes on how to do this! I guess it was a thing, and I never knew it until about a year ago. Thank goodness I have been enlightened. Now it’s your turn!
Basically, you bake white chocolate low and slow in the oven, occasionally stirring, and it will turn this niiiice tan/blonde/light brown color. It can throw you off, because it becomes solid and a little grainy and NOT like melted chocolate, but just trust the magic and keep going. Once you are done baking it, you vigorously stir it all together and it becomes more like what you might have expected it to look like.
So now that you have caramelized white chocolate, what do you do with it? I decided to make blondies. Blondies are sometimes known to be boring, but these are anything but! I love how the caramelized taste comes through and pairs so well with the brown sugar and pecans. And look at those pretty swirls. I don’t think you will be disappointed with these, even if you are a die-hard brownie fan (like I used to be)… even if you are anti-white chocolate! Give it a try and find out how good blondies can be!
Caramelized White Chocolate Blondies
- 4-16 oz good quality white chocolate
- 12 T unsalted butter melted
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 t salt
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 cup pecan pieces toasted
Caramelize the white chocolate: Preheat oven to 265 F and pour chocolate into a rimmed baking sheet or pan (I used a 4 oz. and placed it in a small glass container). Place in oven and stir every 5-10 minutes until it has a golden brown hue, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a bowl. The chocolate should be lumpy/grainy/gross looking, but once you stir it, it should become smooth. Set aside.
Make blondies: Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 9x13" baking pan with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix together butter and sugar until combined well. Add eggs and vanilla extract and stir in. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder, and sift into the butter mixture. Fold in and be careful not to overmix. Fold in pecans, and pour into the pan. Drizzle/spoon the melted caramelized white chocolate on the top of the batter and swirl. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until set and baked through. Cool to room temperature and cut into squares.
Recipe NotesAdapted from: Glazed and Confused
Persimmons. They aren’t very popular in America, but everyone eats them in Japan. They are a popular fall-winter fruit. Here’s your fact of the day: the persimmon is Japan’s national fruit! If you’ve never seen one before, well, they kind of look like an orange tomato! But unlike a tomato, you have to peel them. And they are sweet. And they don’t have gooey little seeds in them. So basically they are nothing like a tomato except the outward appearance. Oooh, here’s another fun fact. Did you know that tomatoes and persimmons are both berries?! Yup, Wikipedia just told me. Interesting huh? I knew tomatoes were fruits, but I didn’t know they were berries! And Persimmons grow on trees and seem more plum or peach-ish in that sense, but… berries.
Even though my mom is Japanese, I somehow never had persimmon until I was in 4th or 5th grade. It was during lunch time at my Saturday Japanese school, and my friend had some peeled and cut pieces in her lunch. I was curious and asked her for a piece, and my mom says I came home that day and was like, “why have I never had persimmons?!” and so we occasionally ate persimmons from then on. Good story! I don’t eat them that regularly, but when I saw a box of them at Costco I just had to get it. It’s just… so fall. Yes pumpkins are fall, but eeeeverybody and their mom share pumpkin recipes (actually I have one coming soon too, so…), so I wanted to shine some well deserved light on this less popular fall produce.
When you are picking out persimmons, try and find ones that have a very saturated color. For this recipe we are using Fuyu persimmons, which is the most popular and easily found type here in the USA. Fuyus are a little more forgiving, in that you can eat them when they are still a little firm. We will be stewing the fruit in this recipe, so you don’t have to worry toooo much about it being soft. As a matter of fact, the last time I made it, I had one that was soft and one that was still a little firm.
This recipe uses about 2.5 persimmons, so feel free to snack on half of the ripest one while the cake is baking!
- 360 g persimmons about 2.5 persimmons
- 4 1/2 T granulated sugar
- 3 T water
- 120 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 90 g granulated sugar
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1 T vanilla
- 165 g cake flour
- 3/4 t baking powder
- 45 g almond flour/meal
- chopped toasted pecans or sliced almonds for topping
Oil or grease a 9 inch cake pan, preheat oven to 350 f. Peel the persimmons and slice 5mm thick. Place in a sauce pan and add the 4 1/2 T of sugar and 3 T water. Bring to a low simmer and simmer for about 5 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally to coat all of the slices with the sugar water. Drain off most of the sugar water and set the persimmons aside to cool.
Place softened butter and the 90 g of sugar in a medium or large bowl and combine well. Add the eggs and combine well. Add the vanilla and stir in. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and almond flour. Add 2/3 of the dry mix to the wet mix and fold in, making sure not to over mix.
Roughly chop the cooled persimmons and combine with the remaining 1/3 of the dry mix. Fold into the batter and mix until there is no longer powder visible. Pour into cake pan and top with either toasted chopped pecans or sliced almonds.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting.
Recipe NotesAdapted from: Cookpad.
Have you ever seen a Japanese snack called Pie No Mi ? They are yummy little bite sized “pies”. I really like them, but since they are imported, they are kind of expensive. Also, not all Asian stores I’ve been to carry them. But then I thought about it. These are basically just puff pastry with chocolate in it. I CAN MAKE THAT!
Lately I’ve been on a puff pastry kick. I don’t know why I never used it much before, but now I’m in love with the stuff. I use it for both sweet and savory dishes. It’s SO easy to use, and while purists might say made-from-scratch is better, I don’t think the flavor difference can make up for the convenience difference. I had just one third of a sheet left in my freezer so I made a small batch, but I’ll definitely be making these again when I go and get MORE PUFF PASTRY mmmmm.
The key to these little bite sized pies is good chocolate. I mean, they are basically just puff pastry with chocolate inside, so if you don’t use yummy chocolate, you won’t get yummy pies. This time I used my left over baker’s chocolate bar- german sweet chocolate, which is 48% cacao. It was yummy, but when I make this recipe again (which I will be doing soon), I will probably experiment with both milk and semi-sweet, and see which I like better.
The key to making them pretty is to properly crimp the edges and to not accidentally cut through some of your puff pastry while cutting your chocolate. I did neither of these things and so above we see chocolate coming out the side, and cuts across the tops of a couple of them. But, um, the imperfections make them all the more cute? Maybe? The other key is to use an egg wash on the top. And sprinkle some sugar on there for good measure.
These come together so quickly and they are a great snack! However, I made my kids take them outside to eat, because puff pastry can get a little messy when in the hands of messy children. I don’t want flakes of pastry all over the floor! I just eat mine in one bite. Yums.
Mini Chocolate Pie Bites
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 bar your favorite chocolate
- 1 egg
- granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 425 f. Take your puff pastry out and allow to thaw for a few minutes, until you can unfold. Cut pastry into approx. 1.5" squares. Place a square of chocolate onto half of the pastry squares and push down gently. Place another square of pastry on top and cover chocolate. Crimp edges with fork. Beat egg and use a pastry brush (or your finger tip if you don't have one!) to brush the tops of each pie, and sprinkle sugar on the tops. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and puffed up. Remove from oven, allow to cool.
Recipe NotesCut your chocolate into squares about half the size of the square pastry. It's not an exact science, just make sure you can completely cover and crimp the edges around the chocolate or it will ooze out. If your chocolate bar is thin, consider stacking two pieces.
I have a confession to make. I didn’t even make the chicken in these pictures… my husband did. Doesn’t it look good?! When he puts his mind to it, he is quite a good cook! But then he goes and does weird things like cutting onions the wrong way no matter how many times I correct him. He cuts it in half like you would cut onion rings, instead of pole to pole. Every time. Who does that? But he’s good at frying things which is one of the best skills to have, in my opinion. Anyways, it was Saturday evening and he asked me what dinner was and I said, oh… I dunno, what do we have in the fridge? And he said, I’m going to make some friend chicken. And then I said, I love you. Actually I think I said, eh, whatevs, if that’s what you want to do (I’m so ungrateful and I don’t deserve him).
So this is a Hawaiian fried chicken recipe. I guess it has Japanese roots, since it uses mochiko (rice flour) and soy sauce and things, but I had never had it until my husband introduced it to me in Hawaii. It’s one of my favorite local Hawaiian dishes, and we get it every time we go. But since we aren’t in Hawaii, thank goodness it’s easy to whip up at home. Instead of dredging it separately in flour and eggs, you just mix it all together, marinate, and fry! Because you don’t do the separate dredging, there isn’t a thick coating/crunch factor, but the flavor of the marinade is spot on. It’s really simple and tastes amazing!
This chicken is a winner- guaranteed.
- 5 T mochiko
- 5 T cornstarch
- 4 T sugar
- 5 T soy sauce
- 2 T mirin optional
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 inches ginger
- 2 T sesame
- 2 scallions
- 2 eggs
- 2 lb chicken breast or thighs
- oil for frying
Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients to make the marinade. Marinate chicken for one hour.
Shake off excess marinade from each piece, and fry in hot oil (about one inch deep) until cooked through and golden brown on both sides.
Recipe NotesAdapted from: Foodland
Another Hawaiian dish. This time it’s dessert! Haupia is a traditional Hawaiian dessert that is basically like a coconut-y pudding-y jello-y… Okay, it’s technically a pudding, since it’s thickened with cornstarch, but it is thickened to the point that you can cut it into squares and pick it up and eat it. Now, chocolate haupia pie is taking haupia, adding some chocolate, and putting it in a pie. Did I need to explain that, or did the name give it away?!
Classic chocolate haupia pie is made in a standard pie shell. That’s fine and good and all, but sometimes I like graham cracker crust more than pie crust. I also like individual mini-sized desserts, so this time I decided to use mini graham cracker pie crusts. I just got these ones at the store. You can make your own graham cracker crust, but I was feelin a little lazy, and these are cute.
So basically the anatomy of chocolate haupia pie is: pie crust, chocolate coconut layer, coconut layer, whipped cream topping. I decided to make big “flowers” with the whipped cream, reminiscent of a Hawaiian lei. Creative, riiight?
As a side note, see those flowers there? Clearly fake, especially since I’m not living in Hawaii… It’s a plastic plumeria hair piece that I wore for my wedding (which was in Hawaii, where my husband is from). Woohoo, I got some use out of it again! It makes me happy when I actually use my wedding stuff again. Like, I spent all this money on everything, I should be able to get more than one use out of it right??? So that made me a little happy.
These chocolate haupia pies are sooo yummy, like a bite of the tropics… plus chocolate! Win and win.
Chocolate Haupia Pie
- 1 can coconut milk 14 ounces
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sugar or to taste
In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar, and coconut milk. Heat to a boil. Meanwhile, combine cornstarch and water and whisk to fully combine. Once coconut milk is boiling, reduce to a simmer and whisk in cornstarch slurry. Continue to stir over low heat until mixture is thickened, to the consistency of pudding.
Melt chocolate chips in a glass bowl in the microwave (make sure to stir occasionally so it doesn't burn). Divide coconut mixture evenly into two bowls and stir chocolate in to one.
Spread chocolate mixture onto the bottoms of pie shells and smooth out. Top with coconut mixture and smooth out. Refrigerate until cool. Before serving, whip the cream with sugar and layer on the pies. Optional: garnish with chocolate shavings.
Recipe NotesAdapted from: All Recipes.
My favorite dressing of all time is Japanese sesame dressing. I’ve talked before about how much I love black sesame, but I love white sesame just as much! Sesame is a standard dressing used in Japanese homes and restaurants. It’s got that roasty flavor that I can’t get enough of!
Many sesame dressings have mayonnaise as a base, but the recipe I’m sharing with you today is mayo-free and has an added bonus… veggies! How does it make you feel to know that the dressing you are putting ON your veggies, has veggies IN it?! Yeah it’s pretty exciting. It makes me feel pretty healthy. Although, admittedly, it still has oil in it, we can turn a blind eye towards that, right?
I have a funny(?) story. When I was making this, I grabbed a container of oil out of my pantry and threw it in the blender with all of the ingredients… I blended it up and tasted it and it tasted… slightly different from usual… I wasn’t sure why. It still tasted good, but it was just… slightly off. Anyways, after pouring it on the veggies and taking pictures and eating it up, I realized I used the oil that I had fried some donuts in the other day. Oops! Oh well. I told my husband and he was like, eh. Tastes fine. So, I guess we are just going with it.
Now, I need to tell you, since we are using oil instead of mayonnaise, the consistency is runnier than, say, ranch, or some store-bought sesame dressings, but that’s okay. It still coats your veggies in delicious.
Eating veggies just got yummier!
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 medium onion
- 1/2 medium carrot
- 1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3 T sugar
Toast the sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat. Make sure not to burn! Seeds are toasted when they give off a nice nutty smell. Cut up carrots and onions into smaller pieces to make blending easier.
Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate. Shake before using, as mixture may separate.