Sunday, March 12, 2006

Okay...Let's see.... Oh yes! Katsudon! Someone asked me about the history of Tonkatsu or Katsu and I admit that I am really clueless about it but few things I know about chicken katsu is that it is an originally recipe from Japan and I also grew up in Japanese community with relatives on my sensei mom's side. My great grandma-san Matsu cooked varietty of tonkatsu or katsu foods then she made many sides like miso soup, orroke (croquette) teishoku, tofu with fish flakes, pickled eggplants, umi seeds, etc.... I remembered such a wonderful aroma of tonkatsu that came from her kitchen and she always shared her childhood stories with me and my brother. Talking about her, I miss her more.

A katsudon is a popular Japanese food and it is a bowl of rice topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet, egg, and condiments. Variations include sauce katsudon (with Worcestershire sauce), demi katsudon (with demi-glace and often green peas, a specialty of Okayama), shio katsudon (with salt, another Okayama variety), shōyu-dare katsudon (with soy sauce, Niigata style), and miso katsudon (a favorite in Nagoya). Beef and chicken can substitute for the pork.

The dish takes its name from the Japanese words tonkatsu (for pork cutlet) and donburi (for rice bowl dish).

It has become a modern ritual tradition for Japanese students to eat katsudon the night before taking a major test or school entrance exam. This is because 'katsu' sounds like the word for victory or winning.

Katsudon is a stereotypical food offered by a detective to a detainee who is being questioned for a case. ( my uncle said so)

Here is the pic of Chicken Katsu that I cooked for my children on a rainy day:

Chicken Katsu Recipe: Quick and Easy

2 pounds chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
garlic salt to season
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups panko flakes ( flour meal for breading)

Katsu sauce:

1/3 cup catsup
1/4 cup shoyu
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons Worceshire sauce
pinch of ground red pepper

Combine all katsu sauce ingredients; mix well. Set side.

Season chicken generously with garlic salt and let stand 15 to 30 minutes. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a skillet. Dredge chicken in flour, dip in eggs and coat with panko in that order. Fry chicken until golden brown on both sides: drain on paper towels. Cut into 1-inch slices. Serve with katsu sauce.

Note: This is so-o-o-o good! The chicken is tender inside, light and crispy on the outside. Children's favorite!

Monday, February 20, 2006

I love to share my recipes and secret cooking tips with people around the world to bring kids back into the kitchen. The quality time between kids and parents is so important, and cooking together is a great way to spend time with family, while preparing some ono-licious treats!

Let me tell you little bit about me: As a keiki, I learned about cooking at my grandma's home or dad's lu'au. The most I learned about baking and cooking was inside the house; I watched Grandmas, mommies and aunties cooked together while they sang in Hawaiian language. There was something magical about when my grandma would turn few avacado fruits into an enchanting pies! The kitchen was like a classroom and they took the time to explain so many things to me: the reason why I cook first, the reason why I use that for flavor, and the reasona why I combine certain ingredients together. Spend time, cook and bake with ohana-it was all so much fun. So, thank you for allowing me to share my aloha of baking nor cooking with others. if you learn anything from me, remember this: whenever you bake or cook, make sure it comes from the heart.

*Hawaiian words such as keiki (kids), lu'au (feast), ono (good), ohana (family) and aloha (love, bye, hello, hi)*"

Fun! Colorful! Yummy! Easy! Kids will love these!


1. One package of Stixs Pretzels, cut in 3rd.

2. Either white or brown chocolate package (any brand will be fine. I used

3. Read the instruction on the back of package. Melt in microwave or double broiler.

4. Put pretzels in melted chocolate and then put them in mini cups.

5. Decorate with sprinkles. (Any kind is fine; depends on holiday occassions

6. Put them in refrigerator until they are ready to serve. Either, they can be put
freezer until set. If they aren't ready to serve then put them in airtight
container and place it in refrigerator until they are ready to serve.

It's an adventurous recipe and it's easy so gather your kids and let them start cooking up a storm!
Oh ..Oh... How much I love to look at the pictures of delicious foods?! I found spectacular food photography galleries such as DisneyMike, MatthewA, ycon108 and Chockylit. There are many wonderful food photographers in and I so 'heart' that site!!!

Some of them are ones of few Flickr members that make me hold my breath every time I see new photo in their streams. They are my favorites. When I grow up, I want to take pictures like them!!! They are the Kings or Queens of Food Photography.

Read one of the best comments for DisneyMike:
"Simply put: He's a genius behind the lens. His food photos belong in Gourmet magazine where they'd surely make Martha Stewart drool with envy. He has a unique and extremely talented eye for photography, and I just sit and stare in awe at his entire oeuvre. Plus, he's super nice, sweet and sincere, and he has the cutest dog in the world. So there."

Photos of DisneyMike:

Photos of Chockylit:

At last but at least, please have look at ycon108:

Friday, February 17, 2006

I was so full last night and we had great dinner at my friend's house up in Mililani. I had to ask her for her recipe and she said that if I make shoofly or brown sugar pies for her then she would share it with me so we made a good negotation-whooo! Here is a recipe that lets you get really creative, start with this basic recipe for fried rice. If you don't have lup cheong (Chinese pork sausage), then use Portuguese sausage, bacon, Spam or fishcake instead. You know that you can never change the vegetables!!!! Do you have equipment such as measuring cups, measuring spoons, large skillet, wooden spoon, paring knife, cutting board and pot holders? You have them, right? Then let's get ready! (Photo by DisneyMike)

2 lup cheon sausages
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 cup diced onion
2 Tablespoons, diced green pepper
1 can (5 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 hard cooked egg
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon peeled and minced giner or 1/2 teaspoon grouns ginger
2 cups cooked rice
1. Dice lup cheong
2. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet and add lup cheon. Stir fry for 5 minutes to assure sausage is fully cooked.
3. Add onion and green pepper. Stir-Fry until the onion is nearly translucent
4. Add water chestnuts, egg, soy sauce, suagr, ginger, and rice to skillet. Stir-fry over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Listen: this recipe works best when you use leftover rice that has been chilled for several hours.

Well.... Are you going to start cooking up a storm? Try this one!