THANKSGIVING KOROKKE

One Japanese food that’s always good to eat is korokke (croquette). Korokkes are a mashed potato patty with a filling coated in panko and then deep fried. Fillings can vary. Meat, cheese, vegetables, and all the combinations. While it’s fun to eat, it’s not super fun to make because they are very labor intensive. That’s why I usually only make them once a year and make enough to keep in the freezer. And with a mountain of leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving dinner, it’s the perfect time to make them.

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CRANBERRY SAUCE vs. RELISH vs. the canned stuff

Cranberries; a small yet essential part of every Thanksgiving dinner table. It definitely isn’t one of my favorites, but I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving with out it. It would be like a rose that doesn’t bloom. With such importance on a small item, you still have big choices. Are you a relish person, a sauce person, or the canned stuff person?

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MABO CHILI (マーボーチリ) mabo dofu + chili

When Aya and I first got married, one dish she made frequently was mapo tofu, or mabo dofu. From what I understand, it’s originally a Chinese dish, but is a very common dinner meal in Japan. It’s a really simple tasty dish. Even my dad likes it and he doesn’t like tofu! But recently I was on a quest to find a perfect fusion chili recipe. Our school district has a chili cook-off every year and I was curious what would be a good chili that represented our Japanese immersion school. That captured both American and Japanese tastes. My first try was Japanese curry chili (which was fantastic), and now I decided to combine mapo tofu and chili. All the main ingredients of a typical chili recipe, but with all the spices of mapo tofu. The results were pretty good!

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JAPANESE CURRY CHILI

Every year our school district has a chili cook-off contest. While some parents were talking about who would enter it got me thinking. Since our school is a Japanese immersion school, what would a fusion chili be? If I were to make a Japanese chili, what would that be? After some deep thinking, I settled on a fusion of classic American chili with Japanese curry. It would have all the main ingredients of chili, but all the spices of Japanese curry.

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BENTO BOXING

The music concert at our elementary school is pretty lit. Who would have thought that an elementary school concert would be such an event? We have assigned seating, an intermission, an epic bake sale, a giant raffle, and even food trucks. It’s the main event of the year where everyone and their families attend. To make it convenient and enjoyable for everyone, the PTA tries to make sure there are not only food options, but good food options. With the school being a Japanese/English immersion school, we always try to represent both cultures. In addition to the food trucks, the PTA decided to make and sell Japanese bento boxes to include with the bake sale. And somehow, I found myself at a three hour planning meeting discussing content, container sizes, color, price, and presentation.

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