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.
Every year my wife “vulture-izes” (as my mom calls it) the turkey carcass. Every little bit of meat is scraped clean and either eaten during this process or saved aside for future use. With these scavenged bones, wings and legs, I make a hearty homemade turkey broth. This broth makes the perfect base to make turkey ramen! (Now, when I say ramen, I’m not talking about authentic Japanese ramen. So all you ramen purists out there, keep that in mind.)
If I could eat only one thing on Thanksgiving it would be the stuffing. In my opinion, it’s by far the best thing on the table. I like it in the bird, out of the bird, leftover, and even cold out of the fridge. It is the BEST!
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?
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!