Monthly Archives: May 2013

Japanese Sauces


While living in the Philippines we had the great pleasure of making friends with a Japanese family. They had us to dinner one night and taught us several japanese recipes. Here are a few different sauces to use with pork or chicken. I will also later post another meat recipe and a japanese salad recipe.

Ginger Fried Pork (or chicken)
“Shogayaki” show-guy-aki


Very thinly sliced pork- like a centimeter thick (about 1lb)
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the Sauce:
1-3 tablespoons grated ginger
one small yellow or white onion
one small apple – any kind
3-5 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2-4 tablespoons Sake- this is rice wine
2-4 tablespoons Mirin- This is syrupy rice wine, it is sweet.
-make sure to make enough sauce-
First flour, salt and pepper the meat lightly- just put flour directly onto the meat- no egg or anything.
Then make the sauce:
Grate the ginger, apple and onion into a bowl.
Add the soy sauce, sake and mirin
Mix and taste- see if you think there should be any more of anything.

Then cut any excess/unwanted fat off the meat and cut some slits into it to prevent from curling up.
Cook meat over a medium heat in a skillet until mostly cooked. Then add sauce to skillet and cook about 2-3 minutes longer.

ginger fried pork


Pan-Fried Thick Pork with Onion Sauce
Pork with “tamanegi” sauce
about 1 pound of pork or chicken- tenderized (pound on it a bit with a knife or meat tenderizer)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
For the sauce:
1 small onion- diced
3-5 cloves of garlic- chopped
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
small piece of chicken bullion cube- maybe 1/4 of the cube
Mix onion, garlic, water, soy sauce, and chicken bullion in a bowl.
Lightly flour, salt and pepper the meat and cook in a little oil in a skillet
Add sauce to the skillet and cook until done
Cut meat into chunks and return to the skillet to finish cooking.

onion pork

Green Onion Pork/Chicken
negi sauce accent on the I making e sound
1 lb of pork or chicken (generally pork butt or shoulder is used for this)
salt and pepper
For the sauce:
2 green onion stalks- sliced
2-4 tablespoons soy sauce
2-4 tablespoons vinegar
1-2 tablespoons Mirin (syrupy sake)
1-2 tablespoons sake
1 teaspoon chicken bullion
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Sauté meat in 2 tablespoons sesame oil
Cut up meat and return to pan with sauce and cook till bubbly

IMG_6084Green onion pork

I was impressed to see the wife cooking with chopsticks- so fun! Then after my husband wow-ed them with is skills at chopsticks we played a chopstick game! 🙂


Perfect Carmel Popcorn


A new favorite: Homemade Carmel popcorn. I found this recipe online at: The recipe was for carmel popcorn balls, which I used for Christmas presents. Then I started making it as a bowl of popcorn for a movie night treat and it has become a household and party staple. It is super easy. Here is the official recipe from Carmel Potatoes’s website:

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 rounded cups mini marshmallows (or about 25 large)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
18 cups popped corn (about 6 tablespoons of kernels)


Pop corn and set aside in a large bowl. {I like to remove any unpopped kernels – nothing worse than biting into those!}

In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and let cook just one minute and then add salt and vanilla. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Immediately pour over popcorn and coat completely. Let cool for just a few minutes or until you can handle it. Spray your hands with cooking spray and form 8 popcorn balls (approx. 3 inches). Of course you can just spread it on a tray to cool and serve it in a bowl if you’d rather.” – Carmel Potatoes blog


I make it by popping a TON of popcorn- like a huge bowl. Then melting 1 stick of margarine (I don’t use butter here b/c it’s expensive- I’m sure butter would work fine though) Add a heap of brown sugar and a bunch of marshmallows, a sprinkle of salt, and a dash of vanilla. Melt it all together and pour over the popcorn. Mix well and chow down! It is much easier to eat as regular popcorn than as a popcorn ball. This is even still good the next day or two.. maybe longer, I’ve never given it a chance to last that long! If you are into the whole “salted carmel” thing- add coarse salt at the last minute- I think it’s pretty good.

Gimbop/Kimbop/ Kimbap! Korean lunch! ^ ^


I have to admit I did not like Kimbap at first. The only thing holding me back was the seaweed. It is so good for you, but I just hated it. Kimbop is a Korean staple. I think it should be spelled Kimbop but for some reason online it is most commonly spelled Kimbap. Koreans often spell it Gimbop as the K has a bit of a /G/ sound. I am going to spell it Kimpbop. Kimbop is kind of like sushi but not really. Everything is cooked and it is eaten as a picnic or lunch food. I’ve heard it called the “Korean PB&J”. It’s really a complete meal in a roll! After about 7 months in the Philippines I am proud to say that I have acquired a taste for Kimbop- I love it now! Well, I really like it anyway. I am not a fan of burping up the seaweed taste afterward. But if you don’t mind seaweed or are looking to try something really healthy and tasty- this is the recipe for you! If you like this, you’ll be happy to know that there are MANY versions of kimbop. You can use Kimchi, fish, different kinds of vegetables etc…


Cooked Beef Bulgogi. Make sure the beef is very very thin- like shaved. You could buy it at an asian store this way or partially freeze it then slice it thinly with a sharp knife.
-Imitation crab (you can buy it in strips at Asian stores or use what you can find and cut it how you want it.
– 1-2 cups cooked short grain asian sticky rice- remember rice doubles in size when you cook it… so you only need 1/2 cup to a cup of uncooked rice.
– 2 carrots cut into thin match sticks
2-4 eggs beaten and cooked into a flat piece- like you’re going to make an omelet
-Pickled radish strips- my favorite. I think you have to look for this at an Asian grocery in a refrigerated section.
-Steamed spinach (optional) we didn’t have it when we made it. I hear it is good but you have to eat it right away.
-Seaweed squares for Kimbop or Sushi. The Japanese Sushi seaweed tends to have a stronger flavor.
-Sesame oil
-2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds- roasted or roast them yourself.

Before you can assemble these tasty rolls  you need to do a lot of preparing.
1.Cook the rice. When it is done add a few tablespoons of sesame oil, a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of roasted sesame seeds.
2. Cut the carrots into thin matchsticks and sauté with a little oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.

3. Beat 2-4 eggs in a bowl then cook in a skillet like an omelet. When finished cooking, cut into 1/2 inch strips.

4. Prepare imitation crab as necessary. The kind we bought was in pretty thick strips and we peeled it in half.. like string cheese.

5. Arrange all ingredients that you are using- you can use more or less- depending on what you like and what you have. Steam or salute other vegetables if necessary.


My favorite part of Kimbop is the pickled radish. Sometimes they come pre cut and other times you need to cut them into strips yourself.

Then lay seaweed down on the table. Cover 3/4 of the way with rice.
Then layer the ingredients across the middle of the square.

Roll tightly. The seaweed will stick to itself at the end. You can put sesame oil on the outside to hold together but it will moisten itself if the rice is moist enough.
Finally cut into slices and eat!


Beef Bulgogi


Living here in the Philippines I’m actually surrounded by Koreans and I recently had the opportunity to learn some Korean recipes. I’ll share this recipe first as you may want to use it in the 2nd recipe.

Beef Bulgogi
Beef Bulgogi
1lb of tender beef- sliced thin (slice thiner if you’ll use it for Kimbop- thicker if you’ll eat it as a main dish.)
about 4 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sesame oil- recommended to use an Asian brand- should be able to find this in the Asian section or at an Asian grocery store.
2 Tablespoons roasted sesame seeds- You could probably buy these but I’ve also bought raw sesame at an all natural grocery (like Whole Foods) and toasted them in a skillet myeslf. Just put the heat on medium and shake the seeds around till they crack and pop a bit- cook a minute more- make sure not to burn them. 🙂
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
2-3 green onion (or regular onion is ok too)
1-2 Tablespoons brown sugar
Mix up all the ingredients (expect the meat) and let it set about 5 minutes then pour over the meat to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight if the meat is more tough.
Cook meat in a skillet till done. Then depending on how you cooked it, either make it into Kimbop or serve with rice.