Archive for September, 2009

The weather is cooling off, and the constantly cloudy typhoon season has got me thinking about baking all the time. Specifically baking chocolate chip cookies like the ones back home in the states. In Japan, “cookie” usually refers to some sort of crunchy butter sable, good in it’s own right, but does nothing for you if you are craving golden brown, crispy, chewy, chocolate studded cookies the size of your hand. This sort of chocolate chip cookie doesn’t exist where I live now.

Nothing to do but to make them myself. I used David Leite’s amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe, and after (im)patiently waiting 24 hours to chill the dough, made some cookies that are way too tasty and way too big for my own good.

I don’t have a stand mixer, so I used room temperature butter and hand mixed everything. I also used regular chocolate chips and whole wheat and all purpose flour instead of the bread and cake flour that the recipe calls for.

David Leite’s NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted to metric, substituted ingredients, methods)


  • 240g all purpose flour
  • 240g whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 250g butter, room temperature
  • 280g brown sugar
  • 240g white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 160g chocolate chips
  • sea salt for topping

1. Stir together all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Stir together brown sugar, white sugar and butter until it is evenly mixed in a separate bowl.
3. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract.
4. Stir in dry ingredients, then fold in chocolate chips.
5. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
6. After 24 hours, divide dough into roughly 80g balls, place on baking paper or a baking sheet, sprinkle with a small (very small) pinch of sea salt, and bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden brown at 170 degrees Celsius.
7. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Eat while warm 🙂

Great with some milk, and makes plenty to share.


Read Full Post »

Korea Week : Mandu Love

Mandu are Korean style dumplings, similar to potstickers or gyoza. There was this amazing mandu shop in Pusan on the way to our hostel. It seemed like no matter if we were up at 6am or coming back at 1 am, the little shop was always open. In the morning, you could see the owner making mandu skin and being heckled by the ajummas, and at night the steam from the cooking mandu would surround the entire shop. I’ve had mandu before, both the frozen kind from Paldo World, and in other shops in Korea, but none of them could compare to these mandu. Eash little mandu is stuffed to almost bursting, and half the time the dumplings were being made right in front of us by the friendly owner, using house made skin and filling. We managed to stop in and try a new kind of mandu every day we were in Pusan, regardless of how full we were.

My favorites were the garlic mandu, steaming hot and served with a splash of black vinegar. We also got to try the owner’s specialty, cheese mandu. They are open faced mandu, topped with melty cheese, peas, corn, and a little ketchup.
I don’t suppose I could convince someone to open a little mandu shop here in Yamanashi?

Pusan, South Korea

Read Full Post »

Pat Bing Su is a Korean style shaved ice, with a variety of toppings. This huge 3 person pat bing su (served in a Pyrex cup <3) we found in Sinchon starts with  layer of sweet red bean paste, topped with shaved ice, soft serve ice cream, bananas, pineapple, watermelon, cherry tomatoes, and a little sprinkle of chocolate powder.

I love shaved ice in whatever form, and this was really interesting to eat. Watermelon and cherry tomatoes are two fruits that I have never seen in shaved ice before. I’m still feeling a little undecided about the tomatoes, but the watermelon was surprisingly refreshing and delicious.

@Sinchon, Seoul, South Korea

Read Full Post »