Miso Soup

Miso soup is one of the most common dishes in Japan along with rice.
The gentle but flavoursome soup settles the stomach and keeps the body warm. 

For the contents, we add whatever we like or seasonally available such as Tofu, Deep Fried Tofu, Spinach, Winter Cabbage, Spring Onion, Wakame(seaweed), Mushrooms, Egg, etc.

Direction of Miso Soup

Boil veggies in a pan. In a separate pan, dissolve 1/2 tablespoon of miso per 200cc of dashi, a Japanese fish stock. Add veggies into the soup and heat up gently to serve.

Instruction of Dashi 


The following is some examples out of the countless.

Miso Soup with Egg and Spring Onion

Miso Soup with Cabbage and Enoki Mushroom

Miso Soup with Enoki Mushroom and Sugar Snap

Miso Soup with Tofu, Wakame and Spring Onion

Miso Soup with Spinach and Fried Tofu (Miso soup is wrongly placed in the left of rice. Sorry.)

Miso Soup with Spinach and Deep Fried Tofu

Miso Soup with Aubergine 

Miso Soup with Shimeji Mushroom and Winter Cabbage

Miso Soup with Tofu

Sometimes we use different materials:

Shrimp Head Miso Soup


Pork Miso Soup with Winter Veggies

Miso Soup is an essential dish in Japan!

Toddler Bento Archive (June 3rd week)

  • Football Riceballs
  • Football Shirts Chicken Nugets
  • Zucchini and Carrot Butter Saute

  • Grilled Black Cod with Miso
  • Hash Potato
  • Tomato and Avocado Salad
  • Rice with Sour Plum

  • Stir Fired Rice with Egg, Spring Onion, Chicken and Green Peas
  • Potato, Carrot and Sausage Saute
  • Tofu with Soy sauce
  • Tomato and Cucumber Salad

  • Ginger Pork with Onion and Carrot
  • Halloumi Cheese, Green Peas and Sweet Corn Butter Saute
  • Rice with Dried Plum Leaves
  • Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Toddler Bento Archive (June 2nd week)

  • Panda Rice with Sour Plum Cheeks
  • Hamburg Steak with Tomato and Red Wine Sauce
  • Spinach and Sweet Corn Butter Saute
  • Tomato and Avocado Salad

  • Fried Rice with Sausage, Egg, Carrot, Spring Onion, and Tomato
  • Hash Potato With Sea Weed
  • Grilled Miso Cod
  • Cucumber and Tomato Salad

  • Ginger Pork with Onion and Carrot
  • Spinach and Sweet Corn Butter Saute
  • Tomato
  • Rice with Dried Sour Plum Leaves
  • Avocado Salad

  • Salmon, Broad Bean and Tomato Teriyaki Saute
  • Hash Potato 
  • Sweet Corn Butter Saute
  • Rice with Sour Plum
  • Cucumber and Avocado Salad

Sea Bass en Papillote, Balthazar London, 


I tried to revive the sea bass en papillote that I tasted in Balthazar London. 
The lightly pan fried sea bass and veggies are steamed in a paper bag with a hint of curry powder. 

Though slightly different from the one in Balthazar, I think this is truly enjoyable fish dish. 
Either sea bass or plaice works beautifully. 

Ingredients (per person)

  • a fillet of sea bass or plaice 
  • 2-3 sliced fennel 
  • 4-5 pieces of small bitesized potato (cooked in microwave for 40 seconds)
  • Bitesized asparagus
  • 2-3 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 stem of fresh rosemary 
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 2-3 pinches of curry powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of White wine


1. Season the fish lightly with salt, black pepper and soy sauce.
2. Heat up a large frying pan over medium temperature.Fry the fennel and potato lightly with olive oil and set them aside.

3. Clean the pan and fry the fish from skin side with rosemary over medium temperature till the skin gets slightly crispy.  Don't cook the fish completely but just the surface. Add white wine in the end.

4. Prepare a piece of baking sheet large enough to wrap the ingredients (40cmx30cm). Place fennel, potato, asparagus, rosemary, fish and cherry tomato. Sprinkle pinches of salt and small amount of curry powder over the ingredients. 


Sea Bass 
5. Fold the paper to wrap the ingredients as suggested in these images. Start folding it from the top and then close the both sides.
Folding the top for 2-3 times

Folding the one of the ends

6. Place the bag in a tin and grill in the oven over 200C for 10 minutes.
7. Serve the bag over a dish.

In order to attain the elegant flavour, better not to add too much curry powder that might ruin the scent of rosemary. A tiny hint of soy sauce in seasoning creates the depth in flavour and harmonise all.

I made this for toddler bento 

Balthazar London

It was the exact copy of Balthazar N.Y. including the quality of the bread as well as the automatic top up coffee service. 

The Onion Gratin Soup was also very delicious. 

Total time to prepare the sea bass/plaice pappillote: 25 minutes
Total cost for two+: 3.50 for Sea Bass or 2.70 for Plaice +0.7 for the rest of the ingredients 

Football Bento

To celebrate the season of FIFA World Cup in Brazil, I made this for my toddler. 
  • Football rice balls with sour plum patched with black paper pieces
  • Football shirts shaped chicken nuggets with Curry-mayo sauce, ketchup and seaweed powder
  • Zucchini and carrot in butter saute 
 The recipe of shaped chicken nugget can be found:
To make the shirt of Brazil, I mixed mayonnaise, curry powder and a tiny hint of ketchup for the background and got pieces of cucumber for the detail. 

Total time to prepare: 1hour (!)

Issho-mochi: The 1.8kg of rice cake ritual for the 1st year celebration

Issho (1 sho):一升 is a volume ratio and equals to 1.8 kg of rice cake.
To celebrate the 1st year birthday of their babies, Japanese people prepare a round rice cake (mochi) of 1.8 kg known as "issho-mochi".

The baby carries the issho-mochi on one's back and tries to walk or to crawl. 

As the volume "issho (一升)" sounds simmilar to the word "for life (一生)", by letting the baby to carry issho-mochi, they wish that he or she will be fed for life. Also this ritual embraces the wish of the baby's physical and mental strength in his or her own life. 

As it was hard to get a proper issho-mochi, I prepared 1kg of rice cakes as well as 0.8 kg of rice and stuffed them in a baby sack.

In some regions, fortune telling is involved at this ritual. They put an abacus, some note money and a calligraphy brush at the goal. Once the baby grabs abacus, it suggests that he or she will be a successful merchant. If the money is grabbed, it means he or she will be rich. In the case of brush, it is a sign that the baby will be intelligent.
 Apart from the money and a brush, we put a computer key board and a rice scoop. The former idea is from Mr. husband who wishes his daughter to succeed his career as a computer programmer. The latter is my wish that she may love cooking.

And then.....

She made an ordinary start with some struggles and tears.
Then she grabbed the brush at the goal. 

Eventually she took all of her rice cakes out from the sack and offered to the guests and her parents. 

I think she won't suffer from a hunger for life, at least.

Toddler Bento Archive June 2014_1

  • Hamburg Steak with Tomato and Red Wine Sauce
  • Vegetable (Peas, Potato, Carrot and Tomato) saute with butter
  • Rice with Sour Plum
  • Cucumber Salad

  • Teriyaki Salmon
  • Hash Potato with Seaweed Powder
  • Vegetable (Carrot and Asparagus) Saute
  • Rice with Sour Plum
  • Cucumber and Avocado Salad

  • Mapo-Tofu (Tofu with minced beef with spring onion, dressed with soy sauce, miso and sesame oil)
  • Rice with Sour Plum
  • Vegetable (Carrot, Potato and Asparagus) Saute
  • Tomato and Avocado Salad

  • Plaice en pappillete with curry flavour
  • Broadbeans Rice
  • Carrot Saute with butter

Lightly pan-sauted plaice with potato, fennel and fresh tomato with a hint of rosemary and curry powder.
It is wrapped in a baking sheet to be grilled.

  • Karaage (Japanese Style Fried Chicken
  • Vegetable Saute (Asparagus, Potato and Carrot)
  • Rice with Dried Sour Plum Leaves
  • Cucumber and Tomato Salad