How to make Japanese Gyoza (in Chinese Jyaozi/ in English Potstickers)

This post is by Kay, who writes the K’s Kitchen section of Todd’s Wanderings. She also happens to be Todd’s lovely wife! “What is your fiancé’s favorite food?” This was one of my hen night questions. ‘Gyoza!’ (normally called potstickers in English). I got the answer right and at the same time I became determined that I had to cook this dish very well all the time! [Todd here, isn't Kay a lovely wife?! I am a lucky man.] Well, the truth is that I also love Gyoza, but the problem is that we can’t buy the Gyoza skin in Kosovo. If we want to eat something we have to find a way, so I started making Gyoza from the scratch! If you have a Chinese (or Japanese/Korean) store near by, you can simply buy the skin (it is much easier and takes less time). In Japan we usually fry Read full article…

How to Cook Kisir-Turkish Tabbouleh

This post is by: Kay (my lovely wife and writer for K’s Kitchen!) I just came back from my work trip to Istanbul. Although this was my third trip there, I am still impressed with the energy and number of people! And Istanbul will welcome you with so many interesting activities including beautiful historical sights, shopping, and delicious Turkish cuisine. Today, I would like to introduce you to one of the Turkish dishes called Kisir which is a Turkish style Tabboleh.This dish is very healthy and friendly for vegetarians. As usual, I had to substitute bulgur with couscous as I could not find bulgur in Kosovo (and forgot to buy it while in Istanbul). I hope you enjoy this glimpse of Turkish Cuisine! Ingredients (for 4 people) Couscous: 1 cup=240 cc (and of course use bulgur if available) Hot water: 1 1/4 cup Salt: 1 teaspoon Tomato paste: 2 Tablespoons Read full article…

Top 5 Foods to Eat and Experience in Japan

No visit to Japan is complete without experiencing Japanese food the way the locals do. In Japan there is no way to separate eating from the atmosphere and experience. Food in Japan touches all of the senses from the minimalistic elegance of sashimi to the visual gourmet versions of hamburger patties. There’s more to Japanese food than sushi but let’s face it, navigating the difficult menus in a New York Japanese restaurant can be daunting enough, let alone tackling lesser known dishes on their home turf.  With Fall in full swing, and November Japan Blog Matsuri, hosted by Surviving in Japan tackling the topic of Fall foods in Japan, I started to think about what I love to eat in Japan this time of the year. This made me hungry and ruined all objectivity, displaced Fall and set me down the path to the 5 foods I love to eat Read full article…

How to Make Ajvar: Balkan staple of Fall and Winter

This post is by: Kay (my lovely wife and writer for K’s Kitchen!) Since the end of August, I started to see lots of sacks of paprika at vegetable shops in Kosovo….Yes, this is a sign that autumn is here and therefore the season for Ajvar has started….Indeed, leaves are turning yellow and it was zero degree at night in Prishtina few days ago (early October)!! Today, I’m FINALLY introducing you to one of the most popular Balkan dishes (sauce), Ajvar. I never knew about this very popular Balkan dish until I moved to Kosovo. Ajvar is basically a sauce made of red paprika and spices. According to the website and some recipes that I have seen, eggplants and onions are sometimes used, however, my Kosovar friends tell me that Ajvar is strictly with paprikas and the one mixed with other vegetables are actually called Pinxhur. Both of them are Read full article…

Italian Caponata- K’s Special

This post is by: Kay (my lovely wife and writer for K’s Kitchen!) I apologize for taking a break from K’s kitchen for sometime…I thought that I’d have a lot of time during the summer but my work kept me busy until we left for 9 Day Balkans Road Trip. The good news is that we had a great harvest of tomatoes, basil, Sri Lankan chili, and thyme in our small garden on the balcony. We were indeed busy watering and taking care of the plants every morning before we went to work, but our effort really paid off!! Today, I’d like to introduce you to Caponata- K’s Special. This dish is one of my favorites because it’s healthy and remains tasty for a couple of days. Ingredients (for 3-4 people) Onions: One big size or two medium size-chopped to 1cm pieces Paprika: 3 Red and 2 Yellow (if you Read full article…

Crazy Japanese Food Find: Placenta!

I love Japan. I lived there for five years, I speak Japanese, my wife is Japanese, I even walked a 900 mile Japanese pilgrimage twice. And yet, every time I think that I have nothing more to learn, that Japanese culture cannot shock me any further I am pleasantly surprised. Actually there is nothing pleasant about this. While I was shopping I came across the wonderfully named drink Placenta! It is no secret that the Japanese love English, not speaking it fluently, but pasting it on anything and everything to make it seem cooler. Most items make no sense and are just random words strung together. Others are more unfortunate, like the  5 year old girl in my elementary school English class who showed up wearing a t-shirt that said “Smack the Bitch and Pump the Hoes.” I’m still trying to figure out if this was supposed to be a gangster tag line or that of Read full article…

Introducing K's Kitchen: Good food for good times

As a start to a beautiful new week I would like to introduce a new section to Todd’s Wanderings, K’s Kitchen, and my lovely wife Kay who will be doing the writing. People don’t usually get married because of their future mother-in-laws, but in my case Kay’s mom was a fantastic part of the deal. She is one of the sweetest women I know and a fantastic cook to boot. Besides cooking excellent Japanese food (she’s a Japanese mom after all), she is also an expert Chinese cook! Luckily, all this talent and homemade recipes, were transferred to Kay. Yes, I am a lucky man. In K’s Kitchen, Kay will introduce a variety of international recipes that she loves. She’ll begin with some of our favorite Japanese and Chinese food and will move on to homemade recipes from the places we live and travel to. Kay’s mom has graciously allowed Read full article…

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