Pork Shogayaki Recipe


I feel like I’ve been in a bit of slump when it comes to trying new recipes, but recently I’ve been inspired to try out new ones. For the meat roll-ups recipe, I frequently buy thinly sliced pork loin strips that are meant for pork shogayaki. So recently I decided to use them for their original purpose, and we were not disappointed! This is pork fried in ginger, and it goes great with rice and vegetables, though I think shredded cabbage is a pretty common side. This recipe is very simple and easy to make. I think this would go great in bento too.

This recipe is simple, easy to make, and most importantly, delicious! It’s the number one recipe for shogayaki on Cookpad, and it quickly became a staple in my meal planning.

Original recipe on Cookpad

Ingredients: (Makes 2-3 servings)

  • 300 g of pork loin strips
  • 4 cm of ginger from a ginger paste tube
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking sake
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of mirin (sweet cooking sake)


  1. Mix the ginger paste, sugar, cooking sake, soy sauce, and mirin together in a bowl.
  2. Lightly cook the meat on medium heat.
  3. Pour in the sauce and continue cooking the meat until most of the sauce has boiled away.

Simple Mozzarella and Spinach Pasta Recipe

Tax season is upon us in Japan and I’ve been really busy getting my things in order so I can make the March 15th deadline. Unfortunately that leaves me with not much time to write even though there’s plenty I’d like to write about. However, I thought I’d take the time to share this quick, nutritious, and tasty pasta lunch I’ve come up with. Most afternoons I’ve got a hungry baby demanding food when I’m trying to put something together, so I usually have to whip up something quick. Baby J loves when we have this for lunch. I usually serve it with cow’s milk and buttered bread; I also give her some fruit if she’s still hungry.

I was in a hurry to feed her when I took this photo, so next time I make it hopefully I’ll get a better picture.


Ingredients: (Makes 2 servings)

  • 250 g (about 9 oz) of a type of pasta that’s easy for a baby to pick up (I like penne)
  • 330 g (12 oz) of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 3 cups of baby leaf spinach
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Bring water to a boil in a pot and boil the pasta for however long it says to boil them for on the package (for penne it’s 11 minutes).
  2. Pour the tomato sauce into a frying pan and add in the spinach.
  3. Pour the cooked penne through a colander and then put the penne on plates.
  4. Heat up the tomato sauce and spinach. Stir until the spinach becomes wilted.
  5. Add the sauce to the penne. Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese and mix it into the sauce so that it melts.

Chicken and Spinach Gratin Recipe

I really need to make this recipe more often! Unfortunately it takes a bit more time to prepare than a lot of my other favorite recipes. This gratin recipe is great on cold days when you want something to warm yourself up with.

I’ve edited the portions of how the original recipe is written on Cookpad a bit to reflect how I usually make it.

Ingredients: (Makes 3-4 servings)

  • 250 g of noodles of your choice
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 bunches of spinach
  • Any other vegetables that you would like to add, such as onions or mushrooms
  • About 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 6 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 cups and two tablespoons(450 cc + 30 cc) of milk
  • 1 chicken flavored bouillon cube
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • As much shredded cheese as you want (sliced cheese works too)


  1. Boil the pasta and put it into a separate bowl for later.
  2. Cut the vegetables and chicken into bite-size sizes. Boil the spinach.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180º C (360º F) if you’re using a regular oven. If you’re in Japan and using the oven function in a microwave like we do, preheat to 190ºC.
  4. Season the chicken with some salt and pepper. Heat up a small bit of oil in a pot and cook the chicken.
  5. After the chicken becomes a cooked color, add two teaspoons of butter and any other vegetables you plan to include aside from the spinach. Cook well and then add another 3 tablespoons of butter.
  6. After the butter has completely melted, turn off the heat and add in the flour.
  7. Once the flour has covered everything, turn the heat back on and mix them all together.
  8. Add two cups (450 cc) of milk and the bouillon cube in. Stir until it gets thick. If you were frying the the previous steps in a pot, then just add all this on top of the fried stuff.
  9. Add another two tablespoons of milk and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pasta and spinach into the pot, and mix them all together.
  10. Butter a baking pan, and then pour the contents of the pot into the pan. Use as much cheese as you want on top. I like to pile it on!
  11. Bake in the oven until the cheese turns golden. It takes about 20 minutes uncovered for me, but I’m sure it’d be much faster in a real oven.

Ground Beef and Cheese Curry Rice Recipe


It’s been a long while since I had a craving for curry rice. I knew if I was going to try to make my own curry that I had to try to recreate the cheese curry I’ve tried from my favorite curry place, Curry House CoCo Ichibanya! It was a perfect meal for a cold snowy night. And best of all, I’ve never seen Baby J demand more of a food like she demanded more of this! So it’s even got baby’s seal of approval.

I used Golden Curry’s mild flavor sauce mix for this recipe. Also, the recipe calls for ground beef, but I used one that consisted of pork and beef since that was on sale.

Original recipe

Ingredients: (Makes 4 servings)
200 g of ground beef
3 leaves of lettuce
1/2 cup of shredded cheese
1/3 teaspoon of grated garlic
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1/2 box of your favorite kind of curry sauce mix
Half a cup less than the amount of water stated as being needed on the box for the curry sauce mix*
As much white rice (calrose, or sushi rice) as you’d like

*Note: I need to experiment with this. I wound up with a pretty thick curry when I followed the recipe with half a cup less than the written amount of water from the directions on the box. Next time I’ll see how it is using the full amount.

1. Cut the cabbage into easy to eat sized pieces.
2. In a frying pan, heat up the vegetable oil and grated garlic. Once the garlic has been lightly sautéed, add in the ground beef and break it up into smaller pieces as it cooks. Next, add the cabbage. Sauté until it becomes wilted.
3. Add the water. Once it comes to a boil, scoop out any scum.
4. Lower the heat a little and let it boil for 5 minutes.
5. Once the timer finishes, turn off the heat. Add the curry sauce mix and mix it in as it melts.
6. Turn on the heat again, and let it boil until the sauce thickens.
7. Once it thickens, mix in the shredded cheese, and then serve the curry together with white rice.

Picture and Recipe Update


I made the spinach and cheese meat roll-ups tonight and I decided to try taking a new picture since I read up on some food photography tips.

I also discovered that they come out much better when you cook them on low heat. On medium and high heat I found that the cheese would melt out right away! So I’ll add that note to the recipe as well.

Also, Baby J really likes this recipe. I cut the pork and spinach up separately into small bites and she managed to eat a whole roll-up by herself as well as lots of rice too. I can’t believe how much her appetite has grown in the past month!

Curry Flavored Cabbage and Ground Meat Recipe


This recipe is fast, very cheap, and most importantly: delicious! It’s quickly become a regular meal for our family. Since the curry powder adds some spice, I like having rice as a side dish, though bread works in a pinch.

Original recipe on Cookpad

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
1/4 of a cabbage
250 g of ground meat
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon of grated garlic
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons of sugar
Pepper to taste

1. Cut the cabbage into squared chunks.
2. Cook the ground meat in a heated frying pan. Once the color of the meat has changed, add the curry powder and garlic.
3. Mix in the soy sauce and sugar. Once the flavor has soaked into the meat, add the cabbage.
4. After the cabbage has been decently cooked, sprinkle in the pepper. Give it all a quick mix, and then it’s ready to eat!