Insider's Kitchen

No.233 (4/12/13)


By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

As you view the Tohoku Ohanami map in the front page, you will know that it is an annual ritual for the Japanese people and cherry blossom fans from foreign countries that they enjoy the supreme spring beauty of Japan with friends and family by going on a picnic. Pack your favorite finger foods, snacks, and drinks and visit the beautiful sites to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms, and the fellowship of other people seeking the same enjoyment.

Beef Wrapped Rice Ball Adapted from:

Ingredients for 6 pieces:

*Thinly sliced beef (barayaki) 1lb
*Six rice balls (onigiri)
●Three tablespoons sake (rice wine)
●Two tablespoons soy sauce
●Two tablespoons Mirin (special sake and sweet vinegar blend for cooking)
●One each tablespoon of Sugar, Ponzu (lemon vinegar) sauce, Sesame oil
●One teaspoon dashi (soup base) powder
●Pepper and white sesame


1. Mix ● all ingredients above to make the sauce.
2. Make rice balls with cooked rice.
3. Wrap the rice balls with beef and sprinkle them with pepper.
4. With medium heat, fry the beef wrapped rice balls in the frying pan.
5. Flip the rice balls to cook the beef thoroughly.
6. Add the sauce in the pan little by little.
7. Sprinkle white sesame on top and ready to pack.
You can also wrap them and freeze them to store them. Just heat them up in the microwave for great snacking.

Horse Bean Cream Cheese Spread
Adapted from

Ingredients (serving 2-3):

1/2 cup frozen horse beans (also can be done with lima beans)
One tablespoon cream cheese
One tablespoon Japanese mayonnaise
One tablespoon lemon juice
Minced white sesame (suri shiro goma)


1.Boil the frozen beans and peel the skins off. Mash the beans with a fork.
2.Mix the cream cheese, mayonnaise, and lemon juice.
3.Combine the mashed beans with the sauce mix.

This spread goes great on crackers!

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