605, 2020

An amazing proposal for indoor picnic!

As promised, below we are sharing a picnic arrangement for you to take part in the indoor picnic for the hanami season. The measurements are for two individuals, so adjustments will be necessary if you need to feed more!

What you will need:

2 cups of sushi rice

Rice for Inari

50ml of rice vinegar (or any type of white vinegar) 1 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of salt

Rice for Onigiri

30-40 grams of sumac (or even better if you have a packet of yukari) 1 sheet of seaweed (nori)

For the Carrot kinpira

2 carrots julienned
2 tbsp of sesame oil or vegetable oil
2 tbsp of toasted and ground sesame
1 1⁄2 tbsp of soy sauce
1 1⁄2 tbsp of mirin (if you don’t have it: 1⁄2 tbsp of sugar) 1⁄3 a cup of water

For the Tamago omelette

2 eggs
1 tsp of sugar
⭐a pinch of dashi ⭐4tbsp of warm water ⭐1tsp of soy sauce

For the Pan fried Leek

1 leek (diagonally cut) 4 tsp of butter
1 tsp of soy sauce

For the Inari (Sweet tofu)

⭐1 packet of aburaage (deep fried pouch tofu) ⭐1⁄2 cup of dashi stock
⭐5 tbsp of sugar
⭐3 tbsp of soy sauce

⭐1 tbsp of mirin (optional)
However, it is more economical to buy a ready made packet online in the UK.


Two types of rice

  1. Wash 2 cups of rice thoroughly in cold water

  2. Drain the rice well then pour 2 cups of water in to the rice over a pot or in a rice cooker

  3. Once cooked, divide them into two equal portions in separate bowls

  4. In one bowl, mix the sushi vinegar into the rice and leave it to cool

  5. In the other bowl, mix in the sumac (or the yukari) and leave it to cool

Sumac (or Yukari) Onigiri

  1. Prepare a bowl of cold water with a pinch of salt mixed in

  2. Moist your hand using the salted water and scoop a portion of rice mixed with sumac

    (approximately 80g) into your palms and mold it into a triangular shape

  3. Repeat this until you run out of the mixture of rice

  4. Alternatively, if you are not confident you can cut out a cling film to ensure the rice

    doesn’t stick too much onto your hands

Inari zushi (Sweet tofu rice)

  1. Using a chopstick or a rolling pin, flatten out each of the aburaage (deep fried tofu)

  2. Cut the aburaage into half so that each one of them has a pouch

  3. Boil the aburaage in a pot for 30 secs to 1 min and drain them

  4. Put all the ⭐ingredients into a pot and heat until the sugar has dissolved

  5. Add the drained abuurage into the pot and let it simmer for 7-8 minss with a cover/lid

  6. Remove the lid and let it continue to simmer for another 7-8 mins or until the liquid has


  7. Let the simmered tofu drain and cool

  8. Once it is drained and cooled down, fill the inari with approximately 60g of the rice mixed

    with sushi vinegar and repeat for all others

  9. If you have bought a ready made inari from a shop, then you only need to do step 8

Carrot Kinpira

  1. Heat your frying pan on medium heat and once the pan is hot, toast your 2 tbsp of

    sesame for approximately 3-4 mins

  2. Take it off the heat and put your toasted seeds into a pestle and mortar and grind them

  3. Put your pan back on medium heat and once the pan is hot, drizzle 2tbsp of sesame oil

    or vegetable oil, followed by your julienned carrots

  4. Fryitfor3-4minsthenaddin1⁄2acupofwaterandcoveritwithalidfor2mins

  5. Take the lid of after the 2 mins and add in the soy sauce and mirin

  6. Quickly mix on the pan and turn the heat off

  7. Mix in the ground sesame and your carrot kinpira is now ready

Tamago Omelette

  1. Mix all ⭐ingredients in advance, then add the 2 eggs and the tsp of sugar and mix again

  2. If you have a rectangular tamago pan – perfect, you probably already know how, if not,

    use a regular frying pan (preferably small) and put it on a medium to high heat

  3. Once it is heated, drizzle oil and use a kitchen paper to spread it evenly

  4. Pour a ladle of the egg mixture into the pan and even it out to make a thin layer –

    bubbles should start forming

  5. Using chopsticks or a spatula, poke the bubbles and from the farthest edge from you, roll

    the egg layer towards you

  6. Once rolling the first layer, push the rolled egg away from you and add a bit of oil, theneven it out again

   7. Pour in another ladle of theegg mixture and this time, gently lift the rolled egg so that the mixture reaches the area            under the rolled layer

  1. Repeat step 5 all over again

  2. Keep repeating steps 3 to 8

until you run out of mixture, you should be left with a rolled omelette

10. Remove the omelette off the heat and onto a plate and let it cool to firm

11. Once it is firm, slice them into the width of 11⁄2 to 2cm

Pan fried leek

1. Heat your frying pan on medium and drop in a tsp of butter

2. Once melted, carefully place the cuts of leek onto the surface of the pan

3. Let it fry for approximately 3-4 mins on each side and drop in additional butter once you have flipped the leeks (also when you think the pan has dried off)

4. After flipping the leeks onto the other side and ready, turn off the heat and drizzle 1 tsp of soy sauce on top of the leeks

Last but not least, serve and arrange these dishes into a bento box or a container of your liking. Grab an ice cold bottle of beer and enjoy your picnic!

2404, 2020

April Endeavours

The impermanence of the elegant sakura is what makes April a special month for Japanese

In Japan, March was the month of goodbyes. April is a month of new endeavours and a fresh
start for all. The elegant cherry blossom flowers known as “sakura” in Japan, mark a symbolic
transition to the spring season. The spring season represents the ever changing state of life
through the short blooming period of the sakura.

During this season, people all over Japan gather under the endless rows of the sakura trees at
public parks and on the side of canals every year for a picnic, known as the “hanami”. This is an
activity that should be relatable and familiar to those of us who have walked through the
Meadows in Edinburgh this time of the year before.

Due to the recent turn of events, this year we have all had and still do have a huge
responsibility; to refrain from taking part in the usual ways of life. Social distancing. This
however shouldn’t stop us from taking part in it quietly from home. In fact, we should take this
time to acknowledge the current ways of life as we have and have faith that this will only be a
temporary goodbye to life as we know it.

We will be sharing recipes that you could cook yourself to take part in your own “hanami” picnic
at home!

#makiramen #slurptastic