Chicken + herbs = good bento okazu


Monday January 15, 2018


Now I am in the middle of busy planning phase for my new bathroom and kitchen.
Yay, it has been SO FUN! (but very busy…) In addition to choosing different drawers and cabinets, colors are also my big issue these days. It seems like gray kitchens have been so popular all over the world, I see SO MANY pictures of stylish gray kitchens on Instagram and Pinterest. Personally I think gray is a kind of tricky color. Because there are so many different tones of gray, some are darker, some have brown or even purple tone in it, and it is kind of tricky to decide after you have seen just a tiny little sample sheet of gray paint…. But if you put light gray with light white, it is so pretty! I love this combination! And since there is this ultimate beautiful counter top of marble stone in grayish color, I think gray kitchen cabinets will stay popular for a long long time.

Color combination and food pairing have similarities. It is either :
1) Ingredients enhance each other or
2) Ingredients kill each other


Many of well-known bad examples are with milk products. Milk + herbs (milk kills the fragile essence of the herbs), milk + Edamame, milk + pineapples are very well known. Wine + cucumber (did you know?), deep fried food + water melon (did you knowwww?) are also known. In Japan we have many interesting examples, we say we do not pair eel and pickled plums, crabs + persimmons, brown sugar and bamboo shoots. Funny.

There are many good combinations, and here is one example.




Chicken + herb = good bento okazu. 🙂 Here I am using fresh rosemary, salt, pepper, bacon, flour. Fry with olive oil, sautee red onion on the side. You can use maybe basil or parsley too. Adding lemon won’t be too bad either, I think.

Good luck!
xxx Rie


The most expensive rice ball



Sunday January 14, 2018




Onigiri – Have you eaten this Japanese rice ball called “Onigiri” before? It can be round like a base ball, it can be oval like a rugby ball and it can be triangle like the music instrument. I was in Los Angels Airport in November last year on the way to London. The International terminal in Los Angels Airport is huge, and I found a Japanese restaurant selling sushi and bento. There I found Onigiri! You know how much food you get onboard these days (unless you are flying Business Class or First Class…) and I thought it was quite a good idea to buy a couple of these yummy Japanese rice balls. I looked at them and found a sticker saying 2,5 and thought it was the price, 2 dollars and 50 cents. Well, it is an airport restaurant and prices are high, but I decided to buy 2 of them. I went to a casher and was told the total price was 11 dollars!! What!? She told me that the sticker of 2.5 was not the price, it was the time of produce, in other word it was made at 02:50 am that day and the real price is 5 dollars and 50 cents for this tiny ball of rice with a sheet of nori around it…. I did not buy them after all as it seemed so very expensive. Here at home I can produce any number of Onigiri in my kitchen and they are always my comfort food. Many Japanese actually say Onigiri is their most beloved comfort food and I am probably one of them.

Do you like Onigiri?

xxx Rie

Home made Spring Carrot Salad Dressing


So, I am back from Japan and as usual fighting with inevitable jetlag again.
Japan is now 7 hours ahead of the Norwegian time and I still feel hungry at odd hours… Ummm…   My husband and I spent 3 weeks in Japan and we really had a good time!  I have many photos to show you, so will write about my trip in another blog post.  We bought JR pass this time and made quite good use of it. If you are planning a trip to Japan soon, with or without JR pass, I hope my blog post will be helpful in your travel planning.




Today I am writing a recipe of my home made salad dressing using spring carrots.  I am now hooked on salad, a healthy addiction I must say.

While we were in Japan my husband and I really enjoyed many delicious dishes in different cities.  As far as food is concerned, I think Japan and France are my favorite. Particularly I enjoyed salads during my spring trip in Japan.  When you are traveling for three weeks and eating at restaurants almost everyday, it can get too much.  I feel so tired of restaurant food when it continues with no break.  Traveling is fun but you are busy with sightseeing and shopping in strange places and your body is sometimes much more tired than you think and I think it is important and wise that you eat light. Usually Japanese dishes are light but there are so many tempting dishes and you want to try it all when you are there.  In between such big and memorable meals, salad was a good dish for me to eat,  and in Japan there are so many kinds to try as well.

Here is one, I had this in Sapporo in Hokkaido, a fantastic salad with very locally produced ingredients!

It was called “White Caesar Salad” and it was so delicious that I can not forget.

Locally produced vegetables and local brand chicken called “Nakasatsunai Chicken”, a brand chicken in Hokkaido produced in Nakasatsunai Village, are mixed and totally covered by finely shredded Mozzarella cheese also locally produced by Hanabatake Farm, a famous farm in Tokachi city in Hokkado. It was really an excellent salad.

After I came home, I have been experimenting to create a good home made salad dressing and here is one using Spring Carrot.


Small Spring Carrot        1   finely grated
New Yellow Onion          20 g  finely grated
Rice vinegar                    30 cc
Olive oil (cold pressed)    50 cc
Lemon juice                       2 tea spoons
Soy Sauce                           2 tea spoons
Coarse mustard                2 tea spoons
Salt, pepper, honey, sugar          to your taste

I mixed all these with a bar mixer.


If you do not have a bar mixer, I really recommend to get one as it is a very useful cooking tool. Not only salad dressing you can make good soups or smoothies with it.


A good salad for your breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Home made salad dressing is easier to make than you think.



Bon appetite!
xxx Rie