I’ve been delaying this for years, but one thing Japanese people surprised me in winning in is their phenomenal kabocha. Kabocha sounds super hipster and still strange to me, but it’s basically a Japanese squash. I love it because it’s more savory ingredient than of sweet potatoes and it’s so nutritious. (Please don’t ask me the differences between squash/pumpkin/potatoes/yams. I still confuse all.)
I’m no way a mayonnaise person nor a kewpie person, yet my first kabocha salad was back in 2015 when my senpai took me to a AYCE Japanese buffet that featured this at the salad bar. Idk about you, but salad and fresh vegetables usually aren’t the best…and my senpai insisted I try it. Since then, the Japanese kabocha salad has become a personal favorite Japanese appetizer to me. No matter how creepy/weird the kewpie character looks (seriously, who thought that thing is cute and profitable for branding?!)
So, here you have it. Kabocha salad or as I like to call it – Japanese style pumpkin salad in celebration of a new internship, visiting Tokyo, and it’s fall.
Scoop the kabocha seeds with spoon and discard them and cut into 1 inch slices.
Remove the kabocha skin and cut into 1 inch cubes.
Put the kabocha in saucepan and cover with water. Steam the kabocha for about 10-15 minutes. Allow them to cool
In a frying pan, cook bacon slices over medium high heat until crispy. Drain excess oil on the paper towel and then chop the bacon into small pieces.
Thinly slice the cucumber. (optional: peel the cucumber if preferred)
Combine the kabocha, sliced cucumbers, and chopped bacon together in a bowl.
Add about 2 tbsp of Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie) and freshly ground black pepper or lemon pepper to taste. Mix to desired consistency. Serve immediately with chopped parsley, or refrigerate.
Majima-san, one of my best friends from Tokyo who I worked with in Itoya, gave me some beautiful pink sea salts she picked up from Kyoto and gave it to me just before I had to fly back from Tokyo to LA.. so to use it, and to conquer my fears of poaching an egg, I decided to make a stacked edamame salad: The foundation: israeli couscous, base layer: chopped up edamame, second: poached egg, all drizzled with a fusion of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and sprinkled with pink sea salts…The built creation? Edamame Salad with Poached Egg and pink sea salts.
For the past few years, wall sections gave me an overwhelming amount of anxiety in architecture and poaching eggs gave me tummy anxiety in the kitchen… I literally threw up (a little blob) in my office’s sink from the first wall section I had to conquer at work a few months ago… but thankfully nobody saw that and this week I was able to bust out enough sheets and tackle it by Monday with my team (thanks to the help of my boss who very patiently taught me by representing tape on paper as waterproofing walls), and I realized wall sections and details are actually more than lines, they’re interesting and kinda fun once you get the basics down.) I also attempted this salad recipe and got BOTH eggs properly (Thanks to Youtube and Jordan my usc arch. colleague) I bought a dozen fresh new eggs in case it took me 12 to get 2 done right, and the first two ended up poaching perfectly.
Briefly boil the unshelled edamame in a pot for a few minutes. Drain and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Briefly boil the Israeli couscous in a pot for a few minutes. Drain and cool completely, about 15 minutes. Add some olive oil to prevent the couscous from sticking.
To poach the egg, boil about 3″ of water. Crack open an egg into a ramekin or small bowl.
Set a steady vortex by swirling the water in the pot and once it gets going, slowly pour about 1 tbsp of vinegar.
Slowly pour the egg into the vortex. Watch it carefully and use the knife or spoon to hold it together for about 3-5 minutes. Once cooked to desired, carefully scoop out the egg from the pot by using a whisk or spoon. Rinse with water to remove the vinegar.
Un-shell all of the cooled edamame pods and chop them finely.
To assemble, add about 1/2 the portion of couscous into one glass cup. Then, add a layer of the chopped up edamame and spoon over the poached egg. Pour over some olive oil, squeeze some lemon juice, and sprinkle with sea salt.
So last week was perhaps my most terrifying and painful week of 2017. I fell down some stairs (thankfully nobody saw), cut up and bruised myself, was stung by 6 mosquitos on the chest and both shoulders, got kinda sick, got a bunch of pimples on my forehead from the stress, and locked myself out of both my own home/mom’s home while she’s out of the country. I know-I know, life can be so much worse and I’m very grateful I have food to eat and working limbs. And I’m extremely grateful that this week has significantly improved than that last terrifying/painful week.
My team and I successfully finished busting out our detail drawings on Revit, packed and submitted our exterior envelope set drawings out to our contractor. AutoCAD’s film director contacted me again on Wednesday with a follow up on brainstorming for how we can collaborate! Fingers crossed. I am literally praying every day to God that our proposal be approved by next week (then I can formally announce!) And yes, YOU SHOULD PRAY TOO without even knowing what we’re requesting. I promise it would be exciting.