Category Archives: japanese cuisine

Rape bianche

It sounds unsettling at first, but rape (RAH-peh) bianche (bee-AHN-keh) are simply white turnips. A curated section at our local supermarket displays carefully packaged vegetables that include pertinent info (origin, seasonality, nutritional value, etc) and storage tips. They cost more but you can tell that the produce is of top quality.

Inspired by Kat’s kabu post and soup recipe using turnips, I made it twice because the spiciness from the addition of kimchi is so perfect for this cold weather. Below is an adaptation subbing pumpkin for potato. For the kimchi, I made some using the turnip greens (no waste!).

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Oishi Sushi for the 8th

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Barca (boat) for 2: an assortment of 12 pcs. sushi, 18 pcs. sashimi and 6 pcs. uramaki.

As strange as it may have felt to go to a japanese restaurant for the first time since moving here, what’s even stranger is knowing that we needed a good reason to do so. We celebrated 8 years of marriage last week, skipping pizza in favor of checking out how a japanese eatery measures up in the bel paese, but I’m still not convinced about the whole experience. Sushi and sashimi outside of Japan or anyplace else will never measure up to what the giapponese enjoy on their country.

The restaurant’s outward appearance isn’t much (it’s on a busy intersection) but the interior decor is polished dark wood flooring, black leather seat cushions, votive candles and subdued lighting. We ordered one each of shrimp and meat gyoza apps, a sushi boat for two, an order of unagi hosomaki, and a large bottle each of Asahi and Kirin. Total price 60€, cover charge included. All of it good, but not equal to the quality of sushi and sashimi that we’ve had at japanese restaurants in Hawaii. I have a hunch that the reason why they kept asking if our dinner was okay is because they were waiting for an Oishi! We kept saying buonissimo. No uni on the menu. They’ve got a pointcard system where you get a sticker for every 30€ spent on a meal. After 10 stickers, you receive a discount of 30€ on your next Oishi meal.

Oishi Sushi Restaurant
Via Castelletto, 2
Paderno Dugnano (MI)
Credit cards accepted

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Gyoza apps are actually 4 pieces each.

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Definitely not from the restaurant, but we had to drive-thru for coffee before ending the evening at a gelateria.

Okonomiyaki with chestnut flour

Okonomiyaki (if you have never ventured into the exotic world of japanese food), is a savory pancake filled with cabbage and any choice of additional ingredients. The overall meaning of the word gives way to the unlimited possibilities for ingredients of every taste and persuasion. This is a pancake (some call it pizza) with personality, and I’ve seen it written up by fellow bloggers but never thought to give it a try until chestnut flour came to mind.

Okonomiyaki chestnut flour batter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chestnut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, slightly beaten
a good pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
Fillings: shredded cabbage (I used napa), tiny shrimps, shredded beef, roast pork or chicken, bacon, grated carrots, pickled ginger (benishoga), cooked octopus, crab meat, scallions..whatever you like!

Mix the dry ingredients then stir in the egg and water. Whisk together until smooth. Add a generous handful of shredded cabbage and your chosen fillings; stir to combine evenly. Heat a nonstick skillet and drizzle with a small amount of vegetable oil. Scoop half the batter into the pan, forming a circle. Lay strips of bacon over the top. When the bottom is a golden brown, carefully flip the whole thing over and brown the other side. Flip it over again and turn off the heat. Spread with okonomiyaki sauce (recipes online) and squirt lines of mayo over the top. Garnish with chopped green onions, seaweed flakes, bonito flakes and dig in. Repeat with the remaining batter. Generously serves one or makes two teaser plates. Even more ono (hawaiian for delicious) with beer.


With Trentino speck (dry-cured lightly smoked ham)


Topped with mayo, okonomiyaki sauce, nori, bonito flakes, green onions