The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry


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Pork & Scallop Shumai (Open-Faced Dumplings)

ShumaiSquare3TSTEarlier this year, when I made Gingery Pork & Chive Pot Stickers, I declared 2014 The Year of the Dumpling. As a second foray into making these bite-sized morsels, I tackled another favorite of mine, shumai (in Japanese) or shãomài (in Chinese). I roughly followed Andrea Nguyen’s lovely recipe for pork-based dumplings (from her exquisite Asian Dumplings cookbook) except combined the pork with scallop to create more of a Yokohama-style shumai that I loved from my time in Japan (true Yokohama style also uses shrimp in the mix). Continue reading


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Miso Roasted Eggplant

MisoEggplantTST2Here’s a simple but healthful and umami-packed dish for a meatless Monday. It’s my take on the Japanese nasu dengaku, roasted eggplant dressed in a sweet miso glaze and garnished with scallions and black and white sesame seeds. My favorite way to eat it is to let it cool to room temperature and enjoy it with a little glass of cold beer. It’s a perfect way to chase off any Monday blues. Cheers! Continue reading


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Gingery Pork & Chive Pot Stickers

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Dumplings taste better when filled with memories.” ~ From an NPR series, “Dumpling Week.”

First it was NPR’s airing of vignettes about dumplings from around the world that got my memories and taste buds stirring last August. Then in October, fellow blogger Amanda from What’s Cooking ~ Fine Dining My Way posted these jaw-dropping delicious photos and description of her  Chicken & Chive Pot Stickers with Ginger Chili Soy Dip. You could say I’ve had dumplings on the brain for a long time.

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Simple Miso Soup with Salmon, Tofu, Mushrooms & Napa Cabbage

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Having lived in Japan for four years, I find miso soup comforting any time of day, any time of year. There is nothing quite like the earthy, rich flavor of miso and dashi combined with fresh vegetables and seafood. One spring during cherry blossom season, my parents visited me, and we toured around Kyoto, the old capital bursting with delicate pink petals everywhere. Chilled by the crisp spring air, we ducked into a restaurant specializing in nabe (pronounced “NAH-bay”), or hot pots of vegetables and seafood in a broth cooked at the table. We ordered a miso-based nabe made in the style of the northern Hokkaido region, and it came with a hearty and colorful array of salmon, shellfish, and fresh vegetables. It warmed and nourished us, and we still talk about that delicious lunch many years later.

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Weeknight Oven-Baked Salmon with Ginger Mirin Sauce

IMG_4923We love eating fish in our house, and with as many fishermen as we have in our extended family, we’ve been blessed with ample opportunity to taste fish as fresh as it gets. I particularly enjoyed sampling several varieties of Pacific Northwest salmon Continue reading