This week marks the 1 year anniversary of Tokyo Terrace. There are so many things to say and people to thank. Let me start by saying: Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu! Bon annivarsaire! Happy Birthday!
I woke up this morning to a soft, white coating of fresh snow over all of the roof tops outside my kitchen window. Within about 2 hours, the snow was completely melted and the sun was shining warmly. It’s fitting, actually, that such a drastic change in the weather happened in such a short amount of time today. The schizophrenic weather is similar to the last year of my life here in Tokyo. So many wonderful things have happened, with the occasional sprinkling of difficult times to keep me humble. all the while are moments when I sit down and think about what a huge blessing it is to be able to write about and share my stories with all of you. I say share my “stories” rather than my recipes because they are really one in the same.
Tokyo Terrace has not only been a way for me to express my love for food, but also way for me to make sense of living in Japan. My time spent in Tokyo has been nothing short of amazing. However, I still find myself frustrated, homesick, and unsure about how to understand how to fit in. Tokyo Terrace has been my way of both staying sane and celebrating the experience of living in a culture so drastically different from my own.
This recipe is a fusion-inspired Rice Pudding. The addition of yuzu zest, sake and black sesame seeds to the traditional milk, vanilla and rice creates a light tasting, comforting dessert that is easy to make. Taking a classic dessert like Rice Pudding and adding a Japanese spin on it is symbolic of the last year of my life as Tokyo Terrace. I have not lost my love for traditional, familiar comfort foods that I knew before coming to Japan, but I have learned how to incorporate new ingredients to make these dishes more unique.
I look forward to another wonderful year spent with you, my dear readers and fellow food blogging friends. Thank you, wherever you find yourself as you read this, for being such a wonderful piece of my experience abroad. I hope that Tokyo Terrace has meant something to you the way it has to me.
Rice Pudding with Yuzu, Vanilla and Sake
Makes 2 servings
1/3 cup short grained or medium grained rice
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest from 1 yuzu (or lemon if you can’t access yuzu)
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
candied yuzu or lemon peel
In a medium skillet, combine the rice and milk over medium heat. Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring constantly until the rice has absorbed about 1/3 of the milk and has become tender. Add the vanilla extract, sake, yuzu zest and honey. Stir to combine and cook another 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the refrigerator for about 2 hours and up to 1 day. Serve sprinkled with the black sesame seeds and the candied yuzu peel.