Rice Pudding with Yuzu, Vanilla & Sake (and a celebration!)

by Tokyo Terrace on February 18, 2010

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.

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  • http://www.sense-serendipity.com Divina

    Rachel, happy 1st birthday to Tokyo Terrace. I’m glad I found you on Twitter. I really enjoy your articles and your wonderful and creative recipes. Your life in Tokyo is well worth documented and a blog is a start. Maybe someday it will turn into a book like your Friday Cocktails ( I assume they will). You have been an inspiration because of your creativity and that allows me to do the same. It’s been wonderful visiting your blog. The rice pudding sounds wonderful and really comforting. Have a great blogging year head. Mwah!

  • http://ivorypomegranate.com Kirstin

    Yay! Happy one-year! It’s my blog’s one-year anniversary tomorrow, what a coincidence :) Winter always seems like a popular time to start a blog, maybe its the dreary weather?

    This rice pudding looks SO awesome. I love the Japanese spin you gave to it.

    Here’s to another great year of blogging for both of us!

  • http://oysterfoodandculture.com OysterCulture

    Congrats on the blog – since I’ve been following you, can I only say its been amazing. What an adventure you’ve led us on. Can’t wait to see what the second year will bring.

  • http://www.MyLastBite.com MyLastBite

    Congratulations! Your photos are always so inspiring to me. Let me know when you start selling cards or prints!

  • tokyoterrace

    Divina: Thank you for always being one of the *first* comments I receive! Your comments are always so sweet and your support is unwavering. THANK YOU!

    Kirstin: I do think the dreary weather has something to do with starting blogs during the winter. It’s when we are all sitting inside needing something to do! :) Happy almost birthday to you and your blog!

    Oyster Culture: My MN friend! Thank you thank you thank you. You have been another constant reader and your words of encouragement are always so helpful. I’m thankful to have met you (even if it is only electronically) through blogging!

    MyLastBite: Jo! Thank you :) I’m so flattered that you like my photos. I will certainly let you know when the cards/prints start!

  • http://tanglednoodle.blogspot.com Tangled Noodle

    Congratulations and Happy 1st Anniversary! Wishing you many more happy days and years of blogging (and cooking and eating)!

    I can only imagine the difficulties of such a cultural transition but not only have you found a creative and delicious way of dealing – this rice pudding is a perfect example – you’ve been generous enough to share it with us. I look forward to following more of your culinary and cultural adventures!

  • http://joylicious.net Joy

    Wow very beautiful rice pudding you have here, I love the lighting in the pictures, it just makes me feel very warm and happy inside :) I love that you kicked it up a notch and added some yuzu and sake, verrry niice! Beautiful dessert and congrats again on the 1st anniversary of your blog!!!!

  • Jan

    My darling girl, congratulations, well done! Your first year leaves all of us eagerly anticipating the coming year(s).

  • http://www.debishawcross.com Debi (Table Talk)

    Happy Blogversary, Tokyo Terrace!
    You certainly have created a nice home for your blog, filled with beautiful photographs, fantastic food, and a voice that is sincere and charming.
    Looking forward to many more posts to come!

  • http://neverturndownacupcake.blogspot.com K

    Happy 1st Blog-birthday! Keep up the beautiful photos and great recipes!

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  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    Happy 1st Anniversary for your dear blog :) I’ve just discovered it and this rice pudding looks delicious. I’m liking all the flavours :) Yum.

  • Maa White

    The photo of your rice pudding is sharp, colorful, and just beautiful! You have come a long way, not only in your photography, but in your writing. It is just wonderful. Congratulations on the one year anniversary and no doubt there will be many more anniversaries in the future. I’m a little biased, but I really think you should have your own food TV show. Love ya.

  • http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    Congratulations on your one year anniversary Rachael. I think TT is a wonderful way to make sense of living in a foreign country – a great outlet for you but also a treat for us! I wish blogs had existed in 1994 when I moved to Paris all by my lonesome….

  • http://kissmyspatula.com/ my spatula

    yay!! happy blog birthday! we are so lucky to have you and i can’t think of a better to celebrate than with rice pudding.

  • http://www.lafujimama.com Fuji Mama

    お誕生日おめでとうございます! Here’s to another amazing year! I hope that one of these years we’ll get to meet in person. I’ve got a weak spot for rice pudding, so I’m loving that you chose to make some for your birthday post!

  • http://www.alessandromeucci.com Alessandro Meucci

    Happy Birthday Tokyo Terrace!!! Setagaya-ku neighborhood is glad that you are still sharing your stories with the world. Congratulations and… make a wish!

  • http://megbakinginpearls.blogspot.com/ Megan

    This sounds and looks absolutely delicious! It’s been so long since I’ve made rice pudding-in fact, there’s an unopened jar of arborio rice just calling my name :)

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