I was introduced this strange looking Chinese herb called Phellodendron (OBAKU in Japanese & Huang Bai in Chinese) when my son got an impetigo which is highly contagious skin infection that causes red sores all over the skin after taking swimming class at the local public elementary school. First, I found a few red spots around his belly, then, the red spots spread all over his body within a day. Since I did not know what to do, I consulted the macrobiotic instructor. She told me to apply the yellow powder of Phellodendron to the skin directly. At first, I was so skeptical to use this curry powder like as a medicine. But, I applied on the surface of the red spot. The result was amazing! It disappeared completely within a few days without any side affects.
Ever since, I introduce this Chinese herb whenever my family have skin problems. It works like a magic. In Chinese medicine, this herb is used for internal organs such as kidney and heart as an internal medicine, which I am not yet familiar with. But this anti-inflammatory, sterilizing properties are very effective to many skin disorders, and also a small cut. Once I accidentally cut my finger deeply by knife, I immediately apply the philodendron powders and put the bandage. I had to change a few times for first a few hours, then it stopped bleeding. Next day, the edges of the wounds come together and already healed.
Now, I don't have any more powder, but I found dried phellodendron at Herb Room in Santa Cruz → https://www.facebook.com/foodbinherbroom/. You can find it in the drawer 10 as the picture shown. You can also buy at the local Chinese herbal store. I usually make medicine from it and store in the refrigerator for a week. You can damp cloth and apply to the effected area. Currently, my mother is visiting us from Japan, and she is suffering from an atopic dermatitis on her upper body, so I started to apply this philodendron liquid every morning and night. I hope I can post the picture of before & after near future...
Here's the recipe for the philodendron liquid:
In the small sauce pan, add 300ml of water and 10g (1/4 cup) of philodendron and boil for 20 minutes with medium heat. The water will be reduced about 200ml. Pour in the sanitized jar, and store in the refrigerator after it gets cool. That's all. If you or your children is suffering from some type of skin disorders, perhaps, you can try it out. 😃
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I delivered gluten-free vegan burgers to a wonderful Japanese Community in San Jose. Since it is not a usual Japanese bento style, I thought it would be much easier to create this type of lunch box to go. But, oh boy! I ended up spending all day preparing... Baking gluten-free buns and bread required a lot of attention & tears😿 But I am so glad that I was able to complete this mission. I want to thank all the people who tried out my gluten free veggie burgers💕
Here' the full course of the menu.
☆ Lentil & burdock root patty together with homemade kechup
☆ Beets steak with dill sauce
☆ Mushed yellow cauliflower with tofu
☆ Red cabbage & onion slaw
☆ Sautéed daikon & mushrooms
☆ Gluten-free zucchini buns or 2 slices of simple rice bread
☆ Pesto quinoa pasta
☆ Baked sweet potatoes
☆ Lemon curd
(All vegan & Gluten free)
Burdock root has been used for centuries in holistic medicine. It has many healing properties such as a blood purifier to clear the bloodstream of toxins. It also contains multiple types of powerful antioxidants which protect cells in the body from free radicals, and prevents a number of different health conditions. In oriental medicine, burdock juice was used as a remedy to heal the appendicitis. I heard many people recovered after taking these burdock remedies. FYI, I leave the photo copy of "Burdock Juice" recipe from the book called "Macrobiotic Home Remedies" by Michio Kushi.
It has been more than a year since I became an Airbnb host. At first, I was a bit scared and nervous to open up our space to total strangers even though my husband is always there to assist me. Now, I still get nervous, but I enjoy getting to know people more. I met so many wonderful people from all over the world, and some of them became very special friends. That is a wonderful gift that I never imagined before.
It is also a great opportunity for me to share the wisdom of the ancient diet from Japan with the guests. Since breakfast is included, I make it every morning for them. Even though It is just a simple bowl of rice and soup, I make everything from the scratch trying to adjust to their condition. If they are too yang (more contracted), I use dried Shitake (mushroom) and dried daikon broth to bring yin (gentle loosen) energy to balance out their constitutions. If it's a cold winter, I use barley miso and Kuzu to bring the warmth inside their body.
The macrobiotic diet is believed to increase energy, resistance to illness and allowing one live a full life in balance. It is based on the Chinese philosophy of the two opposing yet complementary forces - Yin & Yang.
Once there was a lady who went through chemotherapy while she stayed. I served her a bowl of risotto using various type of aged miso every morning. Aged miso, properly fermented has a tremendous healing power to offset the impact of radiation exposure,
Since every guest is different, it is like a little assignment I receive every morning. I usually think about them first and try to prepare the best meal, using whatever we have in the yard and refrigerator to balance out their conditions,
I never tell my intention behind the breakfast to the guests, I just serve it with a cup of herb tea. I hope they enjoy the time of being in the woods, breathing fresh air so they feel restored & rejuvenated and ready to go back to their own world with a fresh mind.
It is so unfortunate to see many people throw away the carrot tops. Especially, when I see them chopping off the tops at the farmer's market. For me, I get very excited to find carrots that have gorgeously grown tops and can't help to think about this wonderful recipe. These carrot greens have many nutritional benefits as well. It has 6 times more vitaminC than its roots, and contains high amounts of chlorophyll that helps prevent the growth of tumors and cleans the colon, pushing out the accumulated wastes and toxins. So, it is very wise not to throw them away! The recipe I share with you is simple, easy, and very tasty. Here's the recipe.
3-4 bunch of carrot tops, 1/2 cup of sesame seeds (toasted and grind), ½ cup of pumpkin seeds (toasted), 1TBS of sesame oil, pinch of salt, 1 TBS of soy source
1. Toast sesame seeds and pumpkins and put them aside
2. In tIn a saucepan, boil the water first, add a pinch of salt. Then, damp the greens into the saucepan for 30 seconds and drain.
3. Chop the greens.
4. Heat the sauce pan, and add the sesame oil. Then, stir fry the chopped greens.
5. Add the pinch of salt, and soy sauce to taste. Then mix with sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.
6. Sprinkle on the top of the steamy rice as much as you want!
When it's a beautiful summer sunny day, I often try to bath our beddings in the sun! After putting them in the sunlight for a few hours, they get so fluffy. When you sleep wrapped by these sunbathed comforters and blankets at night, you can actually feel the energy of the sun! It is so comfortable. In Japan, we call it "FUTON HOSHI", meaning airing out Futon (beddings), and you can see in Japan how people use the futon hoshi method everywhere, if the weather nice. Besides, the ultraviolet radiation in the sunlight is a natural disinfectant, so it removes any bacteria or mites, If you have a space in your garden, just try it once. Maybe, you can start with your pillows first! I am sure you can feel the difference. 🌞
Catered to the farewell tea party on a beautiful Sunday afternoon,
Here is the menu:
✳︎ Beefy daikon stew
✳︎ Potato Gratin in 2 layers of home-made cheesy cream
✳︎ Creamy corn bread
✳︎ Quinoa & Kale salad
✳︎ Beat salad dressed in home made amazake dressing
✳︎ Simple vegan chocolate with Pecan and orange peel candies
✳︎ Amaranth's mochi cake with banana and blueberries
✳︎ Oil-Free apple tart
(All 100% vegan & gluten-free except pita bread)
As always, I cooked with 2 important partners!
1. Super Chef (Miracle ring made by mixing natural stones to create infrared energy and peaceful harmony to the food.)
2. Beautiful Bell (I use this bell whenever I need to use the high power blender to make soup or juice. The high power blender is great! it makes everything smooth & creamy, but I am afraid of the strong electric energy whenever I use it. So as soon as I finish using it, I take the lid and ring the bell to the mixture in the container. So, beautiful calm sound of energy resonating into the food, buffering out of the high electric energy...
Healthy vegan catering service to the beautiful yoga teacher's community at San Carlos! I met Yuko at David Cho's spring yoga retreat where I worked as a chef at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills, CA last March . Yuko was always so cheerful and gracious. Whenever she popped into our kitchen with a big smile, we were so happy to have a little chat with her. In accordance with Yuko's request, I prepared the menu that I cooked at the retreat. She told me that all the food she ate there was unforgettable!
Partially milled brown rice with salted cherry blossoms & green peas
Sautéed three root vegetables in Kimpira style
vegan caesar salad with creamy dressings
Japanese Shiraae (Broccoli & Mushroom dressed in tofu and sesame paste),
Organic Mugwort tea
(All gluten-free & vegan)
Some of the items were not exactly the same as I cooked at the retreat. Since this gathering was for Japanese ladies who loves Yuko's relaxed yoga, I focused more on the nourishment side of their organs, skins, and souls. Thank you, Yuko & her yoga friends for your kind words, I will treasure them & continue to enjoy the journey of being as a chef of healing cuisine!
Harmony of the vegetables♪♪♪ It is always a great pleasure cooking for the Peninsula Macrobiotic Community in Palo Alto! The theme of May was "Under the Tuscan Sun!" We cooked six items as below.
Tuscan Lentil Soup
Italian salad with Tahini Creamy Dressing
Brown Rice Pasta with Tomato Basil Sauce
Roasted Paprika and Kale with Quinoa
Chocolate Mousse with Berries
(All gulen-fee & all vegan)
Most of the vegetables came from the local farmer's market from Saratoga, Campbell, and Santa Cruz. I traveled all over the place to get the right ingredients. All the organic seasonings are also carefully selected. I never use synthetic seasonings, or white sugar. If you have good quality cold pressed oil, unpasteurized soy-sauce (naturally brewed), sea salt, naturally fermented miso, plum vinegar, home-made amazake, and special spice of love, you can create very delicious food that can also bring a healing effect on your body and soul...
I was ever so grateful that I could invite my mother and sister who happened to visit CA at the time! Thank you Peninsula Macrobiotic Community for giving me the opportunity to work as a chef! Thank you Maho, and Yuki for your wisdom, support and passion to create the dinner with me. Also, I want to thank all the chefs & volunteers who have been serving this community. And all the people who came to dine our food, I feel so fortunate to cook for you! thank you💕
Yesterday was the first day of DOYO the season. What is DOYO?
According to the five elements theory — wood(spring), fire(summer), earth(DOYO), metal(autumn), and water(winter) — are believed to be the fundamental elements of everything in the universe between which interactions occur. The season in CA is now spring, which is influenced by Wood energy, but to be precise, we are now in DOYO (Earth/Soil) season empowered by a strong earth energy as well.
Each season fixed according to the sun's longitude: Spring-27°, summer-117°, autumn-207° and winter-297°, and 18 days prior to the beginning of each season, we have DOYO seasons. Which means we have 4 DOYO seasons throughout the year. Yesterday was the first day of Spring DOYO.
During DOYO, the unsettled air of the transformation from spring to summer, summer to autumn, autumn to winter, winter to spring is floating around us, A strong energy from the earth is arising at the same time. Earth is the energy of the soil. The soil is the place where life is born and returns. It means that the soil has two completely opposite sides of energy, the reproduction and the putrefaction.
People who are suffering from chronic disorders may be worse during this DOYO season. Especially for Spring DOYO, people who suffer from eczema, and any types of allergy are tend to get influenced more. But if we learn to how to cope with this DOYO season in our daily life, we may prevent it. Even people who don’t have any symptom, if they embrace this DOYO energy around us, and carefully choose the food we eat, our body and mind sustain heathy, and will be ready to welcome to the new season with healthy well being…
The opposite word of “putrefaction” is “fermentation”, but these 2 words are deeply connected to the same root. If we eat more processed food, fat, animal food, & white sugar, the inside of our intestines are close to the sate of “putrefaction”. On a process of the digestion, they produces various toxins, and bad bacteria thrives. But, if you eat more plant based food, and fermented food such as MISO, any types of pickles such as sauerkraut, KIMUCHI, ume plums, your good bacteria in the intestine thrive. Then, it nourish and preserve cells in the colon and the liver, and prevent gastrointestinal diseases as well as cancer and heart disease.
According to many macrobiotic books, they refer “Earth” energy as late autumn, and I totally agree with it as well. From the late fall to the beginning of winter, we have Fall DOYO season. which means we are influenced by Earth energy. I believe every theories may be true to each individual. We can learn the knowledge, digest and cultivate it into our own life style. I hope everyone spend healthy, happy Spring/Doyo season💕
I will be cooking a full corse Korean dinner for Monday Dinner gathering at Palo Alto tomorrow. Here' the menu!
* Tofu Jjigae - Mildly Spiced Soft Tofu Korean Stewz
* Colorful Vegan Bibimbap - a Classic Korean Dish of Brown Rice and Seasonal Sautéed Vegetables & Konjac
* Fresh Homemade Kimuchi with Mild Spicy Sauce
* Matcha Cupcake with Sweet Azuki Beans
* Magical Mugwort Tea
I have prepared KIMUCHI 5 days ago just for this event using 8 big Napa cabbages. Now it is ready to be served. I did not use any sugar, but only grated apple and Amazake as sweetener. It is not too spicy so that little children can eat it. To make spicy looking, I add organic beets powder so it looks more red🤗. Since Kimuchi is probiotic & fermented, it contains healthy bacteria that aids in digestion process and fight off various infections in your body.
For Korean stew, and Bibimbap, I am going to use many kinds of vegetables that has a lot of medicinal benefits. If you want to know what Konjac can do to your body, please check this site,
For deserts, I will make Matcha Cupcake wth sweet Azuki Beans. I used organic dates and maple syrup and coconuts sugar when I made Azuki bean paste..,
I hope many people can come and taste this special dinner!!! The cost for the dinner is just $18. If you have time, please make a reservation at the website below, or call at 650-599-3320 by 4/17.