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Melon pan recipe – How to make Japanese Melon bread (melon ban)

Japanese recipes from Mari's tokyo Kitchen


Have you ever had Japanese bread ?
Our food culture is based on rice, but we also have many kinds of own bread as well like An-pan (sweet bean paste in the bread), Curry-pan, Yakisoba-pan etc…
Today I introduce you one of the Japanese bread, Melon pan bread :) (Some on call this melon ban)
It’s sweet bread with bread-dough interior and a cookie-dough with ridges resembling a muskmelon.
So actually you don’t taste any melon flavor (only the shape),  but you will find the taste of melon pan (or melon bread / melon ban) is familiar with you since it’s combination of cookie and bread.
Original melon pan bread doesn’t have any filling, but it’s also nice to put custard cream inside <3


Please also check my Japanese cookbook if you are interested in most popular recipes from Japanese cooking class for foreigners in Tokyo.

Japanese recipes from Mari's tokyo Kitchen


Ingredients(4 servings):

-Bread part

150g of Bread flour
1 Tablespoon of fat-free milk powder
2 Tablespoons of egg

(A) 1 teaspoon of dry yeast
(A) 2 Tablespoons of sugar
(A)55cc~ of warm water
(B) 30g of butter
(B) a pinch of salt

-cookie part

100g of flour
30g of butter
2 Tablespoon of caster sugar or frozen snow sugar
1/2 of egg
a pinch of vanilla-oil or lemon oil if you like

-Make cookie dough

1.    Place butter in a bowl (room temparature)

2.    Add sugar and mix well until it became smooth (whitish color)

3.    Add half of the beaten egg, mix well, and add the remaining egg and mix again.

4.    Shift the flour in a bawl and mix it with spatura.

5.  Place the dough on a plastic film. Make cylinder shape and place in a fridge for about 30 minutes.

-Make bread dough

  1. Place all the (A)s in a cup for 10 minutes.

  2. Place bread flour, egg, milk powder in a bawl and add (1), mix well.

  3. Add all the (B)s in a same bowl and mix it until it combine together.

  4. Place the dough on a big plate, knead and stretching until the dough become smooth, coherent and pliable. (The dough is sticky at first but it’s become stiff)

  5. When you have a nice smooth dough ball, put into a ball, cover with plastic film and let rise for about 30 minutes. (The best temperature is about 40 degree C)

6.  Take out the dough, pinch down, and divide into 4 pieces with scraper. Roll each piece into a ball, let rest for 10 minutes under a damp kitchen towel.

7.  Take out the cookie dough and flatten out each piece into a thin round with plastic film. Place the bread dough in the center and turn it upside down. Cover the bread dough with the cookie dough.




8.  Put sugar on the surface and make some slit.



9.   Cover with wet clothe and leave them in a warm place for about 20 minutes.

8.   Prepare the oven to 180 degree C  and bake them for 10 minutes first (to make the cookie dough crispy), then 160 degree C for 12 minutes after.

melon pan (melon bread/melon ban)


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Sushi roll Recipe – How to make makizushi


I sometimes write the article about Japanese food on magazine. Today I would like to introduce the recipe of sushi roll which I wrote on Tokyo Journal Magazine.

Link to some part of article in Tokyo Journal Magazine (Online version)

Mari’s Homemade Cooking Recipes  Let’s have a sushi party!

-Avocado filling


1 ripe avocado

1 pack of imitation crab meat or salmon



  • Peel the skin off the avocado and cut it into 8 or 10 vertical slices.

-Fish filling


Any raw fish you like

  • Cut the fish into small vertical pieces.

-Sumeshi (Sushi Rice)


450g (3 Japanese rice cups) of uncooked Japanese rice (1 Japanese rice cup = 180 cubic centimeters)

500cc of water

6 tablespoons of rice vinegar

5 tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

  • Place the rice and water in a rice cooker and cook the rice.

  • Combine all the ingredients in a cup and heat in the microwave at 500W for one minute. Be careful not to boil the mixture.

  • Transfer the rice to a big bowl. Pour the rice vinegar and sugar mix over the rice with a shamoji (wood rice paddle) until the rice is coated. While mixing the rice, use a small fan to help cool it down. Or you can ask someone to fan the rice with a folded newspaper. This makes the sumeshi shiny. Continue mixing until all the rice vinegar has been absorbed. Be careful so that the rice doesn’t turn mushy.

  • Wait until the sumeshi has cooled before eating. Do not put the rice into the refrigerator or it will harden.

How to make sushi rolls

  • Place a sheet of nori on your rolling mat and spread the cooked sushi rice evenly over the nori by pressing with a spoon or wet fingertips, leaving a one-inch border at the far edge.



  • If you like wasabi, smear a small amount in a line across the middle of the rice.

  • Arrange small portions of your fillings on top of the wasabi in a horizontal line down the center of the rice.



  •  Roll the sushi tightly with the sushi mat to form a neatly packed cylinder.

  •  Squeeze firmly to make sure the sushi roll is tightly packed. Put the rolls in refrigerator for 10 to 20 minutes. Make sure that you don’t leave the rolls in for longer or squeeze too hard, otherwise you could break the sushi roll.



  • Cut each sushi roll into 1½-inch rounds using a knife. It’s important to remoisten the knife after each cut.

  • Serve the sushi.

  • It’s time to eat!


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How to make umeshu – Home made Umeshu (plum wine) recipe


How to make umeshu – Home made Umeshu (plum wine) recipe



Hi there!

How are you doing?

I just came back from vacation in Nice, and it was beautiful place…


Of course we took a cooking class as well and it’s always fun to learn different things :)!

Before I left, It was just plum season in Japan.

(only once a year the season is)

So I bought plums and made Plum wine and Plum juice!

Although it’s called plum “wine”, this beverage is actually a cordial or a liqueur.

Here is the Home-made Plum wine recipe..


  • 1kg Plum

-800g Rock sugar

-1.8L of Shochu


  1. Wash the jar and lid well, pour the boiled water to sterilize it.

  2. Wash and wipe the plums with kitchen paper. Take off the stem end with a toothpick.


  1. Put a layer of plums in the jar, then a layer of rock sugar. (I made three layer)


  1. Pour te Shochu into the jar, put the lid and leave it in a cool, dark place. You can shake the jar sometimes to help things along. After 4-5 months, remove the plums (they would come floating up to the surface). After about 1 year, The umeshu is ready to drink. You can drink it after 6-7 months but I suggest you to drink after 1 year to let it mature.


You can drink it as your favorite way ( straight, mix with something) and I like to place some ice cubes and mix with water.

It takes a time for a while but the tastes is absolutely nice.


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Visited Bamboo shoot (Takenoko) village (Food)



This weekend, I visited Chiba prefecture, Otaki village which is located east of Tokyo.

It took about 3~4 hours to get there, so I wake up very early in the morning, but was very excited!

There’re some places are famous for Take-noko (Bamboo shoot), and this village ones are super tasty and no harshness.

(Usually you have to remove the harshness for 1~2 hours before you cook them).

So it means, you don’t need to do the preparation of the bamboo shoot, you can just cook them directly :)
I’ve never tasted that good bamboo shoot before.. it’s a little bit sweet, and crunchy, rich flavor !!

We can get the packed boiled bamboo shoot anytime in the super matket in Japan, but you won’t eat them once you know the fresh bamboo shoot. The flavor is so different (but the bamboo shoot season is only few months, in spring)



This time, I had a chance to ask the local people to teach me their specialities.

All of the foods are beyond my expectation, and I’ve even never met them before, and I was so excited again because I felt again that “Locals always know the best way to cook their local ingredients” and “There’re thousands of regions, and food culture in Japan which you don’t have any chance to meet in Tokyo”!!

If you’re the tourist, I really want you to go to the countryside or somewhere which has local culture :)



Bamboo shoot Sushi..



Bamboo shoot croquette and Bamboo shoot Kara-age



Pickled Bamboo shoot







Flour Sushi (It’s traditional local speciality of Chiba, and each family have the different shape of flour sometimes :))








Before I met them, we had a Lunch (wild boar who eat bamboo shoot in the Chiba mountain, it’s also their speciality) like this,




But 30 mins, later, I had all the foods with bamboo shoot (croquette, Sushi, pickles, Kata-age etc…) as our second Lunch.
I just love the food which is made with Love, by someone who cherish the ingredients, and these foods always satisfy me much more than fancy restaurants food (I love to eat out, but it’s just different!)

I hope I can keep posting about the Japanese local culture in my blog sometimes and there’re someone enjoy the entry.. :)


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Okowa Recipe – How to make steamed seasoned sticky rice

Okowa originally came from China, it’s steamed rice.


I love the texture anthe rich flavor, since we use a lot of Umami for it, and you can eat it as a snack if it’s Onigiri shape.

(it’s already seasoned)


I show you how to make no meat one, but please arrange different vegetable or meat (I think chicken or pork is nice)  :)



3 rice cups of Japanese sticky rice (about 560cc)

2 medium carrot, diced

3 dried Shiitake, soaked in the water and sliced

1 cup of dried small shrimp


(A) 1 Tbs. sugar

(A) 3 Tbs. soy sauce

(A) 2 Tbs. Sake


1 cup of water (which is used for soaking dried mushroom)



  • Soak the stiky rice with enough water for 1 hour in advance, then drain the water

  • Soak the dried Shiitake in 300-400cc water for few hours in advance


  1. Place 2 Tbs. of vegetable oil in a pan then pan-fry the dried shrimp until you have good flavor.

Then add the sliced mushroom, and carrot.




  1. When all the ingredients are almost cooked, add all the (A)s then cook for few minutes.




  1. In the other pan, place 2 Tbs. vegetable oil the pan-fry the sticky rice.




  1. When the rice became clear, add alal the (2) and 1 cup of Dashi (from soaking the mushroom) then cook until all the liquid is gone.



  1. Place all of them in a steamer then steam it for 20mins.




You can eat Okowa as rice, or it’s also nice to make Onigirg which is my favorite :)




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Shira-ae Recipe – How to make spinach salad with Tofu dressing


When I teach Japanese salad in my class, many people are surprised that the dressing is dry, and we don’t use oil normally.
I introduce Shira-ae (salad with Tofu dressing) today, It’s very healthy, but you can enjoy rick texture because of the Tofu for this salad :)

1 pack of Tofu
(A) 1.5 Tbs. soy sauce
(A) 2 Tbs. sesame paste(or plain penuts paste)
(A) 1.5 Tes. sugar
1 pack of spinach
1 pack of Shimeji mushroom

  1. Drain the water from Tofu (until it became half amount). Place Tofu and all the (A)s in the food processer then mix well.



  1. Sautee Shimeji mushroom with 3Tbs. of water and a pinch of salt until there’s no liquid in a pan.



  1. Boil the spinach in boiled water for about 20secs. then cool it down with cold water. Drain the water well and cut into 3-4cm pieces.



  1. Mix all the ingredients well.


This Tofu dressing is very suit to many kinds of tegetable or fruits, so please use something seasonal at your local place :)

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Vegan restaurant in Tokyo – AIN SOPH GINZA

There’re one good vegan restaurant at Ginza area :)
It’s called as AIN SOPH and is located at right behind the Kabuki theater.


Most of the Lunch menu is around 1000JPY, and you can have very tasty food!

Hayashi rice (Japanese stew) with brown rice


Pancake with soy milk cream for dessert
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They’re super yummy!

You can get some drink at Dinner time, and there’re course menu too..



This week’s home dishes..

Japanese curry


Millet croquette with Tofu mayoonnaise