Dinner chuka

Chuka is an old word for Chinese. A short for chuka-ryori (Chinese cuisine in Japan). Well localised Chinese cuisine. Pass it at the sauce gourmande and add season produce, you have this simple dinner.

You can see a few colored leaves, but the trees are still very green, only a few fell. The cold air has been around for 2 in evenings only. So the dramatic color change of Autumn should start this week-end.

Stir-fry. Flavored with oyster sauce, tomato paste and ginger. It contains chicken liver, red onions, dried carrots, chili pepper, chrysanthemum leaves (added after).

Satoimo mochi. (see recipe here) It is served coated with Thai sweet chili sauce.

Gyoza dumplings (bought ready to stir-fry). I eat them dipped in Chinese black vinegar.

Yes, I cheat, I buy ready sometimes. Why not ? But making gyoza is possible. The thing is you need days of 25 hours to make the gyoza + the 2 other dishes. I’ll “gyoze” another day.

home-made Osaka gyoza (click here)

Oya-imo and satoimo mochi

Satoimo mochi (taro cakes). They are crispy outside and inside it’s creamy like a croquette with the soft mochi texture…

A parent potato : oya-imo. You can get the whole family. Kid potato : ko-imo (normal size). Grand-kid potato : mago-imo. It seems the parent is the main plant, and the others new small branches born from it.
All are called sato-imo in Japanese. They are taro (dachine for the French). It is a very important vegetable in Japan. It was always here and grows abundantly. In the past, it was a staple for many people. We can find many sorts…

You can see the size. It has a few peels, 5 or 6 around, like an onion, but the heart is of one block.


A resembling recipe, coming from China (Hong-Kong, Taiwan), exists to make daikon mochi (with daikon radish) also known as turnip cake. But daikon is different, both “cakes” has different texture and taste.

Prepare ingredients :

Grate a bowl of taro. Soak shiitake mushrooms. You can use cheaper cut dry shiitake here, because after you need to cut them in small bits anyway. Get fried garlic or make yours (I put a little oil and salt on dry garlic chips, toast slightly).

Mix :
The grated taro,
1 cup of hot water,
the cut mushrooms (optional)**
the broken bits of garlic (optional)**
stalks of chrysanthemum leaves (optional)**

Add mochiko *, spoon by spoon to get a dry mix. Add in the soaking juice of the mushrooms, pepper and salt . Let 15 minutes.

The mix should have thickened. Add a little more water to get it a little creamy, just enough to form in a thick paste.

*mochiko is a glutinous rice flour, explanation about it here.
Technically, you can replace with any starch or flour you wish, you will have something good BUT to get the taste and texture of a mochi (it is a little sweet and elastic like melted cheese), you need mochiko or another glutinous rice flour or pasted glutinous rice.

** I mean add a few items as you like, not nothing. You can also use dried shrimps, bits of bacon, ground meat, minced pickles, or slices chili…

Wrap it in film, in a dish or not. Then steam it 30 minutes, or nuke it (at low heat). Let cool.

It is “ready” to fry, not to eat. You can freeze it that way. Keep the plastic, as it is very sticky.

Cut squares or form patties.
Cook on a oiled hot-plate or in a frying pan. When one side is crispy, flip.
Serve very hot !


Dry, just spices…


Plated, for Japanese meal.

The sauce is soaking juice from shiitake (I kept some), soy sauce and mirin, simmered together.

With cubes of dried carrot.


With sweet chili sauce, in a “Chinese” meal.