Spinach Gomae (Horenso No Gomae)

spinach gomae-ae - trust in kim

I love to order spinach gomae when I eat in a Japanese restaurant. I’ve been making it at home for a while now, and I love how easy and delicious it is.

I’ve tried a few recipes, which were all good, but I’ve lost track of them. So here’s the one I made most recently. It comes from a recipe by chef Takashi Mizukami of the Dirty Apron Cooking School, and was published in the Vancouver Sun newspaper.

My favourite thing to make with Spinach Gomae is Tuna Sashimi. So delicious!

The recipe is for two people.

What you need:

  • 400 grams spinach, washed
  • 6 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

What you do:

  1. Toast the sesame seeds and grind them in a mortar and pestle or electric grinder.
  2. Combine the sesame seeds in a bowl with the sake, sugar and soy sauce.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add some salt.
  4. Optional: if you are going to use an ice bath, get that ready first. The rest happens quickly.
  5. Gather a bundle of spinach together and dip the stems in the boiling water for about 15 seconds, then let the whole bunch fall into the water, submerging for 10 more seconds. Remove the spinach with tongs and quickly place it under cold running water or submerge it in an ice bath. The cooling will prevent it from overcooking.
  6. Once the spinach has cooled, arrange the spinach so the stems are aligned, and then squeeze out the excess water.
  7. Arrange on a serving plate and pour the sauce over top.
  8. Enjoy!

Spicy Mexican Tamarind-Lime Margarita

spicy margarita - trust in kim

This tasty drink is another one of the recipes I got from chef Eric Fischer at Altamar Restaurant in Tulum, Mexico. It packs a flavour punch! I finally got around to making it for friends last night, and it was a big hit (right guys?)

You can alter the spiciness to your liking by toning down (or up) the jalapeño pepper.

If you don’t have margarita glasses, no worries – a wine glass does the job!

What you need for one serving:

  • 1/2 measure tamarind concentrate (I used Deliciosa brand)
  • 1 measure tequila plus a dash more
  • 1/2 measure Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 measure simple syrup
  • 1/2 measure Cointreau
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 banana pepper
  • jalapeño pepper, to your liking – start with 1/4 teaspoon
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • plenty of ice

What you do:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and blend on high until all the ingredients are well combined and the ice becomes slushy.
  2. Dip the rim of the glass in lime juice, then salt (or skip this step and just drink it). Garnish with a wedge of lime.
  3. Enjoy!
tequila sampling - trust in kim

Part of our cooking class at Altamar Restaurant involved tequila tasting – best class ever!

lime margaritas eric fisher - trust in kim

Chef Eric Fisher serving up lime margaritas. Thanks for all the amazing recipes!

My Mom’s Fruit Platz

fruit platz - trust in kim

Platz is one of the Mennonite treats I grew up eating. My mom, Omas and Aunts all made it. Usually we ate it for faspa, the Sunday meal that consisted of cheeses, cold meats, and homemade buns (zwieback), jams and pickles. As a kid I wasn’t a big fan of faspa, but I always looked forward to the platz for dessert.

Platz, sometimes called Obstkuchen, is a coffee cake that is topped with fruit, then covered with a sugary-buttery crumb topping.

The fruit my relatives used was typically plums or apricots, but almost any fruit works. For this one I used a combination of plums and nectarines. A tart fruit works well in here, like sour cherries or rhubarb, because the topping is pretty sweet.

The crumb mixture we usually called streusel, but sometimes is was called ruebel.

It was typically made in a 9×13 pan, but I made mine in pie plates so I could give one away and keep one.

There are many recipes for platz, and I think they are all good. This one is my mom’s, so it is the best! The recipe (see below) is handwritten by my mom and stored in a drawer up at the family cabin. She no longer uses margarine for this; only butter will do.

I love to eat this cake while it is still warm, but since I grew up eating the day-old platz that was baked on a Saturday, I also think it’s pretty good a day or two later. I’ve learned to heat it up ever-so-slightly to bring back the freshly-baked feel.

What you need for the cake:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • milk
  • fruit, cut into slices

What you need for the streusel topping:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • a dash of vanilla
  • 1/3 cup butter

What you do:

  1. Butter your pan. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter well.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Crack an egg into a measuring cup, then fill the cup to 2/3 with milk.
  5. Add flour and milk alternately, ending with flour. Resist the temptation to over mix.
  6. Place the thick batter into your pan and spread it evenly to the edges and corners. Hands work well for this; just wet them a little before you start pressing it into the pan.
  7. Place the fruit in one layer on top of the batter.
  8. To make the streusel topping start by melting the butter. Add the other ingredients and mix together. Hands work well for this too, then you can use your hands to spread the topping evenly over the fruit.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Some of the fruit will begin bubbling through the streusel, and the edges of the cake will be lightly browned.
  10. Enjoy!

platz recipe - trust in kim

streusel recipe - trust in kim


limoncello - trust in kim

Here’s a recipe for Limoncello, a summery liqueur that is easy to make at home. It is typically served to sup on, icy cold, as a digestif after dinner. For more options, this site has tons of mixed drinks you can make using your homemade Limoncello.

Do-it-yourself liqueurs are great because you can control the amount of sugar that goes into them, and it’s fun to make them. I read a lot of recipes online, and most were similar, so I did what seemed right to make this one. I had some of the simple syrup left over, since I didn’t want to add too much sugar; it tastes sweeter when it is cold. You can always add more sugar later, or for individuals with more of a sweet tooth.

For this recipe you’ll need a large jar for the first part that sits for a week or two, then some bottles for the finished product. It’s best to buy organic lemons for this recipe, since the peels are what flavours this drink.

What you need:

  • zest of 4-5 organic lemons
  • 1 litre 80-proof vodka
  • 3 & 3/4 cups water
  • 2 & 1/4 cups sugar

What you do:

  1. Wash the lemons well and dry them.
  2. Peel the yellow part of the lemon rind – it is important that you don’t use even a trace of the white part of the rind, as this will give your Limoncello a bitter taste. I used a very sharp vegetable peeler, but you could also do this carefully with a knife. Alternatively you can use a zester to grate the peel.
  3. Place the lemon zest in a large jar and top it up with the litre of vodka. Tighten a lid on the jar and put it in a cool, dark place for a week or two. I covered mine with a tea towel.
  4. Wait. Give the jar a shake every other day.
  5. After a week or so you should see that the vodka has turned yellow. Strain the lemon zest out of the vodka.
  6. Combine the water and sugar in a pot and heat it gently on the stove. Let the simple syrup cool to room temperature. (When I make this again I will use less water in the simple syrup so that I can store it in the freezer.)
  7. Add some of the simple syrup to the vodka and taste to see if it needs more. I used about equal parts of each, maybe less of the simple syrup.
  8. This drink is best served icy cold out of the fridge (depending on how much simple syrup you used, this may contain too much water and turn into a slushy, and possibly break the bottle), and keeps indefinitely.



Greek Ribs

greek ribs - trust in kim

These dry Greek ribs are so flavourful – lemony and salty. The secret is to make a dry rub containing lemon zest, and let that sit for a few hours.

I lived in a small town way back when for a few years and there was, in my opinion, only one good meal available in a restaurant in that town at the time. It was Greek ribs, and it was awesome. But I’ve been in big(ger) cities for a long time, where there are endless possibilities for delicious meals to inspire my cookery, so I had sort of forgotten how much I loved these until this summer. I finally got around to trying to recreate the taste experience, and I am so pleased with the results. I already have requests from the friends who ate them to make them again soon.

I gleaned ideas from many recipes, and then just put together what I thought would work into this recipe.

Lemony potatoes, Greek salad, and some tzatziki make this an awesome Greek meal.

What you need:

  • 1 large rack baby back ribs
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • zest of two lemons
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • juice of two lemons

What you do:

  1. A few hours before you plan to grill them, make up the dry rub. Combine the garlic, lemon zest, oregano and pepper, and work it a little with your fingertips to help the zest release its oil. Place the ribs on a baking pan or another dish that they fit into. Generously salt both sides of the ribs. Rub each side with the zest mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until half an hour before you will be grilling.
  2. Pour the juice of the lemons over each side of the ribs and let them sit for about half an hour.
  3. Heat the grill on high. When the grill is hot, put the ribs on (meatier side down) and turn the heat to low. Cook for about 20 minutes on each side. It might need a little longer depending on the size of the ribs and the heat of your grill.

Καλή όρεξη (Enjoy your meal!)



Apricot and Peach Jam

apricot and peach jam - trust in kim

In the middle of winter it’s a little reminder of summer when I open a jar of jam and spread it with some butter on a crispy piece of toast. I usually make apricot jam, but this year I decided to go crazy and add some peaches to my usual. I’m happy with the results, and look forward to eating this as the weather turns colder.

I found this award-winning jam recipe on this site. I used fewer peaches than the recipe called for, partly because I didn’t have enough, but also because I really love apricots and wanted to make sure their flavour came through.

What you need:

  • 300 grams peaches, cut into small pieces
  • 600 grams apricots, quartered
  • 785 grams sugar
  • 100 mL water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest from half a lemon
  • about 1 tablespoon butter
  • about 12- 125mL canning jars, or 6 – 250mL
  • rings and new lids for the jars

What you do:

  1. Place a few metal spoons in the freezer for use later with testing to see if the jam has set.
  2. Prepare the jam jars by boiling them or running through the dishwasher.
  3. Put all the ingredients except the butter in a large pot and stir it together. Heat on low, then bring to a rolling boil for 10 minutes..
  4. Turn the heat off and put a few drops of jam on one of the frozen spoons to check if it has set. Let it cool for a few minutes, and then push your finger through it. If the jam crinkles a bit, it is ready. If it is not ready, put it back on to boil for 2 minutes. Test again, and repeat until it has set. Mine took almost 20 minutes to set.
  5. Off the heat, stir in the butter to remove any surface bubbles.
  6. Heat the lids in hot water and have the jars ready for filling on the counter.
  7. Fill each jar so it has just about 2mm of space at the top. Wipe the rims of the jars if they have any jam on them. Place the heated lids on the jars and fasten them with the rings.
  8. Place the jars on a towel on the counter in a place they can stay until they have sealed. Place another towel on top of the jars. You will begin to hear a series of ‘pings’ that will let you know that the jar has sealed. You will also be able to see that the lid has indented. Any jars that do not indent (seal) properly can be refrigerated. The rest are fine in a cool storage place. Some say they are only good for a few months, but I’ve kept mine for up a year, and they are great still.


How to Make a Veggie Burger Even More Awesome

veggie burger - trust in kim


On Vancouver’s Granville Island there used to be a restaurant called Isadora’s. One of the many delicious foods they served was a walnut-based Go-Nuts burger. Most veggie burgers are soggy and unappealing, but I love this one because it is crispy on the outside, and it has a great nutty flavour. Of course it is nothing like a beef burger, but delicious nonetheless. Isadora’s restaurant has been closed for years, but they are still producing these burger patties on Saturna Island. They can be found in the freezer section of some grocery stores; in Vancouver they are at Whole Foods and Famous Foods.

I like to toast the hamburger bun, then just add a little mayo and Dijon mustard, and then top it off with the awesomeness of fried onions and homemade pickles. Fried mushrooms are great too.

Of course these toppings work on any burger, veggie or beef.

If you’d like to try making the patties yourself, here is a recipe. If you try it, please let me know how it turns out.

What you need:

  • sweet onion
  • butter or olive oil for frying the onion
  • (mushrooms are awesome on here too)
  • walnut Dijon (or regular Dijon) mustard
  • mayonnaise
  • dill pickles
  • burger patties
  • whole-grain hamburger buns

What you do:

  1. Slice some of the onion. Heat a frying pan to medium-high and add a little olive oil or butter. Fry the onions. lowering the heat as needed, until browned. Keep them warm in the pan until you need them.
  2. I fry the Go-Nuts burgers in a frying pan using a little butter instead of on the barbecue because they tend to fall apart, but you can bbq yours if you are a different kind of patty. While the patties are cooking slice the pickle and toast the buns.
  3. Spread a little mayonnaise and Dijon on the buns, then place the burger on it. Top with pickles and onions.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers

%d bloggers like this: