Hanpen Cheese (Japanese Fish Cake with Cheese)

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What is hanpen? It is a Japanese fish cake with a mild taste. It is unlike any other fish cake or fish ball that I have ever tasted. Hanpen is really soft and fluffy. I know it may sound bad, but the texture is kind of like marshmallow. Trust me, it is incredible delicious!

I first tried hanpen at a Japanese restaurant called Furibo. They stuffed the hanpen with American cheese, wrapped them with seaweed, dipped in batter, and fried. The hot and gooey melted cheese oozed out from the soft and crispy fish cake. It is a dish that is hard to forget. I always crave for it. But luckily, I found hanpen in Japanese supermarket. Instead of frying it, I sear it with some garlic until golden brown. It makes a great appetizer or side dish.

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Pork Gyoza

When I go to a Japanese restaurant, I always look for gyoza in the menu. Some places have really good homemade gyoza, but some other just use pre-made frozen gyoza. In that case, it is better just to make your own gyoza. Since making gyoza is a bit time-consuming, I tried to make many at one time. The leftover can be stored in the freezer for later. These little gyoza had crispy skins and juicy fillings. The garlic chives gave the gyoza a strong rich flavors and the cabbage balanced it out. When I made the gyoza, Bryan and I would only ate them for dinner. Pile and pile of gyoza!

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Tuna Tartare with Baked Wonton Chips

For Bryan and my anniversary dinner, I wanted to make a fancy restaurant style menu. Tuna tartare is just perfect. It is one of the most common appetizers in restaurant. When I stumbled upon this recipe online, I knew that I have to try it. And I am so glad I did! It was so easy! The tartare was fresh and flavorful. Savory and little spicy. It was great with the crispy wonton chips. This is no doubt the best appetizer that I have made so far. Oh, did I mention that there is no cooking at all? Get everything ready ahead of time and toss them all together at the last minute. Tah dah! Great for dinner party!

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