Clam-flavored Egg Custard

Clam-flavored egg custard“An ingredient is ‘in season’ when it is fully prepared and telling us, ‘eat now,’ ” says Kimio Tomura, owner of a Japanese restaurant who believes 80 percent of the cooking is done if you can capture this moment.

Nowadays, you can buy pretty much anything all year round in Japan, and people seem quite intent on getting ahead of the seasons. Why not relish the spring with clam-flavored “chawanmushi,” an egg custard dish?

Curry Flavored Rice Vermicelli

Curry flavored rice vermicelliSimple and tasty noodles are perennial favorites. Let’s try making a dish using rice vermicelli, known as “bifun” in Japan.

“Above all, the feature of rice vermicelli is its texture,” says chef and restaurant owner Tomoshige Ichikawa.

So the key is to get the right firmness. Another tip is to roast the noodles well. That way, “an aroma similar to roasted riceballs will rise,” he adds. Serves four.