Monday, 9 July 2012

Around the World in 12 Dishes - Japan

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Welcome to "Around The World in 12 Dishes". We will be taking you on a journey around the world, (loosely) following in Phileas Fogg's footsteps, exploring 12 different countries with our children, by cooking 12 dishes with them. One for each country visited.

The world is such a wonderfully diverse and colorful place. Our children see maps, flags and books. They see postcards and maybe they see films about the world.. but let's really bring it to life through food! Taste and smell don't often get explored, we think this would be wonderfully fun and interesting for you and your children.

Not only is it an exciting and different way to learn about cultures, but cooking with children brings a host of benefits - from numeracy to science. How can you beat that?

Adventures In Mommydom, Creative Family Fun, Glittering Muffins, Juggling with Kids, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Make, Do & Friend, Mermaids' Makings, Mom 2 Posh Little Divas, Montessori Tidbits, Mummymummymum, The Educators' Spin On It and The Usual Mayhem have come together to help you on your food journey and will each cook a dish with our children and post about it - to help inspire you to have a go! Then go out there, cook, blog, and join in the linky fun! Check out the other great posts as well!

Around the World in 12 Dishes

We had started our journey the same way Phileas Fogg did in London, UK, and Stockholm, Sweden continued on to Moscow in Russia. Now our next stop is New Delhi, capital of the exotic sub-continent of India!

To celebrate Japan we made Green Tea Cupcakes. This the the Hummingbird Bakery recipe, but I changed up the frosting as I knew Vin would not be keen on bright green cakes! Instead we went with a simple royal icing and a sprinkling of green tea...


  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 green tea bags 
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (for sea-level, reduce to 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • a scant 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder (for sea-level, increase to 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Put half a cup of milk and 3 green tea bags in a bowl cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to infuse.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350f / 180c

  3. Put the 3/4c plus 2 tablespoons flour, 2 1/2tbsp cocoa powder, 3/4c sugar, 3/4 tsp  baking powder, salt, and 3tbsp butter in a mixer and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

  4. Remove the green tea bags from the milk and strain into the measuring cup.

  5. Combine the milk with 1 egg and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla; whisk until combined.

  6. Slowly pour half the milk/egg/vanilla mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat to make sure there are no lumps.

  7. Turn the mixture down to medium-slow and slowly pour in the remaining milk mixture, scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the batter is smooth.

  8. Spoon the batter into paper cases lined in a muffin tin until each case is two-thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the center of a cupcake should come out clean.
  9. Allow to cool completely before icing - either with a bright green frosting or a little icing sugar dissolved in hot water wth tea sprinkles and a flag!

How to join the fun!

  • The only mandatory part is the dish, the rest is all up to you, we just thought it would be fun and more concrete to the kids as to why we are making a unusual dish.
  • Cook a dish from Japan: The goal is to explore this country through FOOD and activities if you wish. Make a typical dish (sweet or savoury) from the country with the kids, take photos and have fun!
  • Typical dishes: Sushi, Gohan, Chicken Yakitori, Gyoza, Sukiyaki, Yakisoba.
  • Make a craft: you can make a country related craft with the kids
  • Read a book
Around the World in 12 Dishes
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Around the world in 12 Dishes" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Please link up your Japanese dish and/or craft in our linky below, we would love to see it!


  1. What a fun idea! My daughter will live making these with me and perhaps will inspire a chai cupcake for India too.

  2. Charlotte, I really like what you are doing with your blog. What a great global community project. However, I have an unrelated comment: I saw your pin about moon sand dinosaurs on Pinterest. I could not link to your recipe; the message said the page no longer exists on your blog. I checked your boards with no luck. Would you please post the recipe. I am a K teacher,and I am curious about making moon sand as a center. Thanks so much.

    1. Thanks for your comment Mrs B! I think the problem with the pin is that is links to my old blog url, before I became a dot com.

      The moon sand recipe is 7c flour to 1c baby oil (I have tried with veg oil and that works too) - you can also make coloured sand by mixing powder paint in with the flour, before adding the oil. Hope you guys have a lot of fun!


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