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Thai Noodle Soup with Tofu, Mushroom & Zucchini

Thai Noodle Soup with Tofu, Mushroom & Zucchini by SeasonWithSpice.com

Hot and spicy with the sweet & sour notes of citrus.  Light, but nourishing.  Complexly flavored, but easy to prepare and cook.  And a welcome break between the heavy stews & soups of the fall and winter seasons.

That could describe one of so many Southeast Asian style soups generally enjoyed in the tropical heat, but feeling so much more appropriate in a winter setting when you rush in from the bitter cold, and take a sip of piping hot soup, like this Thai Noodle Soup with Tofu, Mushroom & Zucchini.

Thai Noodle Soup Recipe with Tofu, Mushroom & Zucchini by SeasonWithSpice.com

Roasted Butternut Squash with Thai Sriracha Sea Salt

Roasted Butternut Squash with Thai Sriracha Sea Salt by SeasonWithSpice.com

It’s about that time now when pumpkins and squashes start winning the battle. The country can’t keep up. We can’t make pumpkin pies, pumpkin soups, and pumpkin breads fast enough to prevent them from outnumbering us.  We’re tripping over pumpkins of all sizes, and squashes of all shapes, at apple orchards, in grocery stores, and in our case, right as we enter the building into our store…

Chai Spiced Apple Cider

Chai Spiced Apple Cider by SeasonWithSpice.com

I love the sweet aroma carried by the breeze on a warm October day at the orchard.  Row after row of apple trees with thousands of fresh apples ready to be picked, or ready to fall to the where the bees buzz happily among browning, fermenting apples, waiting for just one more red, juicy gift to land with a thud in the thick grass in the shade of the tree.

deer lake apple orchard buffalo minnesota

Miso Chicken with Bell Peppers

Miso Chicken with Bell Pepper with Japanese Seven Spice recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Whether you’re cooking up Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Southeast Asian dishes, you will start to see a commonality between the cuisines for creating a salty, savory, umami base flavor.  That shared and loved taste in so many dishes across Asia is from variations of Fermented Bean Paste. 

There’s chili bean paste (la dou ban jiang 豆瓣酱) or black bean paste in Chinese cooking; spicy bean paste (gochujang) in Korean cooking; and white, red or yellow miso bean paste in Japanese cooking. 

The varieties are as endless as the types of dishes you can use them in – soups & stews, marinades & braises, salad dressings & sauces.  Fermented bean pastes are also an easy way to add a complex, rich flavor to stir-fries as I’ve done here in this recipe for Miso Chicken with Bell Peppers.

Miso Chicken with Bell Pepper by SeasonWithSpice.com

Japanese Blends & Japanese Cookbook

Rice topped with Japanese Sesame Seasoning (Gomaisio) by SeasonWithSpice.com

When the weather turns cold, Japanese dishes will keep you warm.

Like lifting a bowl of miso soup to your lips as the steam heats and tingles your nose. Biting off chunks of delicious yakitori – charcoal grilled, skewered chicken. Slurping up thick, chewy udon noodles, one by one. Devouring each meaty and veggie tidbit from a spicy nabemono dish – a hotpot served at the table over a portable stove to keep the soup boiling.

Or just a simple bowl of piping hot, Japanese rice, seasoned with a spicy Japanese Seven Spice or a savory Japanese Sesame Seasoning.

Japanese Seven Spice (Shichimi Togarashi) & Japanese Sesame Seasoning available at SeasonWithSpice.com

To help get you started cooking up delicious Japanese dishes this fall, we are giving away a large jar each of our Japanese Seven Spice and our new Japanese Sesame Seasoning – to two lucky winners! 

And to find some traditional, as well as creative ways, to use the seasoning on Japanese dishes, we are also teaming up with our favorite Japanese cook in San Francisco – Namiko Chen from Just One Cookbook – to give each winner a copy of her new eBook with many tips and Essential Japanese Recipes.

Just One Cookbook e-book
Just One Cookbook ebook cover content

Two winners will be selected!


To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us what your favorite Japanese food is.  Maybe it’s sushi or sashimi, soba or ramen, tempura or tonkatsu. Or maybe even Hello Panda or Pocky Sticks! 

To increase your chances, leave a second comment telling us you just liked Season with Spice on Facebook, or followed us on Pinterest, or subscribed to our email list (or that you already do). 

Who can enter? Anyone! But the prize can only be mailed to a US address.

Enter by 11:00pm EST on Wednesday, October 15th (two entries max per person).  Two winners will be randomly selected (using Random.org), and then notified by October 16th. Good luck!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!  The winners are..."404mage" (#12) & Darlene (#35) {Results}.  Congratulations to you both on winning the Japanese spices and cookbook!

Tuna poke with Japanese Seven Spice by SeasonWithSpice.com

For those of you who have already purchased our two Japanese blends, try sprinkling the Seven Spice on tuna sashimi, along with a splash of mirin, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil.  Then garnish the tuna with green onion and toasted sesame seeds.  For the Japanese Sesame Seasoning, sprinkle it generously on the rice.  Enjoy!

Stir-Fried Kale with Japanese Sesame Seasoning

Stir-Fried Kale with Japanese Sesame Seasoning recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

In my “Modern Asian Cooking” class last week, I took the students through a few of my recipes featured here on the site including Kung Pao Chicken, Japanese Seven Spice Vinaigrette, and Spicy Korean Napa Cabbage Salad.

And introduced a new recipe & blend – Stir-Fried Kale with Japanese Sesame Seasoning.

Japanese Sesame Seasoning (Gomaisio) by SeasonWithSpice.com

Garlicky Green Beans with Spicy Miso Sauce

Garlicky Green Beans with Spicy Miso Sauce recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

When the weather turns cold, stay spicy warm by cooking up dishes with a base of Miso Paste & Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning

The combination, along with a little soy sauce and rice vinegar, creates a spicy miso sauce that you can use to create all sorts of yummy, savory, fall season meals, like this Garlicky Green Beans with Spicy Miso Sauce.

Spicy Korean Chili Seasoning by SeasonWithSpice.com