Persimmon Bread

I grew up with a persimmon tree in my families back yard, but never really liked them. After trying the persimmons in Israel, I was hooked. It’s persimmon season now so I decided to try my hand at making persimmon bread. I compiled my own recipe from others I found online. Here is what I used.

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 Cups Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg (I wanted this but didn’t have any. And alas, it was shabbat)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Allspice (I wanted this but didn’t have any. And alas, it was shabbat)

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Persimmon Puree
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Rum (Others said cognac, burbon, or whiskey which may lend better to the flavor, but I only had rum on hand)


  • 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (pecans also sound good)
  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 1/2 Cup Cranberries (dates also sound good)

Let the butter sit out until soft, then cream in eggs and rum. After mixture is really smooth, mix in persimmon. Combine dry ingredients, then slowly mix into creamed wet mixture until smooth. Mix in nuts and berries. Distribute into baking pan(s) and bake for 1 hour at 350℉. With our crazy Israeli convection oven, I did ~1 Hour at 90℃.

All in all it turned out pretty good. I think next time I’d like to have a more spiced flavor so I’ll make sure to have the nutmeg and allspice. This also would probably go really good with an only slightly sweetened cream cheese frosting.


Refried Beans

Homemade Refried Beans
To make refried beans that are a bit easier on the intestinal tract (less gassy), soak beans in baking soda water overnight. The baking soda gleans out the raffinose sugars that tend to make you a bit gassy after eating ;)

3 Cups Pinto Beans – Presoaked
9 Cups of water
1-3 Chopped Peppers
3 Onions – Chopped
3-6 Cloves Garlic – Chopped
1 TBs Cumin
1-2 TBs Salt

Combine beans and other ingredients into slow cooker. Cook on high for 8 hours. Drain but save water. Mash beans adding saved water to desired consistency. Contrary to the name, they don’t need to be fried. Serve as is or fry as follows..

Heat 2 tablespoons oil with some freshly chopped chilis. The idea here is to get the flavor of the chilis into the oil, then fry the beans in the flavored oil.

Spicy Refried Beans

Spicy Refried Beans

Homemade Kimchi (version 1.0)


1 head of napa cabbage (about 2 and 1/2 to 3 pounds)
1 pound of radish, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup sea salt
1 and 1/2 cup water
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of ginger, minced
3 stalks of green onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes, or 2 tablespoons of cut-up fresh chilis
2 tablespoons sugar


Chop up the cabbage into bite-sized pieces, and cut up the radish into medium-sized thin sticks. Mix together in a bowl.

Dissolve the sea salt into water. Pour over the cabbage and radish.

Let sit for at least 2 hours, mixing occasionally.

Drain the vegetables, but keep the liquid. Add the garlic, ginger, green onion, red pepper flakes, and sugar.

Mix well for several minutes.

Put vegetable mixture into large seal-able containers. Leave about 1 inch of space from the top. Pour salt liquid over the mixture until the liquid just covers the top of the mixture.

Seal the containers and keep at room temperature in a dark, dry environment. Leave for 1-3 days (depending on how fermented you like kimchi). After bubbles start appearing in the liquid, or gas starts pushing the container lid upwards, the kimchi is ready to be stored in the refrigerator.

Oven Apple Pancakes

3 Apples – Thinly Sliced
4 Eggs
3/4 Cup Flour
3/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tsp Cinnamon
2 TBsp Butter

Saute apples, sugar, and cinnamon in a sauce pan with butter until slightly soft. Combine eggs, milk, vanilla, and flour until smooth. Add apple mixture to baking pan, then pour in batter mixture to cover. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until its risen and golden brown.

Hot and Sour Soup (with Hand-cut Noodles)

What happens when your gas runs out for your gas stove? One answer is that you could find out how to use your rice cooker in more efficient and variety-filled ways than you ever have before. Our version of this, was to make Chinese hot and sour soup. The soup can be optionally served with hand-cut noodles, which I’ll also describe how to make below.

10 cups water
about 1/2 kilo of ground beef, pork or chicken
large bowl of cold water
3/4 cup dried Shiitake mushrooms
1 and 1/2 cups lettuce or Nappa cabbage, chopped into slivers
3/4 cup dried orange flower (optional)
1/2 cup dried Chinese wood ear mushroom (optional)
4 slices ginger
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
red pepper flakes or rooster sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
3 tablespoons corn starch, mixed in a little cold water
2 eggs, beaten
a bit of green onion (optional)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
salt to taste
1 cup carrots, cut into slivers (optional)
1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
3/4 cup bamboo (optional)
3/4 cup baby corn (optional)
1/2 block of tofu (optional)

Soak the Shiitake, the orange flowers, and the wood ear mushrooms in the bowl of cold water. Let sit for half an hour.

Chop up the lettuce, ginger, garlic, and any other vegetables.

Bring the 10 cups of water to a boil in the rice cooker. Stir in the ground beef. After stirring briskly for several minutes, the meat should break apart into pieces.

Pour in the soy sauce, sesame oil, and vinegar. Mix in the sugar.

Chop up the wood ear mushrooms into large pieces, and cut the Shittake into slivers.

Mix all of the vegetables into the pot. Let cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Pour in the beaten eggs, stirring the pot while pouring. Then mix in the red pepper flakes and white pepper. Add salt to taste.

Serve the soup on top of hand-cut noodles. Sprinkle a bit of chopped green onion on top.

Hand-cut Noodles
(if you only have one rice cooker, pour your prepared hot and sour soup into another pot, and wash out the rice cooker pot in order to cook the noodles)

2 cups flour
1/2 cup water

Stir and knead the flour and water together until a dough is formed that’s not too firm and not too soggy. Add extra flour or water as needed.

Knead the dough for another 2-3 minutes. Then split the dough into halves.

Roll out a half into a large, flat piece. Sprinkle flour over it generously.

Fold the flat piece into thirds. Then cut up the piece into slivers. Unfold each sliver. The result should be long noodles.

Boil a pot of water. Throw the noodles into the pot while boiling. Do not overfill the pot with noodles.

Stir slightly while the noodles are cooking, so they don’t stick to each other or to the pot.

After 10 minutes of cooking, take the noodles out of the pot. Serve immediately. For more noodles, use the other half of the dough, or save the other half for leftovers.


Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

10 cups water
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Chinese rice wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 2-cm cubes fresh ginger, cut into thin slices
5 garlic cloves
3-4 whole star anise pieces
1 kilo beef, cut into chunks
2 onions, cut into small chunks or thin slices
4-5 carrots, chopped
2-4 portions of egg noodles
1 chili pepper, sliced (optional)
cooking oil
5 stalks of green onions, chopped
10 fresh cilantro stalks, chopped
Chop up all the vegetables (except the green onions and cilantro) and beef.
Sear the beef chunks in hot cooking oil for about 1 minute. Combine the beef (and residual meat juice) with water, soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, star anise, onions, carrots, and chili in a large pot.
Let simmer on very low heat for at least 4 hours. For best results, cook in a crock pot overnight (about 8 hours). Beef should be very tender. Salt to taste.
In a separate pot, cook the noodles.
Chop up the green onions and cilantro.
Drain the noodles. Serve by pouring beef soup over the noodles and removing the ginger and star anise pieces. Sprinkle the green onions and cilantro on top.
Version 1.0 (B.A. -- before Andrew)

Version 1.0 — pre-Andrew version, made in my first year in Israel



Version 2.0 -- you can see the large ginger slices (which are not for eating, unless you're a hardcore Asian, which we are not although Andrew does come close)

Version 2.0 — you can see the large ginger slices (which are not for eating, unless you’re a hardcore Asian, which we are not although Andrew does come close)



Version 2.1 -- with hand-cut noodles, but that's for another post

Version 2.1 — with hand-cut noodles, but that’s for another post

Potato Pancakes

2 Large Grated Potatoes
1 Chopped Onion
2-3 Cloves of Minced Garlic
Few Sprigs of Fresh Finely Chopped Rosemary
Few Sprigs of Fresh Finely Chopped Thyme
2 Eggs
1/2 – 1 Cup Flour
Salt (to taste)

Combine potatoes, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme and eggs. Mix in flour until mixture is thickened. Heat a frying pan with hot oil. Spoon in mixture, flip when golden brown.

Buttermilk Pancakes

3 Cups Flour
3 Cups Buttermilk*
3 Eggs
2 Teaspoons baking powder
2 Teaspoons baking soda
1/3 Cup Melted Butter

Combine flour, baking powder & soda, then mix in buttermilk, eggs, and butter. Mix until smooth.

* Although I’ve not tried it (yet), I’ve heard good things about curdling milk to make your own buttermilk! Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and let stand. I’m going to try this soon because for all the dairy that’s available here in Israel, I’ve not found buttermilk anywhere. Update: I tried this today and it works great! The lemon curdles and thickens the milk very nicely. The end result is slightly sour with a hint of lemon to the pancakes… !נפלא (wonderful)

Banana Pancakes

3 Mashed Bananas
3 Measures Flour
2-3 Measures Milk (going for a pourable consistency; which changes based on banana and egg size)
1/3 Measure Melted Butter
3 Eggs
3 Small Measures Baking Powder
1 1/2 Small Measures Baking Soda
2 Small Measures Vanilla

Mash the bananas, then add eggs, vanilla, melted butter. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder & soda, stir. Add milk to desired consistency. You want it to pour and spread in the pan, but still be thick enough to rise.

* This one is all about proportions to get the right consistency. Assume “Measure” is a Cup, and “Small Measure” is a Teaspoon. Course we’re in Israel so we don’t have those and I don’t really know the conversions. Honestly I don’t measure for this one anyway.