Japanese Moon Gazing Potatoes, #FoodieExtravaganza

Pausing between clouds
the moon rests
in the eyes of its beholders

~17th Century Haiku Master, Matsuo Basho
(Translated by Michael R. Burch)

Moon gazing is a Japanese tradition, which predates rice cultivation. Traditionally, the full moon is admired on the 15th night of the 8th month. (Lunar calendar time. Translation: September 27, 2015.)  Noshing on snacks to accompany moon gazing is also a tradition.

Popular Japanese Moon Gazing Goodies:

  • Soba Noodles
    A raw egg dropped atop soba noodles, sprinkled with seaweed. Fried eggs are also popular these days. (McDonald’s even has a seasonal moon gazing burger featuring a fried egg garnish!)

  • Dango (Pounded Rice Balls)
    Simple round balls made with rice flour, potato starch and sugar. Sometimes the treats are dressed up with bean paste fillings.

  • Moon Gazing Potatoes
    Again, simplicity is the key. Some families coat round taro potatoes in honey sauce. Others use sugar and soy sauce. My sake infused version is below.

Japanese Moon Gazing Potatoes

#Japanese #potatoes #Japan #moon

East meets West. Sake wine puts an edge on sugar. American potatoes take on a Japanese twist. Japanese Moon Gazing Potatoes are perfect party appetizers. And spectacular served as a side dish when temperatures soar.

Ninja Note: Here’s a simple Japanese dashi soup stock recipe. Premade powdered dashi is also available at Asian markets and online.

Adapted from The Poetical Pursuit of Food by Sonoko Kondo, Clarkson N. Potter, Inc./Publishers

  • 1 lb (16 ozs) bite-size potatoes (or Japanese taro potatoes)
  • 1½ cups dashi
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons sake
  • Pinch of salt

Prepare dashi per package instructions or as directed here.

Gently scrub, wash and place the potatoes into a colander. Place the mini potatoes in a pan. Cover with water. Bring to a slight boil. Simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Take the pan off the flame when a toothpick pierces a firm potato. Drain the potatoes.

Whisk together the Japanese dashi soup stock, sugar, sake wine and salt. Pour into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat. Add the potatoes. Simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Occasionally stir the potatoes.

Remove from the heat. Allow to come to room temperature. You can serve the potatoes with a bit of the sake infused soup. (I prefer potatoes sans soup, dipped in soy sauce.)


Foodie Extravaganza is where bloggers come together and celebrate food holidays. Did you know there is at least one food assigned to each day of the year to celebrate that food? Kathleen from Fearlessly Creative Mammas is our host this month and since she is from Idaho, she picked potatoes. All of the recipes will feature potatoes in one form or another. Posting day is always the first Wednesday of the month. If you are a blogger and you're interested in joining in the fun, visit us at our Facebook Foodie Extravaganza page. You can also visit our past party submissions on our Pinterest Foodie Extravaganza board . We hope you will enjoy the recipes we are sharing this month. The potato is so versatile that we've come up with a huge variety of recipes for you to try.

Latvian Spiced Dill French Fries from Fearlessly Creative Mammas
Chicken and Mashed Potato Waffles from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Chipotle and Lime Roasted Fingerling Potatoes from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Horseradish Potato Au Gratin from From Gate to Plate
Roasted Purple Potatoes with Rosemary and Thyme from Our Good Life
Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup from Making Miracles
Llapingachos (Ecuadorian Stuffed Potato Patties) from Tara's Multicultural Table
Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelet) from Cali's Cuisine
Japanese Moon Gazing Potatoes from Ninja Baker
Potato Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Sweet Potato Spiced Swirl Bread from Baking in Pyjamas
Loaded Pierogi from Cooking With Carlee
Bloody Mary Potato Salad from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
Colcannon with Kale from Cherishing a Sweet Life
Potato Rolled Tacos from Foodie and Wine
Jersey Royals with Mint from Food Lust People Love
Naked Ladies with their Legs Crossed from Passion Kneaded
Shredded Potato Crusted Chicken from The Freshman Cook
Copycat Chicken & Gnocchi Soup from Pantry Friendly Cooking

Wishing you dancing moonbeams and magic.

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.



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