Pigeon’s Recipes for Busy/Lazy People: Umeboshi Chicken Burger

This recipe is probably the most important accomplishment of my life.

It came about when I heard about the “Kishuu plum burger” (紀州梅バーガー/Kishuu ume burger) sold by a bakery called Kawa in Wakayama prefecture. I really like umeboshi, so I thought it sounded good, but I also felt like the execution could be improved. And while I still haven’t tried the original, I’m pretty sure mine is better.

This recipe is probably the easiest one I’ve posted on here so far, but the ingredients might be hard to find if you don’t live in Japan, so plan/substitute accordingly.

I use:

-Chicken breast (I use skinless)

-Honey umeboshi (ハチミツ梅干し/hachimitsu umeboshi)

-Mild salt umeboshi (うす塩梅干し/usushio umeboshi)

-Mizkan brand “Ponjure” ponzu jelly (ぽんジュレ)

-Shiso/perilla/ooba leaf (しそ/大葉)


-Soy sauce

-Cooking sake



-English muffins


1. First, cut the chicken breast up into patty-ish shapes. Try to flatten them out a bit so they’ll sit nicely on the bun. Season the patties with soy sauce.


2. Heat up some oil in a frying pan. Put the chicken breast patties in and cook one side for about a minute. Then, flip them over, pour some cooking sake in, and put a lid on. Steam them until they’re done (depends on thickness).


3. Make the umeboshi tartar sauce: Remove the pits from some of the salt umeboshi (about 1-2 per burger). Chop/smash them up with your knife until you have a ball of umeboshi goop. Put the goop in a bowl and mix it with mayonnaise (I think about a 1:1 ratio by volume is good, but taste as you go).


4. Prepare the toppings: Remove the pits from some honey umeboshi (1 per burger); leave them whole. Slice the tomato and onion. Wash the shiso leaves.


5. Mizkan’s ponzu jelly is a really good sauce for this. If you can’t find it, I recommend something light and fruity as an alternative. Maybe marmalade?


6. When your chicken is done steaming, stack all of the ingredients on half of an English muffin: chicken, shiso, tomato, onion, tartar sauce, honey umeboshi, ponzu jelly.


7. Put the other half of the English muffin on top, squish it down, and enjoy!


Pigeon’s Recipes for Busy/Lazy People: One Pot, One Bowl Pasta Salad

Here’s the third entry in my ongoing quick and dirty recipe series. Today’s recipe is the quickest and dirtiest one yet: pasta salad you can make even when you just do not feel like cooking. As always, the ingredients pictured are what I felt like using the day of the photo shoot. Change things up and make it your own.


First, start boiling your eggs, since that’ll take a while. I like it best when the yoiks are runny. You know what a pain hard-boiling eggs the way you want them can be. Experiment.


While your eggs are boiling, cut up your salad stuff. I always choose vegetables that don’t have to be cooked. If you want to complicate this by cooking your vegetables, go right ahead.


If you really want to make this as meal-like as possible, add a can of tuna for a meat-ish and protein-y touch.

Cheese is always a plus. I usually go with these cubes of gouda. (Open bag, dump into bowl.)

Put everything in a big bowl. Cut/rip up your boiled eggs (take the shells off first) and put them in, too.


Next, we boil the pasta. PROTIP: Boil the pasta in the same pot you just boiled the eggs in. I think tube-shaped pasta (macaroni, etc.) absorbs the flavors best. Boil the pasta for one minute LONGER than it says on the package.


When the pasta’s done boiling, drain it and run it under cold water to cool it off. Add it to the bowl with the other ingredients.


Dressing: my go-to dressing is vinegar + olive oil  + Krazy Mixed-Up Salt. If you do this, add, mix, taste, and add more if necessary.


All done! Everything’s in one bowl, it’s a semi-balanced meal, and you only dirtied one pot. Pretty good!

Pigeon’s Halloween Costume: Sack Masks Are Always Scary (with instructions)

I have to wear a Halloween costume for work. I usually tend towards the cuter side of the spectrum (animals, a maid costume, etc.), but after seeing my scarier co-workers make children cry, I decided that I wanted a taste of that power. So this year, I’m going scary.

And what’s scarier than somebody with a sack on their head?


NOTHING, that’s what.

Here’s how I did it.

You’ll need:

– a pillowcase

– a marker

– scissors

– make-up (or paint, needle and thread, etc….depending on what you want to make)

– hairspray

– a wig (or a hat, accessories, a costume, etc….depending on what you want to be)

1. First, think of what kind of mask you’d like to make. I thought it’d be scariest to have a messed-up face and be normal from the neck down, so I decided to make a crazy lady face and then make sure to wear skirts with it (to show my legs and emphasize the inhumanity of my face). So that’s my thing this year. But the sky’s the limit with pillowcase masks!

2. Put the pillowcase on your head.


Oops, I didn’t mean to buy one with ruffles…but oh well, it was only 500 yen.

3. Use the marker to mark where your eyes are. WARNING: I got marker on my eyelids when I did this.


If you’re copying my design, go ahead and draw some nostrils over your nostrils, too. (Don’t cut the nostrils out in the next step though!!)

4. Take off the pillowcase and use the eye dots as a guide to find where you need to cut the eyes out.


5. Cut the eyes out.


Next, we’re going to decorate. From here the instructions are specific to my mask:

6. Put the mask back on and apply some lipstick, using your own lips as a guide. Duckface like crazy while you’re doing this!


7. Take the mask back off. Using the eyeholes, nostrils, and lips as a guide, apply a full face of makeup. Don’t worry about being too precise; the more unhinged your face looks, the better. Protip: This is a great opportunity to use old makeup that you probably should throw away.


8. Spray hairspray all over the mask to set the makeup. Hang it up to dry for a bit.


9. Voila!


Oh…but those ruffles though…

10. Accessorize!


This wig, by the way, cost 300 yen. 300 yen wig + 500 yen pillowcase = 800 yen costume. What a bargain!

And that’s it! Have fun making your own scary pillowcase mask! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!


Happy Halloween!