Coconut Spice Mochi Brownies

Enjoy this mash-up of brownies, gingerbread, and Hawaiian butter mochi. This is a super simple holiday dessert recipe that packs a ton of tropical flavor.

1. Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C.

2. Mix wet ingredients in a bowl:
* 6 eggs (beaten)
* 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
* 1 can (400 ml) of coconut milk
* 400 ml of cow’s milk (use the can of coconut milk to measure)
* 1 stick of butter (melted)

3. In another big bowl, mix the dry ingredients:
* 2 cups of mochiko (glutinous or “sweet” rice flour)
* 1 cup of unsweetened dry shredded coconut
* 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1.5 cups of coconut (or brown) sugar
* 1 teaspoon of baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
* Optional: since this is the holiday season, I kicked things up by adding1/4 teaspoon of each of the following dried powdered spices: cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger. If you really want to live on the edge, you can put some cayenne pepper in this too.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix well and pour into a 9 x 13 inch (33 x 23 cm) baking tray. Bake for 1 hour. Enjoy!

These brownies are great by themselves or warm with some ice cream, or you can always reheat them in the microwave or a toaster oven to serve later. If you want a drink pairing, port wine works well. Or a not-too-smoky whisky.


Partnership with PareUp


The Foossa team is pleased to announce our partnership with PareUp, an upcoming mobile app that brings people and businesses together to save good food from the trash. We are investing in the company and are designing the interface for the app, which will launch in the New York Area later this year.

PareUp is developing a mobile marketplace for excess food. Retailers post their surplus or expiring food for a discount. Users find delicious goods to save from the trash. Want to become a retailer? Got a tip? Contact us at

PareUp in the News

Japanese-Brazilian Pepper Steak

This is my first foray into cooking here in Rio where I integrate Brazilian and Japanese influences.

Broccoli and cauliflower florets
Thin slice of alcatra (rumpsteak)
Olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 handful of sliced shiitake
1 garlic clove, minced
Tablespoon of soy sauce
Tablespoon of brandy
Tablespoon of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of French grain mustard
Dash of hot paprika
Hot sauce to taste
Freshly ground mixed pepper (black, white, pink, and green peppercorns) to taste – substitute black pepper if that is all you have
Salt to taste

1. Boil broccoli and cauliflower florets in salted water until tender, set aside and keep warm. Reserve some of the water and set aside.

2. Season both sides of the alcatra with salt and pepper.

3. Heat a saucepan and coat generously with olive oil.

4. Sear the steak on both sides. Since the steak is thin, one minute per side is sufficient for medium rare.

5. Remove steak from saucepan and set aside.

6. Using the same pan and oil, add chopped onions, stir and scrape the meat bits to incorporate into the onion and oil mixture. Sauté until the onions wilt and begin to brown.

7. Add the garlic and shiitake and sauté until the mushrooms cook through. Then add the remaining seasonings. Dilute with some of the vegetable cooking water if the mixture gets too dry.

8. Cook the mixture until it reduces to a saucy consistency. If you want to be really fancy, you can whisk in a bit of cold butter, but that is optional.

9. Serve on a plate with the steak, vegetables and sauce on top.

10. Enjoy!

Pok Pok, Portland

I was in Portland, Oregon over the weekend for the JET Alumni Association Regional Technology Conference.  On Sunday, after the Conference ended, I went with LL to check out Portland’s much acclaimed Pok Pok Thai restaurant.   The restaurant is a bit off the beaten path, but definitely worth the trip.  It’s built to resemble  a Southeast Asian pub shack (which is a little cold for Portland, but they had space heaters).  The Suntory whiskey I had with the meal helped warm me up too.  Despite the shiver, I have to say that this was some of the best Thai food I have ever had outside of Thailand.  No generic pad thai or “traffic light” (red, yellow, green) curries here.  Only intensely flavorful dishes meant for sharing, featuring hand pressed coconut milk and the freshest of herbs.

This is what we had:

Yam Samun Phrai ($9.00)

Special Northern Thai herbal salad with ginger, carrot, parsnip, betel leaf, basil, lime leaf, sawtooth, fried shallots, cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds, dry shrimp, ground pork and Thai chilies in a coconut milk dressing.

I’ve never had anything like this before, but it kind of reminded me of a Japanese kinpira on acid. A definite party going on in my mouth. A taste revelation.

Coconut Rice ($2.50)
Definitely necessary to counteract the atomic Thai chilies masquerading as scallions in the salad

Sii Khrong Muu Yaang ($11 – not pictured)

Carlton Farms baby back ribs marinated in whisky, soy, honey, ginger and Thai spices. slow grilled over charcoal and served with 2 spicy dipping sauces.

I’m not usually a ribs person, but these were very well executed. They kind of reminded me of jerky or Cantonese char siu, in a good way.

Khao Soi Kai ($11.50)

Northern Thai mild curry noodle soup made with our secret curry paste recipe, natural chicken on the bone and house-pressed fresh coconut milk. Served with pickled mustard greens, shallots, crispy yellow noodles and roasted chili paste. Chiang Mai specialty, with Burmese origins.

My favorite Thai noodle soup! It’s not on many Thai restaurant menus in the US, but it should be. Pok Pok’s khao soi is rustic, with big chunks of chicken on the bone, falling apart tender, and a perfectly balanced coconut broth. I wish there were a little bit more broth though, ’cause I downed every drop.

Sankhaya Fak Thong ($6.50)

Steamed Kabocha pumpkin, filled with coconut-palm sugar custard scented with pandanus leaf.

The kind of expected this to be warm, or at least room temperature, but it came cold. Still really good though. I think maybe just a dash of salt would have offset some of the sweetness and made the flavor of the kabocha really pop, but that would be gilding the lily. BTW, the desert portion was more than enough for 2 people to share.

Pok Pok
3226 se division, pdx : 503 232 1387

Attari Sandwich Shop

While I was in “Teherangeles” visiting the family last week, I went to check out Attari Sandwich Shop in Westwood (1388 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90024). We started with a Shirazi salad, a simple and refreshing chopped salad of tomato, cucumber, and onion.

Next course was Ash-e joe, a thick soup with lentils, black eyed peas and mixed greens, topped with yogurt and fried onions.  Healthy, hearty, and delicious.  The soup could easily be a meal in itself and is perfect for a cold day rainy day like the day we visited.

Then I had some tongue sandwich.  I love tongue for its chewy, meaty texture, and go for it every time I get Japanese or Korean BBQ.  The tongue at Attari was different though.  It was almost falling-apart tender, like the best pot roast or pastrami.  The sandwich itself reminded me a bit of banh mi in the best possible way.

In summary, Attari has generous portions, reasonable prices and an authentic Persian experience in LA.  Definitely check it out.  I heard that they have brain sandwiches there too, try it if you are feeling adventurous.  My dining companions weren’t ready to deal with that when I went. 😉

Attari on Yelp
Review of Attari in the NYTimes