Hello, my name is Misa O’Donnell. I live in Seattle, WA, and I work as a recipe developer for Japanese web magazines.
I was born and raised in Noda, Chiba prefecture, Japan. Noda is the home of soy sauce production and a major edamame (soy bean) farming area. I have always loved going to the market with my mom to seek fresh seasonal ingredients; and I liked seeing my parents cook Japanese family-style meals while I was doing my homework.
After I graduated from a university in Tokyo, I moved to Seattle to study English. In the first year of living in Seattle, I realized how much I love eating and cooking; how much I was excited to explore the new cuisine, ingredients, and culinary culture that I had never seen before, away from my hometown.
I went to the Seattle Culinary Academy to turn my passion for food into professional skills useful in the food industry. In the school, I was really inspired by Pacific Northwest cuisine—local fresh produce, sustainable farms and restaurants, and beautiful incorporation of Asian influence and Western culinary techniques.
As I create recipes and introduce diverse American dishes to the Japanese community, I am also aspiring to share my passion for food—what I love from my family cooking and what I learned here in Seattle—with English speaker, too. That’s why I started this blog “Rice with Everything”.
What kind of recipes you can find in this blog?
I try to make Asian fusion comfort food capturing local, seasonal, sustainable ingredients in the Pacific Northwest. Some of recipes are English translation the recipes I write for Japanese clients. In that case, I sometimes figure out the right ingredients available here in Seattle and tweak it a little for convenience.
Why “Rice with Everything”?
Since my blog name is “Rice with Everything”, I guess it is obvious that I love rice! Rice is an essential part of Japanese cuisine. As a kid, I always woke up to the smell of freshly cooked rice in the morning, and my day started with a cup of white rice with miso soup. My family always made many small dishes that go well with plain white rice.
When I moved to Seattle, I was surprised by how much food I had never seen before in Japan. I like exploring new and different foods, but at the same time, I want to eat something to comfort myself, for my everyday meal—for me, that was rice. I tried new foods with my rice and found out that so many ingredients go well with rice. A cup of plain rice is the white canvas for me—I can create anything I want with it! Rice is the platform I can feel comfortable to remember my home while enjoying creating new flavors and dishes with what I have explored since I came to the US. It’s the style of my food when I cook meals for my husband and myself—something comfort remembering my home and combined with the new deliciousness and culture that I find in the Pacific Northwest—I’ll have Rice with Everything!