Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls in a Tiny Kitchen

I live in central Tokyo, which means I live in a small studio apartment with a tiny kitchen:

This little kitchen is considered pretty swank because it has a 2-in-1 washer and dryer (the thing that looks like a dishwasher under the counter on the left) and an 2-in-1 oven and microwave (the black thing under the electric range with two burners).  I've learned to be grateful, but that doesn't change that this is the smallest, most ill-equipped kitchen this American suburbanite has ever had.  Add the tiny kitchen to the difficulty in running down otherwise standard American ingredients and I've been doing a lot less cooking than I'd like.  (You guys, we are so spoiled in the States.)

This means that a lot of what I eat comes from a konbini and, while convenience store food is much better in Japan than it is in the US, it's still not great to make it a regular habit.  In an effort to improve my mood and because I had spare time over the New Year holiday, I cut down some recipes, converted them to metric and visited multiple grocery stores to gather what I needed to make some basic meals and a few holiday treats.

Exhibit A: Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

Pioneer Woman's recipe results in enough rolls for an entire neighborhood, so I started with KitchenMadge's Small Batch and cut it in half for a yield that my tiny kitchen could handle--12 miniature rolls.  They baked up nicely and left my apartment smelling... like home.  (Living in Japan for a year has led me to realize that much of America smells like butter.)  I skipped the frosting because I couldn't track down any powdered sugar, but these little guys were great without a cloak of icing.

Prior to Baking
If you're in Tokyo and wondering where you can find a small/cheap baking dish (my furnished apartment didn't come with one), I got mine at Tokyu Hands near Tokyo station.


CP said...


So if your kitchen is pretty standard for the city, how to Japanese families actually cook in those kitchens?!

I think I have the same amount of counter space as you do! I have a large kitchen room but barely any cabinets or counter space. Actually, I may have slightly more than you (but just slightly and no dishwasher) I totally feel ya!

Paragon2Pieces said...

I'm not sure. My Japanese tutor was very surprised when I told her I had an oven. While it's hard for me to imagine cooking for a family without the use of an oven, I imagine that you don't miss it if you grow up without it and your traditional foods don't require it.