Yoko Nips New Projects

What I started during the pandemic...


I brew my own hard kombucha and ginger beer. I started in April 2020 when the pandemic happened. I lost my job and suddenly had plenty of free time. I started green and black kombucha first. Then experimented with other kinds like spiced chai, passion fruit, gunpowder (Chinese green), oolong, hoji, blood orange, pomegranate white etc.... I tried with sugar, honey, maple syrup and other sweeteners! Soon I figured out that every time is totally different, even with same ingredients. Now I am still experimenting with them and enjoy sharing with everyone who likes to try new flavors. It is a good mix with all alcohol, like beer, wine, whiskey, and champagne! Tasty & good for your health too.


I do crochet. Recently this means mostly making crocheted masks, because I started it in March 2020 which was during pandemic time, and wearing custom masks was a trend. I started while I was in Texas in March 2020. I was there even though I knew SXSW wouldn't happen. My return flight was canceled, and I had to spend extra days there. While I was waiting, my friend showed me how to crochet so we could kill some time. I didn’t do well the first time, but badly wanted to keep doing it. I bought some materials after I came back to NY, and have been crocheting since then. I am still experimenting and try different stitching every time.


I bake. I had never tried baking seriously before the pandemic. I got some 'SAKE KASU' from KATO SAKE WORKS' brewery in Bushwick. I had visited the brewery many times before they officially opened, just hanging out, making takoyaki, and sometimes visiting with my friends. Just after they opened the brewery, the pandemic happened, so they were forced to close for a while. I still kept stopping by to visit. When I got SAKE KASU for the first time, I didn’t know what to do with it, but I learned that SAKE KASU is considered a part of Japanese “no waste” culture since the waste of the sake production can be used in various ways and SAKE KASU contains lots of nutrition. I started experimenting with baking things like muffins, scones, cheesecake, brownies, jelly, marshmallow treats, pudding, pie, mochi even ice cream and kimchi ! I use the kimchi for my Takoyaki too. The taste of SAKE KASU is fruity and has a similar taste to Japanese sake that fits almost everything. It is also good with curry, stew, hotpot and other savory dishes. SAKE KASU is good for everything!