Your Home for Homemade Japanese Food

How to cook "with visual instructions" "using familiar ingredients from your local grocery stores" healthy, traditional and delicious Japanese dishes!!


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Somen [Japanese Wheat Noodle]

Today I introduce you to Japanese wheat noodle, Somen. In Japan, we often eat cold somen with cold Dashi soup in summer as a carbohydrate instead of rice. That is because it helps our bodies cool down and it has better taste and texture on a hot summer day than rice.

In this recipe, I use a store-bought Japanese noodle soup. There are many kinds of products but this Kikkoman Japanese Noodle Soup Base is decent. It is concentrated soup base so combine with water to dilute it right before serving according to their package instruction.

The recipe is very easy.

  1. Boil water in a stock pot, stir in dried somen. Cook according to the package instruction, for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Drain and cool the noodles by running cold water. Add some ice cubes and scrambling with your fingers to cool each strings. Drain the cold noodles.
  3. In a small bowl, combine water and noodle soup base according to the package instruction. Sprinkle some chopped green onion to taste.
  4. Dip some noodles into the soup when you eat.

{Ingredients (servings 2)}



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Egg Rice Bowl (Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

Egg Donburi is easy to cook, has carbohydrate and protein, and is delicious!! It is great for lunch during work, or any meal at home.

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In this recipe, I sprinkle some chopped green onion but you can add  sliced dried seaweed (Nori) on top in stead. Seaweed has great protein, minerals, and iron. You can get dried seaweed in most grocery stores easily so please add it to your meals everyday.

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[Recipe]

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In a sauce pan, combine sliced onion, dashi stock, cooking sake, soy sauce and mirin. Bring it to a boil and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Pour beaten egg into the soup gently and slowly. Immediately turn off the heat, add some chopped green onion, and let it sit for 2 minutes.

In a serving bowl, place a cup of cooked rice and pour the egg and dashi mixture over the rice.


{Ingredients (For 2 people)}
*Click BLUE TEXT to link to the product on Amazon*

1/2 onion, sliced

2 large eggs, beaten

½ cup Dashi stock (Any kind)

2 tablespoons Cooking Sake

2 tablespoons Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic)

2 tablespoons Mirin

Some chopped green onion

2 cups cooked rice (See this post White Rice)


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Burdock Root Chips (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-free)

Have you ever eaten burdock root called GOBO in Japanese? It has crunchy texture and mild earthy flavor.

Burdock root is high in fiber and rich in polyphenols. It is widely used for homemade dishes in Northern Asia.

Because burdock root has a thin skin, you actually don’t need to peel. Just scrub with a vegetable brush or the back of a knife. In addition, the burdock root gets discolored after scrubbing the surface by oxidation of polyphenols. This is natural and doesn’t harm you.

Today I will introduce you crunchy burdock root chips.


Ingredients (serving 2)

  • About 20-inch Burdock root
  • Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons cornstarch

The recipe is easy. Burdock root is oven-fried so it can save a lot of bother compared to deep-frying.

Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.
Cut burdock root into about 5-inch-length pieces. Scrub the surface. Slice it with slicer or peeler.
In a bowl, combine the burdock root, olive oil, salt, and cornstarch. Toss well.
Line a baking pan with a piece of parchment paper.
Bake on top rack for 17 minutes until golden brown and crisp.


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Lotus Root Dumpling (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to lotus root dumpling. It is a popular dish in Japan. The dumpling has great smooth texture and delicious dashi sauce gives the dish amazing flavor.

Lotus root is a very nutritious vegetable; high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and polyphenol. It doesn’t have a particularly strong taste or aroma, so it suits all taste.

In this recipe, grated lotus root is cooked in a microwave. This makes the recipe easy.

Grate peeled lotus root and mix with cornstarch and salt.
Put about 3 tablespoons of the mixture on a piece of wrap and make a ball shape.
Place the wrapped lotus root mixture on a microwavable plate and microwave for 2 minutes (1000w).
Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, combine dashi stock, cooking sake, soy sauce and mirin, and bring to a boil. Stir in slurry. Drizzle the dumpling with the sauce and top with chopped green onion and grated ginger to taste.

Ingredients (serving 2)

  • 10 oz. lotus root, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dashi stock (any kind)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking Sake
  • 1 Tablespoon Gluten Free Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Mirin sweet cooking rice wine
  • Slurry (Mixture of 1 Tablespoon cornstarch plus 2 Tablespoons water)
  • Chopped green onion to taste
  • Grated ginger to taste


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Your New Chicken Recipe! “Simple Chicken Tenderloin Roll” (Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to Chicken Tenderloin Roll.

Chicken tenderloin has low fat, low calorie, high protein, great nutrition and is delicious! It is great for diet and also good for helping to build muscle.

In Japan there are many kinds of chicken roll dishes. The fillings are, for example, pickled plum and basil, cheese, asparagus and so on.

This recipe doesn’t take much time to cook because chicken tenderloin can cook quickly. So we can also enjoy the ingredient’s flavor.

Please check the recipe PDF. I introduce chicken tenderloin preparation in great detail.

Enjoy your new healthy chicken recipe!!


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

1 lb. Chicken Tenderloin

1 Carrot

15 pieces Fresh Green Beans

½ tsp. Salt (total)

½ tsp. Black Pepper (total)

3 Tbsp. Cooking Sake


Here is my recipe in PDF (7 MB): Simple Chicken Roll


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Yummy and Healthy!! “Sweet Tofu Salad” (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

This traditional Japanese side dish comes from Buddhist cuisine. The ingredients are tofu and some simmered tender vegetables, and the dish is seasoned with sugar and soy sauce. I have loved it since I was a child because the taste is good and sweet, and the texture is amazingly smooth.


My book Bento for Beginners: 60 Recipes for Easy Bento Box Lunches is now available!!


Tofu is always great protein for us, has no strong taste or flavor, and has a soft texture so it doesn’t interfere with any dish’s flavors or textures. Therefore, in regard to nutrition and digestion it is good for people who don’t have an appetite or who are really picky eaters. You can cook any kind of dish with tofu.

Enjoy your new taste and texture side salad!!

The recipe is easy.

Drain tofu.
Prepare vegetables.
Combine the tofu and vegetables and season.

{Ingredients (servings 3)}

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A pack (14 oz.) Firm Tofu

Half bunch Fresh Spinach

1 Carrot

3 pieces Shirakiku Shiitake Dried Mushrooms

1 Tbsp. Roasted White Sesame Seeds (Iri Goma)

2 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. plus 2 separate tsp. Kikkoman Gluten Free Soy Sauce

½ tsp. Salt (total)

1 tsp. Cooking Sake

2 cups Water (including leftover from soaking shiitake mushrooms)


Here is my recipe in PDF (7 MB): Sweet Tofu Salad


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Japanese Style Stuffed Cabbage (Gluten-Free)

Stuffed cabbage is not a traditional Japanese dish. It came to Japan from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It has a very soft texture and amazing flavor.  Japanese like to have it in chicken soup style or tomato sauce style.

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Cabbage is high in vitamin C and U. Vitamin U is officially called S-methylmethionine which is a good ingredient for stomach problems such as digestion, upper stomachache and so on. Japanese have the highest incidence of stomach issues in the world, despite having lower rates of most other health problems, because of our stomach/gut shape. Therefore, we often eat fresh cabbage for salad and for garnish. And also we have many kind of stomach medicine (over the counter) and most of those use vitamin U as an ingredient.

I believe you will enjoy this dish as a fancy and healthy dinner!


{Ingredients (8 stuffed cabbages)}

1 lb. Ground Chicken

16 pieces Cabbage Leaf

1 Onion

1 egg

½ tsp. plus ½ separate tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. plus ¼ separate tsp. Black Pepper

3 cups Chicken Stock


Here is my recipe in PDF: Stuffed Cabbage


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Homemade Mochi Ice Cream with Gluten-free Wrapper

Today I will teach you how to make “Homemade Mochi Ice Cream”. The mochi wrapper is made of glutinous rice flour (mochiko), sugar and water. The dish can become vegan, vegetarian, and/or non-dairy depending on the kind of ice cream you choose.

This impressively easy recipe may get you out of shopping for overpriced mochi ice cream products.


Ingredients (about 6 mochi wrappers)



Here are some tips. 

1. You may consider reducing the amount of sugar to make healthier wrappers. The good news is you can use 1.4 oz. of sugar, 0.7 oz. of sugar or even a non-sugar sweetener that can be used in cooking, instead of 2.8 oz. of sugar. However, when you use less sugar or artificial sweeteners the wrappers only stay good if you eat them soon after making the dish. This is because wrappers containing less than 2.8 oz. freeze hard in the freezer and you lose the nice and soft mochi texture. Therefore I recommend using twice as much glutinous rice flour to prevent the mochi from freezing solid. 

2. The dough is very sticky. Using a fork when stirring is better than a spoon or spatula.



[Recipe]

1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the rice flour and sugar. Mix well. Add the water gradually, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. Microwave (1000w) for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir for 1 minute. Microwave for another 1 minute and stir again for 1 minute. At this point, the dough should become translucent. 

*If the dough doesn’t have enough sugar, the white dough won’t turn a translucent color.

2. Place the dough on a well-dusted work surface. You should use cornstarch to dust the surface. Sprinkle more cornstarch on the dough. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, roll out the dough using your fingertips until it is a very thin layer (about 0.2 inch-thick). Cut into 6-equal-pieces.

*You can wrap each mochi wrapper and store in the freezer for 3 weeks. 

3. Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop about 1 heaping tablespoon of well-frozen ice cream and place on the center of a piece of mochi wrapper. Seal the edge of the wrapper with fingers. 

*Using a small amount of ice cream makes your work easier until you get used to it.

*Freezing small-ball-sized ice cream in advance also helps your work.

You can enjoy this delicious mochi ice cream as soon as you make it, or you can store in the freezer until it is served.


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Scrumptious Mochi stuffed Fried Tofu Abura-Age (Vegan/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to “Mochi stuffed Fried Tofu Abura-Age in Dashi Soup”. The abura-age is juicy from soaking in delicious dashi soup and the mochi has a nice and soft texture.

Abura-age is a common food in Japan, deep-fried thin sliced tofu. You can find it in many Asian grocery stores.

Mochi is a traditional Japanese food. It is a soft rice cake made from steamed sticky rice. There are some products called MOCHI ice cream which is ice cream wrapped with a thin pieces of mochi. This sometimes makes people think all mochi is ice cream related. Therefore, please be aware that in Japan when you order mochi you will get a soft and sticky rice cake rather than ice cream.

Mochi staffed fried tofu is a very popular ingredient for hot pot dishes in Japan.


Ingredients (serving 2)


The recipe is easy.

Drizzle abura-age with boiling water to remove excess oil from their surface. Cut in half, put a piece of mochi in, and seam with a toothpick.

In a sauce pan, combine water, dashi stock powder, carrot, daikon radish, shiitake mushroom, cooking sake, soy sauce and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add the mochi staffed abura-age and cook for 5 minutes. Flip them halfway through.


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Pickled Lotus Root (gluten-free/vegan)

Today I introduce you to “Pickled Lotus Root” which is basically one of Japanese new year’s dish. But it is delicious, easy-to-cook and very healthy so I make it all the time. The dish can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Lotus root is high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and polyphenol. Their crunchy texture is amazing! Lotus root is versatile enough to be eaten deliciously in every cooking way, such as tempura, sauté, simmering, and roasting.


Ingredients (servings 2-3)


The recipe is very easy. It takes less than 10 minutes.

  1. Slice the lotus root thinly and soak in some water for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a microwavable bowl, combine mirin, salt, vinegar, sugar and water, and mix well.
  3. Drain off the water from the lotus root and add the lotus root to the vinegar mixture.
  4. Cover the bowl, microwave for 1 minute, and sprinkle some crushed red pepper to taste. Let it cool at room temperature before serving or storing in the refrigerator.