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How to cook "with visual instructions" healthy, traditional and delicious Japanese dishes!!


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Delicious, Easy and Healthy Pan-Fried Vegetables (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to an easy, healthy, delicious and useful vegetable side dish. This is a traditional Japanese side dish which is called “Kinpira”. The seasonings are soy sauce, cooking sake and sugar. It has a great sweet-savory taste and the vegetables have a crunchy texture. Delicious!! If you use gluten free soy sauce, this can be a vegan and gluten free dish.

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In Japan we usually use Gobo (Burdock Root) for this recipe but I can’t find that easily near here so I use potato and carrot. It is so tasty and the recipe is very easy!!

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Heat sesame oil in a pan and cook the sliced vegetables. Season with sugar, soy sauce and cooking sake and stir-fry. You can store for 3~4 days in the refrigerator.

*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Pan Fried Vegetables Side Dish

If you don’t follow a vegetarian diet, you can add thin sliced pork or small pieces of chicken. Also I sometimes add bonito or kelp Dashi powder. These bring a hearty taste to the dish!!

In addition, you can make this dish spicy so you can add some sliced red pepper if you like.

If you don’t like to use alcohol in your cooking, you can use any kind of Dashi stock or broth instead of using cooking Sake.


Ingredients (servings 4)
*Click BLUE TEXT to link to the product on Amazon*

1 Carrot

1 large Potato

1 Tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil

3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic)

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

½ Tbsp. Sugar

½ Tbsp. White Roasted Sesame Seeds (to taste)


*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Pan Fried Vegetables Side Dish


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Flaked Salmon (Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to “Flaked Salmon”. This has a very fluffy texture and a slightly salty salmon taste. Very yummy!!

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With similar uses as a can of tuna, you can sprinkle on your salad or rice, and also toss in boiled spaghetti along with some chopped green onion.

I love flaked salmon more than canned tuna though, so I regularly keep it in the refrigerator. In Japan, we can buy jars of flaked salmon easily at grocery stores, but I can’t find it where I live in the US, so I cook it. It is very quick and easy. You need just salmon, salt and boiled water. It takes only 15 minutes total.

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At first boil salmon, shred it, and then stir-fry the shredded salmon. Season with salt. Store in the refrigerator and use within 5 days.

*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Flaked Salmon

The best tip for cooking this dish is to not overcook the salmon. Overcooking makes the salmon dry and hard. Boil for 5 minutes (It is okay even if the salmon isn’t cooked through yet) and stir-fry for 2~3 minutes.


Ingredients (servings 2 for pasta)

1 fillet Salmon

½ tsp. Salt

Boiled Water for boiling salmon


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Flaked Salmon

Here is “Flaked Salmon” recipe video on YouTube (I am sorry that there are some little image noises):


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Delicious & Healthy! Shiitake Mushrooms & Ginger Side Dish (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to a Japanese traditional side dish which has a sweet-savory taste. In this recipe, various ingredients are slowly simmered in the sauce so that the ingredients have great flavor and great taste. I can’t stop eating it when I make it because it is so delicious!!

I used shiitake mushrooms and ginger this time.

Shiitake mushrooms are low in calories and also are a nutritious vegetable. They are high in vitamin D, fiber and vitamin B. If grocery stores near you don’t have fresh shiitake mushrooms, you can use dried shiitake mushrooms. Dried shiitake mushrooms have more vitamin D than fresh ones. The day before cooking, soak in water to reconstitute in the refrigerator.

As you know ginger is also very nutritious. It makes our metabolism active and our body warm. The dish has a lot of awesome ginger flavor! If you or your family don’t like ginger’s pungent taste very much, you can cook the dish without ginger.

Here are some tips to store shiitake mushrooms and ginger. I always freeze shiitake mushrooms in a zipper plastic bag. Cut to the proper size for the dish and cook without defrosting. Use within 1 month. I also freeze peeled fresh ginger and wrap it with aluminum foil. I use it within 3 month.

The recipe is very easy and you only need a pan.

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Put prepared ingredients together in a pan at same time.
If you like vinegar taste, you can add 1~2 tsp. of rice vinegar as a secret ingredient. Delicious!!
Simmer with aluminum foil cover to cook and macerate evenly.
*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Shiitake Mushrooms Side Dish

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To store, transfer it to a clean container and keep in the refrigerator. Use within 7 days.


Ingredients (servings 2)

7 pieces (3.5 oz.) Shiitake Mushrooms

2 small pieces Sliced Ginger

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic)

1 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

¼ cup Water


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Shiitake Mushrooms Side Dish


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Green Beans with Sweet Sesame Dressing (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

This is a traditional Japanese side dish which is called “Goma-Ae” in Japanese. The dish dresses boiled fresh green beans with sweet sesame dressing. The sesame dressing contains ground white sesame, soy sauce and sugar. It is a healthy, delicious, easy and very quick to prepare dish.

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In Japan we usually use a traditional Japanese mortar and pestle for grinding white sesame. Ground sesame makes the dish very flavorful and it is easy to eat. If you have a spice grinder, you can use it. If you don’t have either a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle you can put sesame seeds in a zipper bag and beat them with a rolling pin until they are ground.

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The basic arrangement for many Japanese meals is called “Ichi-jiru, San-sai,” which consists of one bowl of cooked rice, one kind of soup and three vegetables or fish small portion dishes. So this dish is a very common dish in the Japanese diet.

When you want to add a vegetable dish to your meal or in your lunch box, this is a great choice. Also, you can use any kind of vegetable with this dressing, such as boiled spinach, boiled carrot, boiled broccoli and so on.

The recipe is very quick. It takes only 10 minutes.

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Mix the sauce ingredients, boil fresh green beans and dress.

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You can store this dish in the refrigerator for 3 days. If you want to store longer, please dry the boiled green beans very well before dressing in the sauce and transfer them to a clean container. You can then keep it in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Enjoy this new healthy side dish!!


Ingredients (servings 2)
*Click BLUE TEXT to link to the product on Amazon*

¾~1 pound Fresh Green Beans

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

2 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

4 Tbsp. White Roasted Sesame Seeds

Water for boiling green beans

1 Tbsp. Salt for boiling green beans


{Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF}: green-beans-with-sweet-sesame-dressing

{Recipe Video on YouTube}


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Healthy Bean Side Dish “Gomoku-Mame” (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to a traditional Japanese bean side dish “Gomoku-Mame,” which is simmered beans and vegetables. This dish is never served as a main dish, but it is very popular and very important in the Japanese diet.

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The basic rule of traditional Japanese diet is called “Ichi-jiru, San-sai.” This means basic meals should consist of one bowl of cooked rice, one kind of soup and three vegetable or fish side dishes. Of course we don’t have enough time to cook this many dishes when cooking each meal so we tend to stock simmered vegetable dishes in the refrigerator. Lately there are a lot of pre-made, reasonably fresh, store bought vegetable side dishes in Japan. This is because there are many people who are too busy to cook who, however, care about their health and don’t want to eat fast foods.

Also, the Japanese diet contains many kinds of ingredients. We always think “Eat a balanced diet” which means we can have anything we want such as meat, fish, rice, bread, vegetables, seaweed and so on. But we have to be careful about the balance of the ingredients and eat in moderation. Japanese food is very healthy when we follow these rules.

The recipe is very easy.

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Put all ingredients and seasoning in a pan and simmer.

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To store, transfer to a container and keep in the refrigerator. Use within 5 days.


{Ingredients (servings 8)}
*Click BLUE TEXT to link to the product on Amazon*

15.5 oz. Can Northern Beans

1 Carrot

3 Shiitake Mushrooms

5-inch × 5-inch piece Dashi Dried Kelp

1.5 cup Water

1 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

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

1 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Healthy Bean Side Dish “Gomoku-Mame”


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Cold Tofu with Okra (Gluten Free/Vegan/Vegetarian)

Today I introduce you to my “Cold Tofu with Okra” recipe. In summer it is very humid in Japan, which makes us tired and lowers our appetite. Therefore, the Japanese traditional summer diet tends to include light foods which have great taste and nutrition, like in this recipe. I hope you add this recipe as a side dish in your meal.

The recipe is very easy and quick.

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Cut boiled okra and put on drained tofu. Drizzle with soy sauce to taste.

Tofu contains a lot of water so we drain tofu before cooking to keep the tofu shape and to keep the dish from becoming too watery. If you don’t like tofu aroma very much, I strongly recommend you drain the tofu because it makes the dish have less of a tofu aroma.

{Ingredients (1 serving)}

2~3 oz. (1/6 Pack) Firm Tofu

3 Okras

1 tsp. Salt

Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic) for seasoning

Boiled Water for Okra

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Tofu with Okra


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Japanese Side Dish “Braised Taro” (Gluten Free/Vegan/Vegetarian)

Today I introduce you to Japanese traditional dish “Braised Taro”. It is a very easy, simple and delicious side dish. My mother always cooked 5 small dishes for each member of our family for every dinner. The 5 dishes idea comes from “Ichijiru-Sansai” which means basic meals should consist of one bowl of cooked rice, one kind of soup and three vegetable or fish side dishes. This dish is great as a side dish in a Japanese meal. In addition, we say “Hara-Hachibu” which means eat until you feel your 80% full, don’t eat until you are too full. This is a Japanese traditional eating rule for being healthy so my mother always prepared small dishes for each of us.

The recipe is easy. Just simmer taros in Dashi stock. I used “Kelp Dashi Stock,” but you can use any kind of stock. The dish is mainly seasoned with soy sauce and the taros become so tender that they absorb the Dashi well so it is very delicious and it is great for vegetarians if you use vegetable stock. Also, it is an oil-free dish so it is very healthy.

When I introduce you cooking Japanese dishes I always try to show you the easiest way to cook these dishes even if you have no experience with cooking Japanese food. For example, in this recipe, I simmered peeled taros in Dashi stock. But usually taro requires extra preparation time for to simmer more easily and make a great final presentation. But in this recipe there is no need to do the extra preparation because even without it this dish is very delicious and looks great. I want everybody to try to cook Japanese dishes in a lighthearted and fun manner so we do not need to make these recipes hard in order to enjoy all the taste, health benefits, and beauty of traditional Japanese dishes.

You can buy taros in many grocery stores in the US and in all Asian markets. The tip for picking a good taro is that the taro should have ball shape, and be a little bigger than a golf ball. This shape and size makes for a good and delicious taro.

Enjoy this delicious, healthy, and nutritious dish. I hope you like it.

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

10 Small Taros

¾ cup Kelp Dashi Stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp)Dried Kelp for Dashi stock

3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic)

2 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

4 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

Here is my recipe in PDF: Braised Taro

Here is “Kelp Dashi Stock recipe” in PDF: Kelp Dashi stock