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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Healthy Japanese Traditional Side Dish “Okara” (Gluten Free/Vegan/Vegetarian)

Today I introduce you to Japanese traditional side dish which is called “U no Hana”. This is cooked Okara with braised vegetables. Okara is a by-product of making  tofu so it is high in protein, fiber, vitamins and Calcium. This dish is a very popular side dish in my family’s meal because it is healthy, delicious and inexpensive (in Japan).

Here is Dry Okara I used in this recipe.

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Japanese use Okara for many recipes as a meat substitute to make the dish extremely healthy and to increase the amount of food in the dish. For example, we add Okara or we substitute it for the meat when we mix meat balls, hamburger steak,…etc. See the last post Delicious Vegetarian Pan Fried Nuggets using Okara substitution for meat.

In this recipe I used okra, carrot, shiitake mushroom and green onion. You can use any vegetables in your refrigerator. If you can get dried shiitake mushroom instead of fresh ones, the dish will be more flavorful and nutritious. You can just soak shiitake mushrooms in water the day before you cook.

This time I used kelp Dashi stock so for those who stick to a vegan diet this is a vegan dish. You can use any kind of Dashi stock you have.

Here is a tip: “How to store cut green onion.” We often use cut green onion in many Japanese dishes. I always keep cut green onion in my freezer.

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Cut washed green onions and dry on paper towels. Put  in a freezer bag and freeze in freezer. Use within 1 month.

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Simmer all vegetables with Dashi stock and seasonings.

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Cook soaked Okara and stir with braised vegetables.


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

½ cup Dry Okara

¾ cup Water for soaking Okara

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

3 Okras

Slated Boiled Water for boiling Okras

2 Shiitake Mushrooms

1 Green Onion

½ Carrot

½ cup Kelp Dashi Stock
{The recipe of Kelp Dashi}  Kelp Dashi stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp for Dashi stock) Dashi Dried Kelp

1 tsp. Sugar

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

½ Tbsp. Cooking Sake

½ Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Wine

½ tsp. Salt


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

 

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Healthy Fish Nabe (Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to Nabe which is a traditional Japanese simmering dish. Nabe is a very easy recipe that you can prepare with many kinds of ingredients. You can make Nabe with sea food, meat, various vegetables and various kinds of stock!

Nabe has a variety of great nutrients that come from the ingredients and the soup, and Nabe makes our bodies warm so Japanese usually have Nabe in winter time. Also, Nabe is a low-calorie dish if you choose the ingredients carefully.

Today, I used Tilapia. Tilapia is high in vitamin D, vitamin B12 and potassium. Also, Tilapia has a soft texture and light taste so it is good for many kinds of dishes. Just be careful not to cook it too much. Overcooking Tilapia makes the texture hard.

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This is the Tofu Shirataki I used. It is a firm tofu noodle and common ingredient for Nabe in Japan. It is very easy for kids to eat. In this recipe you can substitute normal Tofu for this.

Enjoy this healthy and easy dinner!

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

1 fillet Tilapia

10 leaves Napa Cabbage

4 Shiitake mushrooms

3 Green Onions

1 pack Tofu Shirataki

1 piece (5 square inches) Dried Kelp

¼ cup Soy Sauce
(Recommended Gluten-Free Soy Sauce)Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic)

¼ cup Cooking Sake

2 ½ cups Water

Here is my recipe in PDF: Healthy Fish Nabe


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Sweet-Savory Japanese-Style Pumpkin (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

In the Japanese diet, simmered vegetable dishes are very important to fulfill the terms of the Japanese basic meals rule, which is called “Ichi-juu, San-sai.” This basic meals rule means basic meals should consist of one bowl of cooked rice, one kind of soup and three vegetable or fish side dishes.

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Also simmered vegetable dishes are very common in Mahayana Buddhist cuisine for Buddhist monks. These dishes are an important nutritional source for the monks who are forbidden from eating meat and fish.

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In the Japanese dish, C. maxima pumpkin is a common ingredient. It is high in vitamins, potassium, fiber and beta-carotene. The taste is very sweet. We also use this pumpkin for sweets. Interestingly the pumpkin is lower in calories and carbohydrates than bananas!

This recipe is incredibly easy. You can put water, Japanese common seasonings and the pumpkin in a pan at the same time and just simmer. We don’t use Dashi stock because the pumpkin has great flavor itself.

I hope you can add this dish to your dinner.


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

½ Pumpkin

2 cups Water

2 Tbsp. Sugar

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

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine


Here is my recipe in PDF: Sweet-Savory Japanese-Style Pumpkin


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Now this is what I call a traditional Japanese homemade dish! (Gluten-Free)

Nikujaga (Japanese style Beef-Potato Stew) is a Japanese simmered dish with a sweet-salty seasoning. It is very popular and everybody likes it.

This dish is one of the “Homemade taste” dishes, and in old Japanese traditions women who can cook this kind of simmered dish were considered full-fledged wives.

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Interestingly, in 1878, a person who had beef stew when visiting England explained to a Japanese chef how the beef stew tasted, and the chef cooked it using his imagination. Eventually that’s where Nikujaga came from. That’s why the ingredients are similar to beef stew.

This is Dashi Dried Kelp I used for Kelp Dashi Stock.
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In Japanese simmered dishes, Dashi stock is the most important thing to add Umami to the dish. I used Kelp Dashi stock this time because I wanted to bring out the flavor of the ingredients. Please see the post on Kelp Dashi stock as a reference.


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

½ lb. Beef (sliced meet)

1 Potato

1 Carrot

1 Onion

1 ½ cups Kelp Dashi stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp for Dashi stock) Dashi Dried Kelp

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

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

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

1 tsp. Sugar

Chopped Green Onion to taste


Here is my recipe in PDF: Beef-Potato Stew

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


3 Comments

Simmered Taro and Chicken (Gluten-Free)

Simmered food is a traditional delicious Japanese dish. There are many kinds of vegetable or fish simmered dishes, such as root vegetables, eggplant, lettuce, flounder, anchovy and so on. My mother carefully taught me how to cook simmered dishes because traditionally these dishes are called “Homemade taste,” and in old Japanese traditions women who can cook simmered dishes were considered full-fledged wives, so my mother thought I might want to cook these dishes well for my husband. Of course, we live in a different era today and my husband and I often cook together so we have the great culinary tradition without the sexist overtones.

Basically, the ingredients are root vegetables so the dish includes a lot of fiber which is good for helping digestion. I also used chicken breast which it is low in fat and high in great protein.

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Taro is an important ingredient in homemade taste Japanese dishes. You can get it easily at most grocery stores in the US. Taro is high in potassium and water. Taro also is lower in calories than other kind of potato. When you chew taro, it can feel slightly gooey. This feeling comes from mucin, which is also in our saliva and stomach juice, and it helps the stomach function better.

Enjoy this traditional, nutritious and delicious dish!!

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

0.5 lb. Chicken Breast or Thigh

1 peeled Carrot

1 peeled Onion

4 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

1 cup Water (leftover from soaking Shiitake)

3 Taros

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

5 tablespoons Cooking Sake

4 tablespoons Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

Here is my recipe in PDF: Simmered Taro and Chicken


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Simmered Japanese White Radish (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

Japanese use Daikon (Japanese white radish) for many dishes. Daikon is high in water, vitamin C and vitamin A, and is a low calorie ingredient. Daikon helps digestion so we sometimes eat fish or meat with grated daikon.

Today I will introduce “Simmered Daikon”.  This dish is really easy to cook and delicious! It is one of the best dishes in my mother’s recipes. It is called “Daikon no taitan” just in the Kyoto area (Kansai region) of Japan, so this dish is one representative of Kyoto.


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

Daikon (Japanese white radish)

2 ½ cups Kelp Dashi stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp for Dashi stock) Dashi Dried Kelp

2 tablespoons Cooking Sake

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

1 tablespoons Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine


Here is my recipe in PDF: Simmered Japanese white radish

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