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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Easy Chicken Meatballs Soup (Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to Easy Chicken Meatball Soup. It takes only about 15 minutes to cook so is great to add as one more dish for weekday dinners. You can use any kind of ground meat that you have in your refrigerator.

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I sometimes add tofu to my meatballs recipes but in this recipe I use only ground chicken so it is very juicy and flavorful!! 

It is low calorie and low fat dish. This dish makes you warm, gives your metabolism a boost, and helps improve your immunity so it is great to help you recover from sickness and get back a good appetite.

The recipe is very easy.

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Mix ground chicken and seasoning well, and cook in the soup.

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Easy Chicken Meatballs Soup

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Ingredients (servings 2)

½ lb. Ground Chicken Meat

1 tsp. Grated Ginger

2 Tbsp. Corn Starch

¼ tsp. plus 1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Soy Sauce

2 cups Chicken Stock

Some Chopped Green Onion (to taste)


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Easy Chicken Meatballs Soup


8 Comments

Simple Creamy Sweet Potato Soup & About Soy Milk

Today I introduce you to Simple Creamy Sweet Potato Soup. This is a vegan and gluten-free dish because I use soy milk and don’t use cheese. But the consistency is perfect and the taste is divine. This is the best homemade soup!! (For the final presentation I drizzled some spinach puree.)

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The reason I use soy milk is that I wanted to add protein to the soup. I used regular milk for my cooking when I lived in Japan. However I have used soy milk a lot in my diet since I moved to the US because there are fewer opportunities to get soy nutrients here. When I was in Japan, I had Natto, which is fermented soybeans, miso soup which is also fermented soybeans with salt and koji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae) and used soy sauce for my cooking everyday, and I frequently had tofu dishes and soybean dishes. So I didn’t need to get nutrition from soy milk.

I want to say that soy milk is not milk. It is actually soybeans and water. But now there are many flavors of soy milk products which contain many additives to make it tasty. I think it’s better to drink these soy milk products than to drink sweet soda or sweet fatty beverages. If you don’t like these additives, you can choose Eden Organic Soymilk Unsweetened which has only two ingredients, soybeans and water. It has more of a soybean taste, but it is very healthy!

Now you can drink a glass of pure, unflavored soy milk per day because it’s not milk but just soybeans and water as I said. It is not good, however, to drink soy milk heavily like water. As I sometimes mention on the blog, we need to eat well-balanced meals to be healthier. For example egg is a highly nutritious food but we can’t live by eating only eggs because they don’t contain fiber and vitamin C. It could make you unhealthy if you ate only eggs. My point is you can’t eat huge amounts of soy even if it’s a healthy ingredient.

There are many articles that tell us that soy is a danger. If you ask me, you have to know “Appropriate quantities”. In Asia we eat large amounts of soy food and mostly live long and healthy lives. So how can we eat soy products and be healthy without risks!? Eat small portions of several kinds of food at each meal, which gives you a well-balanced meal. Read also You can Eat Anything You Want! But…

I use soy milk only for cooking soup or for my cereal about twice a week. I have 1/4 pack (3oz.) of tofu twice a week, miso soup every other day and use soy sauce for my cooking everyday. And I am totally healthy!!

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My suggestion is to use several kinds of milk substitutes wisely in your meal. You can use any kind of milk for this recipe if you want but I highly recommend to use soy milk for cooking because that makes your dish nutritious and delicious!! If you can, try to use unsweetened soy milk which contains only soybeans and water for cooking. It’s very healthy!!!

The recipe is very easy!

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Sauté cut onion and sweet potato. Simmer with vegetable stock. Add soy milk and blend with a hand blender.

*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Sweet Potato Soup

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Ingredients (servings 2)

1 Sweet Potato

1 Onion

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil or Margarine

½ tsp. Salt

1 cup Vegetable Stock

1 ½ cups Soy Milk


*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Sweet Potato Soup


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Homemade Egg Drop Soup (Vegetarian / Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to “Homemade Egg Drop Soup”. I always say you can be healthy and eat anything, but your overall meal must be well-balanced. Your meal should include many COLORFUL ingredients, some different COOKING METHODS, and some different TASTES in dishes.  For details to You can Eat Anything You Want! But…

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I know many people are too busy to prepare so many dishes at each meal. So I am going to show you how to quickly cook this delicious, fluffy and healthy egg drop soup. You can cook this dish within 10 minutes total. It is great to add the soup to your meal as the weather turns cold!

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There are many ways to cook egg drop soup but mine is very simple with only 3 ingredients. If you want, you can add some other ingredients, such as cabbage, carrot, onion, ham, or bacon. In addition, if you prefer thick egg drop soup, you can add slurry which is a mixture of water and corn starch.

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Here is my recipe video “How to cook Egg Drop Soup” on YouTube.


Ingredients (2 servings)

3 cups Vegetable Broth

2 Eggs

1/2 tsp. Salt

(Some Chopped Green Onion to taste)


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Bring broth to a boil and add salt.

Pour beaten egg into the soup gently and slowly.

Immediately turn off the heat and let it sit for 2 minutes.

Sprinkle with some chopped green onion to taste.

Enjoy.


44 Comments

Very Flavorful “Authentic Tofu Miso Soup” (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free)

Today I will teach you “How to make Authentic Homemade Miso Soup” with recipe video and detailed PDF direction. It is very easy to cook and has great flavor and wonderful taste, but I am sure you have never tasted authentic miso soup at most of restaurants in the US.

One of tips for cooking miso soup is to use great Dashi stock. I use different Dashi stocks depending on ingredients in my miso soup. I like to use bonito Dashi stock for vegetable miso soup. I tend to use kelp or anchovy Dashi stock for seaweed and seafood miso soup. Sometimes I use blended Dashi stocks which is very flavorful! If you follow a vegan diet, you can use kelp Dashi stock. I have some homemade Dashi stock recipes in my blog.
Here is “Kelp Dashi Stock” recipe post:  Homemade Kelp Dashi stock / Salted Kelp (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)
Here is “Anchovy Dashi Stock” recipe post: Homemade Anchovy Dashi Stock (Gluten-Free)

But you can also use instant Dashi stock powder to save time. There are a lot of great ones in many Asian markets and also on Amazon.

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Bonito Dashi powder              Kelp Dashi Powder

I want to tell you one more tip to cook delicious miso soup. Basically I use 2 Tbsp. of miso paste for 2 cups of Dashi stock. But you can use less or more miso paste. I tend to use a little bit more miso paste than 2 Tbsp. for vegetable miso soup. I use less than 2 Tbsp. of miso paste for seafood miso soup because I can enjoy the seafood flavor!

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Miso soup is an important dish in the Japanese diet. Miso (Soybean paste) is a traditional fermented food product. It is a very nutritious food, and Japanese say it may help keep the doctor away. In fact, there have been many studies of the beneficial effects of Miso on human health. I like to eat miso soup for breakfast more than anything else because I feel energy, my stomach feels comfortable and my head becomes clear. I think my body gets ready for school or work when I have miso soup in the morning.

In this recipe I use tofu. I like tofu miso soup because it is the quickest and easiest miso soup recipe! You can use any vegetables such as onion, potato, spinach, Daikon radish, mushrooms, carrot, bean sprouts, and so on. You can also use any seafood and seaweed for miso soup such as Wakame seaweed, clam, freshwater clam, oyster, lobster, and so on.

The recipe is very easy.

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Boil Dashi stock and cut tofu. Dissolve miso paste.


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

7 oz. (1/2 pack) Tofu

2 cups Dashi Stock (any kind is okay)
(recommended instant kelp Dashi powder)Kelp Dashi Powder
(Recommended instant bonito Dashi powder)Ajinomoto – Hon Dashi

2 Tbsp. ORGANIC Miso Paste

Some minced Green Onion (to taste)


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Tofu Miso Soup

Recipe Video on YouTube:


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My Mother’s “Homemade Pot-au-feu”

Today I introduce you to my mother’s “Homemade Pot-au-feu” recipe. In Japan, we often cook “Pot-au-feu” because it is very easy and fuss-free. Just cut your favorite vegetables and meat, and simmer in broth. The point is to cut ingredients in large sizes. The dish is simmered for about 40 minutes total so the ingredients are very tender and can be eaten easily. In addition, the soup contains the ingredients’ juices, which means the dish is very nutritious. The only seasonings are salt and pepper so you can enjoy the delicious natural taste of the ingredients.

I used cabbage, onion, potato, carrot, turkey sausage and Daikon radish. You can use any kind of vegetables and meats. We usually cook this dish in colder seasons so I recommend that you use root vegetables because they are usually in season when it is cold. Eating seasonal food makes us healthy because our body can adjust to the weather for each seasons.

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

¼ Cabbage

4 Sausages

1 Potato

1 Onion

2 Carrots

1 Daikon (Japanese White Radish)

4 Chicken Bouillon Cubes

6 cups Water

¼ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. Pepper

Enjoy very delicious and nutritious homemade Pot-au-feu!

Here is my “Pot-au-feu recipe” in PDF: Pot-au-feu


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Heal Your Stomach! “Bok Choy Milk Soup”

Of the many Japanese winter soup recipes, this Bok Choy Milk Soup is my favorite. It is easy to cook, healthy, and delicious!! I believe this is “The Winter Soup”!

Bok choy was brought to Japan from China around the 1970’s. The season for picking Bok Choy is early winter. So now is a great time to get delicious Bok Choy in many grocery stores in Japan and the US.

Bok Choy has great nutrition such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and so on. When we think about nutrition, we shouldn’t cook Bok Choy too long, but my mother always cooked this soup until the Bok Choy would get tender because it is easy for kids to eat. So many of my friends also loved my mother’s “Bok Choy Milk Soup”.

I used unsweetened soy milk in this recipe but you can use any kind of milk. And also I used turkey bacon but you can use regular bacon. I suggest you to taste and adjust the seasoning before serving if you use ingredients that are different from my recipe.

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

1 Head Bok Choy

5 slices Turkey Bacon

2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes

3 cups Soy Milk (unsweetened)

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Here is my recipe in PDF (4 MB): Bok Choy Milk Soup


5 Comments

Creamy Salmon Soup (Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to the creamy salmon soup made with soy milk, bite size salmon and mushrooms. You can use regular milk instead of soy milk if you prefer. You can also use any kind of mushrooms for this recipe.

Salmon is high in protein which is good for digestion and absorption. Also it is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA activates brain cells and EPA improves blood flow and reduces fat and bad cholesterol. In addition, salmon is high in minerals, vitamin Bs, and vitamin D. I can’t say strongly enough that salmon has great antioxidant effects, which are caused by astaxanthin and dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), and this is very good for you. Salmon’s red color is carotenoid, a natural colorant which is called astaxanthin. Removing active oxygen inside the body is one of best ways to be healthy. Recently, however, we see mostly farm-raised salmon in stores and the salmon may be controlled to make their color brighter. So you should choose wild salmon if you can. Astaxanthin in salmon is not breakable under heat and also improves absorption  when we eat with healthy oil so I highly recommend cooking salmon with olive oil or butter.

Enjoy the healthy delicious salmon soup!!


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

½ lb. Salmon

8 oz. Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms (any kind of mushrooms can be used)

1 cup Gluten Free Chicken Flavor Broth

2 cups Soy Milk

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

1 Tbsp. Gluten-Free Margarine

¾ tsp. Salt (total)

A pinch of Black Pepper


Here is my recipe in PDF (6 MB): Creamy Salmon Soup


6 Comments

Healthy Cabbage Soup (Gluten-Free)

This recipe is not traditional Japanese food. We occasionally have it as a hospital meal, school meal and so on. This is good for digestion and low fat and low calorie. Therefore, we sometimes have it as a diet meal. Also some hospitals serve this kind of dish to patients who will soon have surgery, because it reduces visceral fat before the surgery.

Cabbage in spring has a very good taste so it is traditional we have many cabbage dishes in the spring.

In this recipe, the cooking is really easy and takes less than 30 minutes. Significantly, some nutrition from cabbages can break down under heat so please cook for as short as possible after adding cabbage as per the instructions. Also, Cabbage can be eaten raw but it is hard to eat a lot of it that way. So I highly recommend this soup that cooking for less than 20 minutes after adding the cabbage and including vegetables in all soups.

Enjoy the nutritious soup!

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{Ingredients (servings 2)}

¼ Green Cabbage

1 Onion

1 Carrot

2 cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Flavor Broth

½ tsp. Salt

A pinch of Black Pepper

1 Tbsp. Gluten-Free Margarine

Here is my recipe in PDF (5 MB): Healthy Cabbage Soup


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Chicken Meatball Soup

 

This very flavorful soup brings you great nutrition because the ingredients are chicken, green onion, ginger, dried shiitake mushroom and kelp. This dish is high in vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, vitamin D, minerals, beta-carotene, allicin, calcium, protein and so on. Also it is low calorie and low fat. This dish makes you warm, gives your metabolism a boost, and helps improve your immunity so it is great to help you recover from sickness and get back a good appetite.

(Recommended Dried Kelp) Dashi Dried Kelp
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I highly recommend eating kelp occasionally. Recently, it is easy to get dried kelp at many grocery stores and at most Asian markets in the US. Japanese use kelp for Dashi stock and side dish like pickles. Dashi stock is used as seasoning in Japanese dishes. We use several kinds of Dashi stock such as dried anchovy, dried bonito, dried shiitake, dried kelp and so on. The kelp Dashi stock is great to compliment exquisite tasting ingredients. Kelp helps maintain your body’s alkaline. Also kelp has a good amount of fucoidan and iodine which are essential nutrients (in moderation) for humans.


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

½ lb. Ground Chicken

1 Egg

2 Tbsp. minced Green Onion

½ tsp. grated Ginger

1 tsp. plus ½ separate Tbsp. Soy Sauce

½ tsp. plus ½ separate tsp. Salt

1 ½ Tbsp. plus ½ separate Tbsp. Cooking Sake

1 ½ Tbsp. Flour

1 carrot

3 pieces Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

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

1 cup Water (leftover from soaking Shiitake)


Here is my recipe in PDF (6MB): Chicken Meatball Soup

Here is “Kelp Dashi Stock” recipe in PDF (5MB): Kelp Dashi stock


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Heal your stomach with healthy Ginger Soymilk Soup after big dinner. (Gluten-Free)

This Ginger Soup is my mother’s original recipe. The ingredients are ginger, garlic, soy milk, onion, carrot and so on. Because of this, the dish makes you warm, helps your digestion, improves immunity, and speeds up your metabolism. I used to have the dish when I didn’t feel well. The dish has great flavor and incredible taste.

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The nutrition in Napa cabbage is similar to that in regular cabbage, but it is lower in carbohydrate and calories than cabbage. Napa cabbage has Isothiocyanate, so it is good for digestion.

Importantly, Napa cabbage is an ingredient essential for Buddhist cuisine. Buddhist cuisine is a dish for Buddhist monks who are forbidden from eating meat and fish (Mahayana Buddhism). There are several detailed rules for cooking Buddhist cuisine.

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For example:

Using the following in one meal.

5 cooking methods : Raw, Simmer, Bake, Fry, Steam

5 seasonings: Sweet, Acid, Salty, Gingery, Bitter

5 colors: Red, White, Green, Yellow, Black

In Buddhist cuisine the focus is on the minimum nutrition necessary for a human being. The goal is to not take too much energy and nutrition, and to be grateful for all life on earth. Recently, people on a diet or who have been  fasting tend to eat Buddhist cuisine after finishing the diet or fast, because it is easy on the stomach and healthy. We can have real Buddhist cuisine in some temples so it is popular with foreigners too.

Japanese healthy diets are based on Buddhist cuisine. On my site, there are some dishes that reflect Buddhist cuisine.

Enjoy this healthy ginger vegetable soy milk soup!


{Ingredients (2 servings)}

1 tsp. minced Garlic

½ tsp. grated Ginger

⅓ Napa Cabbage (7~10 leaves)

1 Onion

1 Carrot

2 Tbsp. minced Parsley to taste

¾ tsp. Salt

1 cup chicken stock

2 cups Soy Milk


Here is my recipe in PDF: Ginger Soup