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


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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

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Bacon Millefeuille Nabe

Nabe is a traditional Japanese simmering dish. We simmer sea food or meat with various vegetables in Dashi stock seasoning with cooking Sake and soy sauce.

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At home or in restaurants we usually set a cooking pot on a countertop range on the table and share it as cooking the dish. The dish and the cooking warm us and the room up so it is common to have Nabe in winter.

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Today I will introduce you to bacon (I use turkey bacon, but you can use any kind) and Napa cabbage millefeuille Nabe, which requires that we set bacon and Napa cabbage leaves alternatively in a pan and simmer in Dashi stock. This time I used Kelp Dashi stock, but you can use any kind of stock you want.

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We add many kinds of vegetables to Nabe but Napa cabbage is a must-have vegetable. 95% of Napa cabbage is water so it is easy to eat for everybody because of it’s tender texture. The cabbage water also makes Nabe juicy even when simmering for a long time.  Napa cabbage also has great nutrition. It is low calorie and high in vitamin C, potassium, iron, magnesium and so on.

Juicy, tender Napa cabbage and bacon makes your Nabe very delicious! I hope you will like it!!

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

1 head Napa Cabbage

20 slices Bacon

1 cup Kelp Dashi Stock (any kind of stock is okay)
(Recommended instant bonito Dashi powder)Ajinomoto – Hon Dashi

1 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

Here is my recipe in PDF (5 MB): Bacon Millefeuille Nabe

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


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Very Flavorful!! “Asparagus with Bacon”

This is a common recipe for bacon-wrapped asparagus in Japan. We wrap a cut asparagus with a piece of bacon. The dish is usually pan-fried or grilled. You will often see bacon-wrapped asparagus on a long stick on the menu at Yakitori restaurants in Japan. When making it as a homemade dish, we usually use a toothpick instead of the long stick because it is easy to cook. But be careful about the toothpicks when you and your family eat. Of course you can serve without toothpicks even though the bacon wrap might come off.

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I use turkey bacon in this recipe but you can use any kind of bacon you want. And also if you or your family don’t like using cooking Sake or white wine for the dishes, you can substitute stock or broth for those.

We have this dish as a side dish and we sometimes put it in our lunch boxes.

In Japan, some kindergartens, most elementary schools (1st~6th grade) and some junior high schools (7th~9th grade) serve school lunch. If the school doesn’t have school lunch, we bring boxed lunches (sometimes the school also has a small shop to get lunch). My mother made boxed lunches for me and my sister all the time when our school didn’t serve lunch. We loved her lunch boxes so much!!

This is one of common Japanese school lunch.

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Recently, many Japanese mothers cook very cute lunch box dishes for their kids, which we call “Character Bento”. They decorate their lunch as cartoon’s characters with many ingredients to make their kids happy to eat everything. I really respect the mothers because they get up very early, prepare their family’s breakfast and a wonderful lunch box for their kids (some of them prepare lunch boxes for their husbands as well, not “Character Bento” though), and then many of these mothers get ready to go to their own work!

My Japanese friend made these boxed lunches! It is incredible!!! The 2 pictures are “Character Bento” for her boys. The 3rd one is a normal Bento for family event.

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I recommend this dish with any meal. If you want to have it for breakfast or in a lunch box, you can prepare it the previous day and cook it in the morning, or you can cook it the previous day and microwave in the morning, because the cutting, wrapping and cooking can take a little extra time, especially in the morning.

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

10 Asparagus spears

10 slices Turkey Bacon (any kind of bacon is okay)

A pinch of Salt and Pepper

¼ cup Cooking Sake or white wine

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Here is my recipe in PDF (5 MB): Asparagus with Bacon