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


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Ham and Cabbage Spaghetti

Today I introduce you to Ham and Cabbage Spaghetti. This is very popular dish in spring in Japan. I always cook this for my quick lunch but it is great for dinner too! The seasonings are just pepper and garlic powder so the dish is non-fatty and very delicious!!

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Cabbage is a very nutritious vegetable. It has high in vitamin C, calcium, potassium, vitamin K and vitamin U. Vitamin U restores the mucosa in our digestive organs. Some stomach medicines contain vitamin U. Vitamin U tends to break down when the cabbage is cooked so eating raw cabbage works well for your stomach.

When you boil pasta, do you use salt? I suggest to use right amount of salt for boiling pasta. We should boil a decent amount of water in a stockpot to keep pasta from sticking together and I usually add 4 Tbsp. of salt per 2 litter (1/2 gallon) water. The reasons for adding salt to the water for cooking pasta is to make the water boil at a higher temperature, to cook pasta to al dente easily and to add a subtle touch to pasta. Pasta is cooked more evenly at a high boiling temperature and has great slightly salty taste. The surface of the pasta soaks up the salt water and becomes softer than the core of the pasta. This makes pasta al dente. If you add less salt, you can’t expect these results. In this recipe the pasta is already savory so I don’t use salt when I toss it with the other ingredients. 

Lately I read an interesting article about pasta. When we cook pasta too much, the pasta becomes indigestible food. This is because of the interrelationship between gluten and starch in pasta. When you cook pasta al dente, the pasta is good for digestion. When pasta is cooked too long, the starch drains away and the interrelationship is broken down. The pasta has only gluten which is hard for us to digest. If you prefer to eat soft boiled pasta because it looks easy to digest, you might want to reconsider that approach.

The recipe is

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Cook pasta and add cabbage at the last minute when you are finishing cooking the pasta. In a pan, cook ham (I used turkey ham), the pasta and cabbage and season with pepper, garlic powder and cooking pasta water. Sprinkle some chili powder to taste.

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Ham and Cabbage Spaghetti

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Ingredients (1 serving)

2~3 Cabbage Leaves

2 Ham (any kind)

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Pinch of Pepper and Garlic Powder

Pinch of Chili Powder (to taste)

1 serving Dried Spaghetti

Water for boiling pasta

Some Salt for boiling pasta


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Ham and Cabbage Spaghetti

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Pan-Fried Udon Noodles

Today I introduce you to a very popular homemade Japanese dish: “Pan-Fried Udon Noodles,” which is called “Yaki-Udon” in Japanese. The ingredients are cooked Udon noodles, sautéed vegetables and turkey sausage seasoned with soy sauce. It is good for a quick meal because you can get carb, protein and vitamins from one dish. And it is very delicious!!

The recipe is very simple and quick. If you sometimes cook pasta dishes in your house, the cooking process will be familiar to you.

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Sauté turkey sausage and vegetables.
Boil Udon noodles.
Dress all with seasonings.

You can use any vegetables and meats. And also you can cut the ingredients however you want. If you like to eat chunky vegetables, you can cut into big pieces. if you or your family don’t like vegetables very much, you can mince well and stir in as a seasoning on the Udon noodles.

Enjoy your-own-“Yaki-Udon”!!


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

1 bunch (3.1 oz.) Organic Udon Noodle

4 Cabbage Leaves

2 Turkey Sausages

2 Shiitake Mushrooms

¼ Green Bell Pepper

1 Onion

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: pan-fried-udon-noodles


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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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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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Homemade Spring Roll

Spring rolls are a kind of Dim sum, which is Chinese food. As you know, spring rolls are served as appetizers at Chinese restaurants, but in Japanese homemade dishes they are actually a main dish.

Unfortunately, I can’t find spring roll wrappers near my house so I made from scratch with flour and water. Please remember Spring Roll wrappers are not egg roll wrappers (actually egg rolls are not popular in Japan), or rice paper, which is a Vietnamese style roll. Forunately, cooking spring roll wrappers is easy, but if you find spring roll wrappers at the store, it is definitely a time saver.

I used chicken, green cabbage, eggplant and mushroom for the filling. You can use anything you want, such as carrot, asparagus, leaves, potato, tofu, cheese, rice noodle, beef, pork, fish, shellfish and so on. Therefore, I can choose healthy ingredients as much as I want to.

You can make your own original spring rolls!!

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{Ingredients (about 15 rolls)}

[Filling]

½ lb. Ground Chicken

½ American Eggplant

¼ Green Cabbage

4 oz. Baby Bella Mushroom (any kind is okay)

4 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

1 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

¼ tsp. Salt

[Wrapper]

1 ½ cups plus 1 separate tsp. Flour

4 ½ cups plus 3 separate tsp. Water

1 tsp. Pure Sesame Oil


Here is my recipe in PDF (7 MB): Homemade Spring Roll


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Healthy Breakfast in 5 Minutes! (Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

If you want a change in your breakfast, please try this recipe, which is egg and cabbage cooked in the microwave. You can cook it in 5 minutes!

Egg is a great ingredient for breakfast as you know. Egg contains well balanced, essential amino-acids. So egg improves our immune system and promotes the elimination of waste products.

Cabbage is also a great ingredient for breakfast. Cabbage is a good natural stomach reliever because it is high in vitamin C and U. Vitamin U is officially called S-methylmethionine, and it is a good ingredient for stomach problems such as indigestion, upper stomach-ache and so on. In Japan we often eat fresh cabbage in salad and as a garnish. We also have many kinds of stomach medicine (over the counter) and most of those use vitamin U as an ingredient.

If you usually don’t eat a healthy breakfast because you don’t have time, you should try this. It is a very good way to start your day!


{Ingredients (serving 1)}

3 pieces Cabbage Leaf

1 Egg

Pinch of Salt (to taste)

Pinch of Black Pepper (to taste)

1 tsp. Gluten-Free Margarine


Here is my recipe in PDF (4 MB): Easy Egg and Cabbage Breakfast Delight


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Japanese Savory Pancake

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Okonomi-yaki (Japanese-style savory pizza pancake) is a traditional, well loved, representative cuisine from the west part of Japan (Kansai region). The recipe is very simple. It includes a baking mixture of flour, water, vegetables, shellfish, meat and so on.

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In Japan there are many festival days in summer and many food stalls sell Okonomi-yaki (and usually have long lines because it is so delicious). These stalls cook it on a big cast-iron pan.

This dish is very delicious and easy to cook. It also has a lot of nutrition in one plate, so it was my family’s regular dinner on Sunday, and my father used to cook (this means very easy to cook because my father couldn’t cook anything else)

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My mother always added ground dried anchovy to the mixture to add an anchovy Dashi stock flavor and fabulous nutrition such as calcium and DHA. You can put ground dried anchovy in most dishes to make the dish healthier. It works for omelets, soups, salad dressings, casseroles, pasta, and so on. Dried anchovy adds a slightly salty taste, so it doesn’t bother your dish’s balance. It is easy to grind dried anchovy with food processor (and we can get it at most Asian markets in the US).

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In my recipe, I use “Japanese Sweet Ginger Beef” in the Okonomi-yaki dish. This makes the dish taste great and flavorful. Please see the “Japanese Sweet Ginger Beef” recipe to learn how to prepare the beef.


{Ingredients (2 servings)}

1 ⅓ cups Water

1 ½ cups Flour

½ Cabbage

¼ cup Anchovy Dried Iwashi Fish

4 Eggs

4 Tbsp. “Japanese Sweet Ginger Beef


Here is my recipe in PDF: Japanese Savory Pancake

Here is “Japanese Sweet Ginger Beef” recipe in PDF: Japanese Sweet Ginger Beef