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How to cook "with visual instructions" 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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Delicious Vegetarian Pan Fried Nuggets (Vegetarian)

Today I introduce you to “Delicious Vegetarian Pan Fried  Nuggets” made from soybean powder. In Japan, we call the soybean powder “Dried Okara” and use it for many recipes as a meat substitution, 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. Of course we use Okara by itself in some recipes too.

This is Dry Okara I used in this recipe.

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Okara is made while making tofu so it is high in protein, fiber, vitamins and Calcium. In Japan there is fresh Okara but it lasts only a few days so recently we have tended to use Dried Okara. When you use Okara for cooking, mix it with water. It is going to have a hard mashed potato texture, and it has no smell and no taste. That is why using Okara doesn’t change the taste of dishes and why we use it a lot.

In this recipe, I use only 3 main ingredients, Okara, Tofu and grated cheese. If you like to add meat, you can just add it to this recipe or you can use your favorite ground meat instead of tofu. If you don’t like tofu aroma very much, you can add some lemon juice. This makes the dish have less of a tofu aroma.

The recipe is very easy.

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Soak Okara into water.

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Mix every ingredient.

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Make into a nugget shape and cook in a pan.

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{Ingredients (15 pieces)}
*Click BLUE TEXT to link to the product on Amazon*

½ cup Dry Okara

¾ cup Water

7 oz. (Half Pack) Firm Tofu

½ tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Flour

1 Tbsp. PANKO or Bread Crumbs

1 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil (for pan-frying)


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Delicious Vegetarian Pan Fried Nuggets


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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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Extremely Healthy “Sautéed Sardine” (Gluten-Free)

Have you ever eaten canned sardines!? It is a great pantry food, which is very useful and delicious! Today I introduce you to “Sautéed Sardines”. This is a canned sardines recipe that is very flavorful, nutritious, and quick!

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I often use canned sardines as a salad topping, sauté dish, pasta ingredient, pizza topping, on rice bowls, and so on.

As you know sardines are very substantial. They are high in protein, calcium, vitamin D, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), vitamin Bs, coenzyme Q10, minerals, and so on. DHA works to activate the brain and EPA works for decreasing LDL cholesterol concentration in the blood and for boosting HDL cholesterol levels. http://nurse-web.jp/kouka/sardine/   http://www.wakasanohimitsu.jp/seibun/sardine/  I highly recommend eating sardines (including canned sardines, dried anchovy, or canned anchovy) everyday.

This time I used skinless and boneless canned sardines, but many canned sardines have skin. Even if your canned sardines have skin or bone, you can follow this recipe (You can eat the skin and bones which are high in calcium).

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In addition, minced green onion is an essential ingredient in the Japanese diet so I always keep minced green onion in the freezer. I add the frozen minced green onion to the dish during the very last part of cooking process. To store, put minced green onions in a freezer bag and place in the freezer. Please use within a month.

{Ingredients (1 serving)}

1 can of Sardines

1 tsp. minced Garlic

1 tsp. minced Ginger

A pinch of Salt and Pepper (to taste)

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

1 Tbsp. minced Green Onion

Here is my recipe in PDF (4 MB): Sauteed Sardines


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Chicken Tenderloin with Delicious Plum Sauce! (Gluten-Free)

This is a very easy and tasty traditional side dish. Mainly we eat it in the summer time because it is cold and contains pickled plum.

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Pickled plum (Umeboshi) is a Japanese traditional healthy food. The recipe for pickled plum is to salt fresh plums and then dry them under the sun. Pickled plum has protein, calcium, iron, vitamins and so on. We eat it very often, but especially when we feel tired, we have a sore throat, and most importantly when we want to prevent heat stroke while outside in summer time. Pickled plum also has antibacterial effect so we sometimes put it on rice in our lunch box to keep the rice from going bad.

This plum sauce contains sesame seeds so it is a very nutritious and flavorful sauce. You can use this sauce for other meat or fish dishes. And if you add olive oil to the sauce, you can use it as a dressing for your salads.

Chicken tenderloin has great taste and nutrition. It doesn’t take much time to cook but if you over cook it, the meat will be hard. In this recipe, I show how to get tender chicken tenderloin. If you use this method, you can always get good tender chicken for any of your  dishes.

Enjoy this divine chicken dish!!


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

3 pieces Chicken Tenderloin

3 Pickled Plums

2 tsp. White Roasted Sesame Seeds

1 tsp. Soy Sauce
(Recommended Gluten-Free Soy Sauce)Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic)

1 tsp. Cooking Sake

Boiled Water (for boiling tenderloin)


Here is my recipe in PDF (4 MB): Chicken Tenderloin with Plum Sauce


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Grated Japanese Yam (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

This recipe is just grated Japanese yam. Japanese sometimes eat grated yam by itself, pour it on steamed rice, or put it on noodles, and so on.

Japanese yam is a very nutritious vegetable as I told at https://japanese-food.org/2015/05/12/japanese-yam-salad/

The yam has a sticky texture because of Mucin, one of it’s ingredients. Especially when the yam is grated, the texture become more smooth and sticky, and this sticky texture gives our bodies some great benefits, such as protecting our mucous membranes in the stomach, protecting our body from some viruses and so on. Mucin is a soluble fiber and helps keep water in our cells.

Traditionally, people say the grated Japanese yam loosened phlegm, so I used to eat it when I caught a cough. Additionally, the yam is easy to digest so it is good food when you are sick.

It is easy, simple and quick. Nothing difficult. Just grate the yam and mix with some Japanese Dashi stock.


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

5-inch length Japanese Yam

¼ cup Kelp Dashi Stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp for Dashi stock) Dashi Dried Kelp

A splash of Soy Sauce
(Recommended Gluten-Free Soy Sauce)Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic)

⅛ tsp. Japanese Wasabi Paste
(Recommended Gluten-Free Wasabi Powder)Organic Seasoning Wasabi Powder


Here is my recipe in PDF (3 MB): Japanese Yam

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


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Japanese Yam Salad (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

Have you ever had Japanese yam?

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It is a kind of potato that grows straight into the ground so it has a long shape. (It sometimes grows to more than 3 feet).

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In Japan, people have eaten the yam for about 3000 years. Therefore, the yam is very important to the Japanese diet.

We can eat this yam raw because it has a gelatinized starch and some of the nutrition in this type of yam are breaks under heat. The Japanese yam is rich in diastase, a digestive enzyme which helps our digestion and absorption of nutrition into the body. Also the yam is high in vitamin B1, vitamin C, calcium, potassium and mucin.

Mucin is soluble fiber and helps keep water in our cells. Therefore, it protects our mucous membranesin the stomach, and protects our body from some viruses. Some studies say the yam also prevents dry eyes because mucin is an ingredient in tears. Mucin gives the yam a great smooth, sticky texture, especially when it is grated. This is great for our body. It heals our tiredness and helps our digestion, so the yam is great for your diet when you are recovering from being sick, when you have no appetite, and so on.

(The yam has Calcium oxalate, so it can sometimes make you feel itchy on your hands or around your lips when you touch it, but you feel better as soon as you wash the itchy part with acid water (a mixture of vinegar and water). In rare case some people are allergic to the yam, so if it gives you a weird feeling inside your mouth, you have to stop eating it and call a doctor.)

Today, I introduce you to Japanese yam salad. It is very simple and easy. I always use pickled plum sauce because it is extremely healthy and is a fermented food. But you can use any dressing you want, because the yam doesn’t have strong flavor so it won’t change the taste of your favorite dressing taste!

Enjoy your new nutritious salad!!!


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

4-inch length Japanese Yam

½ Cucumber

1 Pickled Plum

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

2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar (total)

2 cups Water


Here is my recipe in PDF (4 MB): Japanese Yam Salad