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


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Great Protein! Ginger Chicken Crumble (Gluten-free)

Today I will introduce you to Ginger Chicken Crumble. This is a common recipe in Japan. We usually eat this chicken crumble with rice and sometimes put it in a rice ball. It is also great with salad, pasta and so on. The picture shows my original chicken crumble rice bowl which has sautéed spinach, pickled belle pepper, carrot with sesame dressing and poached egg. It is divine!!

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In addition you can store it in the refrigerator for about 4 days so this dish works well for you to add protein to your meal easily. 

In this recipe I use traditional seasonings which give the dish a savory-sweet taste. But because of the simple recipe, you can change the seasonings as you want. You can make it spicy, salty or curry flavor! 

The recipe is very easy.

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Cook ground chicken and season. That’s it!!

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Ginger Chicken Crumble

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

½ lb. Ground Chicken

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

1 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

1 Tbsp. Mirin (Sweet Cooking Rice Wine)

½ Tbsp. Sugar

1 tsp. Grated Ginger


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Ginger Chicken Crumble

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8 Comments

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


24 Comments

Simple Japanese Egg Salad (Vegetarian/Gluten-free*)

Today I introduce you to “Simple Japanese Egg Salad”. It is a quick and easy recipe but very scrumptious!! (*When you use gluten-free mayonnaise, this becomes a gluten free dish. Japanese mayonnaises mostly contain small amount of gluten as an ingredient “Brewed Vinegar”)

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In Japan, we usually use this for sandwiches. But if you want to add one more dish in your meal, this is best because it is a fuss-free recipe.

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I use fresh eggs and boil them myself. If you have boiled eggs in your refrigerator, you might want to use them. It saves more time.

The recipe is very easy.

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Boil eggs for 12 minutes. Peel in cold water. Crumble the peeled eggs and season with mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Japanese Egg Salad


Ingredients (servings 2)

3 Eggs

4 Tbsp. Mayonnaise

Pinch of Salt and Pepper

Minced Parsley (to taste)

Boiled Water for boiling eggs


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Japanese Egg Salad


12 Comments

Cheesy Sweet Potato Croquettes (Vegetarian)

Today I introduce you to Cheesy Sweet Potato Croquettes. I put shredded cheese and corn kernels in mashed sweet potato so it is very cheesy, creamy and incredibly tasty!!

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I use sweet potato instead of regular potato because it is healthier. Sweet potato is high in vitamin C, potassium and fiber. And it also has a low GI (glycemic index). This means sweet potato doesn’t make our blood sugar rise quickly or as much as foods with a higher GI, even though it contains carbohydrate. It is healthier to eat low GI foods first during your meals. You might want to consider the order in which you eat things to avoid raising your blood sugar quickly.

Croquettes are very filling and delicious. They are not only good as a main dish but also for kids’ snacks after school. You may think that frying is too much work but this delicious dish is totally worth it. We can cook a lot of croquettes at once and store in the freezer before frying.

The recipe is

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Mash boiled sweet potato. Wrap cheese and corn kernels mixture with the mashed potato.

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Batter the mash potato and fry.

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: sweet potato croquette

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Ingredients (7~8 croquettes)

1 Sweet Potato

½ cup Corn Kernels

½ cup Shredded Cheese (any kind)

1 tsp. Salt

½ tsp. pepper

¼ cup Flour

1 Beaten Egg

1 cup Breadcrumbs

Water for boiling

Vegetable Oil for frying


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: sweet potato croquette


16 Comments

Homemade Authentic Sukiyaki (Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to “Homemade Authentic Sukiyaki (Kansai Region Style)”. Sukiyaki is a savory-sweet beef hot-pot dish. I said Kansai region (west part of Japan) because the cooking process is different from the Kanto region (east part of Japan).

It’s a beef dish, but is unlike American beef dishes. It is a very healthy dish because we use small amounts of very thinly sliced high quality beef and tons of fresh vegetables. It has a savory-sweet taste, so kids who usually don’t like vegetables very much tend to love sukiyaki vegetables.

As vegetables ingredients, I use tofu, Shimeji mushrooms, Napa cabbage, and Japanese leeks.

You can use any kind of mushrooms substitute for Shimeji mushrooms.

Japanese leek, which is called Naga-Negi, is slightly different from the leek found at many grocery stores in the US. Japanese leek doesn’t have dirt between the layers so we just wash the outside, cut and cook. You can use green onion or American leek as a substitute.

Sukiyaki is a hallmark of Japanese food. Cook the meat in a pot, season, and add several kinds of fresh vegetables. You can cook at the table if you have a portable induction cooktop. And while you enjoy the dish with your family or friends, you can add more ingredients and seasonings so it’s always hot from the oven.

In Japan when we eat Sukiyaki we dip in beaten raw eggs. Japanese eggs are under extreme hygiene control from laying to selling and they set a very short best-before period so it can be eaten raw. Of course, we generally don’t eat raw egg in the US so you can eat Sukiyaki without raw eggs.

The recipe is

Heat beef tallow or cooking oil in a pot. Cook some sliced beef until some parts change their color.

Add soy sauce and sugar, and stir.

Add some vegetables and cooking Sake.

Cook until the vegetables get tender.

You can eat the beef first. While eating that, the vegetables should get tender.


Ingredients (4 servings)

1 Tbsp. Beef Tallow or Cooking Oil

1 1/2 lb. Very Thinly Sliced Spencer Roll Beef

1/4 heart Cut Napa Cabbage

2 Cut Japanese Leeks or 4 Green Onions

8 oz. Shimeji mushrooms or any kind

1 pack (14 oz.) Diced Tofu

4 Tbsp. Gluten-free Soy Sauce

4 Tbsp. Sugar

4 Tbsp. Cooking Sake


Enjoy!!!


6 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


9 Comments

Very Flavorful and Yummy! Herb Tofu (Vegan/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to “Herb Tofu”. This is a very flavorful, delicious and healthy protein ingredient for your salad!!

The recipe is very easy and the taste is so perfect! No more tasteless tofu!! This is because I season the diced tofu before draining. This means the tofu sponges up all the seasonings while it drains. I tried and tried to cook herb tofu many times to make the taste right. This recipe finally achieves the result I wanted! I used 1 tsp. each of 7 kinds of seasonings: salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika powder, dried oregano, dried dill, dried basil. You can use any kind of herbs you want but you shouldn’t change the percentage of salt. When the salt rate is higher or lower than this, it makes the tofu very salty or tasteless. I hope this makes your salad tastier and healthier!!

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Mix seasonings and sprinkle the mixed seasonings on diced tofu. Drain for 15-20 minutes with paper towels. Cook for 8-10 minutes.

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

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Ingredients (servings 2)

1 pack (14 oz.) Extra Firm Tofu

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Onion Powder

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tsp. Paprika Powder

1 tsp. Dried Oregano

1 tsp. Dried Dill

1 tsp. Dried Basil Leaves


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