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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Japanese Style Stuffed Cabbage (Gluten-Free)

Stuffed cabbage is not a traditional Japanese dish. It came to Japan from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It has a very soft texture and amazing flavor.  Japanese like to have it in chicken soup style or tomato sauce style.

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Cabbage is high in vitamin C and U. Vitamin U is officially called S-methylmethionine which is a good ingredient for stomach problems such as digestion, upper stomachache and so on. Japanese have the highest incidence of stomach issues in the world, despite having lower rates of most other health problems, because of our stomach/gut shape. Therefore, we often eat fresh cabbage for salad and for garnish. And also we have many kind of stomach medicine (over the counter) and most of those use vitamin U as an ingredient.

I believe you will enjoy this dish as a fancy and healthy dinner!


{Ingredients (8 stuffed cabbages)}

1 lb. Ground Chicken

16 pieces Cabbage Leaf

1 Onion

1 egg

½ tsp. plus ½ separate tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. plus ¼ separate tsp. Black Pepper

3 cups Chicken Stock


Here is my recipe in PDF: Stuffed Cabbage


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Homemade Mochi Ice Cream with Gluten-free Wrapper

Today I will teach you how to make “Homemade Mochi Ice Cream”. The mochi wrapper is made of glutinous rice flour (mochiko), sugar and water. The dish can become vegan, vegetarian, and/or non-dairy depending on the kind of ice cream you choose.

This impressively easy recipe may get you out of shopping for overpriced mochi ice cream products.


Ingredients (about 6 mochi wrappers)



Here are some tips. 

1. You may consider reducing the amount of sugar to make healthier wrappers. The good news is you can use 1.4 oz. of sugar, 0.7 oz. of sugar or even a non-sugar sweetener that can be used in cooking, instead of 2.8 oz. of sugar. However, when you use less sugar or artificial sweeteners the wrappers only stay good if you eat them soon after making the dish. This is because wrappers containing less than 2.8 oz. freeze hard in the freezer and you lose the nice and soft mochi texture. Therefore I recommend using twice as much glutinous rice flour to prevent the mochi from freezing solid. 

2. The dough is very sticky. Using a fork when stirring is better than a spoon or spatula.



[Recipe]

1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the rice flour and sugar. Mix well. Add the water gradually, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. Microwave (1000w) for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir for 1 minute. Microwave for another 1 minute and stir again for 1 minute. At this point, the dough should become translucent. 

*If the dough doesn’t have enough sugar, the white dough won’t turn a translucent color.

2. Place the dough on a well-dusted work surface. You should use cornstarch to dust the surface. Sprinkle more cornstarch on the dough. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, roll out the dough using your fingertips until it is a very thin layer (about 0.2 inch-thick). Cut into 6-equal-pieces.

*You can wrap each mochi wrapper and store in the freezer for 3 weeks. 

3. Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop about 1 heaping tablespoon of well-frozen ice cream and place on the center of a piece of mochi wrapper. Seal the edge of the wrapper with fingers. 

*Using a small amount of ice cream makes your work easier until you get used to it.

*Freezing small-ball-sized ice cream in advance also helps your work.

You can enjoy this delicious mochi ice cream as soon as you make it, or you can store in the freezer until it is served.


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Scrumptious Mochi stuffed Fried Tofu Abura-Age (Vegan/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to “Mochi stuffed Fried Tofu Abura-Age in Dashi Soup”. The abura-age is juicy from soaking in delicious dashi soup and the mochi has a nice and soft texture.

Abura-age is a common food in Japan, deep-fried thin sliced tofu. You can find it in many Asian grocery stores.

Mochi is a traditional Japanese food. It is a soft rice cake made from steamed sticky rice. There are some products called MOCHI ice cream which is ice cream wrapped with a thin pieces of mochi. This sometimes makes people think all mochi is ice cream related. Therefore, please be aware that in Japan when you order mochi you will get a soft and sticky rice cake rather than ice cream.

Mochi staffed fried tofu is a very popular ingredient for hot pot dishes in Japan.


Ingredients (serving 2)


The recipe is easy.

Drizzle abura-age with boiling water to remove excess oil from their surface. Cut in half, put a piece of mochi in, and seam with a toothpick.

In a sauce pan, combine water, dashi stock powder, carrot, daikon radish, shiitake mushroom, cooking sake, soy sauce and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add the mochi staffed abura-age and cook for 5 minutes. Flip them halfway through.


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Pickled Lotus Root (gluten-free/vegan)

Today I introduce you to “Pickled Lotus Root” which is basically one of Japanese new year’s dish. But it is delicious, easy-to-cook and very healthy so I make it all the time. The dish can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Lotus root is high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and polyphenol. Their crunchy texture is amazing! Lotus root is versatile enough to be eaten deliciously in every cooking way, such as tempura, sauté, simmering, and roasting.


Ingredients (servings 2-3)


The recipe is very easy. It takes less than 10 minutes.

  1. Slice the lotus root thinly and soak in some water for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a microwavable bowl, combine mirin, salt, vinegar, sugar and water, and mix well.
  3. Drain off the water from the lotus root and add the lotus root to the vinegar mixture.
  4. Cover the bowl, microwave for 1 minute, and sprinkle some crushed red pepper to taste. Let it cool at room temperature before serving or storing in the refrigerator.


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Datemaki, Japanese Traditional Pan-Fried Egg (Vegetarian)

This is a Japanese traditional New Year’s dish called Datemaki. It mainly contains egg and fish paste and has sweet taste and smooth texture.

Today I use tofu as substitute for fish paste because tofu is easily available, it is delicious, and it becomes a great dish for people who follow vegetarian diet.

For good final presentation, you may as well use Makisu which is a bamboo sushi mat, but you can use a piece of parchment paper if you don’t have Makisu.


Ingredients (servings 2)

• 7 oz (198g) firm tofu

• 4 eggs

• 4 tablespoons sugar

• 1 tablespoon Mirin, Japanese sweet cooking rice wine

• 1/2 tablespoon Yamasa Marudai Zu Soy Sauce


The recipe is easy but takes a little bit time. You can store this dish in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days so you may want to make ahead and serve it later.

Drain tofu, wrap with paper towels and place on a plate. Put a weight, such as a heavy plate, on the wrapped tofu for at least 1 hour to drain completely. (Change the paper towels halfway through if they are completely soaked).

Combine the drained tofu, eggs, sugar, mirin and soy sauce in a bowl. Mix well using a hand blender until smooth.

Heat a dry non-stick skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, then coat the skillet with cooking spray. Put the hot skillet on a damp cloth to let the bottom of the skillet cool down slightly. Next, put the skillet on the range back and pour in all of the egg mixture. Put a lid on the skillet and cook for 12 minutes over low heat. Then turn the heat off and let it sit on the range for 5 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and let it sit another 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes cool enough to handle.

Place the egg on a Makisu or a piece of parchment paper. Roll it into a tight jelly roll. Put a rubber band around the roll and let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour to cool down. Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow it set up before cutting and serving.



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Carrot and Daikon Radish Sweet Pickles (Gluten-free/Vegetarian)

Today I will introduce you to “Japanese traditional New Year’s food”. 

New year is very important event in Japan. Anciently Japan had a tradition that people wouldn’t shop or cook for the first three days of New Year. Therefore, people cook lots of colorful dishes that last long on 31st December and put them in beautiful boxes together for the three days, which is called Osechi. Each dish has auspicious meaning, such as health, longevity, and safety of the year.  Lately some shops and restaurants are open on New Year’s day, but many people make/buy Osechi and celebrate the New Year. 

This dish “carrot and daikon radish sweet pickles” is called “Namasu”. It has red and white color so it is considered as a happy dish.

The recipe is very easy and the dish last for about 5 days in the refrigerator so it is a versatile dish for any occasion.

Cut the daikon radish and carrot into about 3-inch-length thin strips. Combine the vegetables and salt in a zip-top bag or in a bowl and knead gently. Let it sit for 10 minutes until the vegetables become tender.

Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, sugar and dash powder in a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 40 seconds, mix well and set aside. Wring the vegetables dry by hand and add in the vinegar mixture.


• 6-inch-length daikon radish, peeled and cut in half

• 1 small carrot, peeled

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

• 2 tablespoons sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon Kombu Dashi Powder with No MSG (Vegetarian Soup Stock)



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Stuffed Pumpkin

It is October!! Time to enjoy pumpkins!!

In Japan we usually use “Winter Squash” which we call “Kabocha” for cooking. Kabocha squash is high in vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and potassium. The taste is a lot sweeter in other kind of pumpkins, and the texture is so soft and smooth that is similar to sweet potato.

In this recipe, I use onion, carrot, mushrooms, ground chicken meat and shredded cheese. You can add more vegetables, use other kind of meat and also use any kind of cheese you like.

The recipe is

Cook filling in a pan and season. Cut the top of the kabocha off and take all seeds out. Spoon the filling into the kabocha and bake in the preheated oven.

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Stuffed Pumpkin


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

½ lb. Ground Chicken

1 Kabocha or Winter Squash

1 small Onion

1 Carrot

4~5 Mushrooms (any kind)

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

2 Tbsp. Flour

½ Tbsp. Margarine or Butter

3 Tbsp. Cooking Sake or White Wine

¾ cup Shredded Cheese (total) (any kind)

½ tsp. Salt

½ tsp. Black Pepper



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Gunkanmaki Sushi

Today I will give you a quick advice about making sushi.

If you are struggling with making sushi rolls, please check

Sushi Cookbook for Beginners: 100 Step-By-Step Recipes to Make Sushi at Home

In this book I made the recipes easy and used ingredients that are simple to find and available in the United States. There are seafood, meat, vegetarian, and vegan sushi dishes. This book will teach you tons of easy-to-follow recipes that will help you turn your kitchen into a sushi workshop.

I recommend trying to make Gunkanmaki sometimes. It is much easier for beginners to make gunkanmaki than sushi rolls. The shape is also great for holding ingredients that would be easily dropped in any other form.


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Sushi Cookbook for Beginners

It’s finally here!

Today is a beautiful day—my brand new book, Sushi Cookbook for Beginners, is officially out in the world for you all.

Thank you again for all of your support. It really means the world to me! I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I loved writing it!


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Classic Japanese Biscuits “Egg Bolo” (Gluten-free/ Vegetarian)

Japanese egg bolo which is classic Japanese biscuits, has a very small ball shape and a light delicious taste.

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For Japanese, egg bolo may be the first sweet snack because there are many “egg bolo” products as a baby food.

However, lately, homemade egg bolo is very popular because it is easy to make using simple ingredients.

In this recipe, you need only 3 ingredients; cornstarch, egg yolk and sugar. In Japan, there are also other kind of bolo which uses flour or buckwheat flour.


My new cookbook Sushi Cookbook for Beginners: 100 Step-By-Step Recipes to Make Sushi at Home will be published on July 28th!! Now available for pre-oder on Amazon!


 

Ingredients (90 to 100 balls)

1/4 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup cornstarch


  1. Preheat the oven to 320 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar well. Add the cornstarch gradually while mixing by hand. Do not add the cornstarch all at once. If the mixture is still too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

3. Shape the mixture into a very small ball; the size of the little finger’s tip. (They are going to puff up after baking. The big bolo texture is not good very much).

4. Bake for 15 minutes.