Your Home for Homemade Japanese Food

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


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Simple Tofu and Tomato Salad (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to “Tofu and Tomato Salad”. This dish is super easy but so delicious and a very nutritious salad!!

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In this recipe I roasted sliced tomato and tofu in the oven, but roasting is totally optional. You can make this salad without roasting! You might want to drain the tofu with paper towels and weights. See how to drain tofu here.   Sesame Tofu Recipe

The reason I cook the tomato is because the nutrition from the tomato increases when it is cooked, and more importantly I like soft and sweet tomato! If you don’t like tofu aroma very much, I highly recommend cooking the tofu and eating with lemon juice, which I use for the dressing in this recipe. 

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Here is a little tip to store tomatoes. For good keeping, wrap a tomato individually with plastic wrap and store in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. It will  keep longer then when it is stored in the refrigerator on its own.

The recipe is

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Slice a tomato and tofu. Roast 10 minutes 400 °F. Drizzle with dressing which is a mixture of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.

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

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Ingredients (1 serving)

¼ pack Firm Tofu

1 Medium Tomato

½ Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lemon Juice from ½ Small Lemon

Salt and Pepper


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

Here is the recipe video:

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10 Comments

Simple Creamy Potato Salad

Today I introduce you to Simple Creamy Potato Salad. The ingredients are potato, turkey ham and cucumber. The seasonings are mayo, salt and pepper. It is an easy and quick recipe. It takes only 20~25 minutes total. Of course you can use any kind of meat and vegetables you want, and also you can add more seasonings, such as onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and so on.

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Some people avoid potato because it is a carbohydrate, and also mayo because it can be high in calories. If you ask me, you can eat anything to be healthier. But portion size is key. For example, don’t eat a big amount of one dish at one meal, don’t eat just big amount of pasta for your lunch, or don’t eat just a bowl of salad for your dinner. Just eat small portions of various kinds of dishes to get many nutritious things in your body. (see also the post You can Eat Anything You Want! But… )

The recipe is

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Boil potato and mash. (If you like smooth potato salad, mash very well. If you like chunky potato salad, leave some chunks of potato.)
Combine all ingredients and seasonings and mix well.

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Simple Creamy Potato Salad

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Ingredients (Servings 2)

1 Large Potato

1 Seedless Baby Cucumber

2 Pieces Turkey Ham

4 Tbsp. Mayonnaise

Pinch of Salt and Pepper

Water for cooking potato


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Simple Creamy Potato Salad


10 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


26 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


19 Comments

Miso Marinated Grilled Salmon (Gluten-Free)

Today I will introduce you to “Miso Marinated Grilled Salmon”.

It is very easy to make and incredibly delicious! I use only 4 ingredients. The preparation time is quick (but you need to marinate for at least an hour) and the cooking time is only 10 minutes!! In addition, I cook the salmon in a pan lined with parchment paper so there is no messy cleanup!

Marinated food with miso is very common and has a long history in Japan because it can be stored for a long time. We marinate various vegetables, meats and fish. The miso marinated vegetables are basically eaten without cooking and the miso marinated meats and fish are cooked and served. All ingredients have a lot of miso flavor and are slightly salty so very delicious!!! Lately in Japan, TOFU and EGG YOLK are becoming popular ingredients to marinate with miso.

This miso marinated grilled salmon is great for dinner by itself and also is great with your salad! The marinated salmon can be stored for 3 days in the refrigerator. So you can marinate some salmon fillets at once and cook lunch or dinner for your busiest days! Cooking takes only 10 minutes!

The recipe is

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Mix the marinated sauce and marinate salmon for an hour in the refrigerator.

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Cook in the pan lined with parchment paper.

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Miso Marinated Grilled Salmon

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

1 Fillet Salmon

3 Tbsp. ORGANIC Miso Paste

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

2 Tbsp. Organic Mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Miso Marinated Grilled Salmon


28 Comments

Vegetarian Pan-Steamed Gyoza Dumplings

Today I introduce you to Pan-Steamed Vegetarian Gyoza Dumplings. There are a lot of ways to cook Gyoza in Japan and this is my mother’s original recipe which is easy and delicious.

This time I used only vegetables. I used Shiitake mushrooms, cabbage and tofu. You can add any kind of ground meat if you want.

Also, I used Wonton wrappers because I can’t find Japanese Gyoza wrappers around here. I explain how to wrap the filling and provide you with easy-to-follow directions with pictures in my recipe PDF. If you can find Gyoza wrappers, of course you can use those.

When you hear “Pan- Steamed”, you might think you need a special pan. Don’t worry, you can cook this with just a regular pan. I think the wrapping part takes a little bit of time, but it is worth it because Gyoza are very delicious!!

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Cook the cut vegetables and season.

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Wrap the filling with wrappers. If you want to store Gyoza, you can keep them in the freezer using a plastic freezer bag.

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Cook with 1/4 cup of water in a pan with a lid.

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF:Pan-Steamed Vegetarian Gyoza Dumplings

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Here is a tip for storing ginger. Peel the skin and wrap it with kitchen paper and then with aluminum foil. Keep it in the freezer and use within 1 month. You can grate the frozen ginger (you don’t need to defrost).


Ingredients (about 35 pieces)
*Click BLUE TEXT to link to the product on Amazon*

6 Shiitake Mushrooms

4 Cabbage Leaves

3.5 oz. (¼ pack) Firm Tofu

1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

1 tsp. Grated Ginger

¼ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. Pepper

Wonton Wrappers

Sesame Oil for cooking

Water for steaming


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF:Pan-Steamed Vegetarian Gyoza Dumplings


32 Comments

My Mother’s Homemade Simple Fried Rice

Today I introduce you to my mother’s Homemade Fried Rice.

When I was child, we had steamed rice all the time in my house. So when my mother thought about the menu for our meals she checked in the refrigerator and came up with recipes for main dish and side dishes using the ingredients we had in the refrigerator. Sometimes (especially lunches before grocery shopping) we didn’t have enough ingredients for most main dish and side dishes, so she always cooked this fried rice because it has great carb, vitamins and protein all in one dish and it is delicious! I love this simple fried rice anytime. This is also a great dish for busy-day-meals!!

The ingredients are onion, turkey sausage and green bell pepper, and the seasonings are just salt and pepper. Any kind of meat and vegetables are okay. In the recipe I don’t mention how much salt and pepper I use because if you use other kinds of meat such as bacon or spicy sausage, you might need to adjust the amount of salt and pepper to avoid a strong taste.

The recipe is easy and quick!

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Cook chopped vegetables and meat. Add steamed rice and season.

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Homemade Fried Rice


Ingredients (1 serving)

1 Turkey Sausage

¼ Green Bell Pepper

½ Onion

A cup Steamed Rice

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Salt and Pepper


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Homemade Fried Rice