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


4 Comments

Quick Eggplant Pickles (Gluten Free/Vegan/Vegetarian)

In Japan, we often eat eggplant pickles. This recipe is not exactly the traditional pickle but it is a homemade quick and delicious eggplant side dish!

As you know, eggplant is a summer vegetable. When we eat eggplant dishes, they make our body cool down so this recipe is great for hot and humid summer days. And this dish includes ginger and sesame seed so it is very nutritious.

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Japanese eggplant has thiner skin than American eggplant so I never peeled it, but in the U.S. I peel some parts of the skin and leave other parts. I keep some of the skin because it has polyphenol and is good for our health.

The recipe is so easy.

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Slice eggplant, knead with salt and let it sit for 20 minutes.

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Wash the eggplant and season with grated ginger, soy sauce and white sesame seed.

Here is a tip for storing ginger.

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Peel the skin, wrap with kitchen paper and wrap it 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 (servings 2)}

Half Eggplant

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Grated Ginger

½ tsp. Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic)

1 tsp. White Roasted Sesame Seeds

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Quick Eggplant Pickles

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11 Comments

My mother’s “Keema Curry”

This is my mother’s original “Keema Curry” recipe which she made for us as kids when we couldn’t handle spicy food. It is a little different from authentic Keema Curry, but its great for the whole family.

We label this dish as a “Dry Curry” in Japanese because there is no soup. “Keema Curry” basically means a curry dish using ground meat. In Japan, Curry is very popular especially among kids because we can eat it with steamed rice.

I used “Curry Powder.” The ingredients in the powder are: paprika, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and saffron. It is very nutritious and is high in vitamin E, vitamin K, iron, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and so on. These helps increase our metabolism and also have antioxidant properties.

Additionally, this dish is great for mothers and fathers who have children who are picky eaters because you can mince and add various vegetables and cook with ground meat. The curry taste helps cover the taste of most vegetables so even picky eaters can get a lot of good nutrition.

Enjoy this curry dish with steamed rice or your favorite bread!

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

1 lb. Ground Chicken

½ Eggplant

1 Carrot

1 small Onion

3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

2 tsp. Curry Powder (ingredients: paprika, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and saffron)

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Black Pepper

15 dashes Worcestershire Sauce

½ Tbsp. Ketchup

½ Tbsp. Soy Sauce

Steamed Rice, for serving
(Recommended Dried Rice) Nishiki Premium Rice

Here is my recipe in PDF (5 MB): Keema Curry


5 Comments

Delicious Braised Eggplant (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

Following the previous post “This is what I call a great traditional Japanese dish!”,

https://japanese-food.org/2015/11/05/this-is-what-i-call-a-great-traditional-japanese-dish/

I will introduce you to one more traditional Japanese vegetable side dish which is called “Braised Eggplant”. This is also from Buddhist cuisine. It is very delicious, healthy and low-calorie!

If you like eggplant, I highly recommend you try this! You can enjoy the flavorful, tender, and yummy eggplant. The recipe is very easy and very traditional. I simmer eggplant in Japanese Dashi stock, soy sauce, cooking Sake and Mirin. If you like the flavor in Japanese dishes  you should keep soy sauce, cooking Sake, Mirin and Dashi stock on hand (here is my Dashi stock recipe in PDF: Homemade Anchovy Dashi StockKelp Dashi stock ) (also some Asian markets carry useful Dashi stock powder). If you want to try more healthy dishes but you are not a big fan of Japanese flavors, you can just simmer the eggplant in vegetable stock and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. This is also a healthy and low-calorie dish. Unfortunately, however, if you cook it this way you will not get the protein that we get from soy sauce. In fact, my family doesn’t eat soy beans often, we usually get the soy nutrition from soy sauce, Tofu, Miso (soy bean paste), Natto (fermented soy beans), soy milk and so on.

In this recipe, I didn’t peel the eggplant because one of the important nutrients, Anthocyanin (antioxidant), is found in high amounts in eggplant skin. If you don’t like the gooey texture that the skin adds you can peel the eggplant.


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

½ Eggplant

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

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

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine


Here is my recipe in PDF (4 MB): Braised Eggplant

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


1 Comment

Sautéed Chicken with Miso (Gluten-Free)

This sauté of vegetables and meat is a Japanese homemade main dish which is liked by everybody. There are some similar dishes in Chinese cuisine but the taste is totally different from this recipe. I use chicken tenderloin, I season the meat and vegetables with Miso paste and soy sauce, and I don’t use much oil, so it is flavorful, has  a great light taste, and is never greasy.

You can choose any kind of meat for this dish, such as beef or pork. I prefer chicken tenderloin because it is low fat, low calorie, and high in nutrition. Chicken tenderloin is cooked quickly so it doesn’t take time to cook. When we cook it the right way, the texture is amazingly soft. Therefore, in this recipe I am very careful about the cooking time.

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You can also add more vegetables to this dish, but at the very least you should use green bell pepper and eggplant because these two vegetables and Miso go perfectly together. Green bell pepper and eggplant are summer vegetables which make our bodies cool down. Eating summer vegetables in the summer brings us great effects.


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

1 small Green Bell Pepper

1 small Eggplant

5 pieces Chicken Tenderloin

3 Tbsp. ORGANIC Mild Miso Paste

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

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

1 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

1 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil

2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil


Here is my recipe in PDF (6 MB): Chicken Tenderloin Saute with Miso


2 Comments

Healthy Cheesy Vegetables (Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

I have introduced many Japanese recipes here, and you may think we don’t use cheese very much. Cheese making started in Japan around 1930, so cheese has a short history in Japan.

When I was a child, my mother cooked dish with cheese about once a month. I loved cheese so this recipe was one of my treats!

The ingredients are all vegetables. You can cook with leftover vegetables in the refrigerator.

The dish is high in protein, beta-carotene, iron and vitamins and the texture is so tender. Therefore, it is also a good lunch or dinner for children.

Enjoy this healthy cheesy vegetable dish!


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

1 Onion

1 Small Eggplant

3 cups Fresh Spinach

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

2 Tbsp. Gluten-Free Margarine

1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup shredded Cheese (any kind is okay) (total)

¼ tsp. Salt

⅛ tsp. Black Pepper

Chopped parsley and black olives (for topping to taste)


Here is my recipe in PDF (5 MB): Cheesy Vegetables


3 Comments

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


2 Comments

Vegetable Mix Tempura (Vegan/Vegetarian)

“Vegetable Mix Tempura”, which is called “Kakiage” in Japanese, is a traditional Japanese recipe. We enjoy this tempura on steamed rice, on Japanese Soba noodle, on Japanese Udon noodle, or just the tempura itself.

In Japan, people always try to make the tempura with a great crunchy texture. With this recipe, you can cook crunchy tempura easily. The seasoning is only salt, the vegetables are tender and the batter is crunchy so you can really enjoy more vegetables. Also, the recipe is very simple. I just use 1 skillet, 1 bowl, a cutting board and a knife. So If you have kids who don’t like vegetables very much, you might want to try to cook this recipe!

Enjoy!!


{Ingredients (servings 4)}

1 large Onion

4 oz. Shiitake Mushrooms

1 Carrot

½ American Eggplant

½ cup Flour

5 Tbsp. Cold Ice Water

Vegetable Oil for Frying


Here is my recipe in PDF (5 MB): Vegetable Mix Tempura