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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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


2 Comments

Okra Tempura (Vegetarian)

Today I introduce you to Okra Tempura. This tempura dish has a different texture from the fried-okra you may find in the U.S.  The tempura batter is crunchy but not thick. I season it with just sea salt when I eat it so I can enjoy the taste of okra.

My mother used okra in her meals a lot because of the  nutrition. Inside, okra has a gooey texture from the pectin (a soluble fiber) and mucin (a protein). These two nutrients improve our digestion. Okra is also high in beta-carotene, minerals, vitamins and so on.

About my tempura batter, I always try to make tempura with a great crunchy (not greasy) texture because it is more delicious. In this recipe, I show you how to make  the best batter for crunchy tempura. I hope you like it.

{Ingredients (servings 2 as side dish)}

10~16 Okura

1 Egg

½ cup Cold Water

½ cup Flour

Vegetable Oil for frying

Here is my recipe in PDF (4 MB): Okra Tempura


2 Comments

An idea for quick and healthy breakfast!!

This is an idea for a quick breakfast recipe. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and it is also delicious and healthy!!

To make the dish healthier, I cook scrambled egg with canned tuna. Also I add steamed edamame to the plate. When you season the edamame with butter and salt, it becomes like a side dish of corn.

Edamame is high is vitamin B1, vitamin C, protein, fiber, iron, potassium, and so on. Because of the protein and the iron, edamame is a great ingredient for breakfast.

As for the tuna, my mother always said “You can be more smart and do great on tests in school if you eat fish”. She stretched a story about DHA to make me eat breakfast but it was not totally a lie. DHA increases blood vessel elasticity and improve the function of red blood cells so people say it helps make your brain more active.

I hope this recipe will be one of your favorite breakfast recipes!!

{Ingredients (1 serving)}

2 Eggs

½ can of Tuna

¼ cup Frozen Edamame

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Here is my recipe in PDF (4 MB): Healthy Breakfast


9 Comments

Green Pea Rice (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to steamed white rice with green peas. The Japanese process for cooking rice is a little complicated, so in this recipe I show you the easiest way to cook steamed rice. It takes about an hour, but you don’t need to do much.

We have many kinds of seasoned-steamed rice recipes, because rice is the most important carbohydrate in the  Japanese diet. Japanese rice is short-grain rice which is soft, sticky and a little bit sweet in taste. This is good for ease of digestion and also great for making Sushi rice.

The “Green Pea Rice” in this recipe has a slightly salty taste and a very tender green pea texture so even kids who don’t like green peas tend to eat this rice happily.

Green peas are high in protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber and so on. Green Peas also have more vitamin B1 and fiber than many vegetables. But the nutritional value can weaken under the heat so when you cook, you can add the green peas to the recipe as the last part of the cooking process.

I love rice but I don’t have time to cook it for every meal so I always cook large amounts of steamed rice and freeze some of it. To store steamed rice, put cooked rice in a freezer bag and keep in the freezer. When you want to heat it up, you can microwave on a microwavable dish for 2~2:30 minutes. Please use the frozen rice within a month.

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

1 ½ cup Dried Rice (short-grain rice)

⅓ cup Frozen Green Peas

1 tsp. Salt

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

Water for soaking rice and cooking rice

Here is my recipe in PDF (5 MB): Green Pea Rice


5 Comments

This is what I call a great traditional Japanese dish!(Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

People have use this recipe since about 1300 years ago. This dish is typical Buddhist cuisine. Buddhist cuisine is cooked based on Buddhist concepts. The ingredients are mainly beans and vegetables. But the dishes are flavorful and nutritious because they were created to charge the energy of Samurai.

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This recipe is a basic Japanese dish in which I cut vegetables and simmer in Japanese Dashi stock. The Dashi stock is the most important ingredient. If you can’t prepare Dashi stock, you can use vegetable stock or chicken stock as a substitute for Japanese Dashi stock. Of course the flavor will change but it will still be healthy! In a similar way, you can use white wine as a substitute for cooking Sake.

This is a side dish so you can have it along with or in place of a salad with your meal!


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

1 Carrot

3 Shiitake Mushrooms

½ bunch Fresh Spinach

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

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

1 cup Kelp Dashi stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp for Dashi stock) Dashi Dried Kelp
*Any kind of Dashi stock is okay*
(Recommended instant bonito Dashi powder)Ajinomoto – Hon Dashi

¼ tsp. Salt


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

Here is my Kelp Dashi stock recipe in PDF: Kelp Dashi stock

Here is my Anchovy Dashi stock recipe in PDF: Homemade Anchovy Dashi Stock


6 Comments

Healthy Cabbage Soup (Gluten-Free)

This recipe is not traditional Japanese food. We occasionally have it as a hospital meal, school meal and so on. This is good for digestion and low fat and low calorie. Therefore, we sometimes have it as a diet meal. Also some hospitals serve this kind of dish to patients who will soon have surgery, because it reduces visceral fat before the surgery.

Cabbage in spring has a very good taste so it is traditional we have many cabbage dishes in the spring.

In this recipe, the cooking is really easy and takes less than 30 minutes. Significantly, some nutrition from cabbages can break down under heat so please cook for as short as possible after adding cabbage as per the instructions. Also, Cabbage can be eaten raw but it is hard to eat a lot of it that way. So I highly recommend this soup that cooking for less than 20 minutes after adding the cabbage and including vegetables in all soups.

Enjoy the nutritious soup!

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{Ingredients (servings 2)}

¼ Green Cabbage

1 Onion

1 Carrot

2 cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Flavor Broth

½ tsp. Salt

A pinch of Black Pepper

1 Tbsp. Gluten-Free Margarine

Here is my recipe in PDF (5 MB): Healthy Cabbage Soup