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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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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How to make traditional Japanese sushi roll

I know some of you sometimes struggle with making good looking sushi rolls.

Here is a tip on my YouTube video “How to make Homemade Sushi Roll”. I hope this helps you!!


In addition, my sushi cookbook which has very easy to follow directions, will be published on 28th July!! Now available for pre-order on Amazon!


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



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Chicken Burger Patties (gluten-free/ egg-free)

Today I will teach you how to make Japanese style Burger Patties, which is the most popular style in Japan. The ingredients are ground chicken, tofu, mushroom and onion.

It is common to add Tofu to some dishes in Japan, as an ingredient, such as meatball, pancakes, muffins and so on. It makes the dishes healthier and it requires fewer ingredients. The texture of the patties is amazingly soft because of the tofu’s texture. Tofu is high in quality protein, so this patty has great nutrition!

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Japanese usually have homemade burger patties with sides of vegetables and white rice, not with hamburger buns.

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[Ingredients (servings 4)]

1-pound ground chicken

7-ounce (1/2 package) firm tofu

3 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

 

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Drain the tofu and wrap it in paper towels, then microwave for two minutes. Let it sit at room temperature until cool down.

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In a bowl, combine the chicken, onion, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Mix for at least 2 minutes until very well combined. Shape the mixture into 8 palm-size balls, and flatten them with your hands. In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and cook the burgers for 3 minutes. Flip them, cook the burgers over low heat with a cover for 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

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4 Ingredients Easy Custard Pudding (gluten-free, vegetarian)

There are many recipes for custard pudding. Today I introduce you to the easiest custard pudding. It is simple yet very delicious!!

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It has very smooth texture and great delicate taste!! There is no need to add butter or vanilla extract. This pudding already has rich taste!! If you prefer, you can mix in some shredded chocolate before refrigerating to make chocolate puddings.

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You need only eggs, sugar, cornstarch, whole or low fat milk and one soup pan.

You can use skim milk and nut milks for the recipe, but the pudding is going to be a bit watery  after refrigerating in my experience. When you use skim milk or nut milks, you might want to use less than normal amount of the milk in the recipe.

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Ingredients (servings 4)

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk or 2% milk

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  1. In a soup pan, whisk the yolks and sugar well.
  2. Add the cornstarch to the pan and mix gently.
  3. Pour the milk gradually into the pan while stirring.
  4. Cook it over medium heat for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture  just barely comes to a boil. Turn the heat to low and keep stirring until it is getting custard consistency, for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Pour the pudding into a deep (about 5 ounce) grass cup and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

 

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Easy healthy savory snack! Tuna and Tofu Nuggets (pescatarian/ gluten-free/ egg-free)

This is a very easy and quick savory snack recipe; Tuna and Tofu Nuggets.

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The ingredients are only tuna, tofu, cornstarch and seasonings. You can mix all ingredients in your food processor and cook with one pan without using large quantities of hot oil. No, muss, no fuss.

I use salt and pepper as seasonings. You can add some onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili pepper…depending on your taste.

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Ingredients (10 to 12 nuggets)

  • 1 (5-ounce) can tuna packed in water, drained
  • 1/4 (14-ounce) package firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Here is a tip how to store tofu after opening. Place tofu in a clean container and pour in just enough water to cover. Cover and keep it in the refrigerator. Change water everyday and use within 3 days.

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  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix well.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan until it shimmers.
  3. Spoon the mixture in the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Enjoy!


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Easy Japanese Tofu MOCHI Dessert (vegan/gluten-free)

Have you ever eaten Japanese traditional dessert dishes, which is called Wagashi in Japanese? There are so many recipes, such as mochi, dango, and sweet beans paste. Today I will introduce you to “Easy mochi dessert” using tofu.

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In my recipe, you don’t need special ingredients; you need only tofu, corn starch and sugar. You can enjoy this dish on its own, and also it is great when you eat it with a bit of sugar, chocolate spread, or caramel. Here I sprinkle the mochi with the mixture of ground sesame seeds and sugar. This makes the dish more traditional taste.

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Ingredients (20 -24 pieces small mochi)

1/2 (14-ounce) package of firm tofu

4 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons cornstarch

[for dusting] to taste

1 tablespoon ground roasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon sugar

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  1. Process the tofu in food processor until it gets smooth.
  2. In a pan, mix the tofu, sugar and corn starch. Stir for 3 minutes over medium heat, until you see some lumps. Turn the heat to low, stir for 8 to 10 minutes,  until it becomes sticky dough. (This is a bit tough but it is worth it.)
  3. Once the dough is cool enough to handle (Do not cool it completely. It is going to be hard to make a ball shape.), roll into small ball shapes by hand. Dust with the mixture of the sesame seeds and the sugar to taste.

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Perfect and Easy Japanese Rice (gluten-free/ vegan)

Today I introduce you to “How to cook Japanese rice perfectly and easily”. If you have a rice cooker, you can just follow their directions. But if you don’t have one, this is the easiest recipe for perfect Japanese rice.

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Steamed rice is a staple food in Japanese cuisine. Japanese rice has soft texture and rice grains are shiny when it is cooked! We mostly eat rice two or three times a day. Even when we don’t cook, most super markets and convenience stores have many kinds of rice balls and rice products can be cooked in microwave.

Lately, some people add multi-grain rice to white rice when it is cooked to make the dish healthier but steamed white rice remains perennial favorites.



The cookbook Bento for Beginners is now available on Amazon.



 

Tips for cooking Japanese rice;

  • Find dried short-grain white rice, not “sweet sticky rice”.
  • Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes before cooking.
  • The heat level is the key. Once it boils, turn down the heat to very low not to get burned.
  • Do not open the lid when it is cooking even if it bubbles over. Wait patiently.
  • Steam the rice for 10 minutes after cooking.

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

Tips for storing cooked rice;

Put one portion of cooked rice without cooling down in a glass container with a lid or freezer bag, or wrap with plastic wrap. Store in the freezer and use within 3 weeks. When you eat, put unwrapped frozen rice on a microwave-safe plate  and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes with a cover.

The key to store is to freeze the rice without cooling so it has fresh cooked rice taste even after storing for 3 weeks in the freezer.


Ingredients (4 servings, about 4 cups)

1 ½ cups short-grain white rice (I recommend Koshihikari Rice 4.4 Lb)

1 2/3 cups water


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