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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Udon Noodle Salad (Vegan/Vegetarian)

Today I introduce you to “Udon Noodle Salad”. This is similar to “Pasta Salad”. In this recipe I used soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and grated ginger for the dressing so the taste is different from general Pasta Salad.

In recipe I used this Organic Udon Wheat Noodle
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It is great for a quick lunch because the recipe is very quick and easy. Of course it is also delicious and healthy. You can use any vegetables that are in your refrigerator.

Here is a tip for storing ginger.

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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).

The recipe is easy.

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Cut vegetables and mix with boiled Udon noodle and the dressing.

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{Ingredients (1 serving)}           *Click BLUE TEXT to link to the product on Amazon*

1 bunch (3.1 oz.) Organic Udon

Boiled Water for boiling noodle

4 Grape Tomatoes

½ cup Frozen Corn

2 leaves of Iceberg Lettuce

1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp. Mizkan Rice Vinegar

½ Tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil

1 tsp. Grated Ginger


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Udon Noodle Salad

How to cook Udon Noodle on YouTube:


6 Comments

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 Okara Powder (Dried Soy Pulp flour) 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 Okara Powder (Dried Soy Pulp flour)

¾ cup Water

7 oz. (Half Pack) Firm Tofu

½ tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Flour

1 Tbsp. Panko Flakes Bread Crumbs Japanese Style 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

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8 Comments

Cold Tofu with Okra (Gluten Free/Vegan/Vegetarian)

Today I introduce you to my “Cold Tofu with Okra” recipe. In summer it is very humid in Japan, which makes us tired and lowers our appetite. Therefore, the Japanese traditional summer diet tends to include light foods which have great taste and nutrition, like in this recipe. I hope you add this recipe as a side dish in your meal.

The recipe is very easy and quick.

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Cut boiled okra and put on drained tofu. Drizzle with soy sauce to taste.

Tofu contains a lot of water so we drain tofu before cooking to keep the tofu shape and to keep the dish from becoming too watery. If you don’t like tofu aroma very much, I strongly recommend you drain the tofu because it makes the dish have less of a tofu aroma.

{Ingredients (1 serving)}

2~3 oz. (1/6 Pack) Firm Tofu

3 Okras

1 tsp. Salt

Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic) for seasoning

Boiled Water for Okra

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Tofu with Okra


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


15 Comments

Japanese Home-Style Chicken and Rice (Gluten Free)

This “Chicken and Rice” recipe is a very popular dish in Japan. A chicken fried rice dish is seasoned with KETCHUP. In Japan, many kids love the dish and it is a great quick and nutritious meal for many adults!

The recipe is so easy, quick and delicious! This dish also tastes good cold so it is a perfect lunchbox stuffer!!

Cut every ingredient.

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Saute the ingredients and add rice and ketchup.

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Stir well.

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You can use any kind of vegetables and meats, and also you can add more or less ketchup to taste.

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

1 piece Chicken Thigh (about 0.2 lb.)

1 small Onion

1 Carrot

A half Green Bell Pepper

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

¼ tsp. Salt and Pepper

½ cup Gluten-Free Ketchup

2 cups Steamed Rice
(Recommended Rice)Nishiki Premium Rice (Recommended Brown Rice)Tamanishiki Super Premium Brown Rice

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Japanese Home-Style Chicken and Rice

Steamed Rice Recipe in PDF: Japanese Home-Style Chicken and Rice


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Japanese Side Dish “Braised Taro” (Gluten Free/Vegan/Vegetarian)

Today I introduce you to Japanese traditional dish “Braised Taro”. It is a very easy, simple and delicious side dish. My mother always cooked 5 small dishes for each member of our family for every dinner. The 5 dishes idea comes from “Ichijiru-Sansai” which means basic meals should consist of one bowl of cooked rice, one kind of soup and three vegetable or fish side dishes. This dish is great as a side dish in a Japanese meal. In addition, we say “Hara-Hachibu” which means eat until you feel your 80% full, don’t eat until you are too full. This is a Japanese traditional eating rule for being healthy so my mother always prepared small dishes for each of us.

The recipe is easy. Just simmer taros in Dashi stock. I used “Kelp Dashi Stock,” but you can use any kind of stock. The dish is mainly seasoned with soy sauce and the taros become so tender that they absorb the Dashi well so it is very delicious and it is great for vegetarians if you use vegetable stock. Also, it is an oil-free dish so it is very healthy.

When I introduce you cooking Japanese dishes I always try to show you the easiest way to cook these dishes even if you have no experience with cooking Japanese food. For example, in this recipe, I simmered peeled taros in Dashi stock. But usually taro requires extra preparation time for to simmer more easily and make a great final presentation. But in this recipe there is no need to do the extra preparation because even without it this dish is very delicious and looks great. I want everybody to try to cook Japanese dishes in a lighthearted and fun manner so we do not need to make these recipes hard in order to enjoy all the taste, health benefits, and beauty of traditional Japanese dishes.

You can buy taros in many grocery stores in the US and in all Asian markets. The tip for picking a good taro is that the taro should have ball shape, and be a little bigger than a golf ball. This shape and size makes for a good and delicious taro.

Enjoy this delicious, healthy, and nutritious dish. I hope you like it.

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

10 Small Taros

¾ cup Kelp Dashi Stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp)Dried Kelp for Dashi stock

3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic)

2 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

4 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

Here is my recipe in PDF: Braised Taro

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


7 Comments

Homemade Vegetable Sushi Roll (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten Free)

Today I introduce you to “Homemade Sushi Rolls”.

In Japan, many restaurants serve great delicious Sushi, but my mother also often cooked Sushi Rolls, Inari Sushi and Chirashi Sushi by herself. We can change the ingredients and the seasonings as we like so I love homemade Sushi.

In this recipe, I used carrot, Shiitake mushroom and cucumber as the filling. And when I cook the carrot and mushrooms, I used kelp Dashi stock. So this is a meatless and eggless dish.

Of course you can use any kind of ingredients such as shrimp, chicken, beef, ham, cheese, fried egg, canned Tuna, spinach and so on.

In addition, you can make an adjustment for the seasoning of Sushi rice. If you don’t like the taste of vinegary sushi rice, you can reduce the rice vinegar. If you want more seasoning, you can add more sugar and salt.

The recipe is not complicated. It is easy, great to cook with kids, and is a wonderful dish for a potluck party!!

Make some of your own Sushi with this recipe!!


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

5 pieces Shiitake Mushroom

½ Carrot

½ Cucumber

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

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

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

2 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

1 piece Dried Seaweed for Sushi Roll

1 cup Steamed Rice
(Recommended Sushi Rice)Organic Sushi Rice

[for Sushi Rice Seasoning]

50 ml Rice Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Sugar

1 tsp. Salt

[Tool]

Makisu (Bamboo Sushi Mat)


Here is my recipe in PDF: Homemade Vegetable Sushi Roll

Here is “Kelp Dashi Stock Recipe” in PDF: Kelp Dashi stock


2 Comments

Seaweed Salad (Oil-Free/Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

I will introduce you to “Seaweed and Cucumber Salad” tossed with vinegar and sugar. It is very healthy and delicious! In Japan, we often eat this dish as a side dish because vinegar improves our appetite. And also dishes which include vinegar keep longer. This dish can keep about 5 days in the refrigerator. This is why Sushi rice is seasoned with vinegar. (Basically in Japan about 800 years ago, Sushi was not an expensive food like nowadays. It was a preservative food for common people. The conception was people put pickled fish on cooked rice and fermented it for a day.)



My book Bento for Beginners: 60 Recipes for Easy Bento Box Lunches

is now available on Amazon!!

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You can use some other ingredients for this salad recipe, such as seafood, carrot, Daikon, mushrooms, bean sprouts and so on. But seaweed and cucumber are the most popular ingredients in Japan. Cucumber is high in potassium so it is good for modern humans who tend to eat a high-salt diet. If you want to be healthier, it is good to eat more seaweed because seaweed is high in soluble fiber. Exercising and eating healthy is important to a good diet and the most important thing for improving your digestion and the function of your intestines. So if you want to try to be healthier, at first please think about your digestion. You should eat both insoluble fiber (vegetables, potatoes, mushrooms, beans…) and soluble fiber like seaweed to make your bowels work well. Please add this healthy side dish to your meals!

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{Ingredients (servings 2)}

2 Tbsp. Dried Seaweed

A small Cucumber

1 Tbsp. plus 1 cup Water

2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar

1 tsp. Yamasa Organic Soy Sauce
(Recommended Gluten-Free Soy Sauce)Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic)

1 tsp. Sugar

1 tsp. Cooking Sake

A pinch of Salt

White Roasted Sesame Seeds


Here is my recipe in PDF: Seaweed Salad (Oil-Free)


2 Comments

Sweet Sesame Dressing (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

This is a traditional Japanese side dish which dresses boiled spinach with sweet sesame dressing. It is healthy, delicious, easy and a very quick dish.

The dressing contains sesame, soy sauce and sugar, and it has sweet taste so many kids can also enjoy the dish.

The basic arrangement for many Japanese meals is called “Ichi-juu, San-sai” which consists of one bowl of cooked rice, one kind of soup and three vegetables or fish side dishes, so this is a very common dish in the Japanese diet.

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Enjoy this new healthy side dish!!

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

½ bunch Fresh Spinach

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

1 Tbsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

1 Tbsp. White Roasted Sesame Seeds

Here is my recipe in PDF: Sweet Sesame Dressing