Your Home for Homemade Japanese Food

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


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Very Flavorful “Authentic Tofu Miso Soup” (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free)

Today I will teach you “How to make Authentic Homemade Miso Soup” with recipe video and detailed PDF direction. It is very easy to cook and has great flavor and wonderful taste, but I am sure you have never tasted authentic miso soup at most of restaurants in the US.

One of tips for cooking miso soup is to use great Dashi stock. I use different Dashi stocks depending on ingredients in my miso soup. I like to use bonito Dashi stock for vegetable miso soup. I tend to use kelp or anchovy Dashi stock for seaweed and seafood miso soup. Sometimes I use blended Dashi stocks which is very flavorful! If you follow a vegan diet, you can use kelp Dashi stock. I have some homemade Dashi stock recipes in my blog.
Here is “Kelp Dashi Stock” recipe post:  Homemade Kelp Dashi stock / Salted Kelp (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)
Here is “Anchovy Dashi Stock” recipe post: Homemade Anchovy Dashi Stock (Gluten-Free)

But you can also use instant Dashi stock powder to save time. There are a lot of great ones in many Asian markets and also on Amazon.

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Bonito Dashi powder              Kelp Dashi Powder

I want to tell you one more tip to cook delicious miso soup. Basically I use 2 Tbsp. of miso paste for 2 cups of Dashi stock. But you can use less or more miso paste. I tend to use a little bit more miso paste than 2 Tbsp. for vegetable miso soup. I use less than 2 Tbsp. of miso paste for seafood miso soup because I can enjoy the seafood flavor!

Miso soup is an important dish in the Japanese diet. Miso (Soybean paste) is a traditional fermented food product. It is a very nutritious food, and Japanese say it may help keep the doctor away. In fact, there have been many studies of the beneficial effects of Miso on human health. I like to eat miso soup for breakfast more than anything else because I feel energy, my stomach feels comfortable and my head becomes clear. I think my body gets ready for school or work when I have miso soup in the morning.

In this recipe I use tofu. I like tofu miso soup because it is the quickest and easiest miso soup recipe! You can use any vegetables such as onion, potato, spinach, Daikon radish, mushrooms, carrot, bean sprouts, and so on. You can also use any seafood and seaweed for miso soup such as Wakame seaweed, clam, freshwater clam, oyster, lobster, and so on.

The recipe is very easy.

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Boil Dashi stock and cut tofu. Dissolve miso paste.


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

7 oz. (1/2 pack) Tofu

2 cups Dashi Stock (any kind is okay)
(recommended instant kelp Dashi powder)Kelp Dashi Powder
(Recommended instant bonito Dashi powder)Ajinomoto – Hon Dashi

2 Tbsp. ORGANIC Miso Paste

Some minced Green Onion (to taste)


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Tofu Miso Soup

Recipe Video on YouTube:


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Sesame Tofu (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free)

“Sesame Tofu” is not a traditional Japanese dish. I have never had “Sesame Tofu” in Japan. When I had “Sesame Tofu” at a Chinese restaurant in the U.S., I was amazed at how delicious it was! So I tried to cook it myself.

This sesame tofu recipe is perfect! It is not too sweet and not too greasy, so it is in keeping with my dishes. It is a gluten-free and vegan dish! Delicious!! In addition, tofu has a lot of nutrition. As you know, tofu is high in great protein so it is often used as a meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians. Also tofu itself is low calorie (33 kcal / 2 oz.) so it is good food for people who care about their diet.

In this recipe 7 ounces (1/2 pack) of tofu can serve 2 people. You may think it is too small an amount compared to many Chinese restaurants in the U.S. In Japan, people traditionally eat many dishes containing soy beans. For a balanced-diet, which I highly recommend on the post You can Eat Anything You Want! But…, I suggest eating 1/4 pack of tofu every day depending on your other protein sources. If you make this recipe as a main dish, you might want to add some small side dishes to your meal.

The recipe is easy. We can cook with one pan.

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Dry tofu and dredge in corn starch.

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Cook and season.

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

7 oz. (½ pack) Firm Tofu

¼ cup Corn Starch

1 Tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

1 Tbsp. Sugar

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

1 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

1 Tbsp. White Roasted Sesame Seeds

Some Chopped Green Onion (to taste)


 

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF:Sesame-Tofu


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Green Beans with Sweet Sesame Dressing (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

This is a traditional Japanese side dish which is called “Goma-Ae” in Japanese. The dish dresses boiled fresh green beans with sweet sesame dressing. The sesame dressing contains ground white sesame, soy sauce and sugar. It is a healthy, delicious, easy and very quick to prepare dish.

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In Japan we usually use a traditional Japanese mortar and pestle for grinding white sesame. Ground sesame makes the dish very flavorful and it is easy to eat. If you have a spice grinder, you can use it. If you don’t have either a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle you can put sesame seeds in a zipper bag and beat them with a rolling pin until they are ground.

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

When you want to add a vegetable dish to your meal or in your lunch box, this is a great choice. Also, you can use any kind of vegetable with this dressing, such as boiled spinach, boiled carrot, boiled broccoli and so on.

The recipe is very quick. It takes only 10 minutes.

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Mix the sauce ingredients, boil fresh green beans and dress.

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You can store this dish in the refrigerator for 3 days. If you want to store longer, please dry the boiled green beans very well before dressing in the sauce and transfer them to a clean container. You can then keep it in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Enjoy this new healthy side dish!!


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

¾~1 pound Fresh Green Beans

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

2 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

4 Tbsp. White Roasted Sesame Seeds

Water for boiling green beans

1 Tbsp. Salt for boiling green beans


{Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF}: green-beans-with-sweet-sesame-dressing

{Recipe Video on YouTube}


27 Comments

You can Eat Anything You Want! But…

There are many different meanings of “HEALTHY” for each person. Having good nutrition, being positive, being powerful, building up muscles, losing some weight… Also there are many ways to be healthy. Exercise, diet, meditation, sleep…

Today’s post is for people struggling with becoming healthier, but it doesn’t recommend a one size fits all solution about what to do and how to do it. The post is based on my study, research and real-life experiences.

My suggestion to all of you who want to lead a healthy life is that

“You can eat anything you want. But it must be WELL-BALANCED!!”

In your meals, you have to include many COLORFUL ingredients, some different COOKING METHODS and some different TASTES in dishes, and the dishes have to be served in SMALL PORTIONS which you can grab with a hand.

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[Colorful ingredients] Red, Yellow, Green, White, Brown, Purple…

[Cooking methods] Raw, Fermented, Simmered, Boiled, Steamed, Roasted, Grilled, Sautéed, Fried…

[Tastes] Sour taste, Savory, Bitter taste, Pungent taste, Sweet-savory, sweet taste…

[Other suggestions] Only ONE dish of carb (Rice, bread or noodles) in a meal. CHEW well. Not too much fried food.

 

For example, one day my meals consisted of:

Steamed multigrain rice: Steamed, Carb

Onion miso soup: Fermented, Savory

Simmered Daikon: Simmered, Sweet-savory

Scrambled egg and tomato: Pan-fried, Spicy taste

Boiled green beans with sesame dressing: Boiled, Sour taste

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This is what I learned by watching my mother cook so it is easy for me, but I know it is not easy for people who are not used to these sorts of multiple small dishes.

Here are some tips:

*Prepare some dishes ahead of time when you have any spare time. In my recipes, there are a lot of main dishes and side dishes, which can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-5 days or for much longer in the freezer. You don’t need to cook a lot each time.

*If you have to eat one dish as a quick lunch, you can adjust your dinner appropriately.

*If you have to eat out for dinner, you can adjust your breakfast and lunch in advance.

 

This well-balanced cooking also saves you money in your grocery budget and minimizes wasted food because you know your meal composition in advance so you can buy the minimum foodstuffs.

When I was in Japan, I always followed this well-balanced meal composition for my breakfast and lunch. For dinner I often ate out with my co-workers, which meant dinner was not always well-balanced, but at least 2 out of 3 meals were balanced everyday. In addition, I was too busy to work out so I did Yoga for 30 minutes once a week and I had Taiko (Japanese Drum) lessons for 90 minutes twice a month, and that’s it. I was 5.4ft. and 120lb.

After I moved to the US with my husband, we have always worked out 3 times a week (weights, stretching and cardio), and we always eat healthy (salad, soup, chicken, no flour, no fried food… but its still not like the meal composition in Japan). Before I knew it, I gained 15 lb., which may not have been all fat because I did build some of my muscles up.

Still, it was a lot of weight for my frame. So I started my traditional Japanese cooking for most meals. After a week I stopped between-meal eating. After two weeks, I stopped craving snacks or junk food. After three weeks, I lost 7 lb. naturally. Of course, the meals I ate easily make me full so I am not hungry and constantly craving food. My mother and grandmother always said that our brain doesn’t signal us to eat more when our body absorbs varied and good amounts of nutrition. And it happened to me. It is true!!

In addition, when I have these well-balanced meals, I feel very happy, very powerful and have very positive thinking. When we eat a lot of unhealthy food and don’t work out we lack energy, we crave more food and also we have greater risk for many lifestyle-related diseases.

If you want to have pizza, you can have one piece of pizza as a carb, plus your meat with some small portion side dishes which are cooked with various cooking methods and which have various tastes. Don’t keep eating same-taste-same-cooking method food.

I want to also say that eating raw vegetables does not always lead to good absorption of nutrition. For example, cooked tomatoes and carrots have 1.5 times more absorption factor of beta-carotene and lycopene than raw ones. And cooked vegetables have smaller volume than raw vegetables so that means we can get much more nutrition when we eat cooked vegetables compared to eat raw vegetables. On the other hand, some vegetables lose their benefits when cooked too much. For example, over boiling broccoli breaks down it’s vitamin C. We have to choose the correct cooking method based on each vegetable’s characteristics. In my recipes, there are many cooking methods based on each ingredient’s characteristic. This comes from natural internalized attitudes from watching my mother cook.

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Good luck with your happy life!!

 

{Here is my make-ahead recipes}

*(Make sure that you can transfer dishes to the refrigerator after they cool down to room temperature because the steam from the hot food in the container makes the dish go bad easily.)

Chicken meatballs (gluten-free) (in freezer. Microwave when you eat)

Rice croquette (vegetarian) (in freezer. Fry or oven)

Keema Curry (in freezer. Heat in a pan)

Sauteed sardine (gluten-free) (in refrigerator for 3 days)

Spring roll (in freezer. Fry or oven)

Tofu Hamburg Steak (gluten-free) (in freezer. Microwave)

Pan-fried dumplings (in freezer. Microwave)

Simmered taro and chicken (gluten-free) (in refrigerator for 4 days)

Healthy bean side dish “Gomoku-Mame” (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (in refrigerator for 5 days)

Braised Taro (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (in refrigerator for 3 days)

Braised eggplant (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (in refrigerator for 3 days)

Braised vegetables (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (in refrigerator for 3 days)

Chicken Tenderloin with Plum Sauce (gluten-free) (in refrigerator for 3 days)

Ginger and cucumber pickles (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (in refrigerator for 5 days)

Simmered Pumpkin (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (in refrigerator for 3 days)

Simmered Japanese Daikon (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (in refrigerator for 3 days)

“Sio-Konbu” Salted Kelp (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (In refrigerator for 2 weeks)

Potato salad (vegetarian) (in refrigerator for 3 days)

Green pea rice (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (in freezer. Microwave)

Mushroom rice (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (in freezer. Microwave)

Rice porridge (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (in refrigerator for 3 days)

Steamed rice (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free) (in freezer. Microwave)


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Homemade Chicken Teriyaki (Gluten-Free)

Today I will introduce you to “Homemade Chicken Teriyaki”.

This is a main dish I highly recommend. It is a very popular dish all over the world because it is very flavorful and extremely delicious!!

However, in my opinion in the U.S. the taste (from the sauce) is slightly different from Japanese Teriyaki. In the U.S. the Teriyaki sauce is too sweet by Japanese standards.

I want you to be able to taste “Authentic Teriyaki,” which has a great taste and is not greasy. And also I want to show you how to cook juicy chicken using a pan. The tip is pan-frying and steaming. This makes the chicken soft, juicy and perfectly moist.

The recipe is very easy. It takes less than 20 minutes.

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Cook chicken and simmer it with seasonings.


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

2 pieces Chicken Thigh

3 Tbsp. Cooking Sake (total)

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

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

1 tsp. Sugar

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Homemade Chicken-Teriyaki

 

 

Recipe Video on YouTube “How to Cook Chicken Teriyaki”


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Healthy Bean Side Dish “Gomoku-Mame” (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to a traditional Japanese bean side dish “Gomoku-Mame,” which is simmered beans and vegetables. This dish is never served as a main dish, but it is very popular and very important in the Japanese diet.

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The basic rule of traditional Japanese diet is called “Ichi-jiru, San-sai.” This means basic meals should consist of one bowl of cooked rice, one kind of soup and three vegetable or fish side dishes. Of course we don’t have enough time to cook this many dishes when cooking each meal so we tend to stock simmered vegetable dishes in the refrigerator. Lately there are a lot of pre-made, reasonably fresh, store bought vegetable side dishes in Japan. This is because there are many people who are too busy to cook who, however, care about their health and don’t want to eat fast foods.

Also, the Japanese diet contains many kinds of ingredients. We always think “Eat a balanced diet” which means we can have anything we want such as meat, fish, rice, bread, vegetables, seaweed and so on. But we have to be careful about the balance of the ingredients and eat in moderation. Japanese food is very healthy when we follow these rules.

The recipe is very easy.

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Put all ingredients and seasoning in a pan and simmer.

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To store, transfer to a container and keep in the refrigerator. Use within 5 days.


{Ingredients (servings 8)}
*Click BLUE TEXT to link to the product on Amazon*

15.5 oz. Can Northern Beans

1 Carrot

3 Shiitake Mushrooms

5-inch × 5-inch piece Dashi Dried Kelp

1.5 cup Water

1 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

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

1 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Healthy Bean Side Dish “Gomoku-Mame”