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 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-juu, 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”


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Extremely Healthy “Sautéed Sardine” (Gluten-Free)

Have you ever eaten canned sardines!? It is a great pantry food, which is very useful and delicious! Today I introduce you to “Sautéed Sardines”. This is a canned sardines recipe that is very flavorful, nutritious, and quick!

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I often use canned sardines as a salad topping, sauté dish, pasta ingredient, pizza topping, on rice bowls, and so on.

As you know sardines are very substantial. They are high in protein, calcium, vitamin D, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), vitamin Bs, coenzyme Q10, minerals, and so on. DHA works to activate the brain and EPA works for decreasing LDL cholesterol concentration in the blood and for boosting HDL cholesterol levels. http://nurse-web.jp/kouka/sardine/   http://www.wakasanohimitsu.jp/seibun/sardine/  I highly recommend eating sardines (including canned sardines, dried anchovy, or canned anchovy) everyday.

This time I used skinless and boneless canned sardines, but many canned sardines have skin. Even if your canned sardines have skin or bone, you can follow this recipe (You can eat the skin and bones which are high in calcium).

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In addition, minced green onion is an essential ingredient in the Japanese diet so I always keep minced green onion in the freezer. I add the frozen minced green onion to the dish during the very last part of cooking process. To store, put minced green onions in a freezer bag and place in the freezer. Please use within a month.

{Ingredients (1 serving)}

1 can of Sardines

1 tsp. minced Garlic

1 tsp. minced Ginger

A pinch of Salt and Pepper (to taste)

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

1 Tbsp. minced Green Onion

Here is my recipe in PDF (4 MB): Sauteed Sardines


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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


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Gluten-Free Chicken Dumpling

Shaomai (Chinese dumpling) is basically Chinese dim sum, which is pork meat wrapped in a skin made from flour.

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In my recipe I used ground chicken meat and summer rolls skin, which is made from rice starch and tapioca starch. The taste is definitely amazing, and it is healthy and gluten-free!

It takes about 60 minutes to prepare and cook this recipe, but it is worth the effort because this dumpling has great quality protein and vitamins, and it is very delicious! You can have this as a main dish with rice because rice is a great match!

You can get summer rolls skin at many grocery stores in the US so please try it!!


{Ingredients (15 pieces)}

1 small Onion

3 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

4 Tbsp. Potato Starch or Corn Starch

½ lb. Ground Chicken

½ tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

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

½ Tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil

1 tsp. grated Ginger

4 pieces Rice Paper Skin (made from rice and tapioca)

Some Green leaves such as cabbage (for keeping dumplings from sticking)


Here is my recipe in PDF (7 MB): Chicken Dumpling


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Salmon Chirashi (Gluten-Free)

This is seasoned steamed rice with salmon, egg, dried seaweed and sesame. It is very delicious and looks beautiful with a colorful presentation. Japanese eat steamed rice in at least 2 meals every day. But children tend to leave over steamed rice, which has only a slightly sweet taste, so Japanese mothers cook seasoned steamed rice to help get their children to eat a bowl of rice. This recipe is just mixing steamed rice and other ingredients, so there is no need for special equipment. Buy steamed rice at a Chinese restaurant and you can cook this at home in 30 minutes.

Salmon is rich in nutrients as I wrote in https://japanese-food.org/2015/05/16/creamy-salmon-soup/

However, recently there are many concerns about farmed salmon’s effect on human health. Salmon has worms so farmed salmon is said to become contaminated from drugs to rid salmon farms of worms. People say this has contaminated farmed salmon and may effect our health, such as immune compromise, hypometabolism, deterioration in brain function and so on. Please choose wild salmon or a good untreated farmed salmon. By the way, wild salmon can have worms so we do not eat it raw. The worms disappear when Salmon is heated to over 140F for some minutes or frozen at under -4F for 48 hours.


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

½ lb. Salmon

2 Eggs

1 tsp. Dried Seaweed Flakes

1 tsp. White Roasted Sesame Seeds

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

½ tsp. Salt

1 pint Steamed Rice

Boiled Water (for boiling salmon)


Here is my recipe in PDF (5 MB): Salmon Chirashi


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Creamy Salmon Soup (Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to the creamy salmon soup made with soy milk, bite size salmon and mushrooms. You can use regular milk instead of soy milk if you prefer. You can also use any kind of mushrooms for this recipe.

Salmon is high in protein which is good for digestion and absorption. Also it is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA activates brain cells and EPA improves blood flow and reduces fat and bad cholesterol. In addition, salmon is high in minerals, vitamin Bs, and vitamin D. I can’t say strongly enough that salmon has great antioxidant effects, which are caused by astaxanthin and dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), and this is very good for you. Salmon’s red color is carotenoid, a natural colorant which is called astaxanthin. Removing active oxygen inside the body is one of best ways to be healthy. Recently, however, we see mostly farm-raised salmon in stores and the salmon may be controlled to make their color brighter. So you should choose wild salmon if you can. Astaxanthin in salmon is not breakable under heat and also improves absorption  when we eat with healthy oil so I highly recommend cooking salmon with olive oil or butter.

Enjoy the healthy delicious salmon soup!!


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

½ lb. Salmon

8 oz. Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms (any kind of mushrooms can be used)

1 cup Gluten Free Chicken Flavor Broth

2 cups Soy Milk

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

1 Tbsp. Gluten-Free Margarine

¾ tsp. Salt (total)

A pinch of Black Pepper


Here is my recipe in PDF (6 MB): Creamy Salmon Soup


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Mushroom Rice (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

This is not fried rice, but steamed seasoned rice. In Japan a major part of the diet is RICE. Traditionally we eat white rice with every meal. A long time ago Japanese people ate millet.

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Today, we sometimes mix the rice with other ingredients to make Mushroom Rice, Bamboo Shoot Rice, Chestnut Rice, Greenbean Rice and so on. These are all steamed. If you have a rice cooker, it is very easy to cook!

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Mushroom is low calorie (about 18 kcal per 100 grams). Also high in fiber and high in minerals (especially potassium). I didn’t used dried mushrooms this time, but dried mushrooms are usually high in vitamin D. This dish is cooked in one pot or in a rice cooker so it preserves the nutritions and amazing flavor.

Please enjoy!


{Ingredients (Servings 3)}

2 ¼ cups Premium Rice, Medium Grain

3 oz. Oyster Mushroom

8 oz. Sliced Baby Bella Mushroom

3 pieces of Dried Kelp (5 square inches each)

700 ml Water

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

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

½ tsp. Salt


Here is my recipe in PDF (8MB): Mushroom Rice


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Chicken Meatball Soup

 

This very flavorful soup brings you great nutrition because the ingredients are chicken, green onion, ginger, dried shiitake mushroom and kelp. This dish is high in vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, vitamin D, minerals, beta-carotene, allicin, calcium, protein and so on. Also it is low calorie and low fat. This dish makes you warm, gives your metabolism a boost, and helps improve your immunity so it is great to help you recover from sickness and get back a good appetite.

(Recommended Dried Kelp) Dashi Dried Kelp
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I highly recommend eating kelp occasionally. Recently, it is easy to get dried kelp at many grocery stores and at most Asian markets in the US. Japanese use kelp for Dashi stock and side dish like pickles. Dashi stock is used as seasoning in Japanese dishes. We use several kinds of Dashi stock such as dried anchovy, dried bonito, dried shiitake, dried kelp and so on. The kelp Dashi stock is great to compliment exquisite tasting ingredients. Kelp helps maintain your body’s alkaline. Also kelp has a good amount of fucoidan and iodine which are essential nutrients (in moderation) for humans.


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

½ lb. Ground Chicken

1 Egg

2 Tbsp. minced Green Onion

½ tsp. grated Ginger

1 tsp. plus ½ separate Tbsp. Soy Sauce

½ tsp. plus ½ separate tsp. Salt

1 ½ Tbsp. plus ½ separate Tbsp. Cooking Sake

1 ½ Tbsp. Flour

1 carrot

3 pieces Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

2 cups Kelp Dashi Stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp for Dashi stock) Dashi Dried Kelp

1 cup Water (leftover from soaking Shiitake)


Here is my recipe in PDF (6MB): Chicken Meatball Soup

Here is “Kelp Dashi Stock” recipe in PDF (5MB): Kelp Dashi stock


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Now this is what I call a traditional Japanese homemade dish! (Gluten-Free)

Nikujaga (Japanese style Beef-Potato Stew) is a Japanese simmered dish with a sweet-salty seasoning. It is very popular and everybody likes it.

This dish is one of the “Homemade taste” dishes, and in old Japanese traditions women who can cook this kind of simmered dish were considered full-fledged wives.

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Interestingly, in 1878, a person who had beef stew when visiting England explained to a Japanese chef how the beef stew tasted, and the chef cooked it using his imagination. Eventually that’s where Nikujaga came from. That’s why the ingredients are similar to beef stew.

This is Dashi Dried Kelp I used for Kelp Dashi Stock.
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In Japanese simmered dishes, Dashi stock is the most important thing to add Umami to the dish. I used Kelp Dashi stock this time because I wanted to bring out the flavor of the ingredients. Please see the post on Kelp Dashi stock as a reference.


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

½ lb. Beef (sliced meet)

1 Potato

1 Carrot

1 Onion

1 ½ cups Kelp Dashi stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp for Dashi stock) Dashi Dried Kelp

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

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

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

1 tsp. Sugar

Chopped Green Onion to taste


Here is my recipe in PDF: Beef-Potato Stew

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


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Japanese Savory Pancake

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Okonomi-yaki (Japanese-style savory pizza pancake) is a traditional, well loved, representative cuisine from the west part of Japan (Kansai region). The recipe is very simple. It includes a baking mixture of flour, water, vegetables, shellfish, meat and so on.

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In Japan there are many festival days in summer and many food stalls sell Okonomi-yaki (and usually have long lines because it is so delicious). These stalls cook it on a big cast-iron pan.

This dish is very delicious and easy to cook. It also has a lot of nutrition in one plate, so it was my family’s regular dinner on Sunday, and my father used to cook (this means very easy to cook because my father couldn’t cook anything else)

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My mother always added ground dried anchovy to the mixture to add an anchovy Dashi stock flavor and fabulous nutrition such as calcium and DHA. You can put ground dried anchovy in most dishes to make the dish healthier. It works for omelets, soups, salad dressings, casseroles, pasta, and so on. Dried anchovy adds a slightly salty taste, so it doesn’t bother your dish’s balance. It is easy to grind dried anchovy with food processor (and we can get it at most Asian markets in the US).

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In my recipe, I use “Japanese Sweet Ginger Beef” in the Okonomi-yaki dish. This makes the dish taste great and flavorful. Please see the “Japanese Sweet Ginger Beef” recipe to learn how to prepare the beef.


{Ingredients (2 servings)}

1 ⅓ cups Water

1 ½ cups Flour

½ Cabbage

¼ cup Anchovy Dried Iwashi Fish

4 Eggs

4 Tbsp. “Japanese Sweet Ginger Beef


Here is my recipe in PDF: Japanese Savory Pancake

Here is “Japanese Sweet Ginger Beef” recipe in PDF: Japanese Sweet Ginger Beef