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


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Mashed Taro Cakes (Gluten Free/Vegan/Vegetarian)

Today I introduce you to “Mashed Taro Cakes” which is my mother’s original recipe. She cooked it with leftover “Braised Taro” which I taught you how to make in my previous post on April 14. When I was child, I loved these “Mashed Taro Cakes” more than “Braised Taro”. These two recipes have the same taste but they have a different texture.

I used the same sauce as I did with the “Braised Taro” recipe, which tastes salty-sweet. You use the sauce to finish the cakes, but you can eat them without the sauce. In fact, you can simply use salt and pepper because the taro has already absorbed the delicious sauce. Also, I coated the mashed taro patties in corn starch so the outside of the cakes are crunchy and the inside are smooth. It is very delicious!! I am sure many kids will like this dish.

Taro is high in potassium and water. Taro also is lower in calories than other kinds of potato. When you chew taro, it can feel slightly gooey. This feeling comes from mucin, which is also in our saliva and stomach juice, and it helps the stomach function better.

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

10 small “Braised Taros”

½ cup Corn Starch

3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Here is my recipe in PDF: Mashed Taro Cakes

Here is “Braised Taro” recipe in PDF: Braised Taro

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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


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Grated Japanese Yam (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

This recipe is just grated Japanese yam. Japanese sometimes eat grated yam by itself, pour it on steamed rice, or put it on noodles, and so on.

Japanese yam is a very nutritious vegetable as I told at https://japanese-food.org/2015/05/12/japanese-yam-salad/

The yam has a sticky texture because of Mucin, one of it’s ingredients. Especially when the yam is grated, the texture become more smooth and sticky, and this sticky texture gives our bodies some great benefits, such as protecting our mucous membranes in the stomach, protecting our body from some viruses and so on. Mucin is a soluble fiber and helps keep water in our cells.

Traditionally, people say the grated Japanese yam loosened phlegm, so I used to eat it when I caught a cough. Additionally, the yam is easy to digest so it is good food when you are sick.

It is easy, simple and quick. Nothing difficult. Just grate the yam and mix with some Japanese Dashi stock.


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

5-inch length Japanese Yam

¼ cup Kelp Dashi Stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp for Dashi stock) Dashi Dried Kelp

A splash of Soy Sauce
(Recommended Gluten-Free Soy Sauce)Soy Sauce REDUCED SODIUM [Gluten Free] (Organic)

⅛ tsp. Japanese Wasabi Paste
(Recommended Gluten-Free Wasabi Powder)Organic Seasoning Wasabi Powder


Here is my recipe in PDF (3 MB): Japanese Yam

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


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Japanese Yam Salad (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

Have you ever had Japanese yam?

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It is a kind of potato that grows straight into the ground so it has a long shape. (It sometimes grows to more than 3 feet).

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In Japan, people have eaten the yam for about 3000 years. Therefore, the yam is very important to the Japanese diet.

We can eat this yam raw because it has a gelatinized starch and some of the nutrition in this type of yam are breaks under heat. The Japanese yam is rich in diastase, a digestive enzyme which helps our digestion and absorption of nutrition into the body. Also the yam is high in vitamin B1, vitamin C, calcium, potassium and mucin.

Mucin is soluble fiber and helps keep water in our cells. Therefore, it protects our mucous membranesin the stomach, and protects our body from some viruses. Some studies say the yam also prevents dry eyes because mucin is an ingredient in tears. Mucin gives the yam a great smooth, sticky texture, especially when it is grated. This is great for our body. It heals our tiredness and helps our digestion, so the yam is great for your diet when you are recovering from being sick, when you have no appetite, and so on.

(The yam has Calcium oxalate, so it can sometimes make you feel itchy on your hands or around your lips when you touch it, but you feel better as soon as you wash the itchy part with acid water (a mixture of vinegar and water). In rare case some people are allergic to the yam, so if it gives you a weird feeling inside your mouth, you have to stop eating it and call a doctor.)

Today, I introduce you to Japanese yam salad. It is very simple and easy. I always use pickled plum sauce because it is extremely healthy and is a fermented food. But you can use any dressing you want, because the yam doesn’t have strong flavor so it won’t change the taste of your favorite dressing taste!

Enjoy your new nutritious salad!!!


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

4-inch length Japanese Yam

½ Cucumber

1 Pickled Plum

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

2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar (total)

2 cups Water


Here is my recipe in PDF (4 MB): Japanese Yam Salad


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Creamy Chicken Stew

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Japanese stew is based French stew, but adapted for Japanese tastes. We cook stew a lot in the winter. The two main types of Japanese stew are creamy white stew and beef stew.

Today I introduce you to Creamy Chicken Stew. Japanese usually cook stew with thick white roux.

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But we can also cook with margarine, flour and soy milk to make the dish healthier. You can use butter and milk instead of margarine and soy milk.

This recipe is similar to Chicken Pot Pie recipe. So I am sure you will like cooking and tasting this stew.

The ingredients are taro, onion, carrot and chicken breast. Here, you can use potato instead of taro and chicken thigh instead of chicken breast if you prefer. However, Taro’s gruel, which is a result of mucin, makes the stew’s consistency rich and helps with digestion.

It is great to have during the cold winter months!!


{Ingredients (Serves 2)}

½ lb. Chicken Breast or Thigh

1 Carrot

1 Onion

4 Taros

2 Tbsp. Margarine

3 Tbsp. Flour

½ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. Black Pepper

1 cups Chicken Stock

1 ¾ cups Soy Milk


Here is mu recipe in PDF: Creamy Chiken Stew


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Simmered Taro and Chicken (Gluten-Free)

Simmered food is a traditional delicious Japanese dish. There are many kinds of vegetable or fish simmered dishes, such as root vegetables, eggplant, lettuce, flounder, anchovy and so on. My mother carefully taught me how to cook simmered dishes because traditionally these dishes are called “Homemade taste,” and in old Japanese traditions women who can cook simmered dishes were considered full-fledged wives, so my mother thought I might want to cook these dishes well for my husband. Of course, we live in a different era today and my husband and I often cook together so we have the great culinary tradition without the sexist overtones.

Basically, the ingredients are root vegetables so the dish includes a lot of fiber which is good for helping digestion. I also used chicken breast which it is low in fat and high in great protein.

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Taro is an important ingredient in homemade taste Japanese dishes. You can get it easily at most grocery stores in the US. Taro is high in potassium and water. Taro also is lower in calories than other kind of potato. When you chew taro, it can feel slightly gooey. This feeling comes from mucin, which is also in our saliva and stomach juice, and it helps the stomach function better.

Enjoy this traditional, nutritious and delicious dish!!

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

0.5 lb. Chicken Breast or Thigh

1 peeled Carrot

1 peeled Onion

4 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

1 cup Water (leftover from soaking Shiitake)

3 Taros

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

5 tablespoons Cooking Sake

4 tablespoons Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

Here is my recipe in PDF: Simmered Taro and Chicken