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


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Vegetarian Pan-Steamed Gyoza Dumplings

Today I introduce you to Pan-Steamed Vegetarian Gyoza Dumplings. There are a lot of ways to cook Gyoza in Japan and this is my mother’s original recipe which is easy and delicious.

This time I used only vegetables. I used Shiitake mushrooms, cabbage and tofu. You can add any kind of ground meat if you want.

Also, I used Wonton wrappers because I can’t find Japanese Gyoza wrappers around here. I explain how to wrap the filling and provide you with easy-to-follow directions with pictures in my recipe PDF. If you can find Gyoza wrappers, of course you can use those.

When you hear “Pan- Steamed”, you might think you need a special pan. Don’t worry, you can cook this with just a regular pan. I think the wrapping part takes a little bit of time, but it is worth it because Gyoza are very delicious!!

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Cook the cut vegetables and season.

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Wrap the filling with wrappers. If you want to store Gyoza, you can keep them in the freezer using a plastic freezer bag.

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Cook with 1/4 cup of water in a pan with a lid.

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF:Pan-Steamed Vegetarian Gyoza Dumplings

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Here is a tip for storing ginger. 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).


Ingredients (about 35 pieces)
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6 Shiitake Mushrooms

4 Cabbage Leaves

3.5 oz. (¼ pack) Firm Tofu

1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

1 tsp. Grated Ginger

¼ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. Pepper

Wonton Wrappers

Sesame Oil for cooking

Water for steaming


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF:Pan-Steamed Vegetarian Gyoza Dumplings


23 Comments

My Mother’s Homemade Simple Fried Rice

Today I introduce you to my mother’s Homemade Fried Rice.

When I was child, we had steamed rice all the time in my house. So when my mother thought about the menu for our meals she checked in the refrigerator and came up with recipes for main dish and side dishes using the ingredients we had in the refrigerator. Sometimes (especially lunches before grocery shopping) we didn’t have enough ingredients for most main dish and side dishes, so she always cooked this fried rice because it has great carb, vitamins and protein all in one dish and it is delicious! I love this simple fried rice anytime. This is also a great dish for busy-day-meals!!

The ingredients are onion, turkey sausage and green bell pepper, and the seasonings are just salt and pepper. Any kind of meat and vegetables are okay. In the recipe I don’t mention how much salt and pepper I use because if you use other kinds of meat such as bacon or spicy sausage, you might need to adjust the amount of salt and pepper to avoid a strong taste.

The recipe is easy and quick!

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Cook chopped vegetables and meat. Add steamed rice and season.

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Homemade Fried Rice


Ingredients (1 serving)

1 Turkey Sausage

¼ Green Bell Pepper

½ Onion

A cup Steamed Rice

1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Salt and Pepper


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Homemade Fried Rice


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The Best Salmon Recipe! Juicy and Tender “Steamed Salmon with Butter” (Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to Steamed Salmon with Butter. The dish is very tasty and is great for fancy dinners, but it is so easy because it is cooked in the oven. You can do other things while the meal cooks. Plus the cleanup is also easy because the salmon is wrapped with foil. Best of all, because the salmon is wrapped and cooked, the dish has great flavor and a very tender and juicy texture, which is very difficult to achieve when salmon is baked.

Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), and high in vitamins. More important still, salmon’s pink color is from Carotenoid Astaxanthin which is a very strong antioxidant material. However, today we see mostly farm-raised salmon in stores and the salmon may be bred to make their color brighter. So you should choose wild salmon if you can.

The recipe is very easy.

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Preheat oven to 400 °F. Place some sliced onion on greased foil. Put salmon on the onion. Season with salt and pepper, and put some butter on the salmon. Add any side vegetables you like. Cook in the oven for 25~30 minutes (depending on the thickness of salmon).  I recommend thinner salmon for all salmon recipes because it is easy to cook through evenly and quickly.

*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Steamed Salmon With Butter

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Ingredients (servings 1)

1 reasonably thin Salmon fillet

½ Onion

1 tsp. Butter or Margarine

Salt and Pepper

Vegetables (such as carrots, broccoli, bell peppers to taste)


*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Steamed Salmon With Butter

Here is “Steamed Salmon with Butter” recipe video on YouTube:


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Delicious, Easy and Healthy Pan-Fried Vegetables (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to an easy, healthy, delicious and useful vegetable side dish. This is a traditional Japanese side dish which is called “Kinpira”. The seasonings are soy sauce, cooking sake and sugar. It has a great sweet-savory taste and the vegetables have a crunchy texture. Delicious!! If you use gluten free soy sauce, this can be a vegan and gluten free dish.

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In Japan we usually use Gobo (Burdock Root) for this recipe but I can’t find that easily near here so I use potato and carrot. It is so tasty and the recipe is very easy!!

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Heat sesame oil in a pan and cook the sliced vegetables. Season with sugar, soy sauce and cooking sake and stir-fry. You can store for 3~4 days in the refrigerator.

*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Pan Fried Vegetables Side Dish

If you don’t follow a vegetarian diet, you can add thin sliced pork or small pieces of chicken. Also I sometimes add bonito or kelp Dashi powder. These bring a hearty taste to the dish!!

In addition, you can make this dish spicy so you can add some sliced red pepper if you like.

If you don’t like to use alcohol in your cooking, you can use any kind of Dashi stock or broth instead of using cooking Sake.


Ingredients (servings 4)
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1 Carrot

1 large Potato

1 Tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil

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

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

½ Tbsp. Sugar

½ Tbsp. White Roasted Sesame Seeds (to taste)


*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Pan Fried Vegetables Side Dish


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Potato Croquette (Vegetarian)

I introduce you to “Simple Potato Croquette”. This is a great main dish for dinner and also a great snack for kids after school. The ingredients are potato and onion. Usually we add ground meat to the patties before frying in Japan, but when you don’t have any ground meat in the refrigerator or if you follow a vegetarian diet, you don’t need to add any meat. You can use sweet potato if you want. Just adjust the seasoning because sweet potato has a different taste from regular potato. Also you can add various ingredients, such as carrot, broccoli, spinach, corn, cheese, crab meat and so on.

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Boil potatoes, sauté onions and mix well like mashing potatoes. Season with some salt and pepper.

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Make into patties, flour, dip in beaten egg and dredge the patties in bread crumbs.

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Fry. To store, put the patties in a plastic zipper bag and keep in the freezer. You can store before and after frying either way.

*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Potato Croquette

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Please do not drain the used oil in the sink. Put some kitchen papers in a can or a jar which you don’t need and pour the cooled used oil in. Throw it out as regular garbage.


Ingredients (about 8 pieces)

2 large Potatoes

1 Onion

¼ cup Flour

1 Egg

¾ cup Bread Crumbs

Salt and Pepper (for seasoning)

Water (for boiling potatoes)

Vegetables Oil (for cooking onion and frying croquettes)


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Potato Croquette


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Flaked Salmon (Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to “Flaked Salmon”. This has a very fluffy texture and a slightly salty salmon taste. Very yummy!!

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With similar uses as a can of tuna, you can sprinkle on your salad or rice, and also toss in boiled spaghetti along with some chopped green onion.

I love flaked salmon more than canned tuna though, so I regularly keep it in the refrigerator. In Japan, we can buy jars of flaked salmon easily at grocery stores, but I can’t find it where I live in the US, so I cook it. It is very quick and easy. You need just salmon, salt and boiled water. It takes only 15 minutes total.

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At first boil salmon, shred it, and then stir-fry the shredded salmon. Season with salt. Store in the refrigerator and use within 5 days.

*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Flaked Salmon

The best tip for cooking this dish is to not overcook the salmon. Overcooking makes the salmon dry and hard. Boil for 5 minutes (It is okay even if the salmon isn’t cooked through yet) and stir-fry for 2~3 minutes.


Ingredients (servings 2 for pasta)

1 fillet Salmon

½ tsp. Salt

Boiled Water for boiling salmon


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Flaked Salmon

Here is “Flaked Salmon” recipe video on YouTube (I am sorry that there are some little image noises):


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Japanese-Style Hot Pot (Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to Japanese-style chicken tenderloin hot pot. It is great for dinner on cold nights,  and also great for dinner on busy nights because the recipe is very easy. You can just set the ingredients in a skillet and simmer with soup. The soup ingredients are Dashi stock, soy sauce and cooking Sake. You can use any kind of Dashi stock.

Here is my “Kelp Dashi Stock” recipe post:  Homemade Kelp Dashi stock / Salted Kelp (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)
Here is my “Anchovy Dashi Stock” recipe post: Homemade Anchovy Dashi Stock (Gluten-Free)

Also you can use instant Dashi stock powder to save time. Here are my recommended Dashi powders on Amazon.

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Ajinomoto – Hon Dashi

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Kelp Dashi Powder

The dish is very nutritious because the soup contains a lot of Umami and great vitamins and minerals from all ingredients. And it uses no oil and is gluten-free! Also, chicken tenderloin is high in protein and low in calories. In fact, some Japanese who want to lose weight eat this for dinner everyday. Once they reach their ideal weight, they will go back to their normal diet.

The recipe is very easy. You can cook using one skillet.

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Set vegetables in a skillet and add Dashi stock and seasoning.
Once the vegetables get tender, add green onion and chicken tenderloin.

*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in my recipe PDF: Japanese Style Hot Pot


Ingredients (servings 2)
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7 oz. (½ pack) Firm Tofu

3 Green Onions

2 pieces Chicken Tenderloin

8~10 leaves Napa Cabbage

1 Carrot

5 Shiitake Mushrooms

2 cups Dashi Stock (any kind)

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

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Japanese Style Hot Pot