Your Home for Homemade Japanese Food

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


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.

513FYW8tTcL

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.

Collage_Fotornegi

Cut washed green onions and dry on paper towels. Put  in a freezer bag and freeze in freezer. Use within 1 month.

IMG_7708

Simmer all vegetables with Dashi stock and seasonings.

Collage_Fotorokara

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

 

Advertisements


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.

a1180_010693_m

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.

Collage_Fotor

Slice eggplant, knead with salt and let it sit for 20 minutes.

Collage_Fotor2

Wash the eggplant and season with grated ginger, soy sauce and white sesame seed.

Here is a tip for storing ginger.

Collage_Fotor

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


3 Comments

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


8 Comments

Tofu Steak with Vegetable Sauce (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten Free)

This is my mother’s original recipe for cooked tofu with a thick tender vegetable sauce seasoned with soy sauce. It is a simple and delicious main dish.

Tofu was brought to Japan from China about 800 years ago. Since then, tofu is one of the main sources of protein in the Japanese diet. Tofu is very nutritious and it is well-absorbed by the body.

You can use any vegetables you want for this sauce. You can also use any kind of Dashi stock so it is a good dish for vegetarians too.

I hope this recipe will be one of your favorite tofu-dish recipes!

{Ingredients (servings 2)}

7 oz. (half pack) Firm Tofu

½ Green Bell Pepper

4 Baby Bella Mushrooms

1 clove Garlic

½ cup Kelp Dashi Stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp for Dashi) Dried Kelp
*You can use any kind of Dashi stock: (Recommended Instant Dashi Stock) Ajinomoto – Hon Dashi

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

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

Salt and Pepper (for seasoning)

1 tsp. Potato Starch (for slurry)

2 tsp. water (for slurry)

Here is my recipe in PDF: Tofu Steak with Vegetable Sauce

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

Here is “Anchovy Dashi Stock Recipe” in PDF: Homemade Anchovy 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.)

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.

IMG_7770_Foodgawker

{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

Please add this healthy side dish to your meals!

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


5 Comments

Delicious Braised Eggplant (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

Following the previous post “This is what I call a great traditional Japanese dish!”,

https://japanese-food.org/2015/11/05/this-is-what-i-call-a-great-traditional-japanese-dish/

I will introduce you to one more traditional Japanese vegetable side dish which is called “Braised Eggplant”. This is also from Buddhist cuisine. It is very delicious, healthy and low-calorie!

If you like eggplant, I highly recommend you try this! You can enjoy the flavorful, tender, and yummy eggplant. The recipe is very easy and very traditional. I simmer eggplant in Japanese Dashi stock, soy sauce, cooking Sake and Mirin. If you like the flavor in Japanese dishes  you should keep soy sauce, cooking Sake, Mirin and Dashi stock on hand (here is my Dashi stock recipe in PDF: Homemade Anchovy Dashi StockKelp Dashi stock ) (also some Asian markets carry useful Dashi stock powder). If you want to try more healthy dishes but you are not a big fan of Japanese flavors, you can just simmer the eggplant in vegetable stock and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. This is also a healthy and low-calorie dish. Unfortunately, however, if you cook it this way you will not get the protein that we get from soy sauce. In fact, my family doesn’t eat soy beans often, we usually get the soy nutrition from soy sauce, Tofu, Miso (soy bean paste), Natto (fermented soy beans), soy milk and so on.

In this recipe, I didn’t peel the eggplant because one of the important nutrients, Anthocyanin (antioxidant), is found in high amounts in eggplant skin. If you don’t like the gooey texture that the skin adds you can peel the eggplant.


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

½ Eggplant

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

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

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine


Here is my recipe in PDF (4 MB): Braised Eggplant

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


5 Comments

This is what I call a great traditional Japanese dish!(Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

People have use this recipe since about 1300 years ago. This dish is typical Buddhist cuisine. Buddhist cuisine is cooked based on Buddhist concepts. The ingredients are mainly beans and vegetables. But the dishes are flavorful and nutritious because they were created to charge the energy of Samurai.

photo2_large

This recipe is a basic Japanese dish in which I cut vegetables and simmer in Japanese Dashi stock. The Dashi stock is the most important ingredient. If you can’t prepare Dashi stock, you can use vegetable stock or chicken stock as a substitute for Japanese Dashi stock. Of course the flavor will change but it will still be healthy! In a similar way, you can use white wine as a substitute for cooking Sake.

This is a side dish so you can have it along with or in place of a salad with your meal!


{Ingredients (servings 2)}

1 Carrot

3 Shiitake Mushrooms

½ bunch Fresh Spinach

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

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

1 cup Kelp Dashi stock
(Recommended Dried Kelp for Dashi stock) Dashi Dried Kelp
*Any kind of Dashi stock is okay*
(Recommended instant bonito Dashi powder)Ajinomoto – Hon Dashi

¼ tsp. Salt


Here is my recipe in PDF (5 MB): Braised Vegetables

Here is my Kelp Dashi stock recipe in PDF: Kelp Dashi stock

Here is my Anchovy Dashi stock recipe in PDF: Homemade Anchovy Dashi Stock