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


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Tofu and Edamame with Flavorful Thick Sauce (Vegan/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to a great high protein dish  “Tofu and Edamame with Flavorful Thick Sauce”. This is an incredibly easy, healthy and delicious dish so it is great for weeknight dinners. 

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The seasonings are soy sauce and cooking sake. Also I use corn starch slurry to make the sauce thicker. The thick sauce coats tofu and edamame and you can enjoy all the flavors together. 

I used frozen edamame in the recipe but you can use fresh too. Edamame is a very useful, versatile and nutritious ingredient. You can add it to many dishes, like omelet, soup, salad, rice, pasta and so on. Or you can just snack on boiled edamame! In Japan we traditionally eat edamame as an appetizer when we drink beer at dinner. The reason being that edamame may help the function of the liver which helps breakdown alcohol. At some common Japanese restaurants, Izakaya, they serve edamame right after we are seated before we  order, like bread sticks in an Italian restaurant (mostly the cost is included in the price as a service fee).

The recipe is very easy and quick.

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Place tofu, edamame and seasonings into a pan and cook. Add slurry and serve!

It is a vegan and gluten free dish when you use kelp dashi stock or your favorite vegetable broth, and gluten free soy sauce.

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Ingredients (servings 2)
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½ pack Firm Tofu

½ cup Frozen Edamame

1 cup Dashi stock (any kind)

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

1 Tbsp. Cooking Sake 

1 Tbsp. Corn Starch (for slurry)

2 Tbsp. Water (for slurry)


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Tofu and Edamame Dish

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20 Comments

Simmered Daikon Radish (Vegan/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to “How to Cook Simmered Daikon Radish”. 

If you are a little bit tired of eating vegetables, you should try this. 

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It is delicious, flavorful and low in calories. It has a soft and juicy texture. It is way too good, so I can’t stop eating once I dig in!

Daikon is high in vitamins, minerals, fiber and so on. Also it is easy to digest, so we traditionally eat daikon with other green vegetables and rice porridge after new year’s (we eat a lot of big meals around New Years).

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This recipe is very easy and the dish can be stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of 3 days.

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In my meals, I always have rice, soup and some various side dishes which I make ahead of time. This is an incredibly healthy dish but you need other nutrition as well. This dish can be the main dish for me, but it  actually has the nutrition of a side dish.

Here is the cooking video on my YouTube channel:

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Peel and cut daikon. Simmer with the seasonings for 20 minutes. That’s it!!

I use a knife to peel daikon. This is because daikon has thick fiber under its peel. The fiber doesn’t cook through easily so if you leave it, the final texture is not as good as if you peel it.

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

8~10-inch-length Daikon Radish

2 cups Dashi Stock (any kind)

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

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

1 Tbsp. Eden Mirin, Rice Cooking Wine

Sliced fresh Ginger to taste


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Simmered Daikon Radish


27 Comments

Vegan Quinoa Bowl with Almond Sauce (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to “Vegan Quinoa Bowl with Almond Sauce”. 

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Lately, I love using almond butter for making sauces because it reminds me of Asian flavor!! In this recipe, I use lemon juice, onion powder and garlic powder for the sauce to make the recipe simpler. However, when I combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, almond butter and a hint of sesame oil, it becomes a totally Asian dish!! 

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In addition to the sauce, I use a little bit of warm water to adjust the consistency. You can use some olive oil but since almond butter is high in healthy fat, I don’t need to add unnecessary fat. 

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This dish is wonderful because you can translate the dish into a taste that fits your preference. You can use any kind of vegetables for topping. And if you are not following a vegan diet, it is good to add some cooked chicken!! Plus, you can use any kind of spice in the sauce. I like using some curry powder too!!

The recipe is so simple:
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Cook quinoa. Mix the sauce ingredients. Cut vegetables (Cook them if you need. I cooked the tofu and broccoli). Place everything in a serving plate.

*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Vegan Quinoa Bowl with Almond Sauce

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Ingredients (1 serving)
*Click BLUE TEXT to link to the product on Amazon*

¼ cup Quinoa

½ cup Vegetable Broth

(for topping)

¼ pack (about 3 oz.) Firm Tofu

½ cup Broccoli floret

¼ cup Cooked Corn Kernel

½ Red Bell Pepper

½ cup Baby Arugula 

(for sauce)

1 Tbsp. Classic Almond Butter by Justin’s

Juice of ½ Lemon

2~3 Tbsp. Warm Water

Some Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder


*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Vegan Quinoa Bowl with Almond Sauce


8 Comments

Simple Creamy Sweet Potato Soup & About Soy Milk

Today I introduce you to Simple Creamy Sweet Potato Soup. This is a vegan and gluten-free dish because I use soy milk and don’t use cheese. But the consistency is perfect and the taste is divine. This is the best homemade soup!! (For the final presentation I drizzled some spinach puree.)

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The reason I use soy milk is that I wanted to add protein to the soup. I used regular milk for my cooking when I lived in Japan. However I have used soy milk a lot in my diet since I moved to the US because there are fewer opportunities to get soy nutrients here. When I was in Japan, I had Natto, which is fermented soybeans, miso soup which is also fermented soybeans with salt and koji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae) and used soy sauce for my cooking everyday, and I frequently had tofu dishes and soybean dishes. So I didn’t need to get nutrition from soy milk.

I want to say that soy milk is not milk. It is actually soybeans and water. But now there are many flavors of soy milk products which contain many additives to make it tasty. I think it’s better to drink these soy milk products than to drink sweet soda or sweet fatty beverages. If you don’t like these additives, you can choose Eden Organic Soymilk Unsweetened which has only two ingredients, soybeans and water. It has more of a soybean taste, but it is very healthy!

Now you can drink a glass of pure, unflavored soy milk per day because it’s not milk but just soybeans and water as I said. It is not good, however, to drink soy milk heavily like water. As I sometimes mention on the blog, we need to eat well-balanced meals to be healthier. For example egg is a highly nutritious food but we can’t live by eating only eggs because they don’t contain fiber and vitamin C. It could make you unhealthy if you ate only eggs. My point is you can’t eat huge amounts of soy even if it’s a healthy ingredient.

There are many articles that tell us that soy is a danger. If you ask me, you have to know “Appropriate quantities”. In Asia we eat large amounts of soy food and mostly live long and healthy lives. So how can we eat soy products and be healthy without risks!? Eat small portions of several kinds of food at each meal, which gives you a well-balanced meal. Read also You can Eat Anything You Want! But…

I use soy milk only for cooking soup or for my cereal about twice a week. I have 1/4 pack (3oz.) of tofu twice a week, miso soup every other day and use soy sauce for my cooking everyday. And I am totally healthy!!

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My suggestion is to use several kinds of milk substitutes wisely in your meal. You can use any kind of milk for this recipe if you want but I highly recommend to use soy milk for cooking because that makes your dish nutritious and delicious!! If you can, try to use unsweetened soy milk which contains only soybeans and water for cooking. It’s very healthy!!!

The recipe is very easy!

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Sauté cut onion and sweet potato. Simmer with vegetable stock. Add soy milk and blend with a hand blender.

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

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Ingredients (servings 2)

1 Sweet Potato

1 Onion

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil or Margarine

½ tsp. Salt

1 cup Vegetable Stock

1 ½ cups Soy Milk


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


9 Comments

Very Flavorful and Yummy! Herb Tofu (Vegan/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to “Herb Tofu”. This is a very flavorful, delicious and healthy protein ingredient for your salad!!

The recipe is very easy and the taste is so perfect! No more tasteless tofu!! This is because I season the diced tofu before draining. This means the tofu sponges up all the seasonings while it drains. I tried and tried to cook herb tofu many times to make the taste right. This recipe finally achieves the result I wanted! I used 1 tsp. each of 7 kinds of seasonings: salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika powder, dried oregano, dried dill, dried basil. You can use any kind of herbs you want but you shouldn’t change the percentage of salt. When the salt rate is higher or lower than this, it makes the tofu very salty or tasteless. I hope this makes your salad tastier and healthier!!

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Mix seasonings and sprinkle the mixed seasonings on diced tofu. Drain for 15-20 minutes with paper towels. Cook for 8-10 minutes.

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

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Ingredients (servings 2)

1 pack (14 oz.) Extra Firm Tofu

1 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Onion Powder

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tsp. Paprika Powder

1 tsp. Dried Oregano

1 tsp. Dried Dill

1 tsp. Dried Basil Leaves


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


31 Comments

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.

 

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Ingredients (servings 4)
*Click BLUE TEXT to link to the product on Amazon*

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


39 Comments

Delicious & Healthy! Shiitake Mushrooms & Ginger Side Dish (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

Today I introduce you to a Japanese traditional side dish which has a sweet-savory taste. In this recipe, various ingredients are slowly simmered in the sauce so that the ingredients have great flavor and great taste. I can’t stop eating it when I make it because it is so delicious!!

I used shiitake mushrooms and ginger this time.

Shiitake mushrooms are low in calories and also are a nutritious vegetable. They are high in vitamin D, fiber and vitamin B. If grocery stores near you don’t have fresh shiitake mushrooms, you can use dried shiitake mushrooms. Dried shiitake mushrooms have more vitamin D than fresh ones. The day before cooking, soak in water to reconstitute in the refrigerator.

As you know ginger is also very nutritious. It makes our metabolism active and our body warm. The dish has a lot of awesome ginger flavor! If you or your family don’t like ginger’s pungent taste very much, you can cook the dish without ginger.

Here are some tips to store shiitake mushrooms and ginger. I always freeze shiitake mushrooms in a zipper plastic bag. Cut to the proper size for the dish and cook without defrosting. Use within 1 month. I also freeze peeled fresh ginger and wrap it with aluminum foil. I use it within 3 month.

The recipe is very easy and you only need a pan.

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Put prepared ingredients together in a pan at same time.
If you like vinegar taste, you can add 1~2 tsp. of rice vinegar as a secret ingredient. Delicious!!
Simmer with aluminum foil cover to cook and macerate evenly.
*Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Shiitake Mushrooms Side Dish

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To store, transfer it to a clean container and keep in the refrigerator. Use within 7 days.

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Ingredients (servings 2)

7 pieces (3.5 oz.) Shiitake Mushrooms

2 small pieces Sliced Ginger

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

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

1 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

¼ cup Water


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Shiitake Mushrooms Side Dish