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


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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)
*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.


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


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Very Flavorful “Authentic Tofu Miso Soup” (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free)

Today I will teach you “How to make Authentic Homemade Miso Soup” with recipe video and detailed PDF direction. It is very easy to cook and has great flavor and wonderful taste, but I am sure you have never tasted authentic miso soup at most of restaurants in the US.

One of tips for cooking miso soup is to use great Dashi stock. I use different Dashi stocks depending on ingredients in my miso soup. I like to use bonito Dashi stock for vegetable miso soup. I tend to use kelp or anchovy Dashi stock for seaweed and seafood miso soup. Sometimes I use blended Dashi stocks which is very flavorful! If you follow a vegan diet, you can use kelp Dashi stock. I have some homemade Dashi stock recipes in my blog.
Here is “Kelp Dashi Stock” recipe post:  Homemade Kelp Dashi stock / Salted Kelp (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)
Here is “Anchovy Dashi Stock” recipe post: Homemade Anchovy Dashi Stock (Gluten-Free)

But you can also use instant Dashi stock powder to save time. There are a lot of great ones in many Asian markets and also on Amazon.

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Bonito Dashi powder              Kelp Dashi Powder

I want to tell you one more tip to cook delicious miso soup. Basically I use 2 Tbsp. of miso paste for 2 cups of Dashi stock. But you can use less or more miso paste. I tend to use a little bit more miso paste than 2 Tbsp. for vegetable miso soup. I use less than 2 Tbsp. of miso paste for seafood miso soup because I can enjoy the seafood flavor!

Miso soup is an important dish in the Japanese diet. Miso (Soybean paste) is a traditional fermented food product. It is a very nutritious food, and Japanese say it may help keep the doctor away. In fact, there have been many studies of the beneficial effects of Miso on human health. I like to eat miso soup for breakfast more than anything else because I feel energy, my stomach feels comfortable and my head becomes clear. I think my body gets ready for school or work when I have miso soup in the morning.

In this recipe I use tofu. I like tofu miso soup because it is the quickest and easiest miso soup recipe! You can use any vegetables such as onion, potato, spinach, Daikon radish, mushrooms, carrot, bean sprouts, and so on. You can also use any seafood and seaweed for miso soup such as Wakame seaweed, clam, freshwater clam, oyster, lobster, and so on.

The recipe is very easy.

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Boil Dashi stock and cut tofu. Dissolve miso paste.


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

7 oz. (1/2 pack) Tofu

2 cups Dashi Stock (any kind is okay)
(recommended instant kelp Dashi powder)Kelp Dashi Powder
(Recommended instant bonito Dashi powder)Ajinomoto – Hon Dashi

2 Tbsp. ORGANIC Miso Paste

Some minced Green Onion (to taste)


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

Recipe Video on YouTube:


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Sesame Tofu (vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free)

“Sesame Tofu” is not a traditional Japanese dish. I have never had “Sesame Tofu” in Japan. When I had “Sesame Tofu” at a Chinese restaurant in the U.S., I was amazed at how delicious it was! So I tried to cook it myself.

This sesame tofu recipe is perfect! It is not too sweet and not too greasy, so it is in keeping with my dishes. It is a gluten-free and vegan dish! Delicious!! In addition, tofu has a lot of nutrition. As you know, tofu is high in great protein so it is often used as a meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians. Also tofu itself is low calorie (33 kcal / 2 oz.) so it is good food for people who care about their diet.

In this recipe 7 ounces (1/2 pack) of tofu can serve 2 people. You may think it is too small an amount compared to many Chinese restaurants in the U.S. In Japan, people traditionally eat many dishes containing soy beans. For a balanced-diet, which I highly recommend on the post You can Eat Anything You Want! But…, I suggest eating 1/4 pack of tofu every day depending on your other protein sources. If you make this recipe as a main dish, you might want to add some small side dishes to your meal.

The recipe is easy. We can cook with one pan.

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Dry tofu and dredge in corn starch.

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Cook and season.

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

7 oz. (½ pack) Firm Tofu

¼ cup Corn Starch

1 Tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil

2 Tbsp. Cooking Sake

1 Tbsp. Sugar

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

1 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

1 Tbsp. White Roasted Sesame Seeds

Some Chopped Green Onion (to taste)


 

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


36 Comments

Green Beans with Sweet Sesame Dressing (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-Free)

This is a traditional Japanese side dish which is called “Goma-Ae” in Japanese. The dish dresses boiled fresh green beans with sweet sesame dressing. The sesame dressing contains ground white sesame, soy sauce and sugar. It is a healthy, delicious, easy and very quick to prepare dish.

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In Japan we usually use a traditional Japanese mortar and pestle for grinding white sesame. Ground sesame makes the dish very flavorful and it is easy to eat. If you have a spice grinder, you can use it. If you don’t have either a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle you can put sesame seeds in a zipper bag and beat them with a rolling pin until they are ground.

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The basic arrangement for many Japanese meals is called “Ichi-jiru, San-sai,” which consists of one bowl of cooked rice, one kind of soup and three vegetables or fish small portion dishes. So this dish is a very common dish in the Japanese diet.

When you want to add a vegetable dish to your meal or in your lunch box, this is a great choice. Also, you can use any kind of vegetable with this dressing, such as boiled spinach, boiled carrot, boiled broccoli and so on.

The recipe is very quick. It takes only 10 minutes.

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Mix the sauce ingredients, boil fresh green beans and dress.

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You can store this dish in the refrigerator for 3 days. If you want to store longer, please dry the boiled green beans very well before dressing in the sauce and transfer them to a clean container. You can then keep it in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Enjoy this new healthy side dish!!


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

¾~1 pound Fresh Green Beans

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

2 Tbsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. Mirin Sweet Cooking Rice Wine

4 Tbsp. White Roasted Sesame Seeds

Water for boiling green beans

1 Tbsp. Salt for boiling green beans


{Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF}: green-beans-with-sweet-sesame-dressing

{Recipe Video on YouTube}


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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-jiru, 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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Udon Noodle Salad (Vegan/Vegetarian)

Today I introduce you to “Udon Noodle Salad”. This is similar to “Pasta Salad”. In this recipe I used soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and grated ginger for the dressing so the taste is different from general Pasta Salad.

In recipe I used this Organic Udon Wheat Noodle
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It is great for a quick lunch because the recipe is very quick and easy. Of course it is also delicious and healthy. You can use any vegetables that are in your refrigerator.

Here is a tip for storing ginger.

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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).

The recipe is easy.

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Cut vegetables and mix with boiled Udon noodle and the dressing.


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

1 bunch (3.1 oz.) Organic Udon

Boiled Water for boiling noodle

4 Grape Tomatoes

½ cup Frozen Corn

2 leaves of Iceberg Lettuce

1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp. Mizkan Rice Vinegar

½ Tbsp. Pure Sesame Oil

1 tsp. Grated Ginger


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Udon Noodle Salad

How to cook Udon Noodle on YouTube: