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


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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

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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


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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


42 Comments

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!

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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:


34 Comments

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