Your Home for Homemade Japanese Food

How to cook "with visual instructions" "using familiar ingredients from your local grocery stores" healthy, traditional and delicious Japanese dishes!!


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Spinach and Walnut Salad with Lemon Zest (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten-free)

Are you looking for easy, healthy yet delicious recipes? Well, this dish is for you! “Spinach and walnut salad” which has very fresh taste from lemon zest.

The recipe is very easy and quick. It takes only 5 to 6 minutes. Moreover, you can store it for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

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Ingredients (servings 4)

10 oz. fresh baby spinach

1/4 cup walnuts pieces

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

  1. Boil the spinach for 10 seconds in boiling water. Drain, rinse the spinach under cold running water and wring it dry by hand.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the spinach, walnuts, lemon zest, olive oil. Season with some salt and pepper and mix well.

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Teriyaki Tofu (Gluten-free/Vegan)

Here is a quick video how to cook Teriyaki Tofu.

It is very easy, takes only 25 minutes total, and amazingly delicious!!

Enjoy the authentic teriyaki taste!!



My book Bento for Beginners: 60 Recipes for Easy Bento Box Lunches is now available!!

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{Teriyaki Tofu Ingredients (servings 2)}


7-ounce extra firm tofu

1/2 cup corn starch

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce

2 tablespoons mirin

1 tablespoon cooking sake

1/2 tablespoon sugar



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Eggless Tofu Muffins (Vegan/Vegetarian)

Have you ever thought “NO-EGG TOFU muffins” are good? Well, if you have’t, this muffins may blow you away! Tastes amazingly delicious and  1 muffin has only 164 kcal!!

I experimented so many times to get them the right texture and taste, and this is the best. You won’t taste or smell the tofu when you eat. But if you are really really sensitive to tofu aroma, you can add some squeezed lemon juice to the tofu paste to get rid of the smell completely.

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

Here is a tip for storing: After baking, let it cool and wrap each with freezer-safe wrapper. Keep in the freezer and use within 3 weeks. Before you eat, leave the wrapped muffin out to thaw at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours.



My very first cookbook Bento for Beginners: 60 Recipes for Easy Bento Box Lunches is now available on Amazon!!

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In Japan, it is common to add “Tofu” to some dishes as an ingredient, such as hamburger steak, meatball, pancakes, and so on. It makes the dishes healthier and it requires fewer ingredients.

To make muffins healthier, I use almond milk, a combination of dark brown sugar and white sugar, a combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, and coconut oil. You can use any kind of milk, sugar and vegetable oil as a substitute.

I hope many people can enjoy these muffins! They are also great for people with egg allergies because they contain no eggs or egg products. These muffins are a healthy and delicious treat!


{Ingredients (12 muffins)}

4 Tbsp. Margarine

2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil (I used Coconuts Oil)

35 oz. (¼ pack) Tofu

1 cup Sugar (I used ½ cup White Sugar and ½ cup Dark Brown Sugar)

¾ cups All Purpose Flour

¾ cups Whole Wheat Flour

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1 tsp. Baking Powder

150 ml Soy Milk


Here is my recipe in PDF: Eggless Tofu Muffins


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Perfect and Easy Japanese Rice (gluten-free/ vegan)

Today I introduce you to “How to cook Japanese rice perfectly and easily”. If you have a rice cooker, you can just follow their directions. But if you don’t have one, this is the easiest recipe for perfect Japanese rice.

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Steamed rice is a staple food in Japanese cuisine. Japanese rice has soft texture and rice grains are shiny when it is cooked! We mostly eat rice two or three times a day. Even when we don’t cook, most super markets and convenience stores have many kinds of rice balls and rice products can be cooked in microwave.

Lately, some people add multi-grain rice to white rice when it is cooked to make the dish healthier but steamed white rice remains perennial favorites.



The cookbook Bento for Beginners is now available on Amazon.



 

Tips for cooking Japanese rice;

  • Find dried short-grain white rice, not “sweet sticky rice”.
  • Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes before cooking.
  • The heat level is the key. Once it boils, turn down the heat to very low not to get burned.
  • Do not open the lid when it is cooking even if it bubbles over. Wait patiently.
  • Steam the rice for 10 minutes after cooking.

Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Japanese rice

Tips for storing cooked rice;

Put one portion of cooked rice without cooling down in a glass container with a lid or freezer bag, or wrap with plastic wrap. Store in the freezer and use within 3 weeks. When you eat, put unwrapped frozen rice on a microwave-safe plate  and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes with a cover.

The key to store is to freeze the rice without cooling so it has fresh cooked rice taste even after storing for 3 weeks in the freezer.


Ingredients (4 servings, about 4 cups)

1 ½ cups short-grain white rice (I recommend Koshihikari Rice 4.4 Lb)

1 2/3 cups water


Detailed and visual instructions can be found in the recipe PDF: Japanese rice


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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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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)
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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


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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)
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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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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