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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Homemade Mochi Ice Cream with Gluten-free Wrapper

Today I will teach you how to make “Homemade Mochi Ice Cream”. The mochi wrapper is made of glutinous rice flour (mochiko), sugar and water. The dish can become vegan, vegetarian, and/or non-dairy depending on the kind of ice cream you choose.

This impressively easy recipe may get you out of shopping for overpriced mochi ice cream products.


Ingredients (about 6 mochi wrappers)



Here are some tips. 

1. You may consider reducing the amount of sugar to make healthier wrappers. The good news is you can use 1.4 oz. of sugar, 0.7 oz. of sugar or even a non-sugar sweetener that can be used in cooking, instead of 2.8 oz. of sugar. However, when you use less sugar or artificial sweeteners the wrappers only stay good if you eat them soon after making the dish. This is because wrappers containing less than 2.8 oz. freeze hard in the freezer and you lose the nice and soft mochi texture. Therefore I recommend using twice as much glutinous rice flour to prevent the mochi from freezing solid. 

2. The dough is very sticky. Using a fork when stirring is better than a spoon or spatula.



[Recipe]

1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the rice flour and sugar. Mix well. Add the water gradually, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming. Microwave (1000w) for 1 minute. Remove the bowl and stir for 1 minute. Microwave for another 1 minute and stir again for 1 minute. At this point, the dough should become translucent. 

*If the dough doesn’t have enough sugar, the white dough won’t turn a translucent color.

2. Place the dough on a well-dusted work surface. You should use cornstarch to dust the surface. Sprinkle more cornstarch on the dough. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, roll out the dough using your fingertips until it is a very thin layer (about 0.2 inch-thick). Cut into 6-equal-pieces.

*You can wrap each mochi wrapper and store in the freezer for 3 weeks. 

3. Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop about 1 heaping tablespoon of well-frozen ice cream and place on the center of a piece of mochi wrapper. Seal the edge of the wrapper with fingers. 

*Using a small amount of ice cream makes your work easier until you get used to it.

*Freezing small-ball-sized ice cream in advance also helps your work.

You can enjoy this delicious mochi ice cream as soon as you make it, or you can store in the freezer until it is served.


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Scrumptious Mochi stuffed Fried Tofu Abura-Age (Vegan/Gluten-free)

Today I introduce you to “Mochi stuffed Fried Tofu Abura-Age in Dashi Soup”. The abura-age is juicy from soaking in delicious dashi soup and the mochi has a nice and soft texture.

Abura-age is a common food in Japan, deep-fried thin sliced tofu. You can find it in many Asian grocery stores.

Mochi is a traditional Japanese food. It is a soft rice cake made from steamed sticky rice. There are some products called MOCHI ice cream which is ice cream wrapped with a thin pieces of mochi. This sometimes makes people think all mochi is ice cream related. Therefore, please be aware that in Japan when you order mochi you will get a soft and sticky rice cake rather than ice cream.

Mochi staffed fried tofu is a very popular ingredient for hot pot dishes in Japan.


Ingredients (serving 2)


The recipe is easy.

Drizzle abura-age with boiling water to remove excess oil from their surface. Cut in half, put a piece of mochi in, and seam with a toothpick.

In a sauce pan, combine water, dashi stock powder, carrot, daikon radish, shiitake mushroom, cooking sake, soy sauce and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add the mochi staffed abura-age and cook for 5 minutes. Flip them halfway through.


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Pickled Lotus Root (gluten-free/vegan)

Today I introduce you to “Pickled Lotus Root” which is basically one of Japanese new year’s dish. But it is delicious, easy-to-cook and very healthy so I make it all the time. The dish can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Lotus root is high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and polyphenol. Their crunchy texture is amazing! Lotus root is versatile enough to be eaten deliciously in every cooking way, such as tempura, sauté, simmering, and roasting.


Ingredients (servings 2-3)


The recipe is very easy. It takes less than 10 minutes.

  1. Slice the lotus root thinly and soak in some water for about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a microwavable bowl, combine mirin, salt, vinegar, sugar and water, and mix well.
  3. Drain off the water from the lotus root and add the lotus root to the vinegar mixture.
  4. Cover the bowl, microwave for 1 minute, and sprinkle some crushed red pepper to taste. Let it cool at room temperature before serving or storing in the refrigerator.


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Datemaki, Japanese Traditional Pan-Fried Egg (Vegetarian)

This is a Japanese traditional New Year’s dish called Datemaki. It mainly contains egg and fish paste and has sweet taste and smooth texture.

Today I use tofu as substitute for fish paste because tofu is easily available, it is delicious, and it becomes a great dish for people who follow vegetarian diet.

For good final presentation, you may as well use Makisu which is a bamboo sushi mat, but you can use a piece of parchment paper if you don’t have Makisu.


Ingredients (servings 2)

• 7 oz (198g) firm tofu

• 4 eggs

• 4 tablespoons sugar

• 1 tablespoon Mirin, Japanese sweet cooking rice wine

• 1/2 tablespoon Yamasa Marudai Zu Soy Sauce


The recipe is easy but takes a little bit time. You can store this dish in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days so you may want to make ahead and serve it later.

Drain tofu, wrap with paper towels and place on a plate. Put a weight, such as a heavy plate, on the wrapped tofu for at least 1 hour to drain completely. (Change the paper towels halfway through if they are completely soaked).

Combine the drained tofu, eggs, sugar, mirin and soy sauce in a bowl. Mix well using a hand blender until smooth.

Heat a dry non-stick skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, then coat the skillet with cooking spray. Put the hot skillet on a damp cloth to let the bottom of the skillet cool down slightly. Next, put the skillet on the range back and pour in all of the egg mixture. Put a lid on the skillet and cook for 12 minutes over low heat. Then turn the heat off and let it sit on the range for 5 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and let it sit another 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes cool enough to handle.

Place the egg on a Makisu or a piece of parchment paper. Roll it into a tight jelly roll. Put a rubber band around the roll and let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour to cool down. Then refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow it set up before cutting and serving.



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Carrot and Daikon Radish Sweet Pickles (Gluten-free/Vegetarian)

Today I will introduce you to “Japanese traditional New Year’s food”. 

New year is very important event in Japan. Anciently Japan had a tradition that people wouldn’t shop or cook for the first three days of New Year. Therefore, people cook lots of colorful dishes that last long on 31st December and put them in beautiful boxes together for the three days, which is called Osechi. Each dish has auspicious meaning, such as health, longevity, and safety of the year.  Lately some shops and restaurants are open on New Year’s day, but many people make/buy Osechi and celebrate the New Year. 

This dish “carrot and daikon radish sweet pickles” is called “Namasu”. It has red and white color so it is considered as a happy dish.

The recipe is very easy and the dish last for about 5 days in the refrigerator so it is a versatile dish for any occasion.

Cut the daikon radish and carrot into about 3-inch-length thin strips. Combine the vegetables and salt in a zip-top bag or in a bowl and knead gently. Let it sit for 10 minutes until the vegetables become tender.

Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, sugar and dash powder in a microwavable bowl. Microwave for 40 seconds, mix well and set aside. Wring the vegetables dry by hand and add in the vinegar mixture.


• 6-inch-length daikon radish, peeled and cut in half

• 1 small carrot, peeled

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 3 tablespoons rice vinegar

• 2 tablespoons sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon Kombu Dashi Powder with No MSG (Vegetarian Soup Stock)



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Classic Japanese Biscuits “Egg Bolo” (Gluten-free/ Vegetarian)

Japanese egg bolo which is classic Japanese biscuits, has a very small ball shape and a light delicious taste.

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For Japanese, egg bolo may be the first sweet snack because there are many “egg bolo” products as a baby food.

However, lately, homemade egg bolo is very popular because it is easy to make using simple ingredients.

In this recipe, you need only 3 ingredients; cornstarch, egg yolk and sugar. In Japan, there are also other kind of bolo which uses flour or buckwheat flour.


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Ingredients (90 to 100 balls)

1/4 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup cornstarch


  1. Preheat the oven to 320 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar well. Add the cornstarch gradually while mixing by hand. Do not add the cornstarch all at once. If the mixture is still too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

3. Shape the mixture into a very small ball; the size of the little finger’s tip. (They are going to puff up after baking. The big bolo texture is not good very much).

4. Bake for 15 minutes.


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4 Ingredients Easy Custard Pudding (gluten-free, vegetarian)

There are many recipes for custard pudding. Today I introduce you to the easiest custard pudding. It is simple yet very delicious!!

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It has very smooth texture and great delicate taste!! There is no need to add butter or vanilla extract. This pudding already has rich taste!! If you prefer, you can mix in some shredded chocolate before refrigerating to make chocolate puddings.

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You need only eggs, sugar, cornstarch, whole or low fat milk and one soup pan.

You can use skim milk and nut milks for the recipe, but the pudding is going to be a bit watery  after refrigerating in my experience. When you use skim milk or nut milks, you might want to use less than normal amount of the milk in the recipe.

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Ingredients (servings 4)

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk or 2% milk

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  1. In a soup pan, whisk the yolks and sugar well.
  2. Add the cornstarch to the pan and mix gently.
  3. Pour the milk gradually into the pan while stirring.
  4. Cook it over medium heat for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture  just barely comes to a boil. Turn the heat to low and keep stirring until it is getting custard consistency, for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Pour the pudding into a deep (about 5 ounce) grass cup and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

 

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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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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