Do you know this fish shape waffle? This is called Taiyaki (鯛焼き). “Tai (鯛)” means a carp and “Yaki (焼き)” means stir-fry or bake in Japanese. To make this shape, you need to buy special waffle machine. You can buy online or electric stores here in Japan to make at home or you can find Taiyaki shops at many places here in Japan. Usually, Taiyaki has red bean paste inside but some shops sell custard cream, matcha cream, sweet potato paste, Chocolate cream, Sesame cream etc. In this recipe, I introduce the traditional Taiyaki which has red bean paste inside. Enjoy!
Have you ever tasted soymilk? I usually buy soymilk at the market but I decided to make from scratch at home. I realized that homemade soymilk has more natural flavor from soybeans. If you need some sweetness, please add various sweeteners (i.e. Honey, Agave syrup, Brown sugar, Coconut sugar etc) and enjoy comparing those flavors. It’s FUN!
Kimpira | Stir-fry burdock and carrot
Kimpira is one of my favorite veggie side dish. Have you ever taster this? Or some of you may have seen them in a bento box. I want to eat this at every meal and everyday. Kimpira is a stir-fry veggie dish with say sauce, mirin, sake and sugar. But Kimpira usually with burdock and carrot. You can cut into various sizes and shapes. When I feel like biting chunks, I cut them into big pieces. I hope you enjoy this simple and easy dish!
Tonjiru | Miso soup with veggie and pork
Tonjiru is one of the comfort food here in Japan. Ton means pork and Shiru (Jiru) means soup. I like this miso based soup dish with so many reasons. Traditional miso soup usually contains 2-3 ingredients only. But from the photo, you’ll see there are so many veggies in this soup. So, you will be full easily just to eat this Tonjiru. Of course, if you cannot eat pork, you can skip it or you can use chicken. Without meat flavor, this soup has rich flavors from veggies.
Tonjiru reminds me of my youthful days. I remember that I used to eat this dish outside with everyone at various events. And the most unforgettable memory was when my family visited our grandparents’ house in the country side of Fukushima, we cooked Tonjiru with cousins and relatives and eat outside together! After eating, we all had fresh water melon from their field and played fireworks at night. It was so much fun and one of the precious memories for me! Yes, Tonjiru is definitely special dish for me forever! I hope you enjoy this dish!!
How many Japanese sweets can you list up? There are so many sweets here in Japan. Anmitsu (Japanese style parfait), Yohkan (Agar agar jelly made of red bean paste), Mochi (I assume mochi ice cream is popular overseas), Daifuku (Several flavored mochi with normally red bean paste inside), Nerikiri (special sweets usually at tea ceremony which is made of mochi and white bean paste), Taiyaki (fish shape waffle with filling inside), Kudzu mochi, Warabi mochi, Manjyu, Dango, Senbei (Rice crackers) etc. This Dorayaki is one of the famous and traditional sweets that people love! Some of you might know the Japanese cartoon Doraemon. His favorite food is Dorayaki, of course.
The secret of Dorayaki is to use honey. Thanks to honey, the texture of this mini pancake is moist and delicious! Enjoy Japanese cooking!!
Do you like Wagyu (Japanese beef)? I DO! Actually, I am not a big meat eater but I enjoy Gyu-don because I use good quality Japanese beef. As you see, the ingredients of this dish are beef and onion, it’s kinda fast food. Same as western style fast food shops, there are so many gyu-don shops here in Japan. For me, Gyu-don is a comfort and satisfying fast food. The cooking process of this dish is very simple, choose the good quality meat as much as possible and simmer until the sauce and the juice from onion absorb into the meat. To add extra flavor (and happiness!), I usually add soft-boiled or seasoned egg on top. If you are interested in making the seasoned egg, please check here. Enjoy Japanese cooking!
I always ask my cooking class guests about what their favorite Japanese food beyond Sushi, Tempura and Ramen. One of the popular dish among my guests is Tonkatsu (とんかつ、トンカツ、豚カツ…Yes, they all mean the same dish!) “Ton” means pork, “Katsu” means Cutlet. I understand that some of you cannot eat this dish because of food restrictions and religious reasons. But no worries! You can substitute with beef, chicken, seafood or even vegetables! The recipe to make cutlet is almost same, so please enjoy this crispy savory dish. The tip of making delicious Tonkatsu is to use Japanese bread crumbs called panko and put Tonkatsu in a pan before frying oil gets hot! For the sauce, people usually pour special Tonkatsu sauce. This is Japanese-style thick and starchy sauce made of worcester sauce etc. Since Tonkatsu is such an oily dish, don’t forget to add some vegetables aside (Usually, thinly shredded cabbage here in Japan). Enjoy Japanese cooking!
Daikon Dengaku Miso
It’s time to enjoy Daikon radish. In winter, you especially see many daikon radish at the supermarket. Daikon radish has plain and a bit bitter taste so it’s good for grating, simmering, steaming and grilling etc…This time, I would like to introduce simmered daikon radish with miso sauce on top called “Daikon no dengaku miso”. This is also simple, easy and yummy recipe! You’ll simmer daikon radish with kelp and Japanese rices until it becomes almost transparent color.(it’s kinda magic!) Then, put bonito flakes to add more comfort flavor. After taking out the daikon radish from the pot, we then put special sauce made of dark brown miso called Haccho-miso. This sauce is AMAZING! You can put this sauce for many other dishes. Enjoy Japanese cooking!
I met some of my cooking class guests who don’t usually eat pork but chicken. In Japan, people tend to eat more pork rather than chicken. Of course, there are so many delicious Japanese foods with using chicken. My family and I like chicken a lot! This is a recipe for chicken lovers like us! Today’s dish “Chicken Nanban” is one of the Japanese home meals. “Nanban” is a type of dish which has been influenced by Portugal or ethnic countries in our history.”Nanban” dishes are usually either fried or used onion and peppers in a sauce. I love this secret sauce! In this recipe, I cut the chicken into bite-size pieces since I have a small child. But normally, we open the chicken with using knife to be thinly. So, it’s your choice. In addition to this fried chicken, we add tartar sauce made with boiled egg, mayonnaise and onion. This tartar sauce goes well with this salty and sweet sauce. So tasty and so special! Please try it out!!
Do you enjoy Japanese home meals with my recipes? I hope so! Today, I introduce one of my family’s favorite dishes. It’s called Nikujaga in Japanese. “Niku” means meat (and it’s usually Japanese beef for this dish) and “Jaga(-imo)” means potato. Other than Japanese beef and potato, there are carrot and onion. As for color and texture, I usually add green beans and Shirataki as well. Shirataki is made of special potato starch and has jelly texture. The main nutrition is fiber so you can easily be full. Cooking process is so easy. You can just cut ingredients into bite-size pieces and simmer them with seasonings.
Nikujaga is known as an important Japanese home meal. It’s a bit funny but it is said that if young women she can cook this dish very well, she is ready for getting married. What an interesting and important dish! Good luck, everyone!?