Kenchin Jiru – Tofu, Pork, and Vegetable Soup

Kenchin Jiru - Tofu, Pork, and Vegetable Soup

Kenchin jiru (けんちん汁) is a Japanese soup that evolves from the Buddhist tradition with a strict rule to observe vegetarian in their diet. The original soup stock is made with konbu kelp and soy sauce, and the main ingredients are crumbled tofu and vegetables. It has since been widely adopted in Japanese households and the soup has evolved to include thin pork slices, and most are using dashi stock for the soup. [Read more…]

Gyuuniku Sarada – Beef Salad

Gyuuniku Sarada - Beef Salad

This is a good way to enjoy a good cut of beef like sirloin or tenderloin. The beef is thinly sliced and only lightly blanched, so it should remain tender and juicy. To get an even and neat slices of beef, it is easier if the beef is placed in the freezer first so it hardens up before slicing. You can always thaw it later in the fridge. [Read more…]

Yu Doufu – Simmered Tofu

Yu Doufu - Simmered Tofu

Yu doufu (Japanese: 湯豆腐) is a Kyoto dish celebrating the refine taste of tofu. This is a very simple and I think elegant dish, and more importantly, easy to prepare at home. Though at a glance this dish looks like a vegetarian dish, be aware that the dipping sauce is made with dashi, hence it contains fish and renders the whole dish non vegetarian. In general, most Japanese dishes use dashi, so if you are vegan/vegetarian, please take note of the ingredients list. [Read more…]

Kakitama Jiru – Beaten Egg Soup

Kakitama Jiru - Beaten Egg Soup

Kakitama Jiru (かきたま汁) is the Japanese version of egg drop soup. The ingredients list to make this soup is really short: egg, dashi, soy sauce, ginger, potato starch (片栗粉), and some greens like chopped scallions, or if you have access to it, trefoil (三つ葉). I have been hunting down trefoil for a while in the bay area, and haven’t have the luck, so I simply used chopped scallions.  [Read more…]

Dashi – Japanese Stock

Dashi - Japanese Stock

Dashi is the basis of Japanese cooking. It is very easy and super quick to whip up a batch at home as long as you can find the requisite ingredients, which consist only of konbu kelp, bonito flakes, and water. Of course, these ingredients can be quite pricey, but it really makes the dishes (especially soup and broth) that much more flavorful. [Read more…]

Sake no Potato Sarada Tsutsumiyaki – Baked Stuffed Salmon

Sake no Potato Sarada Tsutsumiyaki - Baked Stuffed Salmon

Baked stuffed salmon (さけのポタトサラダ包み焼き) is an easy recipe to make and it can be a one dish meal in itself since each portion comes with a generous serving of potato salad to serve as the requisite carb. If you use store bought potato salad, you can even skip making your own. Just scoop out about 1 cup of salad per portion and it should come out fine. [Read more…]

Gyuuniku no Teriyaki – Steak Teriyaki

Gyuuniku no Teriyaki - Steak Teriyaki

There is a reason why teriyaki dish is so popular, it is flavorful and very easy to prepare at home, and of course at restaurants 😉 Well liked by both kids and adults, I think this is a good dish to master at home. I use sirloin, but you can use your favorite steak cuts, like tenderloin, or skirt steak. In fact, you don’t even have to use beef, you can substitute with chicken, or firm fish like salmon or yellowtail.  [Read more…]

Braised Eggplants with Mince Meat Sauce

Braised Eggplants with Mince Meat Sauce

In this simple recipe, the eggplants will become super tender and absorb all the flavor of the sauce by the end of the cooking process. Although a kilogram of eggplants sound like a lot, it actually isn’t since they do shrink quite a bit. I use the Chinese variety for the eggplant, which is longer and slenderer compared to U.S. eggplants, but if you cannot find the Chinese variety, feel free to use U.S. eggplant. [Read more…]