A great, or even perfect, combination of lotus root and Japanese yellow mustard! The salad can be so easily and quickly made. It is very simple but sill, very "stimulating". Goes great either with rice or SAKE!
Lotus roots are called "RENKON" in Japanese
and can be found at most vegetable stores or supermarkets in Japan. They look like sausages and contain much dietary fiber.
(Serves two to three people)
・1/2 lb. of fresh lotus root
・1/2 medium carrot
・[A] 4 Tbsps of mayonnaise
・[A] 1 Tbsp of soy sauce
・[A] 1/2 Tbsp of MISO
・[A] 1 teaspoon of Japanese yellow musard
・[A] Black pepper
・About 500cc of water (for acidulated water)
・3 Tbsps of vinegar (for acidulated water)
 SAUCE: Combine all the ingredients listed under [A] and mix well.
 Wash lotus roots with cold water. Cut and discard both ends of the bulb, peel the skin, cut diagonally into very thin slices and put the slices into 10% acidulated water. Let rest for five minutes and drain.
 Peel and cut carrots into thin sticks.
 Cook the vegetalbes in boiled water for just 1 to 2 minutes and discard.
 Let cool the vegetables for just 10 minutes and combine with the sauce.
Another recipe for super easy and quick tuna mayo pasta!
As I mentioned before, pasta is very popular now in Japan and many Japanese style pasta recipes have been created. It has become an essential part of Japanese home style
cuisine! This time, I used fresh green peppers (no stir-frying) instead of stir-fried MAITAKE mushroom, so the pasta may taste more like "salad" for some people. Yet, pasta is a very good source of carbohydrates which provide fuel for your brain and muscles and this is why I eat pasta for my lunch!
(Serves one, or two if you don't eat much)
・A: 1 small can of tuna
・A: 1/4 medium size onion, chopped
・A: 1 medium size green pepper, chopped
・A: 1 teaspoon of olive oil
・A: 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
・A: 1 teaspoon of sake
・A: 2 to 3 Tbsps of mayonnaise
・A: Black pepper
・Desired amount of spaghetti (or other types of pasta)
・Salt (for boiling pasta)
 Combine and mix all the ingredients [A]s well.
 Cook pasta al dente in boiling salted water, drain water and mix well with the sauce you've just made.
 Place the pasta on a plate and enjoy!
Mapo Tofu is a spicy Sichuan (or Szechuan) dish usually made with tofu, ground pork and several kinds of Chinese bean pastes. It is very, very popular here in Japan, so I guess I can call it a "Japanese-home-style" Chinese dish...
As the title suggests,
my recipe is for vegetarians. It does not contain pork. Besides, I use "ATSUAGE" (deep fried tofu) instead of tofu to make up for the absence of meat. The recipe is based on the ATSUAGE Mapo Tofu recipe introduced on TV by Mr. Wang, the great Chinese chef at the Westin Hotel in Osaka.
Atsuage, one of the main ingredients, is deep fried tofu. Since Atsuage does not contain as much moisture as Tofu, it is firmer and therefore easy to handle. Moreover, it can be frozen-stored (tofu cannot!).
Another important ingredient here is "Sichuan pepper" or "Sichuan peppercorns" shown in the photo above. It is an important flavoring in many Sichuan dishes. It is quite aromatic, having a mixed flavor of citrus and earthiness. Unfortunately, Sichuan peppercorns are sometimes hard to find in Japan. Most large-scale supermarkets in big cities may have them, but smaller stores do not. However, please do not skip them when making the mapo atsuage. Without the aroma of Sichuan pepper, you would miss half of what is good about this dish! If you happen to live in Kobe or nearby areas, you can easily find them in the Chinatown "Nankin-machi" in Motomachi, or maybe at a branch store of the national chain store "Kaldi" located
also in Motomachi. You can also buy Chinese bean pastes there.
Key Words in Japanese
Chinese black bean sauce (Douchi jiang) : TOCHI JAN
Chinese chili bean paste (Douban jiang) : TOBAN JAN
Chinese chili oil : RA YU
Chinese sweet bean sauce (Tian mian jiang) : TENMEN JAN
Deep fried tofu : ATSUAGE
Eggplant : NASU or NASUBI
Potate starch : KATAKURI KO
Sesame oil : GOMA ABURA
Sichuan pepper : KASHO, CHUGOKU ZANSHO or KAHOKU ZANSHO
(Serves 4 people)
・4 - 5 medium size eggplants
・2 blocks of ATSUAGE (deep fried TOFU)
・A: 1 Tbsp of sesame oil
・A: 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
・A: 1 teaspoon of Chinese chili bean paste (Douban jiang)
・A: 1 Tbsp of Chinese sweet bean sauce (Tian mian jiang)
・A: 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese black bean sauce (Douchi jiang)
・B: 2 teaspoons of sake
・B: 1 Tbsp of soy sauce
・B: 1 Chinese soup stock cube
・B: 1/2 Tbsp of powdered DASHI (Japanese bonito fish soup stock)
・B: 250 cc of water
・1 Tbsp of KATAKURI-KO (potato starch)
・1 Tbsp of water
・2 Tbsps of chopped scallion
・1 teaspoon of Chinese chili oil
・2 teaspoons of freshly ground Sichuan pepper
 Wash eggplant with running water, cut diagonally into slices (about 8 mm thick) and soak in water for about 15 minutes.
 Cut ATSUAGE into 1-cm slices and boil for just 15 seconds.
 Put vegetable oil in a wok and warm over medium heat. Add sliced eggplants, stir fry until cooked and set aside.
 Put all the ingredients [A] in a wok and warm over medium heat until it starts to smell good (for about 15 to 30 seconds), add all the ingredients [B] and cook for about 1 minutes.
 Add cooked eggplants and ATSUAGE and stir fry for just 15 seconds.
 Add water-dissolved KATAKURI-KO and simmer over higher heat. Add chili oil, black pepper, Sichuan pepper and chopped scallion and serve.
Cellophane noodles, or "HARUSAME" (meaning "spring rain") in Japanese, are transparent noodles made from bean, potato or other types of starch. They are very popular among young women in Japan because they are
"believed" to be healthier since they are low in fat. There are varieties of English names for HARUSAME cellophane noodles: Chinese vermicelli, bean thread noodles, green bean noodles, glass noodles, crystal noodles, mung bean threads, translucent noodles, shining noodles, slippery noodles etc. There also are varieties of recipes for cellophane noodle salad and you can't say which one is the "authentic" recipe... My recipe, which is my favorite of course, is a spicy Chinese style. It goes great with rice, sake or beer! If you are health conscious but still want to enjoy your dinner, try this one!
・60g (2 oz) of dried cellophane noodles (HARUSAME noodles)
・4 - 5 slices of ham (or 1 large fish sausage)
・1 medium carrot
・A: 2 Tbsps of sesame oil
・A: 2 Tbsps of cereal (or rice) vinegar
・A: 2.5 Tbsps of soy sauce
・A: 2 teaspoons of beet sugar
・A: 1 teaspoon of Chinese chili oil
・A: 1/2 teaspoon of Chinese black bean (Douchi or Touchi) sauce
・Salt (for cucumber)
 Combine all the ingredients [A] in a bowl.
 Cut off and discard ends of cucumber, and cut diagonally into thin slices. Place sliced cucumber and salt into a colander, let rest for 15 minutes, squeeze and wash with running water. Repeat this "squeeze and wash" until cucumber does not taste salty. Squeeze out as much water as possible.
 Cut cellophane noodles in half or about 10 cm long. Bring water to a boil in a pot, put the noodles and simmer for just 1 minute.
 Drain noodles in a colander and rinse them with cold running water.
 Cut carrot and ham into thin sticks about 3 to 4 cm (about 1.5 inches) long.
 Combine all the ingredients prepared above, let rest for at least one hour, put in a salad bowl, sprinkle roasted sesame and enjoy!
This is an easy and quick recipe fo braised shrimp and green asparagus with "RAKKYO" pickels (Japanese pickled shallots) thousand island dressing. Of course, you can use regular pickles instead of rakkyo. In fact, I prefer home-made spicy pickels to rakkyo... So why do I bother to post the rakkyo sauce recipe? It's just because pickels are sometimes hard to find in small stores in Japan (Rakkyo can be easily found!).
(I myself make my own home-made spicy dill and garlic pickels. I use rakkyo when I ran out of my pickels.)
(Serves two people)
・10 medium to large shrimps
・1 bunch (4 to 5) of fresh green asparaguses
・1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
・1 teaspoon of olive oil
・1/2 Tbsp of Sake
・Black pepper and a bit of salt
-1000 ISLAND SAUCE-
・1/2 Tbsp of finely chopped rakkyo pickles
・1/2 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
・1/2 Tbsp of finely chopped onion
・2 Tbsps and 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise
・1 Tbsp of ketchup
・1/2 teaspoon of "Lea & Perrins" Worcestershire Sauce
・1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce
・1/2 to 1 teaspoons of beet sugar
・Dried parsley and black pepper
*If you are going to use regular pickles, you will not need white wine vinegar.
 SAUCE: Combine all ingredients for the sauce and mix well. (Can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.)
 Devein and peel shrimp. Wash green asparaguses and cut into bite sizes.
 Put garlic and olive oil in a pan and warm over medium heat until it starts to smell good (for about 15 to 30 seconds), add shrimp and sake and simmer for about 2 minutes, covered.
 Uncover, add green asparaguses, salt and black pepper, and braise for about 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through.
 Place the shrimp and green asparaguses on a plate, dress with the 1000 island sauce and enjoy!