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Tag Archives: Ginger

Black Cod Hot Pot in Saikyo Miso & Soymilk Broth

Saikyo Miso to Tonyu Nabe

Saikyo miso is a traditional white miso from Kyoto, Japan. The color is pale and it has a natural umami-rich sweet flavor due to the higher content of koji rice (malted rice) in the miso. The sodium level is also much lower than other types of miso, so you can use a good amount of it to enjoy its rich flavor in a soup, etc. without making the dish too salty. This hot pot dish has the combination of dashi, soymilk, and Saikyo miso in the broth, so the flavor is rich and complex. Make sure to use the real Saikyo Miso from Kyoto and pure rich soymilk (with no additives) such as Banrai Soymilk.

Buttery fish like cod is perfect for this broth, other types of seafood or even chicken would certainly work in this dish, too.


Simmered Egg-Drop Chicken & Asparagus with Sansho Berries

Tori Asparagus Tamago-toji

This dish is a variation of Chicken & Tofu Hot Pot with Egg dish, and this dish is less soupy and the broth plays a role more as a seasoning for the ingredients. The combination of chicken, egg, and asparagus almost never go wrong, especially when asparagus is in high season in the spring time. The dish is topped with Salt-Pickled Sansho Berries, which bring such beautiful accent to the dish, but if you don’t have them, you can sprinkle some Sansho Powder, and it’s also very good for this dish.


Pork and Napa Cabbage Mille Feuille

Buta to Hakusai no Mille Feuille Nabe

This dish is all about pork and napa cabbage, cooked in a minimum way. They are simply layered to pack in a donabe, with a small amount of water and sake. There is not even dashi or salt. You can top them with some sliced ginger and mushrooms, and gently simmer for 25 – 30 minutes. The result is a tasty treat rich in umami, and it looks beautiful, too. The soup is also packed with all the natural flavors from the ingredients, so make sure to enjoy it with the dish, too.

I like to serve it with Sansho Ponzu Sauce and Hatcho Miso & Black Sesame Sauce (recipe below) for flavor variations. Or, you can simply serve it with yuzu-kosho or Kanzuri, too.


Mabo Tofu

This is a Japanese version of popular Chinese dish (mapo tofu), which is a spicy stew of tofu and ground pork. My Mabo Tofu is seasoned with miso, and it gives nice rich flavor to the dish. For the spicy heat and extra umami, tobanjan (Chinese chili bean paste) is an essential ingredient for this dish. While there is no ideal substitute for this ingredients, if you can’t find it, Sriracha could work also. You can make this dish with any classic-style donabe, or Mushi Nabe without the steam grate. I used my Bistro Mushi Nabe in the photos in this recipe.


Soup Udon with Steamed Vegetables

Mushi Yasai Udon

This vegan treat is so easy to make and very satisfying. You just prepare the dashi broth for the udon in the bottom bowl of the Mushi Nabe, set the steam grate on top to steam the vegetables first. Once the vegetables are ready, remove the grate and cook the udon in the broth. Because the vegetables are steamed, they tend to retain more nutrients and taste very pure. The ginger-scented broth stays also very clear and the flavor is so rich in kombu‘s umami. So, this is a win win dish. In this recipe, I used Bistro Mushi Nabe, but you can make this dish with any donabe which is equipped with a steam grate. Adjust the recipe amount according to your size of donabe.


Soba Noodle with Hot Mushroom Dipping Broth

Kinoko no Tsuke-Soba

I love making this dish especially when I am feeling a little weak and need something gentle for my stomach. Once you simmer mushrooms in a rich dashi-based broth, pour it into serving bowls and dip cold noodles in it to enjoy. The mushrooms adds the nice savory flavors to the broth. And, I love to use a generous amount of thinly-sliced ginger for both flavor and helping my body stay warm after having the dish. It’s so soothing and you can keep eating more and more. This dish is also nice to serve for a larger group. You can also change around the ingredients to cook in the broth for fun. For a vegan version, you can make with kombu dashi or vegetable dashi instead of kombu & bonito dashi.


Chicken Meatball Hot Pot in Miso Broth

Tsukune Miso Nabe

This simple miso-flavored hot pot is always so popular among my family and friends. By adding grated ginger and egg, the chicken meatballs becomes so fluffy and flavorful. The other main ingredients are tofu and mushrooms, which complete the dish to full satisfaction. The suggested shime (finishing course) to cook in the saved broth is udon or ramen.


Mixed Mushroom Rice

Kinoko Gohan

I love the earthy treat. I like to use a few kinds of mushrooms such as shiitake, king oyster, and shimeji. You can try with your choice of mushrooms. By adding sweet rice, the dish becomes nice and slightly chewy texture, but you can also make it only with short grain rice and it will taste very nice, too. For seasoning, I love white tamari, for its mellow and slightly sweet aroma, but you can substitute with usukuchi shoyu or regular soy sauce, too.


Oil Sardine Rice

Iwashi no Takikomi Gohan

Canned oil sardines are great items to store in your pantry. It’s ready to use and rich in umami and nutrients. This sardine rice is so easy to make, as all you have to do is basically remove the sardines from the can and top on the rice with a few other ingredients to cook. Make sure to use a little amount of the oil from the can, as it’s infused with all the rich flavors of the sardines. I also highly recommend you sprinkle some Sansho Powder when serving, as the bright citrusy kick of the sanshowith the rich sardine flavors work so well together.

I also like to cook this dish with the addition of Mochi Mugi barley. If you would like to cook with the Mochi Mugi, add a packet of Mochi Mugi to the rice and extra 1/2 cup (120 ml) of dashi and a pinch of salt in Step 1 of the recipe.


Cold Soba with Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce

Zaru Soba

Zaru Soba (cold soba with dipping sauce) has been a traditional fast food since Edo Period (1,603 – 1868) in Japan. From kids to elders, people in any social class can enjoy the fresh and smooth soba by quickly dipping in a sauce. While it’s a very popular quick dish for lunch, you can also find soba restaurants or posh izakaya establishments that serve soba as a final course after various small dishes to savor. I remember my late father ate soba for lunch 3 – 4 times a week because it was on of his very favorite foods.

This version, instead of a typical soy sauce and mirin based sauce, I made it with an extra amount of dashi with a generous addition of brown rice black vinegar. The result is a very refreshing umami-packed dipping sauce, which you can even drink up (and it’s so good for you because of its high vinegar content).


Tomato Ginger Rice

Tomato to Shoga no Takikomi Gohan

Half-cut tomatoes are cooked together with rice in the donabe and becomes an extremely luscious dish. Tomatoes break so easily with a rice paddle and once you gently mix the contents, the beautiful red color coats the rice and imparts the sweet aroma of tomatoes and ginger. While this dish is completely vegan, even my meat-loving friends go crazy over it. (And, they fight over Naosco, the Yuzu-Kosho flavored hot sauce I make as a condiment for this dish.)

I love making this dish while the tomatoes are in season during summer. But, tomatoes don’t have to be very ripe to make this dish, so you can enjoy making this dish any time of the year.


Chilled Tofu with Condiments

Hiyayakko

Hiyayakko is one of the most simple and beloved Japanese home dishes that is enjoyed all year round. It’s really about simple plain tofu, enjoyed with sliced scallion, shaved katsuobushi, and soy sauce or any condiments of your choice. In the summer time, to make the maximum “cold” effect by both taste and visual, I like to serve the tofu in ice bath in a donabe. Also in this way, you have a beautiful presentation and can even impress your guests. Medium-firm or soft tofu are recommended for hiyayakko, for the most pleasant texture.


Cold Ramen with Spicy Pork & Sesame Dipping Broth

Tan Tan Tsukemen

Cold ramen noodles with simmering hot and spicy broth with toppings create a wonderful dish to enjoy in the summer or all year round. The dipping broth is especially rich as it’s seasoned with hatcho miso (very dark miso made of 100% soybeans) with tamari soy sauce. But, if you don’t have either, you can simply substitute with quality red miso and dark soy sauce respectively and it would still be very tasty. You can also serve the broth cold, and it will be so refreshing and perfect to enjoy on a hot day.


Soy-Simmered Beef and Burdock

Gyu to Gobo no Shigure-ni

Beef and burdock always make a great combination, and this dish is no exception. This is a traditional Japanese dish, and is very popular as a home dish, especially as you can make it with inexpensive komagire cut beef (basically thin end-cut or scrap meat). By simmering the thin slices of beef and burdock together in the sweet soy-based sauce, the dish creates the wonderful rich and earthy flavor. I love to add a generous amount of ginger for the additional layer of flavor. I often enjoy serving this over plain rice to make a rice bowl dish. It’s so good!


Chicken, Kabocha & Mochi Mugi Stew in Shio-Koji Broth

This hearty stew is so nourishing and tasty. The only seasoning is basically Liquid Shio-Koji, and this magical seasoning makes the chicken extra tender. With the addition of kabocha and Mochi Mugi barley, this dish tastes so complete and makes an ideal one pot meal. My body always feels so great after eating a big bowl of this stew. For this dish, I like making dashi (soup stock) with kombu and dried shiitake by soaking them in water for a few hours (to over night) in advance. They not only make the soup taste wonderful but also they can be sliced and added to cook in the stew to enjoy. But, you can also make this dish with chicken stock or vegetable stock and it will be delicious, too.


Lemon Butter Yellowtail and Daikon

Lemon Butter Buri Daikon

This dish is my unique donabe version of popular Japanese dish, buri daikon (simmered yellowtail and daikon in soy based broth). Daikon is first sautéed in butter, then, once the yellowtail is added along with the lemon and mushrooms, they were steamed with sake and Ayu Fish Sauce. All made in one donabe, and this versatile Fukkura-san donabe effectively steam-fry the ingredients. The result is so aromatic, savory, and delicious. If yellowtail is not available, this dish can be made with other rich-flavor fish such as cod or sea bass. Ayu fish sauce gives the elegantly rich umami flavor, but it can be substituted with regular soy sauce, too.


Dashi-Rich Steam-Fry Hiramasa and Napa Cabbage

Simply assembled hiramasa (amberjack) with napa cabbage and shimeji mushrooms taste so pure and satisfying with the rich flavor of the dashi broth. The broth’s umami level is boosted with the addition of ayu fish sauce (I call this “magic essence”).  Hiramasa can be substituted with yellowtail, sea bass, snapper, salmon, or any buttery fish filet. I like to serve this dish with plain donabe rice (white or brown).


Pork Shumai Dumplings

Niku Shumai

Simple pork shumai dumplings are so easy to make and taste so good that I always have hard time stop eating. The meat becomes so juicy, and with the dipping sauce (combination of soy sauce and rice vinegar) and a little dab of karashi(Japanese mustard), the flavors explode in the mouth. You can make the filling a few hours in advance, and just wrap in wonton skins right before steaming, so the wontons won’t get too wet and sticky. Very thin wontons skins are my choice and they are normally available at Japanese markets. Karashi is very hot, so if you are not familiar with it, try a tiny amount first to see how much you can handle.


Chinese-Style Steamed Fish

Sakana no Chuka-Mushi

This colorful treat is an easy one-pot dish with a lot of flavors. I like to use black cod for its fatty texture for this dish, but you can also make it with other kinds of fish such as yellowtail, sea bass, salmon, etc. The sizzling sound and aroma of the smoking sesame oil when it’s poured over the fish stimulate your appetite so much. With the umami-rich sauce and aromatic toppings, this dish can become a healthy and satisfying main course.


Braised Chicken in Brown Rice Black Vinegar Sauce

Tori No Kurozu-ni

The main ingredients of this dish are just chicken and shiitake mushrooms, yet this dish can make such a hearty meal. The meat is so succulent and falls off the bone easily even with chopsticks. The special black vinegar from Kyoto gives the umami-packed layer of flavors to this easy one-pot dish.


Egg Drop Vegetable Soup

Kakitama-jiru

This soup is full of flavors and very satisfying. The addition of the black vinegar gives the nice umami-rich accent to the dish. The fluffy egg with vegetables make wonderful layers of textures, too. I like to sprinkle some sansho powder to the soup for extra kick, but it’s totally optional.


Chirashi Sushi with Soy-Marinated Tuna

Maguro Tegone-Sushi

This dish is very easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. Once you get a block of very fresh tuna, all you have to do is to make sushi rice, slice and marinade tuna, get other small components ready and just assemble. The marinating time of tuna should be just up to 15 – 20 minutes. If it’s marinated too long, it will start to “cook” the tuna and the color could get a bit too dark. I like to make the sushi rice by adding 16 Multi Mixed Grains for more complex flavor, texture, and beautiful color in the sushi rice, but you can make it without, too. Whenever I make this dish for friends, it disappears in a matter of moments!


Salt Butter Chanko Hot Pot

Shio Butter Chanko Nabe

Japanese sumo wrestlers cook and eat chanko nabe at their stable every day. That’s the source of their strength. While chanko nabe refers to any types of hot pot eaten by sumo wrestlers, the most typical style is chicken as a main protein and cooked in chicken broth. It’s because chicken stands on two legs like human beings, so it is considered to bring good luck (in sumo, you lose if your hands touch the ground). Chanko nabe typically makes a very nutritious and balanced meal, as you cook a wide variety of healthy ingredients in one pot. The sumo wrestlers are big, because they eat so much of it every meal! In my version, I cook chicken meatballs and vegetables in simple salt-flavored chicken broth, and add butter cubes right before serving. The aroma is so irresistible and the flavor is superb. As a shime (finishing course), I suggest ramen noodles to cook in the remaining broth.


Japanese Chicken Stock

Tori Dashi

Relatively inexpensive chicken wings can make really rich and flavorful stock, as the wings have a lot of bones and joints where the richest flavors are released from. In just 20 minutes of simmering plus resting time, the rich tori dashi is ready. I usually make a large amount, so I can use it for a couple of different dishes, but if your donabe is medium or smaller size, you can adjust the recipe about by cutting by half or so. The bonus of making this stock is the leftover chicken. It’s still flavorful, so I like to make a side dish with it.


Soy-Flavored Simmered Ground Chicken

Tori Soboro

Very popular among Japanese people of all ages, this juicy simmered ground chicken is cooked in simple seasonings of soy sauce, sake, mirin, and sugar, and is typically served over plain rice. When I was a teenager, this dish, tori soboro gohan, used to be one of my favorite items in the bento my mom made me to take to school for lunch. My version has the accent of a generous amount of shredded ginger to stimulate your appetite. I like to serve it with a very soft-boiled egg (with runny egg yolk) over freshly cooked donabe rice. You can also enjoy it as a topping for steamed kabocha, asparagus, or tofu.



Steamed Pork Belly Shabu Shabu

Mushi Buta Shabu Shabu

It takes very little time for prepping and you can make such a satisfying complete one pot dish. If you can’t find thinly-sliced pork belly from a market, you can just buy a block and slice it into thin pieces. For a leaner choice, pork loin is also good. I like to marinade the meat in Liquid Shio-Koji for a short time because it further tenderize the meat and enhances the flavor. But, you can omit this process and the dish will still taste great. If you are cooking for a larger group, increase the recipe amount and cook multiple batches at the table!


Chicken Wings & Daikon Hot Pot

Teba Daikon Nabe

Chicken wings and daikon are a classic combination in Japanese cooking. By pan-frying these ingredients before adding to the broth, the flavor of this simple dish enhances dramatically. Because the chicken is already marinated in shio-koji, this dish doesn’t require much more seasoning. Feel free to use fingers to savor the wings, as it’s part of the fun of this dish!


Nao Man Gai (Chicken Over Rice)

Naoko-style Asian Chicken Rice

This dish is inspired by kao man ghai, a very popular Thai-style chicken rice dish, (or the Singapore-style is known as Hainanese chicken rice), and I made it in my donabe Japanese version with mostly Japanese ingredients. So, I call it Nao Man Gai! The rice is cooked with rich Japanese chicken stock with chicken on top, so the rice tastes really special even on its own. The chicken is sliced and served on top of the rice along with two kinds of special sauces. Don’t forget to make non-boiled “boiled eggs” by placing eggs on the inner lid of Kamado-san when cooking the rice. The eggs are ready when the rice is ready, and they taste so good with the dish!


Japanese Beef & Potato Stew

Nikujaga

This hearty beef and potato stew is such a popular Japanese home dish among people from little kids to elders. While there are countless variations, for my nikujaga, I like to caramelize the onion before adding other ingredients. The onion gives nice rich layer of umami flavor to the dish. Miso-shiru Nabe always makes the perfect caramelized onion without having to constantly sauté it. I also add a lot of thinly sliced gingers for the accent.


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