Happy Donabe Life

Tag Archives: Katsuobushi

Oyster Sauce Flavored Steam-Fry Pork Yakisoba Noodle

Oyster Sauce Buta Yakisoba

Yakisoba (stir-fry noodles) is such a casual tasty dish which almost everybody in Japan loves. While there are so many variations of yakisoba, my all time favorite is the simple oyster sauce flavor with pork and cabbage. This yakisoba makes me feel nostalgic, as it’s similar to what my mom used to make for a quick lunch when I was a child. With the tagine-style donabe, Fukkura-san, the ingredients are steam-fried and the noodles have such a nice bouncy texture, while the meat and cabbage get lightly caramelized. Instead of typical karashi (Japanese hot mustard), I like serving this dish with Kanzuri.

As a variation, you can substitute soy sauce with Smoked Soy Sauce for a nice smokey and robust nuance.


Homemade Tofu

Sukui Tofu

Authentic fresh tofu can be made at home very easily, once you have a donabe and high quality soymilk. All you need to do is to heat soymilk, stir in nigari liquid, turn off the heat, and rest until the mixture sets to become tofu. Iga-yaki donabe is perfect for fresh tofu making, because the porous body achieves the gentle and even heat distribution. It also cools down very slowly after turning off the heat, so the tofu can set to ideal stage during the resting time. The fresh warm tofu right out of donabe is simply a joy and I always have my first few tastes without any seasonings or condiments. It’s so fluffy, delicate, and pure. Then, I enjoy it with different toppings. Sometimes simply with shaved katsuobushi (shaved dried bonito flakes) and soy sauce, or wasabi, sea salt (such as moshio sea salt), and sesame oil. Ponzu is great, too.

Premium quality Banrai Soymilk and Banrai Nigari Liquid are both available at our shop. So, hope you give it a try. You can make a full-size sukui tofu to share or a small individual-size tofu in a mini-size donabe for everyday breakfast.

The recipe introduced in this page is calling for 1-liter soymilk. For the half amount, you can use a small-size classic-style donabe (approx. 0.8-qt/ 800 ml size). The photos below are made with small-size Rikyu-Tokusa donabe.

For an idividual-size silky tofu making method, please see Banrai Soymilk and Banrai Nigari Liquid product page.


Simmered Bamboo Shoots in Dashi Broth

Wakatake-ni

This is a very popular traditional Japanese dish in the spring, when fresh bamboo shoots and wakame seaweed are in the height of season. Bamboo brings sweet and tender characters, and the wakame is rich in mineral flavors. But, even if you can’t get such fresh ingredients in the season, with the increased availability and quality of pre-cooked bamboo and dried wakame, you can enjoy this dish all year round. I like to top it with a generous amount of shaved katsuobushi, as it gives extra rich flavor and makes the dish even more satisfying.


Smoky Shoyu-Flavored Corn & Bacon Rice

Here’s another version of my corn rice; this one has a big, bold flavor with the addition of rendered bacon, Smoked Soy Sauce, and butter. This is a great dish to serve at a summer party, too. When I made this dish at an outdoor BBQ dinner one day, everybody went crazy and it was gone so quickly! Corn is so sweet and savory at the same time, with its nice smokey and nutty flavor. Although this addition is highly recommended, if you would like to omit the 16 Multi Mixed Grains, you can reduce the amount of the dashi by a tablespoon or so.


Grilled Okra with Smoked Soy Sauce

This is a quick appetizer/side dish which requires little time for prepping. Toban cooks vegetables so effectively, allowing for them to become nicely charred. When the Smoked Soy Sauce is drizzled over the okra, it sizzles and brings an irresistible aroma. Finish with a generous mound of Shaved Katsuobushi, and sprinkle some Shichimi Togarashi. The katsuobushi will dance slowly on the okra and make a very appetizing presentation. I love making this dish with okra during the summer; asparagus is also great.


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.


Basic Japanese Stock – Kombu and Bonito Dashi

Awase Dashi

Dashi is the mother of Japanese dishes. This is the basic awase dashi (dashi made of two ingredients – kombu and katsuobushi), and besides knowing how to make it right, using the high quality ingredients is extremely important to make good dashi. Here’s my basic dashi making process. It’s very simple and straightforward, and the result is always superb. If you let the kombu sun-bathe (just leave it in a basket under the direct sunlight) for about 30 minutes before soaking in water, it would help increasing the vitamin D and umami levels of the dashi.


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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