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Tag Archives: Sesame seeds

Cold Udon with Sesame Soymilk Sauce

Hiyashi Udon no Goma Tonyu Tsuyu Kake

This cold udon dish has a very tasty and refreshing broth made of soymilk and golden sesame paste. It’s poured over the udon and really makes the dish so special. For this broth, I use my Dashi Shoyu (rich dashi-flavored soy sauce) as a base seasoning. This Dashi Shoyu is extremely versatile and can be used it on its own as a seasoning for sautéed dish or can be mixed other liquid (can be just water) to make a broth or a sauce. So, I keep my Dashi Shoyu in my fridge always. Once you make a batch of it, you can keep it for up to a month or even longer.

The toppings can be basically anything you like, so you can be creative. 

 


Cold Udon with Golden Sesame Dipping Sauce

Zaru Udon

I love cold udon as much as cold somen especially in the summertime. It would depend on the type of udon, but cold udon usually has the nice bouncy texture and it’s also smooth when it goes through the throat. Serving cold udon in a donabe with some ice cubes not only makes a beautiful presentation, but with the porous donabe body gets insulated, it can keep the noodle very cold for extended time.

For this dish, I served the same rich sesame sauce which I introduced in the cold somen recipe. This is a versatile sauce and has nice nutty flavor with natural sweetness coming from the combination of the Golden Sesame Paste and Saikyo Miso.

Enjoy with your choice of toppings. I also like it with canned saba (Japanese mackerel). I usually bring back a very nice kind from Japan.


Shrimp Wonton Hot Pot

Ebi Wantan Nabe

This recipe is always popular among friends, and I often involve my guests in the wonton making. Everybody makes her/ his own shape of wontons. They are easy to shape and fun to do. My shrimp wontons don’t contain ground meat (such as pork or chicken), so you can really enjoy the natural sweet flavors of the shrimp and its bouncy texture.

I introduce two kinds of dipping sauces for this recipe. The Yuzu & Ayu Dipping Sauce has the beautiful aroma and it’s quite light. The Sesame Dipping Sauce has the nice rich flavor. The soup is also very tasty, so you can simply enjoy this dish just with Yuzu-Kosho or Kanzuri on the side.


Nao-Jan (Naoko’s Yakiniku Sauce)

This is my regular tare (dipping sauce) for yakiniku (grilled meat), or anything grilled including seafood and vegetables. It’s rich in flavors with two kinds of soy sauce (or you can make with one kind), Hatcho miso, ginger, garlic, etc. And the addition of the pure daidai citrus juice gives the beautiful aromatic nuance. Great accompaniment for anything I cook with my Iga-yaki grills.


Steamed Green Beans and Potatoes in Sesame Peanut Butter Sauce

This simple steamed dish is always a big hit when I serve to my guests, and everybody loves watching the process of making it, too. When the potatoes and green beans are steamed in donabe, they tend to retain both the nutrients and texture, while the flavor becomes so rich and pure. To make the sauce, the sesame seeds are first roasted in horoku (sesame roster) until fragrant, then they are ground in suribachi and surikogi (Japanese mortar and pestle) and mixed with seasonings. The steamed vegetables are added directly to the sauce in the suribachi and tossed together. And, you can serve it right out of it at the table. Sesame and peanut butter add nice richness to the dish. For the sauce, I normally add leftover dashi (either kombu & shiitake mushroom dashi or kombu & bonito dashi) for extra subtle layer of flavors, but you can totally go with just water, if you don’t have dashi and it would still taste delicious.


Green Beans and Nori Salad

Ingen no Nori-ae

This quick salad dish is very easy to make, and I love how the nori brings a beautiful aroma to this dish. The roasted and ground sesame seeds, yuzu juice, and sesame oil adds extra layers of flavor, and go well with the tender green beans steamed in Mushi Nabe. You can substitute the golden sesame seeds/ golden sesame oil with black sesame seeds/ black sesame oil for a variation. The tamari soy sauce not only gives the rich umami to the dish, but makes the dish friendly for those on a gluten-free diet.


Pressed Sea Bream Sushi

Tai no Oshizushi

Tai (sea bream or also called tai snapper) is one of my favorite kinds of fish to eat both raw or cooked, and this fish is a symbol of celebration in Japanese culture. So, I love making this dish especially when I want to celebrate. The beautiful pink color of the fresh tai brings out the happy feelings and stimulates appetite. And, as long as you get the high quality sashimi-grade fish and rice cooked in Kamado-san, this dish is basically error-proof and always tastes wonderful. The fish is sliced not too thin, and I like to use a generous amount of it, so I can really enjoy the taste of it. The shiso leaves between the layers of the sushi rice gives nice aromatic quality to the dish, but if you can’t find them, it can be omitted.


Japanese Sweet Potato Rice

Satsuma-Imo Gohan

This is one of my favorite fall-to-winter rice dishes since I was a child. This is such a simple dish, as the main ingredients are just the rice and satsuma-imo (Japanese sweet potato), and they are seasoned very lightly only with salt. The natural sweetness of the satsuma-imo is fully brought out after cooked with the rice, and the texture is nicely soft to work great with the shiny chewy rice. I also love making onigiri (rice balls) with this dish. They taste great hot or room temperature. If you want to add more flavor, you can cook the rice with dashi or even consommé works nicely, too.


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.


Tuna Poke Rice Bowl

Poke Don

As I have been to Hawaii almost 50 times since I was a teenager and I’ve been loving their local seafood dishes, I am a self-claimed poke expert (haha). My favorite style of poke is quite simple…it’s all about high quality tuna, soy sauce, sesame oil, and wasabi. When I serve it as an appetizer, I encourage my guests to enjoy on its own or make a wrap with lettuce and nori. To make a meal out of poke, I make this poke don (poke rice bowl). With the sushi rice made in double-lid donabe rice cooker, Kamado-san, this simple dish becomes such a decadent sushi dish you can create at home.


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.


Tofu & Spinach Hot Pot

Yu-Dofu

Yu-Dofu (tofu hot pot) is a very simple and popular home dish in Japan. This version has addition of spinach and enoki mushrooms to boost nutrients and flavors. Yu-Dofu‘s best accompaniment is ponzu, and my quick daidai citrus ponzu tastes so refreshing and aromatic. Then, you can top the tofu with a generous amount of freshly-ground toasted sesame seeds in suribachi and surikogi (Japanese mortar and pestle), which is so nutty and aromatic. Kanzuri (chili condiment from Niigata, Japan) is another great condiment.


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.


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).


Sansho Hummus

I served this dish with donabe-steamed vegetables during a Summer Festival at the shop and it was such a big hit among the guests. You can (literally) just whip it up with all the high quality pantry ingredients to create this creamy, high-protein dip with rich sesame flavors and aromatic kick from the Stone-Ground Sansho Powder. Besides the steamed vegetables, this dip is also great with sandwiches, steaks, or simply with crackers.


Cold Somen Noodle with Golden Sesame Dipping Sauce

Goma-Dare Hiyashi Somen

During the hot summer season in LA or Tokyo, ice-cold somen noodle is often the only thing I feel like having, and I never get tired of it. Did you know donabe is a perfect vessel for serving cold dish, too? With the porous clay body, donabe can keep the cold food very cold for a extended period of time. Also, it simply looks pretty to serve anything out of donabe, too!

For this dish, I introduce my golden sesame dipping sauce. It’s rich in flavor yet refreshing. As for the toppings/ condiments, you can make it as simple like just sliced scallion and Shichimi Togarashi, or you can create a wide array of different toppings when you serve this dish to your guests. In this recipe, I serve with smoked chicken tender, mixed herbs and Yuzu-Kosho.


Somen Noodle and Cherry Blossoms Hot Pot

Sakura Nyumen

I always get so excited when the spring season comes and make a lot of cherry blossom-theme dishes. This is one of them and I add salt-preserved sakura (cherry blossom) flowers to the broth, and I even use the pink sakura-flavored somennoodles made from flour and sakura from Japan. The aroma of sakura in this dish is just so beautiful. But, don’t worry if you don’t have any of them! You can totally make the delicious somen hot pot without the sakura flavors, and this dish can be enjoyed all year round. You can also change the other ingredients to cook with the noodles by using different kinds of mushrooms or tofu, if you like. It’s so gentle on the stomach and always comforting.


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.


Spicy Pork Sesame Hot Pot

Buta no Goma-Suki

The marinade has such a rich flavor, and the creamy sesame paste makes it so aromatic. Once you have all the ingredients ready, all you need to do is just piling up the ingredients and build your excitement while waiting for the dish to cook. I love that I can taste so many different ingredients in this one dish, but you can always substitute or omit most of the ingredients as you like.


Korean-style Spicy Miso Condiment

Ssamjang

This Korean-inspird spicy miso sauce is great with grilled or steamed meat, seafood, or even as a dipping for vegetable crudités (fresh vegetable sticks). I love serving this especially with grilled kalbi (beef short ribs) or steamed pork shoulder to make lettuce wraps. Both the hatcho miso and Okinawa black sugar make the flavor so deep, but you can also make with regular miso and brown sugar, if you like.


Mushroom & Mizuna Hot Pot

Hari Hari Nabe

This simple vegan hot pot is so rich in flavor and satisfying. I like to slice the abura-age very thin, as these slices soak up the broth and taste like juicy noodles. If you don’t have access to abura-age, thinly-sliced tofu can work, too. The key for the rich broth flavor is to add the mushrooms before heating up the kombu-soaked water, so the mushrooms release all the umami flavors during the slow heating process. For the shime (finishing course), I like to add udon noodles to the remaining broth, but soba is also good, too.


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!


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