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Tag Archives: Shiso

Shrimp and Rapini Chirashi Sushi

Chirashi Sushi (sushi rice with scattered toppings) is a great dish for celebration, and I make this colorful dish for Japanese New Year or other party occasions. The most unique part about this dish is that the rice is seasoned with daidai citrus juice, instead of rice vinegar to make the sushi rice. Daidai is a Japanese citrus that is similar to orange but with brighter aroma and flavor. When the rice is seasoned with daidai juice, the beautiful aroma of daidai spreads around it and it’s so appetizing.

Egg crepes, rapini and shrimp create beautiful colorful visual and and the flavors are also wonderful together, too. Feel free to substitute them with other toppings of your choice for fun.


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.


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.


Pressed Smoked Salmon Sushi

Smoked Salmon Oshi-Zushi

Oshi-Zushi (pressed sushi) is always fun to make and is also tasty, especially when the rice is cooked in a Kamado-san. You can see in the photo how each grain retains its shape and is shiny after the sushi is pressed. The traditional hinoki wood sushi mold makes the process so easy and brings beautiful results.

Here’s my quick oshi-zushi recipe, which can be made with something I normally stock in my fridge…smoked salmon, radish, and shiso leaves. If you don’t have access to shiso leaves, you can substitute with arugula or simply omit it.

If you want to add Mochi Mugi barley to the rice, simply add a packet of Mochi Mugi to the rice and increase the water by 1/2 cup (120 ml) and cook together.


Cold Soba with Salmon Roe and Grated Daikon

Ikura Oroshi Soba

This is another quick cold noodle recipe with toppings that don’t require any cooking. Ikura (salmon roe) and grated daikon are a classic combination in Japanese cuisine and they work great with the cold soba. When daikon is grated in a traditional onioroshi (bamboo daikon grater), as opposed to generic metal or plastic grater, the daikon retains a nice crunchy texture while retaining its moisture well. Besides, using onioroshi is kind of like a ritual to me. It’s fun and almost therapeutic to grate daikon with a onioroshi. Don’t forget to add a good amount of thinly-sliced shiso leaves, as it gives a beautiful aroma along with sliced green onions (but if you don’t have shiso, it will still work without it).

The sauce poured over the noodles is the same Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce introduced in my Zaru Soba recipe. Yes, this sauce is so tasty and versatile; I like to make a big batch of it to enjoy in various dishes for a few days!

Corn Rice

Tomorokoshi Gohan

Corn rice is one of my favorite summer dishes to make. It’s simple and full of summer flavors. I like to cook with my cold-infused Kombu and Shiitake Mushroom Dashi, so I just let the dashi infuse half-day to overnight in the fridge and it’s ready to use. This dish is completely vegan, but you can cook with your choice of other stock (kombu & bonito dashi, chicken stock, etc.), too. For this recipe, I also added a packet of 16 Multi Mixed Grains (it’s so good), but if you would like to make it without it, you can reduce the amount of the dashi by a tablespoon or so. To add some kick to the dish, I like adding the Kanzuri Yuzu Sauce to the dish. You can top the rice with a small amount of the sauce or mix it in to the rice to enjoy. It’s quite addictive.


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.


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!


Bamboo Shoot Rice

Takenoko Gohan

Spring is the high season for freshly foraged bamboo shoots and they taste really wonderful. They are crisp tender and full of sweet spring flavors. In Japan, people enjoy so many different kinds of bamboo dishes while the fresh shoots are in season. Bamboo shoot rice used to be my favorite bamboo dish my mom made when I was a child. This dish also tastes great at room temperature or even cold. If fresh bamboo shoots are not available, pre-cooked bamboo shoot can be found at Japanese grocery stores and they are sold all year round.


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