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Tag Archives: Soy sauce

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.


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.


Soba Noodle with Green Onion and Shiitake Mushroom

Negi Kinoko Soba

Soba noodle is one of the most beloved traditional Japanese foods in Japan. Many people enjoy soba dishes for lunch, and there are soba restaurants (many are hand-made) and stands everywhere in Japan. At home, soba makes a very popular meal. This is my quick soba noodle dish I love and make all the time for lunch, and I change the toppings according to what I have in my fridge or pantry. Sometimes, I serve with just mushrooms, wakame seaweed, or even completely plain with a dash of yuzu citrus zest. With the porous body of the donabe, I like that the broth stays hot until the end of the meal.


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.


Bottarga and Matsutake Rice

Karasumi Matsutake Gohan

When I’m lucky enough to have these special ingredients at the same time, I love making this dish. The earthy perfumy aroma of matsutake mushroom is so elegant and there is nothing equivalent to it. The umami-packed and slightly chewy character of karasumi (cured mullet roe, a Japanese delicacy, and it’s also a famous Italian ingredient, called bottarga in Italian.) You can substitute matsutake mushroom with a different kind of mushroom such as shimeji (although the aroma is very different, it’s still tasty) when matsutake is out of season. For karasumi, instead of slicing it, you can grate it to mix in the rice, too.

The dish shown in this photo is made in 1 rice-cup size Kamado-san.


Sansho Ponzu Sauce

Combination of soy sauce, daidai citrus and sansho powder (did you know sansho also belongs to citrus family?) create such refreshing bright aroma and kick in this quick dipping sauce. Adjust the amount of sansho powder according to your taste (or tolerance to its numbing heat). Originally introduced to serve with Shiso Chicken Meatball and Grated Daikon Hot Pot, this sauce is good for any hot pot dishes, or as a dipping sauce for gyoza dumplings.


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.


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.


Shio-koji Salmon over Butter Sweet Potatoes

Shio-Koji Sake to Satsuma-Imo no Mushi-Yaki

This dish is something I like to whip up especially on a busy day.  While marinating the salmon in shio-koji, I I can prepare all the other ingredients, then just pile them up and let the donabe do all the work. I love the slightly caramelized sweet potato in the bottom, while the salmon is perfectly cooked medium-rare (or you can cook it longer if you like the salmon to be well-done).


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.


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).


Salmon, Shiitake and Watercress in Smokey Garlic Black Vinegar Sauce

With just three main ingredients (salmon, shiitake mushrooms, and watercress) and simple preparation, this sizzling dish makes a very satisfying meal. The garlic black vinegar flavor is further enhanced with smoked soy sauce, but if you don’t have it, you can make it with regular high quality soy sauce, too. Make sure to drink up any remaining sauce, or dip some freshly-cooked donabe rice, as it’s so tasty.


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.


Rice Balls with Three Kinds of Toppings (Summer Version)

Onigiri

At our 2018 Summer Festival at TOIRO, we made hundreds of onigiri (rice balls) with freshly made rice in our double-lid donabe rice cooker, Kamado-san, and served with these summer-theme toppings. We were so happy that many of our guests kept coming back to try more.

The Walnut Miso includes Fig Vinegar so it has a refreshing and soft acidity. The Slow-Roasted Tomato is rich in umami and the Smoked Soy Sauce adds an extra layer of complexity. The Roasted Corn and Yuzu-Kosho Mayo has a beautiful, sweet corn flavor with an aromatic heat from the Yuzu-Kosho.

These toppings are also great to serve with cold tofu or grilled meat. We hope you will try all three kinds. The amounts of these toppings in this recipe are more than enough to make the suggested servings, so you can keep any leftover for another use.


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!

Cold Somen Noodle with Slow-Roasted Tomato

Hiyashi Roasted Tomato Somen

Here’s another variation of my recipe using slow-roasted tomatoes. After 4 – 5 hours in the oven, the tomatoes become so rich in umami flavors and very soft. So, I like to serve it very simply by topping them over the cold somen noodles and pouring a soy-flavored dashi broth over it. I like breaking the tomatoes with chopsticks and gently mix with the noodles as I eat, or you can coarsely chop the tomatoes before topping over the noodles, too.

The best thing is that both the tomatoes and broth can be prepared up to a few days in advance. So, once I make them for the next days, all I need to do is just boil the somen noodles and assemble them for a quick delicious meal.


Smoked Chinese-style Cold Noodle

Smoked Hiyashi Chuka

Smoked toppings give such a tasty and unique upgrade to the popular summer dish. This dish has not only been a summer hit at my home, but I actually like to make it whenever I want all year round. The yuzu-flavored broth is so refreshing and creates a nice balance with the smoked toppings. For me, Yuzu-Kosho is an essential addition to add a nice kick to this dish, but it’s totally optional for those who prefer a less spicy flavor.


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.


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.


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.


Make Your Own Shoyu Ramen Hot Pot

Okonomi Shoyu Ramen Nabe

Making ramen is easy and fun, especially if you cook and serve as donabe hot pot right at the table. I like adding the chopped nira (garlic chives) to the ramen right before serving, but if you can’t find nira, you can substitute with thinly-sliced green onion and serve as a topping, instead. Enjoy with a couple of simple toppings or a make a platter of a wide selection of toppings to choose from for fun.


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.



Sweet Potato & Walnut Rice

Satsuma Imo to Kurumi no Takikomi Gohan

Satsuma-imo (Japanese sweet potato) and roasted walnuts bring rich earth and sweet flavors to this dish.


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.


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.


Steam-fry Shio-Koji Chicken, Green Beans, and Cherry Tomatoes

Chicken is quickly sautéed first, then steam-fried together with vegetables in Fukkura-san. Shio-koji marinated chicken has extra rich flavor with succulent texture. Drizzle some soy sauce and squeeze a generous amount of lemon as soon as the heat is turned off and the donabe is brought to the table, so they will sizzle with the residual heat in the skillet and becomes so aromatic.


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