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Tag Archives: Vegetarian option

How to Grill with Mizu Konro

Basic Grilling with the water grill, Mizu Konro

Iga-yaki Water Grill, Mizu Konro is a portable grill set for tabletop charcoal grilling. It’s easy to set up, and once you have the ingredients ready, you can simply start grilling them on Mizu Konro at the table. The aroma of binchotan charcoal adds really wonderful flavors to the ingredients, and you can keep grilling and eating until you are full! The tabletop grill also makes a meal a fun event, as everybody can participate in the cooking and share the whole experience.

Make sure to enjoy using Mizu Konro outdoor or a very well-ventilated area if inside.


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.


Classic Chicken and Root Vegetable Stew

Chikuzen-ni

This is a traditional stew called Chikzen-ni, and is often served in a Japanese New Year meal, and one of my favorite New Year dishes since I was a child. The root vegetables such as burdock, lotus, carrot and sato-imo (taro) are cooked with konnyaku (yam jelly), dry shiitake, and chicken in dashi, and seasoned with soy sauce and black sugar. The flavor is so rich and you can really enjoy the nice earthy flavors.

When I serve this dish in the New Year, I cut the lotus and carrot into decorative shapes, but for any regular occasion, that’s not necessary.

Although I love the flavor of the chicken in Chikuzen-ni, this dish can easily be converted into a vegan dish by simply omit the chicken and use vegan dashi (i.e. kombu and dry shiitake dashi). You can also make it gluten-free by substituting the soy sauce and white tamari with tamari soy sauce.


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.


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.


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.


Tofu and Wakame Miso Soup

Tofu to Wakame no Miso-shiru

Tofu and wakame miso soup is such a classic Japanese soup, and it’s one of my ultimate comfort foods. Because Miso-shiru Nabe has such a high heat retention ability, the soup stays very hot for a long time after turning off the heat. Make sure to turn off the heat as soon as you add the miso, and never boil the soup, so you can really enjoy the most aromatic stage of the miso. If you have access, salt-preserved wakame (or sometimes it’s called “fresh wakame“) is recommended as it gives the nice fresh texture to the soup, and you can add it at the very end to the donabe or add to your bowl after the soup is poured into individual bowls.


Basic Smoking with Donabe Smoker, Ibushi Gin

Whether is simple sausages, fresh salmon, or boiled eggs, the Donabe Smoker, Ibushi Gin can make very aromatic smoked dishes in easy steps in a short time. Here’s the basic smoking guideline and tips for using Ibushi Gin large size, and the timing and measurements can be adjusted to your preference depending on what you smoke. The more you use it, the better you become in tweaking the process to best fit you.


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