It feels like I have been making this dish all the time. It’s something I can make without even thinking and love it every time. Yes, it’s really the simplest dish you can think of. Just steamed tofu and mushrooms in a donabe steamer, Mushi Nabe. At the same time, this dish really showcases how a simple ingredients can taste so good when cooked in Mushi Nabe and makes me re-appreciate the beauty of minimalism.
This is a very healthy and tasty all-purpose sauce, and made with all “black” ingredients. All you need to do is just whisk together black sesame paste, black sesame seeds, black vinegar, soy sauce, and black sugar. My regular way to use this sauce is to serve with simple steamed tofu and mushrooms. You can also enjoy it with steamed vegetables, fish, etc.
This rice dish has been a big hit throughout this summer, and I made it many times. As long as you have nice sweet fresh corn, this dish can almost never fail. Corn and hijiki seaweed go so well together (I also like to make a salad dish featuring these two ingredients), and they blend in with the rice nicely.
The butter and Smoked Soy Sauce are added after the rice is made, so they keep the really fresh flavors. The aroma is quite irresistible. If you don’t have the Smoked Soy Sauce, you can use a regular soy sauce for a non-smokey version.
This is one of my favorite cold desserts. It’s very simple to make and the flavor is so rich and elegant. The key is a high quality matcha and kudzu powder (plant based starch – the kind I use is considered to be among the top quality kind from Yoshino region of Nara, Japan). The texture is nicely bouncy and the flavor is so rich, although there is no butter or cream used. In fact, it’s completely vegan. Kuzu mochi is a traditional Japanese dessert, made of simply kudzu powder and water. And, this is my variation which has matcha and almond milk. You can make it one day in advance, so this makes a nice dessert when you have a dinner party.
Tomato is one of my favorite summer vegetables (or technically it’s a fruit), and make a lot of slow-roasted tomatoes for various recipes. One of them is Cold Somen Noodles with Slow-Roasted Tomato, and here is another one! Once you have the slow-roasted tomatoes ready, all you need to do is basically make plain rice with Kamado-san, then top the rice with the slow-roasted tomatoes. You can gently break the tomatoes to mix with the rice. The umami of the tomatoes are so condensed after the long slow roasting, the rice itself doesn’t need any other flavoring or seasoning.
I love it with chopped Japanese herbs and chunky la-yu (recipe is found in my DONABE Cookbook), but commercial la-yu (spicy chili oil) or any hot sauce can work, too.
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.
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.
Fava beans are among my favorite spring ingredients, and I get so excited when I see them at a local farmers market. When they are in season, they are so flavorful that I like to prepare them in simple ways. Here is one of my quick and frequently-made fava bean recipes. I steam the shelled fava beans for a few minutes, peel them and toss them with extra virgin olive oil, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and top with some Salt-Pickled Sansho Berries. The dish is amazing. If you don’t have sansho berries, you can simply finish with sansho powder (and adjust the seasoning by adding a little amount of sea salt).
It takes no time to prepare this dish, and this appetizer is quite addictive. Just slice up a ripe avocado, drizzle high quality extra virgin olive oil, and serve with Kanzuri paste and Coarse Nori Crumbles from Ariake Sea. The nori crumbles give such a nice sweet ocean aroma and delicate crunch, but high quality sheet nori can work also, by coarsely breaking it by hand. With this dish and a nice sake, I’m just happy.
Super easy to make with just a few ingredients, with just a little bit of patience, this dish makes a great snack/ appetizer to easily please your guests. All you need to do is to marinade a block of cream cheese in miso+mirin mixture for a few days or longer. This is also a perfect dish to keep stock in your fridge, so you can just slice and serve when you want to quickly entertain your guest or when you need one more little dish. You can enjoy the slices with a little wasabi on the side to enjoy with your sake. Or, this can make wonderful canapés to serve on crackers at a party. And, that’s what we did at a event at TOIRO the other day…it was a big hit!
Enjoy this one-pot dish made with fresh yakisoba noodles and a lot of vegetables. I’ve been making this dish for years and had so many people turned on to this dish. The curry and tamari soy sauce flavors make a great combination. The noodles become nicely spicy and robust. This is a completely vegan dish with layers of flavors and textures. The sauce and sun-dried tomatoes bring out the rich umami, too.
I eat a lot of porridge especially in the winter time, as the dish is not only so gentle to your stomach, but is also a great way to keep your body warm. In Japanese tradition, on January 7, we eat Nanakusa-gayu (7-herb rice porridge), and it’s a custom to to bring health and longevity. It also has a meaning to clean your body with this simple porridge after consecutive days of feast during the New Year holidays.
Outside of Japan, including Los Angeles where I live, it’s not easy to source all the 7 kinds of Japanese herbs locally, so I actually enjoy making my own version with just kabu (Japanese turnips; its’ leaves are one of 7 herbs in Nanakusa-gayu) and use pure soymilk, in addition to kombu infused water, to cook the rice. It’s rich, creamy, really flavorful, and still light in your stomach.
It’s totally fine to cook it only with water (for more plain version), or use your choice of dashi such as kombu and bonito dashi for slightly deeper flavor. And, you can enjoy with your choice of condiments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gobo (burdock) has a natural sweet earthy aroma, and I love the combination of minced gobo with rice for its hearty taste. Daikon leaves add a layer of earthy flavors and texture. If you can’t find daikon leaves, kale can work nicely, too. With this rice dish and a bowl of miso soup, it will make a happy donabe meal for me.
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.
This is a classic Japanese home-style dish, and we love the full flavor of nutty kabocha with light seasoning of soy sauce, etc. This dish is almost ridiculously easy to make. Once you arrange the cut kabocha pieces with seasonings in a donabe, you heat it and let the donabe do the work for you. You don’t even need to stir the contents. With Miso-shiru Nabe, the delicate kabocha can cook so tender without falling apart.
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.
I love the earthy treat. I like to use a few kinds of mushrooms such as shiitake, king oyster, and shimeji. You can try with your choice of mushrooms. By adding sweet rice, the dish becomes nice and slightly chewy texture, but you can also make it only with short grain rice and it will taste very nice, too. For seasoning, I love white tamari, for its mellow and slightly sweet aroma, but you can substitute with usukuchi shoyu or regular soy sauce, too.
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.
Made from Japanese mayonnaise, Yuzu juice, Yuzu-Kosho, and chives, this is a super quick dipping sauce which can be made with everything I always have in my fridge, and it always tastes so good. You can adjust the amount of the yuzu-kosho according to your taste. This sauce is great with Salt-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes made in Fukkura-san, or grilled vegetables, fish, etc.
When I first tried simple vegetables steamed in Mushi Nabe, I was so surprised how pure and delicious they tasted. Mushi Nabe cooks vegetables fast and really brings out their natural flavors well. All I need to do is just get the seasonal high quality vegetables I like and steam in Mushi Nabe. Try those vegetable simply with a quick dipping sauce of some sea salt and extra virgin olive oil, or your choice of dipping sauce.
Simplicity at its best, when a sweet potato is steam-roasted in Fukkura-san, the texture becomes rich and creamy, and the flavor becomes so sweet. The glaze in the lid gives the effective FIR (Far-Infrared Rays…same effect as how a glowing charcoal heats to the core of ingredients) and moisture from the lid gives the perfect steam effect. I used purple sweet potatoes in this recipe, but you can use Satsuma-Imo (Japanese sweet potato with pale color interior) or other types of sweet potatoes or yams. Serve with simple sea salt & butter, or Shio-koji Mascarpone Dipping Sauce, suggested in this recipe below.
Just mix mayonnaise and some sansho powder, and all-purpose condiment is ready in a few seconds. Sansho adds the beautiful aromatic touch with tong-numbing spicy kick in the finish. Adjust the amount of sansho according to your taste. This condiment is great with smoked dish, fried chicken, fresh vegetable sticks, and so many more.
This is a super simple ponzu, made by equal amount of Japanese daidai citrus (aromatic citrus, which is a type of orange) juice and high quality soy sauce. Great with tofu, grilled fish, etc.
Mochi Mugi is a type of barley and it is considered to be a “super food”, as it contains much higher amount of fiber than brown rice or regular kinds of barley. For me, Mochi Mugi simply tastes so good and I really enjoy its nice bouncy texture. By adding a small amount of Mochi Mugi to your rice, your rice becomes not only more nutritious but it adds another nice dimension in the flavor. For each packet of Mochi Mugi, 1/2 cup (120 ml) water is needed to cook.
Satsuma-imo (Japanese sweet potato) and roasted walnuts bring rich earth and sweet flavors to this dish.
Simplicity at its best, these salt-roasted fingerling potatoes always make my guests go crazy whenever I serve them at a dinner party. The potatoes are lightly salted and cooked in Fukkura-san over medium-high heat until done. It gives both the roasting and steaming effects during the cooking, and the result is always the best roasted potatoes I’ve ever tasted! The skin gets delicately crispy and the interior becomes almost creamy. Just be careful with the heat, as the donabe gets extremely hot during cooking and even for a while after the heat is turned off. I love to serve it with simple Yuzu-Kosho Mayo Dipping Sauce which I can whip up in seconds.
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.
Nira (garlic chives) and shiitake mushrooms are quickly simmered in kombu & shiitake dashi-based broth, then finished with eggs. I like the very soft and slightly runny stage of the eggs, so let it cook for a short time once the eggs are added. This dish is great as an appetizer (served as a soup), side dish, or I also like to pour over rice. If you can’t find nira, you can substitute it with spinach or pea shoot. You can also add rehydrated dry shiitake used to make the dashi for extra flavor and texture.
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.
For whole grain (unpolished) brown rice
Basic white rice cooking method with Kamado-san