A Taste of Culture

Try your hand at making Japanese food and foods with a Japanese flare. Food is an integral part of a culture. Eating is a form of communication that is steeped with meaning. Come experience Japan in your kitchen with one of these tasty dishes. From main dishes to snacks the following recipes are shared with the hope to inspire an awareness of the meaning of food to promote our collective understanding and valuing of diversity.

Marcus Samuelsson, born in Ethiopia, adopted and raised in Sweden and resides in New York, says in the PBS series "Meaning of Food", “Everywhere I’ve been, everything I am is reflected in my feelings about food. America is called a melting pot, but I think it’s more like a stew where individual flavors are still present yet create a whole. Like me, many of us have mixed backgrounds and influences. We struggle between holding on to our cultural heritage and fitting in, and nowhere is this more clearly expressed than through food.”

 

 

 

Bon appétit        itadakimasu        いただきます        hear this phrase

 

 

 

 


Rice

Rice is the mainstay of Japanese food. Making it just right can be rather difficult. Follow these clear instructions on how to prepare rice. With proper cooking, the sometime subtle differences in rice can more readily be discerned.
»  Learn more about rice
»  Koda Farms California rice legacy
»  Zojirushi on rice
»  Rice production Wikipedia


Entrée

more recipes pending
Oden (Hot Pot, winter comfort food)

 


Omu Raisu (Rice Omelette)

オムライス

A western influenced dish from the turn of the century Ginza

“Omu” is an abbreviation for “omuretsu” (“omelette” pronounced with a Japanese accent) and “Raisu” is obviously a rendition of “rice”. This dish is said to have originated in the Ginza district of Tokyo and inspired by chakin-zushi (pan fried chicken rice). It is a favorite of children and often found in western styled restaurants in Japan.

Servings: 2

Ingredients:
• 2 ½ cups fried rice (see yakimeshi recipe) often flavored with diced chicken and sometimes dressed up with shitake, corn, bell pepper. This is a way to help some kids eat vegetables.
• 4 eggs
• 2 tablespoons milk
• ketchup

Directions:
1. Prepare or warm up fried rice

2. Break eggs, add milk and beat well in a separate container

3.Cook egg mix in lightly greased pan over medium heat until the top begins to slightly set

4. Before egg is too dry add fried rice to one side of pan and flip over the other side’s egg to cover the rice. Cook about another minute to set egg

5. Serve warm and garnish with ketshup
The fried rice can be replaced wth yakisoba for “omusoba”

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Yakimeshi (Fried Rice)

やきめし

Tasty quick staple of Japan – leftovers reminiscent of childhood and Obasan

Yakimeshi, like ojiya, illustrates the practical efficiency of Japan. With rice eaten daily, there accumulates some leftover cooked rice unless you have a teenage boy. This fried rice is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner and it often eagerly anticipated. Each household makes it slightly differently and each time it is made it can be different as the assorted leftovers added to the rice may vary. Yakimeshi is more simply flavored than Chinese fried rice, as it essentially is only flavored with soy sauce. It is also a great way to clean out the corners of the fridge.

Servings: 2 to 3 (about 1 cup cooked rice per serving)

Ingredients:
• 2 to 3 cups of day or two old cooked rice (some use rice that has been stored in the fridge since it is drier)
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 to 3 green onions, diced thin
• 1 egg
• ¼ cup ham or other chopped meat (optional)
• 1 to 1½ tablespoons oil
• 1 small carrot, chopped or diced
• ¼ to ½ cup vegetables (peas, chopped spinach, diced celery, chopped green beans, or other leftovers)
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce (more or less to taste)
• optional a few diced shitake mushrooms, ginger, garlic or other favorites to personalize the dish

Directions:
1. Chop/dice vegetables and optional meat. Beat egg in separate container and set aside

2. Heat oil in heavy pan, wok or non-stick pan over medium heat. Add onions first and cook to caramelize

3. Cook other vegetables to begin to warm and soften.Do not over cook. Cook meat in the same pan

4. Push vegetables off to one side of pan, cook egg and then break it up and mix with the vegetables

5. Add rice and stir fry for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Break up rice and stir to keep from burning, or sticking to pan. Some recipes call for turning down the heat and covering with a lid for a few minutes. This method can result in a crust on the bottom that can be broken up to give the yakimeshi more texture

6. When nearly done, add finely sliced green onion and soy sauce to taste

7. Mix thoroughly and serve warm. Some add pepper or shichimi togarashi to taste

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Ojiya or Zohsui (rice porridge)

Simple staple comfort food and catch-all for leftovers

Whether for a great breakfast or as comfort food, Ojiya is a simple staple of growing up Japanese. It is also a way to use up left over rice and vegetables (Chinese cabbage, spinach, carrots, daikon, spinach, wakame, green onion, or other thin leaf greens). Everyone’s mother makes this differently and what the current leftovers are also keeps this dish exciting. The recipe below is just a rough guide. Add cooked shrimp, chicken, fish, tofu, kamaboko (fish cake) or whatever you desire to give this simple dish your unique flare. Adapt this to your needs and tastes. Some make it without egg and some make it with a miso soup base. Carrots, kabocha, shitake mushrooms are pretty and tasty additions. Everyone has a favorite or comforting version when under the weather.

Servings: 1 (expand as needed)ojiya - rice porridge
Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup cooked rice
• 1 to 1 1/2 cups water
• 1 tablespoon dashi or miso (exclude
    or reduce the shoyu)
• 1 teaspoon shoyu (soy sauce)
• 1/2 to ` cup chopped green leafy
    vegetable
• 1 egg (can use 2 eggs for 3 to 4
    servings when expanding recipe)
• 1/4 cup Any small cut up cooked leftover meat (optional)

Directions:
1. Boil water with dashi or miso to make a soup base (left over nabe base works too)
2. Warm up rice (microwave) if using cold leftover rice
3. Add shoyu and vegetable(s) to boiling water, and cook until vegetables are soft (maybe
    5-7 minutes)
4. If using precooked vegetables reduce time to let them keep some texture.
5. Add shoyu and adjust the taste with more shoyu.
6, Add egg and cook another 30 seconds
7. Turn off heat and let egg cook with left over heat while stirring so egg turns into thin
    strings like in egg flower soup
8. Garnish with chopped green onion or shichimi as desired

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Maguro no Yamakake (tuna with mountain yam)

まぐろの山かけとろろ

Simple fresh gooey goodness suribachi and surikogi

Servings: 2 to 4

Ingredients:
• ~ 6-10 oz Maguro, sushi quality
• ~ 10 oz or about 7″ Yamaimo (mountain yam)
• 1 to 2 teaspoons of shirodashi broth (to taste)

Directions:
1. Cut maguro into small cubes (about a half inch or slightly bigger)

2. Peel and grate yamaimo on a course grater or in a suribachi (すり鉢 or grinding bowl) Wash hands well after grating the yam

3. Mix well the shirodashi broth with the grated yam

4. Put the maguro in serving dish(es) and pour the yam mixture over the top and serve slightly cooled or room temperature

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Karei Raisu カレーライ (curry rice)

A favorite comfort food

Karei raisu, curry rice, is a staple across Japan. It is a ubiquitous warming and filling dish at ski resorts and mountain huts, and a fast easy meal at home when made with pre-made store-bought Japanese curry roux cubes. 5 brands found commonly in USA compared. The varieties have distinct tastes and blending cubes from the different brands can result in a custom flavor that surpasses the varieties individually. Experiment to find your perfect karei raisu. Curry ramen and curry udon are some favorite variations.

Servings: 12 (~8 oz of roux cubes)

Ingredients:
• ~ 8 oz Curry Sauce roux cubes
• 1 to 1 1/2 lbs beef, pork or chicken cubed (cubed firm tofu makes a great substitute)
• 1 medium carrot
• 3 medium potatoes
• ~ 2 tbsp oil or butter
• 6 cups water

Directions:
1. Cut lean beef, chicken or tofu into in cubes

2. Chop onions, cut carrots into thick rounds, and potatoes into 1 inch cubes (or bigger)

3. Saute in butter or oil the onions and meat until lightly browned (about 3 to 5 minutes)

4. In a sauce pan add water, onions, cut vegetables and bring to a boil
karei raisu - curry rice

5. Add meat and simmer covered for about 10 minutes or until meat is tender

6. Remove from heat and add curry cubes

7. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly as curry thickens

8. Serve hot over hot rice. A common garnish is oshinko (Japanese pickles)

a homemade chicken curry recipe is pending

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Zaru Soba (cold noodles with dipping sauce)

Chilled summer delight
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
For the sauce (soba tsuyu):
• 1/2 cup of kaeshi
• 1 1/2 to 3 cups of dashi stock or vegetarian dashi stock
Combine the two in a pan and bring up to a simmer. The less dashi added the more intense the sauce will be, so add the dashi a little at a time, and start tasting after you’ve added about 1 1/2 cups: keep adding if it’s too strong. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, then let cool. You can do this a day ahead of time, and refrigerate the tsuyu.
Quick and easy version: Buy a bottle of concentrated tsuyu or mentsuyu, and thin out with water.
For the noodles:
• 400g (about 14 oz) soba noodles, or about 100g (4 oz) per person Most soba comes in 100 or 200 gram packets.18 shrimp sliced in half horizontally (optional)
Condiments, or yakumi:
• Finely chopped green onions (commonly used condiment)
• Grated wasabi (optional)
• Seven-flavor pepper (nanami tohgarashi) (optional)
• Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
• Finely shredded green shiso leaves (optional)
• Finely cut nori seaweed (cut with a pair of kitchen scissors) (optional)
• Grated fresh ginger (optional)

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Unlike Italian pasta, you do not need to salt the water. Once it’s boiling, hold the noodles over the water and sprinkle them in strand by strand. Once all the noodles are in, stir gently so that they are all immersed in the water.

2. Bring the water back up to a gentle boil, then lower the heat so that the water is just simmering. (This differs from the ‘rolling boil’ that’s recommended for pasta.) If the water threatens to boil over, add about 1/2 cup of cold water (but if you lower the heat to the gentle simmer, and have a big enough pot, this shouldn’t be necessary). Cook for about 7 to 8 minutes, or following the package directions (for thinner noodles 5 to 6 minutes may be enough. Test by eating a strand – it should be cooked through, not al dente, but not mushy either).At this point, you may want to reserve some of the cooking water. This is called sobayu (そば湯), literally ‘hot soba water’, and many people like to add it to the remaining soba dipping sauce at the end of the meal to drink like soup!

3. Drain the noodles into a colander. Immediately return them to the pot and fill the pot with cold water. When you’re draining the hot water you may notice that it smells quite ‘floury’. This is what you want to totally remove. If the noodles threaten to flood out over the pot, put the colander on the pot to hold the noodles down. Leave the water running for a while over the noodles.

4. Once the water and the noodle are cool, start to ‘wash’ the noodles. Take handfuls and gently swish and rub them in the water. Your goal is to wash off any trace of starchiness or gumminess on the noodles. When you’re done the water should run clear.

5. Make ready a flat sieve – a bamboo one is ideal and looks pretty. (You can use a nice looking colander instead, but flat sieves like this aren’t expensive – look in Asian markets.) Take a few strands of the noodles at a time. Loop the strands onto the sieve to make a nice little bundle. This is one portion. Allow for about 10-12 portions or so per person, if you’re using individual sieves. Arrange each bundle separately, to allow for easy pickup with chopsticks.
zaru soba- cold noodles

6. To serve the noodles: place a plate under the sieve or sieves to catch any drips. Put out small bowls filled with the condiments of your choice, from which each diner can pick. The dipping containers can be anything that can hold about a cup or so of liquid. A rice bowl or a small soup bowl, or even a tumbler, can be used. Fill each dipping bowl halfway with the cooled dipping sauce or soba tsuyu.

7. To eat, each person puts in the condiments of their choice, take a portion of the soba, and dips it in the sauce briefly – then, immediately eats the soba. Don’t let the noodle soak in the sauce or overload it with condiments, otherwise the delicate flavor of the soba will be overwhelmed.

8. At the end of the meal, you can add some of the reserve sobayu to the rest of your sauce (see above) to finish your meal.

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Yakisoba

A fun food stall staple

Servings: 4-5

Ingredients:
• 3 eggs
• 18 shrimp sliced in half horizontally (optional)
• ½ pound (2 pieces) boneless chicken thighs (optional)
• 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
• 2 teaspoons cooking sake
• 1 pinch of dashi powder
• 1 teaspoon of corn starch
• 1 package (17 ounces) of fresh yakisoba noodles with sauce
• 3 cups packed cabbage, coarsely chopped
• 4 carrots julienned
• 6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
• 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
• 1 white onion, sliced into strips
• 2 green onions, sliced into 1 inch pieces
• Optional Toppings: Sesame seeds, kizami nori (dried seaweed cut into thin strips), beni shouga (pickled ginger)

Directions:
1. Whip eggs in bowl and add pinch of salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in large saucepan. Add enough egg to cover pan in thin layer. Cook until egg has set, then flip and cook for additional 1 minute. Try not to brown the eggs. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining egg. Let cool and thinly cut into 3 inch long strips.

2. Heat vegetable oil in a wok on medium low heat and saute shrimp for 3 to 4 minutes. When cooked through, remove from wok and place in bowl.Crack one egg into a bowl and add a small pinch of salt and sugar, then beat lightly

3. Cut chicken into bite-sized (approximately 1 inch) pieces. In a medium-sized bowl combine chicken with 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce, 2 teaspoons of cooking sake, a pinch of dashi powder, and 1 teaspoon of corn starch. Mix together thoroughly and let marinade for 15 minutes. Heat vegetable oil in wok on medium heat and saute chicken until cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Top with splash of unagi sauce. Remove from wok and set aside.Pour into a pre-heated, oiled fry pan and lightly cook

4. Add remaining oil and fresh ginger. Saute for about 1 minute or until until fragrant. Add cabbage and carrots, and saute for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Add green onions and mushrooms and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.yakisoba pan

5. When the vegetables are almost done cooking, heat a pot filled with about an inch of water until hot. Add yakisoba noodles and gently loosen. Do not overcook; the purpose of this step is only to loosen the noodles. Drain from the water once loosened.

6. When vegetables are cooked and soft, add shrimp, chicken, and noodles. Sprinkle powdered sauce into the noodles until dissolved and evenly distributed, being careful not to break the noodles.

7. Serve as is or as “Yakisoba-pan” by filling hotdog buns with the yakisoba.

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Hiyashi Chuka (Cold Ramen Noodles) 冷やし中華

Cool light summer delight – tastiest version by littlejapanmama.com

Servings: 4

Ingredients:
• Fresh Ramen noodles (or other noodles like somen or soba)
Hiyashi Chuka Sauce
• 100 ml Japanese soy sauce
• 120 ml vinegar (rice vinegar is best, but apple cider or white will do)
• 120 ml cold water
• 3 Tbsp sugar
• 1 tsp sesame oil
Choice of Toppings (here are some common ones, or be creative with leftovers)
• Cucumber, sliced into thin strips
• 4 Eggs (1 per serving, see below for preparation)
• Cooked Chicken, cut into small pieces or shredded
• Bean sprouts
• Carrots slivers
• Canned sweet corn kernals
• Ham cut into small pieces or shredded
• Tomato diced or thin cut wedges or slices
• Cooked Prawns
• Kamaboko
• Pickled ginger
• Fresh green beans

Directions:
Hiyashi Chuka Sauce
1. Place all sauce ingredients into a small jar and shake to combine and dissolve sugar
Egg prepared for Hiyashi Chuka
1. Crack one egg into a bowl and add a small pinch of salt and sugar, then beat lightly
2. Pour into a pre-heated, oiled fry pan and lightly cook
3. After it looks firm enough, carefully flip and turn off heat and allow egg to cook a few
          more seconds, then tip onto a plate
4. Wait until cool before slicing into long slices about ¼ inch wide.
5. Repeat for each egg (1 per serving)
Ramen Noodles for Hiyashi Chuka
1. Place noodles in rapidly boiling water and boil noodles until done
2. Tip into a colander, fill the saucepan with cold water, return noodles to saucepan tip out
          into colander again, fill saucepan with cold water again
3. Repeat step 2 twice more to rinse and chill the noodles
Hiyashi Chuka
1. Arrange toppings, i.e., egg, cucumber and other things on top of noodles
          Or for a potluck – gently mix together like a tossed salad
2. Pour Hiyashi Chuka sauce over noodles and toppings
3. Serve chilled or room

Hiyashi Chuka is actually a Japanese adaptation of a Chinese-style dish.
“Hiyashi” means “Chilled” and “Chuka” means “Chinese”

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Okayu (Plain Rice Porridge)

お粥

A simple easy to digest porridge

This is often a food for those without an appetite or feeling well. The key to okayu is the water to rice ratio which determines its consistency. The ratio can be anything from 20 to 4 times water as there is rice. Depending on your preference, adjust the amount of water and the cooking time. Using rice that is already cooked can result in a thick paste and is not recommended. This porridge is commonly flavored with umeboshi (pickled plum), but other options include adding egg or sweet potatoes while cooking. Some add flavor to this plan dish by wsing dashi, chicken stock or miso.

Servings: 1

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cups rice
• about 3 cups water
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Place washed and drained rice and water into a pot and cook at medium heat.

2. Add salt and stir to keep rice from sticking.

3. When boiling starts, cover pot with a lid but leave it a bit uncovered to allow some steam to escape.

4. Cook on low heat for another 30-40 minutes

Adjust water to rice ratio and cooking time to obtain the desired consistency.
Add egg, sweet potato or other flavorings near the end of the low heat cooking step, but allow enough time for the egg to cook.
お大事 (odaijini)

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more recipes are pending


Holiday & Classics

Kohaku Namasu (red & white salad)

紅白なます/おせち料理

Clean refreshing salad often a part of New Year’s fare, but delicious anytime of the year.

Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
• ~ 1 lbs. daikon radish
• ~ 1/4 lbs carrot
• 1 teaspoon salt
Dressing:
• 1/4 cup rice vinegar
• 1/3 cup dashi stock (or water)
• 3 tbsp sugar

Directions:
1. Cut radish and carrots into sengiri, or thin julienne strips. YouTube video of sengiri applied to cabbage:See the xxx recipe for instructions on this cutting method.

2. Kneed salt into cut vegetables. Set them aside for 20 to 30 minutes to allow water to be pulled from the vegetables. Drain and squeeze water from vegetables. The better wrung out the vegetables the crisper the end result.

3. Mix vegetables with dressing ingredients. Adjust to suit your taste. Water instead of dashi stock is a common substitute. Some add mirin and reduce the granulated sugar. well the shirodashi broth with the grated yam

4. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. This can keep sealed in refrigerator for a couple days. Optional garnishes include thinly sliced kombu (kelp) and sesame seed, The color contrast of black sesame on the orange and white pickled julienned vegetables is striking.

For a great description of Japanese culinary cutting methods visit Taste of Japan’s page on vegetable cutting.

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Kinpira (きんぴら) gobo and carrot

A lot of effort (cutting) but well worth it as this salty sweet side dish adds color, texture and tradition to the table. This is a staple side dish enjoyable all year. Gobo, a.k.a. Burdock root, is a long thin root full of fiber and minerals. It is found in oden and many other classic Japanese dishes. There are many variations of this recipe including the addition of sake and using other vegetables like parsnips.

Servings: ~4-6

Ingredients:kinpira

• 1 Gobo root (about 2.5 to 3 feet of root)
• 1 carrot
• 1 tbsp sesame oil
• 1/4 cup water or dashi stock
• 2 tbsp shoyu (soy sauce)
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 1 tbsp mirin
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

Directions:
1. Clean gobo root with a thorough scrubbing under cool water. Some scrape off the outer layer to make it look pretty, but this part has a lot of flavor, fiber and minerals.

2. Cut carrots into thin matchstick size pieces or julienne.

3. Be careful cutting the gobo it can be tough. It also can stain hands. Keep the cut gobo in water until all are done, then drain. Cut the gobo using Sasagaki-style cutting: with a sharp knife safely score the root lengthwise several times, then with the knife whittle the end like your sharpening a pencil to produce nice size shavings. Here is a great description of the sasagaki cutting technique from Makiko Itoh’s, Justhungy.com Justhungry is a great resource for technique and recipes.

4. Heat oil in fry pan at a medium high heat (not smoking hot). Add gobo for about 3 minutes, then add carrots for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, stirring all the while. When done, the gobo should be firm but tender, if it is still crunchy cook a bit more

5. Add the sugar and liquid seasonings and cook to reduce to a thick savory sauce coating the vegetables. When done, the gobo should be firm but tender, if it is still crunchy cook a bit more after adding some liquid. The end product is not dripping wet, it is coated and the pan dry.

6. Remove from heat and stir in sesame seeds. Serve warm or chilled. This keeps well in the refrigerator for several days.

kimpira photo from mmm-yoso‘s fun filled food blog

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Kuromame 黒豆 (Sweet Black Soy Beans)

Shiny silky black sweetness-a part of traditional osechi ryori (Japanese New Year’s food) that promises health in the New Year

Like most of these traditional foods, there are family and regional variations. Try an easy modern method using a crock pot. kuromame
Servings: ~12-16
Ingredients:
• 2 cups kuromame (dried black soy beans)
• ~ 3 cups sugar
• 1 to 2 tablespoons of shoyu (soy sauce)
• 2 to 3 rusty nails (optional – imparts a nice black color) or cook in clean cast iron pot

Directions:
1. Wash beans thoroughly in cool water several times and remove broken beans
2. Bring beans and water to a boil on high heat. Then remove, cool slightly and skim off any frothy residue
3. Soak beans in 10 cups of water overnight (at least 12 hours)
4. Add sugar and soy sauce and cook on low for about 4 to 6 hours until beans are very tender. Cover during this stage with a pot lid or an otoshibuta (floating lid) to keep beans submerged
5. Keep adding cool water to just keep the beans covered during this long slow cooking process. Make sure the beans do not dry out during this step
6. Strain the beanst and boil down the remaining syrup until it is very thick and dark.
7. Add beans back to thickened sauce and refrigerate 6 or more hours
8. Serve chilled with osechi ryori, rice, or just plain as a snack. Store in refrigerator. Can also be used in kuromame daifuku mochi and other sweets.

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Ozoni

Traditional soup served on New Year’s Day

Servings: about 4 to 5

Ingredients:
• 4-6 cups of dashi stock, or water and appropriate amount of dried dashi to taste
• 1- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (to taste)
• 1/3 cup cooked chicken meat cut into small pieces
• 4- 6 ounces mizuna, spinach, bok choi or other green leafy vegetable – lightly chopped if large leaves
• ~ 4 mochi – 1 per serving (two if very small)
• about 6 ounce or half a block kamaboko (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick slices) – pink kamaboko adds a nice color to the soup

Directions:
1. Heat soup base (dashi stock or water + instant dashi) to simmer then add leafy greens. ozoni
2. Cook at low heat for only a few minutes until the vegetables are wilted.
3. Cook the mochi (either toasted over open flame, under a broiler, or in microwave) until just slightly puffy. Again this is quick unless the mochi is frozen. Some cooks simmer the mochi in the soup for a few minutes but not long enough to let it turn into a gooey blob.
4. Put one mochi into each bowl, add kamaboko then fill bowls with the hot vegetable soup. Garnish as you wish (carrots, sprouts, etc) or just appreciate the warm simplicity.

Some families add leftovers of family favorites (shrimp and shitake, nabbed from the jubako, is common at our house). Some families add udon noodles, some add a dash of sake and some do not include chicken. There are many regional and family versions of this basic soup. Find your favorite by experimentation.

Warning – several people die each year in Japan by choking on mochi. Enjoy it at your own risk. Tokyo Fire Dept FYI mochi choking first aid and statistics (Japanese)

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pending recipes include
Tazukuri
Kurikinton
Konnyaku
Chazuke
Okayu
Okonomiyaki
Chawanmushi
Sesame ice cream
Ume boshi
Sakana shioyaki
Tsukemono
Gyoza
Chiriashi-zushi


Side

Spinach gomae (Spinach and Sesame Sauce)

ほうれん草の胡麻和え

A quick to prepare fresh side dish that can compliment almost anything

Serves: about 4

Ingredients:
• ¾ to ½ pounds of raw spinach
• 2 to 3 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds (white or black)
• 1½ tablespoon soy sauce
• ½ teaspoon mirin
• ½ tablespoon sugar

Directions:
1. Toast sesame seed in a pan quickly without any oil. Remove when a few seeds start to pop

2. Grind ¾ of sesame seeds with a mortar (Suribachi) and leave the remainder whole for texture

3. Combine seasonings (soy, mirin and sugar) in a bowl and mix in thoroughly the ground sesame

4. Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil then add the cleaned spinach

5. Cook spinach quickly (about 40 seconds, less for baby spinach, longer for older spinach) then place in cold water or drain and rinse under cold water

6. Squeeze out water and compress spinach to facilitate cutting

7. Cut spinach into 1½ to 2 inch sections

8. Mix in sesame dressing to coat spinach well

9. Chill and serve cold, garnish with remaining sesame seed

Variations include adding 1 teaspoon sake, a bit of tahini, or dash of sesame oil

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more recipes are pending – recommend your favorite


Okashi (Desserts)

Matcha Mochi Cupcakes

Delicious and pretty adaption from Otoki

Servings: about 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
• 1 (1 lb.) box mochiko
• 1 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 1 1/2 tsp. matcha (powder green tea)
• 3 eggs
• 1 1/2 cup milk
• 3/4 cup oil
• Optional: red bean paste (anko) center*

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Whisk all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside
3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and oil
4. Add dry ingredients and stir until incorporated
5. Spoon batter in a muffin pan lined with baking cups and bake for 30 to 40 minutes

*Optional: Add red bean paste (anko) to center – spoon batter into each muffin cup about 1/3 full. Then spoon in about 1 to 1/2 tsp anko. Then, top with the remainder of the batter. Bake as directed.

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Apricot Mochi (or any flavor combination you like)

Fast and easy fruity favorite

Servings: about 1 dozen

Ingredients:
• 1 box mochiko (l lb.)
• 1 box Apricot Jello (6 oz.)
• 2 ½ cups sugar
• 1 can (12 oz.) Apricot Nectar
• 1 ½ cups water
Note: Strawberry jello with guava nectar is another great flavor combination

Directions:
1. Mix mochiko, jello and sugar in a bowl
2. Spray “Pam” on sides and bottom of a 9 x12 inch glass baking dish or pan
3. Pour mixture into dish
4. Cover with foil and bake 55 minutes in 350 degree oven
5. Remove from oven and leave foil on for 15 minutes
6. Remove foil and leave overnight uncovered
Note: It works great to turn oven off and leave covered overnight. Experiment with your pan and oven to see what is best.
7. When cool, sprinkle and smooth on the top mochiko (or katakuriko-Japanese potato starch or shinko-rice flour)
8. Remove from pan onto mochiko covered board
9. Cut into desired shapes making sure to dust knife or cutter with mochiko
10. Dust cut edges of mochi with mochiko too to prevent sticking

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Tri-colored Mochi (Baked)

Colorful fun to eat holiday treat

Servings: one 9 × 13 pan

Ingredients:
• 1 pound Mochiko (16 oz box)
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 can coconut milk (12 oz)
• 2 cups water
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• Food color, red and green

Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine mochiko, sugar and baking powder.
2. Blend water, coconut milk and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients
3. Gradually, mixing thoroughly with whisk or spoon.
4. Remove 2 cups of mixture. Add about 3 drops of green coloring. Stir.
5. Pour into greased 9” x 13” pan.
6. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes at 350° F.
7. Pour 2 cups white mixture over first layer. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes.
8. Add red coloring to remaining mixture and pour over second layer. Cover and bake 30 minutes.
9. Cool uncovered, preferably overnight. Cover with clean dish cloth.
10. Cut with plastic knife when mochi is totally cooled. Cut into squares and wrap in plastic wrap.

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Mochi Cake

More than a cake

Servings: one 9 × 13 pan

Ingredients:
• 1 box (16 oz) mochiko (sweet rice flour)
• 1 cup margarine/butter
• 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 5 eggs
• 5 tsp. baking powder
• 2 ½ cups milk
• Powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Cream together margarine/butter and granulated sugar.
2. Add 5 eggs, one at a time.
3. In a separate bowl mix baking powder, mochiko and milk.
4. Combine both mixtures and pour into ungreased 9 x 13 pan.
5. Bake at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes.
6. Cool, cut and (optional) sprinkle with powdered sugar.
7. Wrap each piece in saran/plastic wrap.

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Custard Mochi

Deliciously soft sweet

Servings: one 9 × 13 pan

Ingredients:
• ½ cup butter/margarine
• 1 ¾ cups sugar
• 4 eggs
• 4 cups milk
• 2 tsp. vanilla
• 2 cups mochiko (sweet rice flour)
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1 box (16 oz) mochiko (sweet rice flour)

Directions:
1. Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs one at a time.
2. Add remaining ingredients.
3. Pour into greased 9” x 13” baking dish.
4. Bake at 350°F for one hour fifteen minutes or until top is light golden brown.
5. Cool then chill overnight in refrigerator until firm.
6. Cut and wrap in plastic wrap.

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Microwave Mochi

Easy and quick sweet
Servings: about 1 dozen

Ingredients:
• 1 ½ cups mochiko (sweet rice flour)
• ½ cup sugar
• 1 ½ cups water
• 1-2 drops food coloring
• Katakuriko or corn starch

Directions:
1. Mix mochiko, sugar, coloring and water together thoroughly
2. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on High for 3 minutes
3. Remove and stir
4. Cover and microwave on High for 2 minutes
5. Pour onto katkuriko covered surface to cut and shape
6. If cutting into small squares, let cool in a square or rectangular container
7. When cool into squares and wrap each piece in plastic wrap

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Adzuki in Mochi Bars

Manju in an easy fun bar
Servings: one 9 × 13 pan

Ingredients:
• 1 lb. box Mochiko (sweet rice flour)
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups whole milk (low fat and soymilk are reasonable substitutes)
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 (18 oz) can or package of smooth, sweetened red bean paste
         (koshian, or smooth-textured anko)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and generously grease a 9×13 baking pan.
2. Mix the first six ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat with whisk attachment on high for about 5 minutes, or until completely smooth.
3. Pour into greased pan.
4. Using a small spoon, drop sweetened red bean paste by small spoonfuls throughout the batter, distributing evenly (I go over the entire batter a few times with the spoonfuls of paste.) Some will sink, which is fine.
5. Bake for 1 hour, uncovered. Top will look golden brown and somewhat puffed up.
6. Allow to cool completely at room temp (don’t put in fridge.) Once it’s cool, use a sharp serrated knife to cut into squares.

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Pumpkin Mochi

Fall season delight
Servings: one 9 × 13 pan

Ingredients:
• 1 box (16 oz) mochiko (sweet rice flour)
• 2 ½ cups sugar
• 1 tsp. baking powder
• 5 eggs
• ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
• 3 cups milk
• 1 (29 oz) can pumpkin, solid pack
• 2 tsp. cinnamon
• 1 tsp. ground cloves
• 1 ½ cups mochiko (sweet rice flour)

Directions:
1. Combine mochiko, sugar and baking powder in large mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl slightly beat eggs. Add butter, milk, pumpkin and spices to eggs.
3. Mix well. Stir in mochiko mixture. Mix thoroughly until smooth.
4. Pour into greased 9” x 13” pan and bake for one hour.
5. Cool for several hours before cutting into squares.
6. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap.

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Chi Chi Dango

Soft sweet goodness

Servings: 12 to 16 pieces

Ingredients:
• 2 cups mochiko (sweet rice flour)
• 2 cups water
• ½ cup sugar
• Katakuriko or corn starch
• Food coloring (optional)
• Fruit Flavoring (optional)
• Mix mochiko

Directions:
1. Add water, sugar and coloring together
2. Pour into microwave bundt pan, microwave bowl, microwave safe 9 x 13 Pyrex
3. Cover with plastic wrap and cook at medium high for 7 ½ minutes
4. Cool on cutting board floured with katakuriko or corn starch.
5. Cut into approximately 2” x 2” pieces.
6. Wrap each piece in saran/plastic wrap

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Spam Musubi

Iconic Japanese-American fusion food from Hawaii

Servings: one 8 to 10 pieces

Ingredients:
• 5 cups of cooked rice
• 1 can of Spam, sliced approximately 3/8 inch
• 5 or 6 sheets of nori
• Teriyaki sauce:
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)

Directions:
1. Mix all sauce ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set sauce aside
2. Fry spam until crisp on both sides
3. Pour sauce into the pan with the Spam, and turn spam several times to coat thoroughly
4. Simmer until sauce thickens, and remove from heat
5. Place a sheet of Nori on a dry board, place a musubi maker in the middle of the nori, fill the musubi maker half full with rice, and press
6. Top with Spam and fill with rice to top of musubi maker and press.
7. Remove the mold and wrap the pressed Spam and rice tightly with nori
8. Repeat with remaining nori and Spam
9. Cut each musubi log with a wet knife into about 4 inch pieces
10. Wrap individual pieces with saran/plastic wrap

Like BBQ there are a lot of great variations – explore them all to find or create your favorite

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More sweet recipes are pending


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