Category Archives: Japanese Inspired Food and Recipes

Vegan Salad Pizza


Today I made a vegan pizza topped with basil, mixed greens, and roasted tomato. Instead of using butter in the dough, I used olive oil. I roasted tomatoes in the oven with Celtic sea salt. Finally I topped the pizza off with plenty of mixed greens and drizzled it with balsamic vinegar. It tasted delicious!


Kansai Style Japanese Sukiyaki

One of the main differences between Kanto-style Sukiyaki and Kansai style is that when making Kansai style Sukiyaki the meat is fried first in tallow (which is basically beef fat) before adding the sauce and other ingredients.  Usually in the kanto region of Japan Sukiyaki is stewed without the meat being fried first.


We decided to buy the sukiyaki meat at Japan Premium Beef  which is located on 57 Great Jones Street.  Because we don’t eat meat that often, we decided to go all out and get high quality sukiyaki beef.  The quality and selection of the beef at Japan Premium Beef is much better, in my opinion, than any of the Japanese or Asian groceries in the city.  I hear that have a sale on certain cuts on Wednesdays although I have never gotten the chance to go on a Wednesday.  One of the perks is that when you buy sukiyaki meat here they include the tallow for free. It is difficult to find tallow being sold at the Japanese grocery stores in NY so I was really excited.


We did, however go to Sunrise Japanese Supermarket for the other ingredients like shungiku (chrysanthemum leaves), shiitake mushrooms, shirataki (jellied noodles made out of “devil’s tongue”), hakusai (napa cabbage) , and negi (Japanese scallion).

Traditional Japanese New Years Food: Rolled Omelet Recipe

 Datemaki (rolled omelet) is a traditional Japanese New Years food. It is quite similar to tamagoyaki which is  every day home cooking. You can also find tamagoyaki and sushi restaurants where it is paced on top of rice and served as a type of sushi. While tamagoyaki is usually made in a fry pan, datemaki is baked.

There are a variety of different ways to make datemaki but I used a very simple recipe. This actually might have been the easiest of the recipes that we used for our osechi-ryori

1. You will first need to prepare the pan in which you will bake the datemaki.  I used a square pan (8X8) but you can use whatever type of pan that you have but if you decided to use a larger pan then you should double this recipe.  Using a piece of parchment paper and a stapler, create a box that is about 2 inches deep.  Fasten the corners with a stapler.  You will be pouring the datemaki mixture in here later on.

2. You basically just take all of these ingredients and put them into a mixer and mix until smooth. Simple!


1 sheet of hanpen (fish cake)

4 eggs

1 tbsp of cooking sake

4 tbsp of sugar


3.  Pour the mixture into the pan lined with your parchment paper box and put it in the over at 400 F for about 25 minutes.


4.  Remove egg from the paper and lay down on a bamboo mat rolling mat with the dark side facing up and roll into a scroll like shape.  Make sure that you roll it as tightly as possible. **Make sure that you do this step while the egg is still hot.


5.  Cover the bamboo wrapped omelet with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. I kept it in the wrapped in the refrigerator over night with no problem.  When you are ready to serve it remove it from the wrap and cut it into slices (about 1 inch) and serve!

Osechi-Ryori Completed!


After much preparation we finally finished making all of the dishes that we wanted to have in our osechi-ryori.

This year we made kobumaki (carrot, fried tofu, and burdock root wrapped in kelp), kuromame (black soybeans simmered in a sweet and savory sauce made from soy sauce and sugar), shio-koji Tai (red snapper marinated in shio-koji), dattemake (a sweet Japanese rolled omelet made with fish cake and egg), chikuzen-ni (assorted vegetables braised in a sweet and savory stock), namasu (shredded daikon and carrot in a sweet and sour vinegar sauce), tataki gobo (burdock root with sesame sauce), o-zoni (a soup made with stock taken from bonito and kelp) and kuri-kinton (sweet potato and chestnut dessert).

Over the next few days I will be sharing the recipes for these tasty dishes!

Osechi Ryori- Japanese New Years Food


Osechi Ryori is eaten in Japan at New Years. It consists of many special foods that are not usually eaten throughout the year.  Many of the foods are symbolic or contain special meaning such as good health or prosperity.  These foods are displayed in “jubako”, special boxes traditionally made of lacquer.

Many of the foods in Osechi Ryori can be made in advance and kept at room temperature without going bad.  We have already started making some of the items to go in our jubako.  One of the items that we made today is kobumaki.


Kombu and kampyo are both dried and need to be soaked in water before using

Kobumaki is made by wrapping vegetables such as carrots and gobo (burdock root) in kombu (kelp).  It is the tightly tied shut with kampyo (dried gord).  It is then simmered in a soup stock made from kombu, soy sauce, sake and sugar.


Shio-koji Vegetable Recipes

Here are two different recipes that are healthy and super easy to make. I used shio-koji instead of salt as well. Shio-koji is very easy to make and a lot healthier than regular salt.

Shio-Koji Israeli Salad

1 cucumber peeled and diced
1 diced tomato
1 scallion chopped
1 tbsp of chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp shio-koji

1. Chop all vegetables into bite sized cubes.
2. Chop dill and scallions
3. Transfer to container and add olive oil, shio-koji and lemon juice
4. Close container and shake to mix ingredients



Shio-Koji Roast Vegetables

1 cup of brussel sprouts, halved
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms ( your choice)
1/2 sliced red onion
1 tbsp fresh dill
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp shio- koji
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1. Cut all vegetables into similar sized pieces
2. Put the vegetables in an oven pan and put shio-koji on top.
3. Drizzle olive oil on top
4. Sprinkle with dill
5. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are cooked.

Nabe in Winter time-Japanese Hotpot


Yesterday we made Nabe (a Japanese-style hotpot). It’s great for those cold Winter days or when you’re feeling like you might be getting sick.

We made a chicken based nabe with a broth made from jidori chicken, konbu, sake, bonito flakes and water.

Then we added a bunch of vegetables and thin sliced pork and sliced chicken.

I made two kinds of sauces: citrus-soy sauce and a creamy sesame sauce.

Here are the recipes:

citrus soy sauce

1/2 squeezed lemon lemon

1 cup of nabe broth

1 cup of soy sauce

1 tbsp of rice vinegar

creamy sesame sauce

3 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp white miso

1 tsp shio-koji (optional)

1 tsp soy sauce

1/2 cup of nabe broth

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