Obento(Lunch Box)

Prawns Stir-fry with Wasabi Flavoured Buttery Soy Sauce

This recipe is quick and easy to cook, yet really tasty. A great starter to impress your guest!

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: for two

150g King Prawns (raw)

2 tbs Plain Flour

30g Butter

30g Spring Onion (sliced diagonally)

2 tsp Soy Sauce

½ tsp Wasabi Paste

1 tbs Water

Method

  1. Place the prawns in a bowl and sprinkle the plain flour. Coat the prawns with the plain flour evenly.DSC_8887
  2. Heat the butter in a frying-pan. When the butter has melted, fly the prawns over a medium strong heat on both side until they are cooked.DSC_8891
  3. Mix the soy sauce, wasabi paste, and water, then add to the frying-pan. Coat the prawns with the sauce. Add the sliced spring onion and mix. Serve immediately.DSC_8892

Key

  • Mix the soy sauce, wasabi paste, and water well until the wasabi is completely dissolved.  DSC_8894
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Salmon with Rich Miso & Butter Sauce

Miso is fermented soy bean paste, which is delicious as well as packed with beneficial bacteria. Most of us start our days with a bowl of miso soup in Japan.

It’s also a great seasoning for Japanese dishes, especially with salmon. Imagine crispy grilled salmon with rich miso and butter flavoured sauce… I could eat a bowl of rice just imagining it!    

I served the salmon with stir-fried crispy bean sprouts and green peppers, seasoned with just salt and pepper. The colour combination made me want to eat more and I ate too much…AGAIN!

 salmon sub

Ingredients for 4

4 Salmon fillets (approx. 130g per fillet)

3 tbs Butter

 [Ingredients for miso and butter sauce]

  • 2 tbs Honey
  • 1 tbs (or less) Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbs (or less) Rice Wine
  • 1 tbs Miso

Chive (optional for garnish)

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce well.
  2. Heat the butter in a frying-pan. Once it starts melting, place the salmon skin side down over a lower high heat.
  3. When the edge of the salmon has turned white and its skin has browned, turn over and continue to fry until cooked.
  4. Pour the sauce mixture over the salmon and toss well to mix.
  5. Arrange on a serving plate and then spoon the remaining sauce from the frying-pan over the salmon. Garnish with chives if desired.

Key

  • The sauce is quite rich and strong, so use less seasoning for accompanying vegetables.  

 

 

Deep-Fried Aubergine in Miso Flavoured Marinade

My favourite aubergine dish is deep-fried and marinaded in a tasty sauce. I usually marinade it in a Japanese style, soy sauce flavoured dashi stock. I also like pan-fried aubergine with miso, because aubergine really goes well with miso. In that case, why shouldn’t I use miso for a marinade? I tried it and … bingo! It’s a tasty side dish best accompanied with a bowl of rice.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Level: Easy

middle

Ingredients for two

1 Aubergine

50g French Beans

Vegetable Oil for deep-frying

A

1 tbs Soy Sauce

½ tbs Miso

½ tbs Sugar

1 tbs Apple Vinegar

1 tbs Sesame Seeds (grounded)

1 tbs Sesame Seeds (toasted)

Method

  1. Put all of the seasonings from the A section together. Mix well until the miso has completely dissolved.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep heavy-bottomed pot.
  3. Trim the stem off from the aubergine. Cut in half lengthwise, and then chop into large pieces.
  4.  Add the chopped aubergine into the heated oil (from step 2). Deep-fry the aubergine for 2 to 3 minutes over a medium high heat until softened.
  5. Place the aubergine pieces on kitchen paper and drain any excess oil, and then place in the bowl of seasonings (step 1).
  6. Chop off the tips of the French beans, and deep-fry in the same pot with heated oil for 1 minute. Place them on kitchen paper, and then place in the bowl of seasonings and deep-fried aubergine pieces. Place the bowl in the fridge to cool down before served.

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Key

  • This dish goes well with, not only a bowl of rice, but also soba noodles and udon noodles.
  • The time to deep-fry the aubergine may vary depending on the size of the pieces chopped.
  • Deep-fried aubergine is a popular dish in Japan during summer. Please try cooking this recipe to know more about Japanese food.

Soy Sauce Flavoured Chicken and Onion Stir-fry

Don’t you sometimes have a piece of stray chicken thigh in your fridge? This is a recipe for that! The seasoning is quite simple – just rice wine and soy sauce, however the sweetness from the fried onions and the flavour of the garlic enhance the taste. Enjoy the juiciness of the chicken thigh. Great to have with a bowl of rice. Adding Nori seaweed and sesame seeds makes the dish look and taste special. 

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Cooking level: Easy

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 Ingredients for one to two people

120g Chicken Thigh (deboned)

70g Onion

1 clove of Garlic

1 tbs Vegetable Oil

1 tbs Rice Wine

1 tbs Soy Sauce

Nori Seaweed (cut into small pieces)

Sesame Seeds

Method

  1. Cut the onion in half, and then slice thinly. Slice the garlic. Cut the chicken into a bite-sized pieces.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying-pan. Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Lower the heat if it starts to burn. Place the chicken pieces on a plate.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the same frying-pan, then stir-fry over a high heat. Once they are coated with oil, lower the heat and stir-fry for about 3 minutes.
  4. Put the pieces back in a frying-pan and stir-fry. Add the rice wine and then cover the frying-pan with a lid. Let it steam for about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the soy sauce in the frying-pan and mix. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle the nori seaweed and the sesame seeds. Serve immediately. 

Key

  • Fry the onion over a low heat very well but be careful not to burn them.
  • Place salad leaves underneath for a better aesthetic. I placed rocket leaves today.
  • I served this dish with an avocado and tomato salad with wasabi flavoured mayonnaise dressing.
  • [Avocado and tomato salad with wasabi flavoured mayonnaise dressing] Mix mayonnaise and wasabi. Use your preferred amounts. Dress chopped tomatoes and avocado with the mayonnaise. The sweetness of the tomatoes and the creamy avocado go well with the wasabi flavour.

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How to cook perfect Japanese rice using a rice cooker

I know that most western people think plain white rice is boring, but we Japanese absolutely love it. Whether you want to serve with a main course, make sushi rolls or a Japanese style lunch box, cooking perfect white rice is crucial. If you cook rice quite regularly, investing in a rice cooker is a good idea, as it guarantees to cook perfect rice every time. After pressing a switch, you can forget about it until it’s done, plus you don’t have to spend a fortune on it – a simple rice cooker is inexpensive and works just fine.

Ingredients for 6 small portions

270g Sushi rice

300ml water

Method

  1. Wash the rice in a bowl. You can use the inner bowl of a rice cooker; just add water in a bowl and give a few stirs with your hand.
  2. Pour out the milky water; gently tilt the bowl and slowly pour the water out. You can use a sieve to drain the water instead.
  3. Repeat the washing and draining 5 times, then transfer to a sieve to drain.
  4. Add the washed rice and water in the inner bowl of a rice cooker. Give it a stir and start cooking.
  5. After the cooking process has finished, allow cooked rice to steam for 10-15minutes, and then serve immediately.

Karaage; quick and easy! Japanese style deep-fried chicken

Karaage, Japanese style deep-fried chicken is one of the nation’s favourites and the great thing is that you can arrange different flavours almost infinitely.

This recipe is for those who love karaage and want to cook them quickly and easily, as it uses chicken breast.

Do you know that Karaage is great with beer? With this recipe, you can make Karaage in no time when you fancy a beer.

Ingredients for 2-3 people

270g chicken breast fillet

80g potato starch

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

[For marinade]

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs rice wine or dry white wine

2 tbs oyster sauce

10g ginger (grated)

1 tbs sesame oil

2 tbs sesame seeds (toasted and grated)

Method

  1. Cut the chicken breast fillet into a large bite sized pieces. Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and add all the ingredients for the marinade. Stir well and rub the marinade into the chicken using your hand, then leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Add 50g of the potato starch and rub well, then add the remaining potato starch and rub until the chicken pieces are evenly coated.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan to around 160-170℃. Deep-fry the chicken pieces until they are cooked through and the colour becomes lightly brown.

Tamagoyaki; Japanese style rolled omelette

Tamagoyaki (rolled omelette) is a traditional Japanese dish and a popular choice for bento (a boxed lunch), as well as a side dish for everyday family meals.

There is a special rectangular pan just to make tamagoyaki, however, I’ll be showing you how to make them without using it. I’ll be using simple ingredients and an easy method for this recipe, so why not try making it?

Ingredients for 1 tamagoyaki (for 2-3 people)

3 Eggs

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 ½ tbs vegetable oil

Method

  1. Place a sheet of foil on a bamboo sushi mat.dsc_4658
  2. Crack the eggs into a bowl, then add the sugar and soy sauce. Beat well with a whisk.dsc_4657
  3. Heat the oil in a frying-pan over a high heat, and pour the eggs swiftly. dsc_4659
  4. Using a wooden fork or spatula, lightly mix the eggs and gather to make a rectangular shape. Make sure the eggs are coagulated but still soft.dsc_4661
  5. Place the omelette on the foiled mat. dsc_4662
  6. Roll the omelette tightly. Leave it as it is until cooled down, then put it in the fridge to set. Once set, cut it into large bite sized pieces.dsc_4663

Key

A bamboo sushi mat (makisu or makisudare) is a Japanese cooking tool and commonly used to make sushi rolls. It’s made of woven bamboo with cotton string. You can find one at a world food section in a large supermarket or an oriental grocery.