Vegetable

Japanese Style Salad with Tofu and Kale

Tofu (bean curd) and kale salad is super healthy and nutritious. It’s a great dish for vegans, however the Japanese style fried garlic flavoured dressing makes this salad everyone’s favourite!

Are you one of those people who knows tofu is good for you but isn’t so keen on it? If so, this delicious salad recipe is for you.

Looking gorgeous and vegan friendly: it’s a perfect dish for parties.

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Ingredients

75g Kale

1 packet Tofu

1 Spring Onion (chopped)

2 cloves Garlic (thinly sliced)

2 tbs Soy Sauce

1 and 1/2 tbs Apple Vinegar

2 tbs Sesame Oil

2 tsp Sugar

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Method

  1. Boil the kale for 3 minutes. Dice the tofu. Arrange them in a serving bowl.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and fry over a medium heat until golden brown.
  3. Add the soy sauce, apple vinegar, and sugar to the frying pan. Once boiled, turn off the heat. Leave to cool.
  4. Sprinkle the spring onion over the kale and tofu in a bowl and add the dressing.

Key

  • You can find tofu for this recipe easily in your local supermarket nowadays. I use the one pictured below.

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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

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Ingredients for two

1 Aubergine

50g French Beans

Vegetable Oil for deep-frying

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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.

Nabe (hot pot) with salmon and vegetables

Nabe (hot pot) is a favourite for the winter season, and a part of food culture in Japan. During the cold weather, families gather around a nabe (a ceramic pot) on the table, cooking and eating it together.

Cooking nabe is actually quite simple yet the results are superb. You boil vegetables and meat or fish in one pot and enjoy the umami flavours from each ingredient.

I chose the ingredients you can easily get outside of Japan for this recipe.

In order to enjoy the real umami flavours from the ingredients, just salt is added for seasoning, therefore it’s important to choose fresh and high standard ingredients.

Nabe is nutritious yet low in calories. With a variety of ingredients, nabe is a very satisfying dish and ideal when you are watching your weight.

Choose any ingredients you like. You can make a tasty nabe for vegetarians and vegans.

I added dried shitake mushrooms today. When vegetables are dried, their taste intensifies. Although dried vegetables are a part of traditional Japanese food, people rediscovered them as a good way to eat vegetables in recent years in Japan.

You can find dried shitake mushrooms in large supermarkets. Alternatively, you can use other dried mushrooms, or fresh ones. Mushrooms are the essential ingredient for this recipe as they release their umami flavour in this dish.

Except for the mushrooms, you can substitute any other ingredients that you find in your fridge and enjoy your own delicious and healthy nabe!

Ingredients for 4

100g Kale (you can substitute for cabbage or Chinese lettuce)

80g bean sprouts

100g leek, diagonally sliced (you can substitute for spring onion)

200g salmon fillet, cut into bite sized pieces

4 dried shitake mushrooms (3 heaped tbs if they are already sliced)

800ml water

50ml rice wine (or dry sherry, dry white wine)

1 tbs salt (preferably sea salt)

Method

  1. Add the dried shitake mushrooms in the measured water and leave them until soft.
  2. Arrange the kale leaves in a large pot.
  3. Arrange the leak, bean sprouts and salmon on top of the kale. Add the softened shitake and the liquid.dsc_5002
  4. Add the rice wine and salt, then cook over a high heat with the lid on.
  5. Once boiled, lower the heat and simmer until cooked while skimming off any scum on top.dsc_5004

Key

  1. When the ingredients in the pot become scarce, add cooked rice or noodles and simmer further to fully enjoy the soup which is enriched with the umami flavours from the ingredients. It’s the Japanese way!
  2. These foods listed below make delicious nabe. Cut into bite sized pieces and simply add to your pot; Chinese lettuce, cabbage, watercress, bean sprout, carrot, leek, spring onion, any mushrooms, chicken, prawn, cod, mussels and other shellfish

Vinegary Salad of Cucumber and Wakame

Vinegary salad, or we call it “Sunomono” which literally means vinegary dish, is a very popular side dish in Japan. Its clean and refreshing flavour goes well with any main dishes. It’s oil free so you don’t need to worry about calories, though you can get all the goodness from the Wakame seaweed which is packed with all the vitamins and minerals from the sea.

Ingredients For 2

150g Cucumber

5g Dried Wakame (Seaweed)

1 tbs Salt

2 tbs Rice vinegar

1 tbs Sugar

1 tbs Parched white sesame

Method

  1. Soak the dried Wakame (Seaweed) in a bowl to reconstitute and drain.
  2. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways and slice thinly. Place the cucumber slices in a bowl and sprinkle the salt, then massage them. Wash out the salt and squeeze out excess water from the cucumber.
  3. Place the vinegar and the sugar in a bowl. Mix well until the sugar is dissolved. Add the Wakame, cucumber and sesame. Mix well then serve.

Tofu (Bean curd) and Avocado salad with Wasabi Sauce

Some of you might say that Tofu, a block of soy bean curd, tastes bland and boring. If you are one of these people, please try this recipe. It only takes 5 minutes to make.

The Sharpness of the Wasabi paste and buttery rich flavour of the avocado transform tofu into an interesting dish. It’s healthy and nutritious too!

Tofu is a good source of protein and contains all eight essential amino acids, so a great vegetarian alternative can be made when replacing the tuna with olive oil.

Ingredients for 3people

1Pack of Tofu (Bean Curd)
1 Avocado
1 Tin of Tuna (Drain excess oil)
1 Pack of Salad Cress
3-5 tbs Soy Sauce
1-2 tsp Wasabi Paste (Mix with the soy sauce)

Method
1. Dice the tofu and avocado, and then place them in a bowl.

2. Add the drained tuna, the soy sauce and the wasabi paste mixture into the bowl.

3. Add the Salad Cress in the bowl and roughly mix all the ingredients.

Key
1. Adjust the amount of soy sauce and wasabi paste for your liking.
2. If you have time, drain the tofu block before cooking. First, wrap the tofu block with kitchen paper, then place on a large plate. Put a wooden chopping board or something similar on top of the tofu, making sure the tofu will be pressed evenly. Drain for about 30 minutes.
3. For a vegetarian alternative, replace the tin of tuna with 1 tbs of olive oil.

White Mooli and Smoked Salmon Canapé

This is a recipe for a stylish canapé that fits any parties, yet very easy to make. Crunchy white mooli (daikon) and tasty smoked salmon with a hint of spicy wasabi definitely impress your guests.

You can find white mooli in large supermarkets or more likely in Asian grocery stores.

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Ingredients for 6 canapés

1.5cm White Mooli (use the top side)
Chopped Onion
Smoked Salmon Trimmings
6 Capers
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Wasabi paste

Method
1. Peel the mooli and cut into 3 round slices in 5mm thick. Cut in half to make 6 semi-circular shapes and place them on a serving plate.

2. Place a tiny amount of wasabi paste and smoked salmon trimmings (or chopped smoked salmon fillets) on the mooli slices.

3. Arrange chopped onion and a caper on top of each canapé and drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the canapés. Use the picture above as a sample. Serve with lemon wedges.

Fried Shimeji Mushrooms with Teriyaki Sauce

Shimeji is one of the most popular mushrooms in Japan for its firm texture and robust Umami flavour, and you can find them in your local supermarkets nowadays. I seasoned them with everyone’s favourite; Teriyaki sauce. If you haven’t tried Shimeji mushrooms, please have a go.

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Ingredients for 1 to 2 people

1 pack (150g) Shimeji Mushrooms
1 Spring Onion
4 Cherry Tomatoes
1 tbs Sesame Oil
For the Sauce (Mix well beforehand)
1 tbs Soy Sauce
½ tbs Sugar
1 tbs Water

Method
1. Cut the base of the Shimeji mushrooms and break them up with your hands. Slice the spring onion diagonally. Cut the cherry tomatoes into round slices.

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2. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan, and then fry the mushrooms over a high heat.

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3. Add the sauce mixture to the pan and stir gently. When the mushrooms are evenly coated with the sauce, remove from the heat. Add the spring onion and the tomatoes and mix. Serve on a plate.

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Key

You can enjoy this dish with sliced white or brown mushrooms instead of Shimeji.