Read Homestyle Japanese Cooking Online
Authors: Susie Donald
Published by Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd.
Copyright © 2009 Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd.
All rights reserved.
Periplus Design Team
ISBN: 978-1-4629-1463-0 (ebook)
Printed in Singapore 1208CP
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are small red beans that are sold in the dried foods section of the food store. They are soaked and
cooked with rice or sweetened and eaten as a dessert.
radishes look like large white carrots and are white inside and mild in flavor. They may be grated and eaten raw or
cooked in stews or soups. They are regarded
as a healthy antidote for oily foods.
is the ubiquitous Japanese fish stock
used in preparing and seasoning many Japanese dishes. It can be made fresh from dried bonito flakes and is also available in an instant powdered version that you just dissolve in water. Instant
powder comes in small plastic packets or jars and is useful when a small amount of
stock is required.
Deep-fried tofu slices
) are sold
in packets of four or five thin squares in the
refrigerated section of food stores. They should be blanched in boiling water to
remove excess oil before using. After blanching, drain and pat dry with a paper towel.
Dried bonito flakes
) are dried shavings of bonito fish sold in small plastic packets. The shavings come in varying sizes—the larger ones are used to make
soup stock whereas the finer ones are used as a garnish. They are readily available in Japanese food stores and many supermarkets.
Japanese soy sauce
is an essential, ingredient in most Japanese dishes. It is made of soybeans, wheat and salt. It comes in several varieties and many different grades. Generally, at table, the
(light soy sauce) is used, whereas in cooking, the
(heavy soy sauce) is often used. The former is less salty than the latter. Japanese soy sauce is slightly less salty than Chinese soy sauce, which can be used as a substitute, but in lesser amounts.
are long, thin strips of dried gourd that are used in sushi, slow-cooked claypot dishes and for tying foods together. They are sold in plastic packets and are readily available in the dried foods section of Japanese food stores and many supermarkets.
are the dried leaves of kelp (a type of seaweed) that are harvested, dried and sold as flat black sheets with white powder on the surface. They are used to flavor sushi rice and
stock, and are normally removed and discarded before serving. They are sold in plastic packets and are readily available in the dried foods section of Japanese food stores and many supermarkets.
is a sweet cooking wine made from glutinous rice. Avoid products labelled "aji-mirin", which are flavored with monosodium glutamate (MSG). It is readily available in Japanese food stores and many supermarkets.
or fermented bean paste is made from soybeans and grain malt (from rice, wheat or barley). It must be kept refrigerated and is sold in plastic packs or tubs in the refrigerated section of food stores. It comes in different colors and tastes, ranging from very salty to very sweet.
are dried leaves of seaweed which are cut into squares and used for wrapping sushi and also as garnish for other dishes. They come in different tastes and sizes. The plain ones are used as garnishing or wraps for sushi, while the flavored ones are eaten as snacks.
is eaten as an accompaniment to rice dishes, especially sushi and sashimi. It is thin slices of ginger that have been pickled first in salt, then in vinegar. It is sold in jars and is widely available in food stores and many supermarkets. You may also make it at home.
Ponzu dipping sauce
is a popular Japanese lemon-soy sauce dressing made by combining 4 tablespoons lemon juice, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons Basic Dashi Stock (page
) and 1 tablespoon mirin and stirring well. It is packaged ready-mixed in bottles, and is widely available in Japanese food stores.
) is a mixture of toasted black sesame seeds (either whole or ground) and salt. It is a popular accompaniment to Japanese meals, and can be purchased ready-mixed.
Seven-spice chilli powder
) is a potent blend of ground chilli with other seasonings such as mustard,
, black sesame and poppy seeds. It is often sprinkled on noodles, grilled items and one-pot dishes. It is widely available in food stores and is packaged ready-mixed in bottles.
is the most commonly used mushroom
in Japanese cooking. It is readily
available fresh or dried. The dried versions are the same as the dried black Chinese
mushrooms that can be used as a substitute.
noodles are thin strings of
, a glutinous starch obtained from the elephant foot plant. Eaten in sukiyaki
and other hotpots, it may be replaced with
mung bean vermicelli (glass or bean thread
transparent noodles), if not available.
is an attractive dark green or red leaf that is widely used in Japanese cooking either as an ingredient or a garnish. It is a member of the mint family, and the leaves have a hint of basil and spearmint flavor. It is usually minced and added to rice served with sashimi, crisp-fried as tempura, and used to garnish sushi.
are made from buckwheat flour and have a distinctive taste and are sometimes flavored with green tea, in which their normal beige-brown color is replaced by green. They are sold as dried sticks in packets.
are very fine wheat noodles generally white in color and are sold as dried sticks in packets.
Tempura dipping sauce
is made by blending 250 ml (1 cup) Basic Dashi Stock (page
), 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons mirin, 3 tablespoons shredded daikon and 3 teaspoons shredded fresh ginger. Stir well to mix.
wheat noodles come in various shapes and sizes and are whiteish-beige in color. They can be substituted with ramen or Chinese wheat noodles.
is a type of seaweed that is available in dried strips. As it can withstand long period of boiling, it is commonly used in one-pot dishes both as a flavorer as well as an ingredient. It must be soaked in water for 5 to 10 minutes before using.
is one of the best known of all Japanese condiments. It is a very spicy Japanese horseradish that is sold in powdered form or as a prepared paste.
Basic Dashi Stock
(Bonito Flake Stock)
10-cm (4-in) square piece
, wiped clean
1 liter (4 cups ) water
60 ml (¼ cup) cold water
90 g (3 oz) bonito flakes
square into 4 narrow strips. Place in a saucepan with 4 cups water and cook over medium heat. Heat until just about to boil, then quickly remove pan from the heat, remove and discard
Add the cold water and bonito flakes to the
broth. Bring to a boil then remove immediately from heat, and set aside to cool.
When all the bonito flakes have sunk to the bottom, pour the liquid over a strain and discard the flakes.
Makes 1 liter (4 cups)
Steamed Egg Custard
250 g (8 oz) chicken breast, diced
1 tablespoon sake
1 teaspoon soy sauce
8 fresh medium prawns, peeled and deveined
4–6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and discarded, caps sliced
1 small carrot, peeled and thinly sliced, each slice quartered
120 g (4 oz) spinach, rinsed, stems removed
Peel of ¼ lemon, finely grated, for garnish
625 ml (2½ cups) Basic Dashi Stock (above)
1 tablespoon sake
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
Marinate the chicken in the sake and soy sauce for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
To prepare the Dashi Custard, break the eggs into a large bowl and stir them gently with chopsticks or a fork. Do not beat or allow bubbles to form in the eggs. Combine the Basic Dashi Stock or instant
mixture with the sake, soy sauce and salt in a saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring slowly to dissolve the salt. Heat until just before boiling, then quickly remove. Do not allow
mixture to boil.
mixture while still hot in a slow, steady stream into the eggs, stirring gently to blend. Strain the resulting egg and
mixture through a fine sieve to remove any lumps.
Evenly divide the chicken, prawns, and vegetables among 4 small heatproof bowls. Pour the egg mixture over contents, leaving a ¾-in (2-cm) gap at the top of each bowl. Cover each bowl with foil or a lid.
Heat the water in a large saucepan with a steamer rack, and place the custard cups on the rack. Cover partially with a lid to allow steam to escape. Cook over medium high heat for 1 minute, then reduce heat to low and cook for another 15 minutes, until a knife comes out cleanly when inserted in the custard. Remove from the steamer, garnish with grated lemon peel, and serve immediately.
Grilled Tofu with Vegetables
2 cakes (about 500g or 1 lb) firm tofu, drained
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 small carrot, peeled and thinly shredded
1 small potato, peeled and thinly shredded