Mango Daifuku

This is one of the most loved snacks/dessert in Japan and usually strawberries are used instead of mango, but why not, I love Mango! and please use any fruits you like such as kiwi, banana, grapes etc.

What you need; Makes 12-13 daifuku

  • 150g Shiratama ko (glutinous rice powder)
  • 70g Granulated sugar
  • 250g Water
  • Cornstarch

Anko Filling;

  • 12-13 pieces of cut mango (about 2cm cube)
  • 300g Anko/Azuki beans paste

How to;

  1. Divide Anko to 12-13 and wrap a mango with about a spoonful of anko and rounds to make a ball. Make 12-13 balls and set a side.
  2. Mix shiratama ko and water in a microwave safe glass bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
  3. Mix and microwave for another 2 minutes or so.
  4. Stir the mochi quickly. (mocha is really hot and sticky)
  5. Transfer the mochi to a large plate or a pan dusted with cornstarch.
  6. Coat the dough/mocha all over with corn starch.
  7. Dust hands with cornstarch and divide the mochi into 12-13 pieces by hands. Make a round flat mocha from a ball and put a piece of anko filling on a center of mochi and wrap the anko by stretching mochi.
  8. Rounds the mochi. Repeat the process to make more pieces.

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Tofu & Fruit Smoothie

Don’t panic to see tofu in the ingredients! Trust me; this smoothie is soooo yummy! We’ve used Peach & Mango flavor for this recipe, but you can use any flavor of dessert tofu you like.

 What you need; 4 servings

  • 1(150g) dessert tofu, Peach & Mango Flavor
  • 5 frozen strawberries
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup (250ml) of milk or soy milk

How to;

  1. Wash and cut strawberries into halves or quarters.
  2. Peel bananas and break into 5-6 pieces.
  3. Add strawberries and bananas into the blender.
  4. Add tofu and milk into the blender, turn ON, and blend until smooth.
  5. Divide into 4 serving glasses and serve the smoothies immediately.

Tips:

There are other flavors of dessert tofu such as Maple Caramel, Almond, Banana, or Coconut. Use any flavors you like. You can also use any other fruit, such as blueberries, raspberries, pineapple etc. Combinations are endless!

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Mackerel Vinegar

This is a very light, healthy and easy dish for weekday supper or entertaining.

What you need; 4 servings

  • 2 whole fillets maclerel about 300g
  • salt
  • ¼ small onion about 30g
  • 2 carrot about 125g
  • ¼  green, yellow or red pepper about 125g
  • ½ cup (125ml) dashi stock
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

How to;

  1. Salt the fish fillets lightly and leave for 15 min.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the vegetables: Slice onion and soak into a bowl of water about 10-15 minutes. Juliann carrots and pepper and drain onion and set aside.
  3. In a small pot, add dashi stock, rice vinegar, soy sauce, mirin and sugar and heat until sugar dissolved.
  4. Pat dry the fish and slice diagnor about 2.5cm.
  5. Heat a large non-stick flying pan and add ½ tablespoon oil and add sliced fish. Cook till golden brown and cook through. Careful not to break the fish.
  6. Add fish to a shallow serving bowl or plate and add all the vegetable. Heat the dashi mixture till boiling hot and pour it over on fish and vegetable.
  7. Cool slightly and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Variations:

Try other fish such as salmon instead.

Use gluten free soy sauce for a gluten free version.

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Chicken Tatsuta Age 2 ways

Tatsuta-age is a way of cooking and similar to Japanese popular dish, Karaage. After ingredients are marinated in seasonings, they are coated with katakuri-ko or corn starch and deep-fried.

I know deep frying seems like a lot of work but I use less oil about 1.5cm. Here I have two kinds of Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels. Tatsuta age. One is marinated in soy sauce marinade and other one is my original, just using salt & pepper and wrap the chicken with shiso leaves and enjoy them with Ponzu sauce. I used red shiso here from my garden, but green ones are delicious as red ones. Tatsuta age (soy marinade) 4-6 servings
  • 1 1/4 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into about 1 inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tsps sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Sake
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • katakuriko or corn starch for coating
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying
  1. Mix soy sauce, sugar, sake and grated garlic in a bowl.
  2. Marinate chicken in the sauce for at least an hour.
  3. Take out chicken from the sauce and dry lightly with paper towels.
  4. Lightly coat chicken with katakuriko or corn starch and deep-fry them until done.Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels.

Tatsuta age (salt&pepper) 4-6 servings

  • 1 1/4 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into about 1 inch pieces
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tbs sake
  • shiso leaves (green or red)
  • Ponzu
  1. Salt and pepper the chicken in a bowl and add sake and marinade for 15 minutes.
  2. Dry chicken lightly with paper towels.
  3. wrap each chicken with shiso.
  4. Lightly coat chicken with katakuriko or corn starch and deep-fry them until done.
  5. Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels.
  6. Serve with ponzu sauce.

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Japanese Style Potato Salad

Japanese potato salad is a staple in lunch boxes and a great side dish for Tontatsu (deep fried pork) and Ebi-Fly(deep fried shrimp). We used more like semi-mushed potato.

What you need; 6-8 servings

  • 5-6 Potatoes about 650g
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1/4 English Cucumber or 2 Mini Cucumbers
  • Two pinches Salt
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • Salt
  • 5 tbsp. or more to taste Japanese Mayonnaise

How to;

  1.  Peel and cut potatoes into about 2.5cm cubes and put them into a medium pot. Add water to cover potatoes and boil.
  2. Meanwhile cut the English cucumber into 1/4 length wise and slice thinly (about 2mm). If you are using mini cucumbers, omit cutting in 1/4 and simply slice thinly.
  3.  Put the cucumber slices into a bowl, add two pinch of salt and coat evenly. Let stand about 20 minutes. Squeeze and discard excess liquid from the mixture of cucumber and set aside.
  4. Peel a carrot and dice it about 5mm cubes and add to potatoes just before potatoes are cooked and tender and cook 2-3 minutes. Drain potatoes, and carrots and return to pot for a minute more to evaporate all the water. Be careful not to burn the potatoes and carrots.
  5.  Add peeled hard boiled eggs into the pot and mash the potatoes, carrots and eggs together. Some leftover lumps are ok. Allow to cool a little, then add mayonnaise and salt to taste.

Tips:

  1. If you are in hurry, simply use frozen vegetable mix (Corn, carrots and green beans) in place of carrots and cucumber. Add the frozen vegetables just before potatoes are done.
  2. Leftovers make a great sandwich filling with a slice of ham.
  3. Japanese Mayonnaise is slightly more vinegary than Western Mayonnaise. If you don’t have Japanese mayo, add a little bit of rice vinegar to the salad.

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Chirashizushi

When I was a child, my mom always made this Chirashi zushi for my birthday or Girl’s Day which is March 3rd, and she still makes this when I visit her. This is a very special dish for me and I make it for my sons on special occasions.

“Chirashi Zushi” means ‘scattered sushi’ because all the delicious toppings are scattered or strewn over the rice just before serving.

What you need;4 servings

Rice

  • 2 cups Japanese style short grain sushi rice (500ml)
  • 2 cups water (500ml)
  • 1 small piece of Kombu (dried kelp), (optional)

Sushi Vinegar

  • 4 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Other Ingredients

  • 2 pcs Koya Tofu (freeze dried tofu)
  • 2 Carrots about 150g
  • 1 ½ cup Konbu Dashi
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ tablespoon low sodium soysauce
  • ½ tsp salt

Pickled Renkon (for topping)

  • 100 g of Renkon – Lotus root
  • 3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Sugar

50g blanched snow peas or green beans (for topping)

Making Sushi Rice;

  1. Put the rice in a large bowl, fill with cold water and mix gently. Pour off the first water immediately.
  2. Wash the rice like you are rubbing grains with your hand.
  3.  Thoroughly rinse the rice with several changes of water until it runs clear.
  4.  If you are using a rice cooker, put the 2 cups rice and 2 cups water in the rice cooker and cook the rice according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If using kombu for flavour, place it on top of the rice just before closing the lid and pressing start.
  5.  If you are not using a rice cooker, pour the 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water (and the kombu if you are using it) into a deep saucepan and let stand 15 minutes. Bring to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking on the bottom. Immediately after coming to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer, cover, and simmer without stirring for 10-15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow to stand with the lid still in place for about 10 minutes to finish cooking.
  6. Meanwhile make the sushi vinegar. Put the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl or a jar and stir until dissolved.
  7. Transfer the rice to a large bowl, preferably a wooden one, and remove the piece of Kombu if you are using it. Pour the sushi vinegar slowly over the rice using the back of your rice paddle or spatula to broaden and gentle the stream. Mix the rice to distribute the sushi vinegar thoroughly. To prevent breaking the grains and avoid mashing them together, use a “cutting” or “slicing” motion to mix with the rice paddle or spatula. Throughout the vinegaring and mixing process, fan the rice with your other hand using a Japanese fan or a piece of cardboard.

Preparing the other ingredients;

  1. Soak koyadofu in water for 5-10 minutes, then gently squeeze the excess water from koyadofu. Slice them into small pieces.
  2. Cut carrots about same pieces as koyadofu and set aside.
  3.  In a medium pot, combine dashi, sugar, soy sauce and salt and bring to boil. Add koyadofu and bring the heat down to medium low and cook for about 10 minutes till the koyadofu softens. Add the carrots and cook another 2 minutes. Let cool.

Pickled Renkon;

  1. Peel renkon and slice into thin slices about 2 mm thickness. If the slices are still quite large, cut them into halves or quarters. In a small pot, bring water to boil. Add sliced renkon and blanch for just 3 or 4 minutes so they retain some crunchiness.
  2. Mix sugar and vinegar in a small bowl.
  3.  Soak the blanched renkon slices in sugar and vinegar mixture and let stand for 15 minutes.

Mixing rice and other ingredients;

  1.  Mix sushi rice and the other ingredients (except renkon and green beans or snow peas). Plate the rice mixture and to finish it off scatter pickled renkon and sliced snow peas or green beans over top.

Tips: Use gluten free soy sauce for a gluten free version. This is also another vegan recipe.

Avocado Rolls

Everybody loves Avocado rolls and they are much easier than you think. If you follow my simple steps, you can make and enjoy all kinds of sushi at home!

Kimiko’s Basic Sushi Rice

Rice

  • 2 cups Japanese style short grain sushi rice (500ml)
  • 2 cups water (500ml)
  • 1 small piece of Kombu (dried kelp), (optional)

Sushi Vinegar Mixture

  • 5 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons White Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  1.  Put the rice in a large bowl, fill with cold water and mix gently. Pour off the first water immediately. (This is very important for best flavour, as it flushes away dust and debris before it infiltrates the rice itself)
  2.  Wash the rice like you are rubbing grains with your hand.
  3.  Thoroughly rinse the rice with several changes of water until it runs clear. This is the step my husband always gets wrong – he doesn’t wash quite long or thoroughly enough, and the rice never quite tastes the way it should!
  4.  If you are using a rice cooker, put the 2 cups rice and 2 cups water in the rice cooker and cook the rice according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If using kombu for flavour, place it on top of the rice just before closing the lid and pressing start.
  5. If you are not using a rice cooker, pour the 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water (and the kombu if you are using it) into a deep saucepan and let stand 15 minutes. Bring to a boil, stirring to prevent sticking on the bottom. Immediately after coming to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer, cover, and simmer without stirring for 10-15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow to stand with the lid still in place for about 10 minutes to finish cooking.
  6. Meanwhile make the sushi vinegar. Put the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small bowl or a jar and stir until dissolved.
  7.  Transfer the rice to a large bowl, preferably a wooden one, and remove the piece of Kombu if you are using it. Pour the sushi vinegar slowly over the rice using the back of your rice paddle or spatula to broaden and gentle the stream. Mix the rice to distribute the sushi vinegar thoroughly. To prevent breaking the grains and avoid mashing them together, use a “cutting” or “slicing” motion to mix with the rice paddle or spatula. Throughout the vinegaring and mixing process, fan the rice with your other hand using a Japanese fan or a piece of cardboard. Fanning will cool the rice to the right temperature and is critical to evaporating excess moisture.
  8. Cover the bowl of freshly prepared rice with a damp cloth until you are ready to make sushi (ie: start “rolling” with other ingredients, just before serving). Do not store fresh sushi rice in the refrigerator as it will harden the rice. It’s best to use the rice up completely within a few hours, but if you do have leftover sushi rice, it can be stored in the refrigerator in a well sealed container and warmed up in a microwave for later use.

Kimiko’s Avocado Inside-out rolls (makes about 10 rolls)

  • 1 Avocado 20 pcs of 4 inch long avocado
  • 1 Kimiko’s Basic sushi rice (recipe above)
  • 5 sheets of nori, halved
  1. Cover a rolling mat with plastic wrap.
  2. Place a half-sheet of nori, shiny side down, rough side up on a rolling mat. The long edge of the nori sheet should be towards you.
  3. Spread the rice in a thin layer on the nori, covering whole area of nori. Carefully flip over rice covered nori sheet onto the plastic wrap covered rolling mat.
  4. Arrange two pieces of avocado in a line along the middle of the nori. Lift the edge of the mat closest to you and start rolling up the sushi away from you, tightening the mat as you roll. Put a little water-vinegar mixture along the far edge to seal it.

Suggested fillings;

Cucumber, avocado, bell pepper, asparagus, egg omelets, mushroom, pickles, salmon, tuna, canned tuna etc and any of mixture.

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