We are making Ratatouille with fresh summer vegetables and diced tomatoes. This is a quick balanced meal for those busy mornings. The vegetables are so delicious even though they are only seasoned with salt and pepper.
Ratatouille and Toasted Breakfast Ratatouille Recipe
Let's prepare the vegetables. Halve the eggplant lengthwise and trim off the stem end. Slice it into 1.5cm (0.6") pieces. Place the eggplant into a bowl. Lightly salt and toss to coat. Then, let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Halve the red bell pepper lengthwise and remove the stem end and seeds. Slice the pepper into 1.5cm (0.6") pieces. Then, cut them into smaller pieces.
This is kabocha squash also known as Japanese pumpkin. Slice the kabocha into 1cm (0.4") slices and then cut them into 2cm (0.8") pieces.
Now, place the eggplant onto a paper towel. Gently press the eggplant with another paper towel to remove the excess liquid. This will help to remove any bitter flavor.
As for the onion, yellow and green bell peppers and zucchini, cut them into 1.5cm (0.6") pieces as well.
Let's make the ratatouille. Place the crushed garlic clove into a pan and add the olive oil. Turn on the burner and heat it on low heat. You can tilt the pan to help the garlic submerge in the oil.
When the garlic clove is slightly browned and the aroma grows stranger, add the chopped onion. Occasionally swirl the pan and lightly cook the onion.
Add the red and yellow bell peppers. We will add the green bell pepper later to keep it from discoloring. Add salt and pepper. Continue to stir-fry.
Add the eggplant and zucchini. Continue to stir-fry and coat the vegetables with the oil evenly. Lightly season them with salt and pepper again.
Add the green bell pepper and kabocha squash. Lightly saute the vegetables. When the oil is distributed evenly, season with salt and pepper.
Add the packaged diced tomatoes. Put in the bay leaf and fresh thyme leaves. Gently press the diced tomatoes into the vegetables.
Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 10 minutes until the kabocha squash softens, but we recommend checking inside halfway through to avoid burning.
Lightly salting each time you add vegetables will help to extract the water from the vegetables. This will enable you to cook the dish without adding any water. The kabocha squash we used is relatively sweet and it will soften the sourness of the tomato, making the dish more delicious.
Test the flavor of the dish and season it with salt and pepper to taste. If the tomato is too sour, add a small amount of sugar or honey to give it a milder flavor. Looks so delicious!
Toasted Breakfast Ratatouille
We will be introducing a perfect breakfast recipe using this ratatouille. Place the ratatouille in a gratin dish and arrange the sausage and egg on top. Sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley leaves.
Bake the ratatouille at about 200°C (390°F) until the surface is deliciously browned. The extra-toppings add bulk making this a substantial breakfast. Both children and adults will enjoy this dish.
Cooking with no added water will help you fully enjoy the vegetables' own flavors. This is a perfect dish for people who love vegetables.
The piping hot ratatouille is delicious but you can also chill it in the fridge and enjoy the dish cold.
Let’s prepare the aburaage, fried tofu pouches. Roll out each fried tofu with a rolling pin. This will make the fried tofu easy to open.
Cut them in half and carefully open the pouches. Repeat the process and make 12 tofu pouches in total.
Let’s remove the excess oil from the fried tofu. Put the fried tofu in a generous amount of boiling water. Cover with the drop-lid and cook the tofu for 5 minutes. This process will remove the excess oil and also soften the fried tofu.
Turn off the burner and remove the drop-lid with tongs. Remove the fried tofu from the pot. Cool them down on a mesh strainer.
Squeeze water out of the fried tofu. Press them firmly between paper towels to remove any excess water.
Put the dashi stock, sugar, mirin and soy sauce to the skillet. Turn on the burner. Stir with a paddle and dissolve the sugar.
Spread the fried tofu in the skillet in four sections. Stack the each section in three layers. Press the fried tofu with the tongs and let them soak in the dashi stock thoroughly. Put the drop-lid on, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the cover and the drop-lid. Flip the fried tofu with the paddle and tongs. Replace the drop-lid. Simmer down until all the dashi stock is evaporated. Turn off the burner. With the drop-lid still on, cool down the fried tofu and let them absorb the dashi stock.
Let’s cut the ingredients for Inarizushi. Slice the carrot thinly. Stack them on top of each other and chop them into fine pieces. Chop the hijiki seaweed into fine pieces. The seaweed normally comes in dried form. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes beforehand, then rinse and drain well before use.
Here we have the dried shiitake mushrooms, which were left soaked in water overnight in the fridge. Squeeze out the excess shiitake liquid. Remve the stems and slice the shiitake thinly. Chop them into fine pieces.
Let's stir-fry the ingredients. Heat the small pot on the burner. Heat the vegetable oil in the small pot. Put in the carrot, shiitake mushrooms and hijiki seaweed. Thoroughly stir-fry the ingredients.
Pour in the shiitake liquid. Add the sake, mirin, sugar and soy sauce. Lightly stir with the paddle. Reduce the heat to low and boil it down until all the liquid is evaporated.
Let’s make sushi rice. Cook the rice with 1 tbsp sake and the dried kombu seaweed. Lightly stir with a rice paddle.
Put on the kitchen gloves and remove the inner container from the rice cooker. Put the fresh steamed rice in a shallow bowl.
Pour on the sushi vinegar evenly with the paddle. Quickly spread the rice in the bowl. Move the paddle in a slashing motion to keep the rice from becoming gooey. Continue to stir the rice gently while turning it over.
When the rice is evenly dressed with the vinegar, cover with a tightly squeezed kitchen towel. Leave the sushi rice to rest for a while and allow the vinegar to be absorbed.
While it is still warm, add the carrot, hijiki seaweed, shiitake mushrooms and toasted sesame seeds to the sushi rice. Mix the sushi rice with the paddle in a slashing motion.
Let’s stuff the tofu pouches with the sushi rice. Lightly squeeze the excess stock from the fried tofu. Fold the mouths outward and shape the tofu into pouches.
Shape the sushi rice into a small ball and stuff it into each tofu pouch. Adjust the shape and fold the mouth of the fried tofu. Repeat this process and make 12 pieces of Inarizushi.
Here is a premade omelette sheet. This will turn into an appetizing alternative to the Inarizushi. Wrap the egg sheet around the sushi rice ball like shown in the video. Tie the egg with the string of the boiled mitsuba, Japanese wild parsley.
Serve the Inarizushi and the omelette sushi on a plate. Finally, garnish with the pickled ginger.
How to Make Steamed Rice
Wash and drain 300ml rice (1.27 cups) with a sieve basket. Put the rice in a rice cooker and add 300ml water (1.27 cups), 1 tbsp sake and 5x5cm dashi kombu seaweed (2x2 inch). Let the rice soak in the water for 30 minutes and turn on the rice cooker.
Inarizushi is a perfect filling for bento. Select colorful ingredients and make your bento look visually appealing.
Premade fried tofu pouches in a freezer bag can be stored in the freezer so you can easily prepare Inarizushi any time.
You can also add fried tofu on top of udon noodles, making it Kitsune Udon.
Agedashi Tofu is a simple and delicious side dish. The outside has a soft and gooey texture and the tasty broth makes it impossible for anyone to resist it. This is especially popular among Izakaya-style restaurants.
Let's prepare the firm tofu. Cut the tofu in half. Wrap each block of tofu with a paper towel and let it sit on the plate for 30 minutes in order to remove the excess water.
Let's prepare the toppings. Trim off the stem ends of the shishito peppers. Make a small cut in each shishito pepper in order to prevent it from bursting in the frying oil.
Peel the daikon radish with a peeler. Grate the daikon radish.
Scrape the ginger with a spoon. Grate the ginger with a grater. Peeling the daikon and ginger before grating will bring out the beautiful colors and make the dish more aesthetically appealing.
Let's make the broth for Agedashi Tofu. Pour the mirin in a small pot and turn on the burner. Boil down the broth until all the alcohol has evaporated. You should not be able to smell any of the alcohol. Add the dashi stock and soy sauce to the mirin. When the broth boils again, turn off the burner.
After removing the excess water, unwrap the tofu. Cut each block of the tofu into 3 pieces. Thoroughly wipe off the excess water with a paper towel.
Place the tofu on the baking sheet that is generously covered with potato starch. Dip the tofu in potato starch until it is completely coated. Remove the excess starch with a pastry brush.
Drop the potato starch in the heated oil in order to check the heat. The temperature should be around 170°C (340°F). When the potato starch floats with a sizzling sound, gently place the tofu in the deep pot.
Fry the tofu until the surface becomes crispy and lightly colored, then flip the tofu over.
When the Agedashi Tofu is cooked evenly, drain well and place the tofu on a cooling rack.
Next, deep-fry the shishito peppers. Make sure to deep fry quickly. Drain well and place them on the cooking rack.
Preheat the broth and serve the three pieces of the Agedashi Tofu in a dish. Dip the agedashi tofu in the hot broth.
Squeeze out any excess water from the grated daikon radish. Put the grated ginger on top of the tofu and finally garnish the dish with the shishito peppers. You can also sprinkle shichimi chili pepper on top of the grated daikon.
A tip to make delicious Agedashi Tofu is to fry immediately after they are coated with potato starch. If the starch becomes too damp with the tofu's moisture, the coating will easily come off the tofu.
This recipe is best served pipping hot, so please enjoy the agedashi tofu as soon as possible.
To make the nanban sauce, combine the sugar, soy sauce and the vinegar. Adding the dried red chili pepper will give the sauce a little bit of kick. Make sure to dissolve the sugar thoroughly.
Let’s make the tartar sauce. Add the salt to the chopped onion and rub it in. Rinse the onion and thoroughly squeeze out the excess water using a paper towel. Add it to the mayonnaise in a bowl.
Using an egg slicer, cut half of the boiled egg into fine pieces.
Add the egg to the mayonnaise. Add the chopped pickle to the mixture.
Mix it with a spatula and then pour in the milk. Season with the salt and the pepper. Combine the tartar sauce evenly.
Let’s prepare the chicken breast. Peel the skin off the chicken.
Using kitchen shears will help to remove the skin. Trim off the excess fat. Remove the excess moisture thoroughly with a paper towel.
Slice off the thin part of the chicken. Then, slice the rest of the chicken into 5 pieces, cutting at an angle. Make sure that each piece has about the same thickness.
In a cooking tray, sprinkle the salt and the pepper. Place the chicken pieces into it. Sprinkle on the salt and the pepper again. Pour the sake over the chicken. Flip the pieces over and allow the chicken to absorb the sake.
Place the all-purpose flour and the chicken into a plastic bag. Shake the bag to coat the chicken with the flour evenly.
Dip the chicken into the beaten egg. Coat the pieces with the egg evenly.
Heat the vegetable oil to about 170 °C (340 °F) and gently place the chicken into it. Let the chicken sit until the outside firms up. Then, flip the pieces over.
When the surface becomes golden brown, drain the oil thoroughly and place the pieces into the nanban sauce. Flip the chicken over and coat both sides with the sauce.
Place the chicken onto a plate along with the side vegetables. Spoon a generous amount of the tartar sauce onto the chicken. Then, top with the shredded parsley leaves.
Chicken breasts are often used in this recipe but you can also use chicken thighs.
The deep-fried batter absorbs the nanban sauce, making the dish more delicious.
You can pour the remaining nanban sauce over the side vegetables.
Let's prepare the ingredients for gyoza. Cut the cabbage leaf into strips. Chop them into 2~3mm (1/8") pieces.
Slice the onion wedge but leave the root part attached. Chop the onion into 2~3mm (1/8") pieces.
Chop the garlic chive stems first. Cut the leaf parts in half and chop them into fine pieces. Grate the garlic clove and ginger root.
Let's make the gyoza filling. Knead the ground pork in a bowl until a bit gooey. Add the soy sauce, sugar, pepper, sake, sesame oil, potato starch, grated garlic, grated ginger and oyster sauce to the ground pork.
Knead the mixture thoroughly. The thickness shown in the video is ideal to give the filing a juicy texture when cooked.
Add the chopped cabbage, onion and garlic chives to the mixture. Lightly stir until evenly mixed.
Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap. Keep the mixture in a fridge for 30 minutes to make the pork and vegetables blend well together.
Let's wrap the filling with gyoza wrappers. Sprinkle some flour on a baking sheet to keep the gyoza from sticking. This will also give the gyoza an extra crispiness.
Scoop the filling and spread it onto the wrapper.
Wet the edges of the wrapper.
Fold the wrapper in half and begin forming pleats only on one side. This is one example of how to wrap the fillings and you can arrange it as you like.
Place Gyozas on the baking sheet.
Let's make gyoza sauce. Put the black vinegar and soy sauce in a bowl. Stir lightly.
Let's cook the gyoza. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Arrange the half of the gyoza in the pan. Make a little space between each Gyoza so that they don't stick together.
Pour over boiling water until they are half submerged.
Put a lid on and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 to 6 minutes.
When the water has evaporated and gyoza start to sizzle, remove the lid. Add some more sesame oil to the gaps of gyoza and replace the lid. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes.
When the bottom becomes golden brown, turn off the burner and remove the gyoza with a spatula.
Place the gyoza onto a plate with the bottom side up. You can add rayu (hot chili oil) or sesame oil to the gyoza sauce to your taste.
The uncooked filling will easily go bad even if stored in the fridge so cook it as soon as possible.
This recipe can be a great side dish for ramen noodles.
Tamagoyaki is a Japanese omelette that makes a great addition to a bento or for a breakfast side dish. The mitsuba parsley is visually appealing. This is an easy and delicious recipe so you should definitely try it out.
Let’s prepare the ingredients. Chop the mitsuba parsley leaves into 1cm or half inch pieces. You can also use spring onion leaves instead of the mitsuba.
Add the sugar, soy sauce, 2 pinches of salt to the dashi stock, and dissolve the sugar thoroughly with a spatula.
Beat the eggs thoroughly. Then, add the combined dashi stock and the mitsuba parsley, and mix evenly.
Let’s make the tamagoyaki. Heat a tamagoyaki pan and coat it with the olive oil thickly using a paper towel. With kitchen chopsticks, drop in a bit of the egg mixture and make sure it sizzles.
Ladle the egg into the pan and quickly distribute it.
When the egg surface almost drys, roll the egg sheet backwards.
Push the egg roll toward the front of the pan and then re-coat the pan with the oil.
Make sure the pan is still hot and ladle the egg mixture into it, distributing the egg again. Lift the egg roll and make sure to spread the egg mixture underneath it.
When the egg almost firms up, roll it backwards again, adding another layer to the tamagoyaki. Push the roll to the front and coat the pan with the oil again.
Repeat the process about 4 times in total, keeping the layers thin. If it’s too thick, the other side will burn before the surface almost drys. If the egg sheet puffs up, poke it with the chopsticks to remove the air, flattening the surface.
Gently press the tamagoyaki against the edge of the pan, adjusting the shape.
Place it onto a cutting board. Cut the tamagoyaki into 6 equal pieces. Hot tamagoyaki can easily break so make sure to cool it before cutting.
Place the tamagoyaki onto a plate. Lightly squeeze the grated daikon radish and place it next to the tamagoyaki. Pour the soy sauce onto the daikon. The grated daikon will add a refreshing taste to the tamagoyaki.
You can also use mentaiko, marinated roe of pollock or aonori seaweed instead of the mitsuba parsley.
You can also make the dish using a regular small pan.
This recipe is easy to make, visually appealing and nutritious so it is perfect for bento, or it is often served as a breakfast side dish.