Let’s make the meat mixture. Add the vegetable oil to a pan and turn on the burner. Place the ground pork into the heated pan and cook it thoroughly. Stir-fry until the pork completely turns white and the juices run clear.
Add the chopped garlic and ginger root. Stir-fry until it starts to grow more fragrant.
Add the tian mian jiang, sweet bean sauce and the soy sauce. Distribute the sauce evenly and continue to stir to avoid burning.
Add the sake. Reduce the liquid and then place the meat mixture onto a plate.
Let’s make the soup base. In a bowl, combine the white sesame paste, soy sauce and vinegar. As shown, press the mixture with a spatula a little at a time to mix thoroughly. This will help to avoid separation.
When the soup base is completely combined, add the chopped long green onion and the hot chili oil.
Add the sesame oil to a pot of boiling water. Cut the bottom of the bok choy, detaching the outer leaves. Then, cut the leaves into 3 pieces.
Place the firm stalks into the pot. Next, add the leafy part. Remove and place onto a plate.
Combine the Chinese-style chicken stock and the soy milk in a pot. Heat the pot on the lowest possible heat and lightly stir the stock.
Let’s make the Tantanmen. Place the fresh ramen noodles into the same pot of boiling water. Lightly loosen up the noodles with chopsticks.
Pour the heated chicken stock into the bowl, gently combining the soup base.
The noodles should be slightly firm so avoid overcooking. Using a mesh strainer, remove the excess water thoroughly. Then, place the noodles into the bowl.
Place the bok choy onto the noodles. Add the meat mixture next to the vegetables. Finally, drizzle on the hot chili oil to taste.
The sesame oil gives the bok choy a glossy texture, making the vegetables visually appealing.
You can adjust the amount of the hot chili sauce so that people who don't like spicy foods can also enjoy the Tantanmen.
For a substitute vegetable, spinach or komatsuna goes great with this recipe.
Let’s prepare the chicken thigh. Lightly rinse the chicken and thoroughly remove the water before cooking. Trim off the excess fat. Sprinkle the salt on both sides and rub it into the skin. Sprinkle the pepper on both sides. Then, lightly pat the seasonings.
Place the chicken into a heavy pot. Place the green part of the long green onion and ginger root slices onto it. Add the sake and the water. Heat the pot on medium heat. Cover but leave the lid slightly off so that you can see inside.
When it begins to boil, cover completely. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes. Then, turn off the burner and let the chicken sit in the broth for 5 to 10 minutes.
Now, the chicken is ready. Remove the long green onion and ginger root slices.
Place the chicken into a bowl and float it in a bowl of ice water to cool. Pour the remaining broth over the chicken. Avoid overcooling otherwise the fat in the broth will begin to coagulate.
Let’s make the sauce. Combine the white sesame paste and sugar, and mix it thoroughly. Add the vinegar and mix again.
Add the soy sauce and combine the mixture thoroughly. Then, add the hot chili oil, chopped white part of the long green onion and ginger root. Finally, add the sesame oil and lightly stir the sauce.
Let’s prepare the vegetables. Cut the tomato in half and remove the stem end. Slice it into 5mm (0.2") slices.
Remove the firm skins of the cucumber in a striped pattern. Cut the cucumber into 4 equal pieces. Then, slice the pieces into thin strips.
Remove the chicken from the bowl. Peel the skin and cut it into strips.
Tear the chicken into small pieces.
Arrange the tomato slices around the edge of a plate. Cover the center with the cucumber. Add the skin of the chicken.
Arrange the shredded chicken onto it. Finally, pour a generous amount of the sesame sauce over it.
Make sure to cool the chicken in the broth. This will keep the meat from drying out, making it moist and juicy.
Tearing the chicken makes uneven cuts, allowing the meat to hold more sauce.
The chicken broth is an excellent dashi stock so we recommend making your favorite soup with it.
Let’s cut the aromatic vegetables. Thinly slice the ginger and cut it into fine strips. Chop it into fine pieces. Make vertical cuts in the garlic clove, slice across the initial cuts and chop it into fine pieces.
Make a cut in the long green onion lengthwise. Turning it halfway over, make another cut across the first, quartering the onion lengthwise. Chop the long green onion into fine pieces.
As you can see, it is helpful to prepare all of the ingredients before you start cooking so that you won’t fumble in the kitchen.
Let’s prepare the prawns for ebi chili. Peel the prawns and remove the tails. Remove the sand veins with a bamboo stick.
Make a shallow cut along the back of each.
Rub the prawns with salt. Add the potato starch and toss to coat. Put in a bit of water and rub the prawns with the starch.
Take the bowl to the sink. Rinse the prawns in the bowl under running water, discarding the water several times until it is clear. Place the prawns on a mesh strainer and drain well.
Spread the prawns on a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and roll them up. Gently press with your hands to remove the excess water. Place the prawns in a bowl.
Sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Add the sake and toss to coat well. Add the egg white and potato starch and continue to mix.
Let’s stir-fry the prawns. Put the vegetable oil in the heated pan. Swirl the pan to coat it with the oil. Spread the prawns in the pan and adjust the heat to medium.
When the edges of the prawns begin to redden, flip them over. Lightly fry the other side and remove. At this stage, the prawns are not yet cooked all the way.
Let’s make the ebi chili sauce. Put the vegetable oil in the heated pan. Add the chopped garlic, ginger, chili bean paste and tomato ketchup.
Stir-fry the mixture on medium heat. When the aroma grows stronger, reduce the heat to low and continue to stir-fry.
Add the Chinese-style chicken stock, which is made from instant chicken stock powder. Add the sake, salt and sugar to the sauce. Mix and bring the sauce to a boil.
Drop in the prawns and chopped long green onion.
Dissolve the potato starch in water and pour it over the onion. Toss to coat well. If you think the sauce is too thin, gradually add the dissolved starch and mix.
Finally, sprinkle on the vinegar and stir to combine.
Turn off the burner and serve the piping hot ebi chili in a bowl.
Do not overcook the prawns otherwise they will become small and tough and the texture will not be enjoyable.
Using plenty of aromatic vegetables, such as garlic, ginger and long green onions will increase the flavor.
Combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, grated onion, grated apple and grated ginger root in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.
Trim off the fat from the pork loin steak. The thickness of the steak should be about 1.5cm (0.6”). Make numerous cuts along the tough stringy parts between the fat and the lean meat. Be sure to bring the meat to room temperature before cooking. This will help to avoid undercooking the inside.
Lightly season both sides with salt and pepper. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Let’s make the shogayaki. Place the pork steak into a plastic bag with all purpose flour. Coating the steak with the flour will help it to keep the juices inside and also make the sauce slightly thicker.
Heat a pan on medium heat and add a generous amount of vegetable oil. Place the pork loin steak onto the heated pan. Make sure to cook the top side first so that you can present a beautifully browned surface. Occasionally swirl the pan to help brown the surface evenly.
When the bottom is golden brown, flip it over. Reduce the heat to low and spoon the hot oil over the steak until the inside is cooked.
Pierce the steak with a bamboo stick. If the juices are clear, it is ready. Turn off the burner and place the steak onto a cooling rack.
Lightly remove the remaining oil in the pan with a paper towel. The sauce serves 2 people so add half of it to the pan. Turn on the burner. This sauce has a relatively strong flavor so dilute it with a small amount of sake or water if you like a milder taste.
Bring the sauce to a boil and place the steak in the pan. Flip it over and coat both sides with the sauce. Be sure not to overcook the pork otherwise it will become tough.
Place the steak onto a plate along with the tomato, cabbage leaves and kaiware radish sprouts. Finally, ladle the remaining sauce over the steak.
The pork is tender and juicy and the slight sweetness of the sauce really brings out the flavor of the dish.
If fresh apples are not available, you can substitute 100 percent apple juice instead.
Let’s season the chicken drumsticks. Make sure to prewash the chicken and remove all the excess moisture. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper and curry powder. Flip the chicken over and then sprinkle on the salt, pepper and curry powder again. Toss to coat evenly.
Let’s grate the onions using a food processor. Cut the onions in half and then into rough pieces. Put the pieces into the bowl and cover with a lid. Pulse several times and then turn on the processor. And now the onion is grated.
Let’s saute the chicken. Add the olive oil to a pot and turn on the burner. Dust the chicken pieces with all-purpose flour, flip them over and dust again. Toss to coat evenly.
Line up the chicken in the heated pot. Lightly brown the surface and flip them over. The curry powder easily burns so keep your eyes on it.
Remove the chicken and set aside.
Add a little more olive oil to the pot and drop in the grated onion. Stir the onion on high heat and reduce the liquid.
Continue scraping the scorched onion off the bottom and sides and brown the onion on high heat for about 30 minutes.
When it comes to the end, reduce the heat to low and carefully caramelize the onion. Add the cumin seeds, grated ginger and garlic. Stir the mixture and allow the aroma to grow stronger.
Add the curry powder and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until aromatic.
Add the diced tomatoes and continue sauteing the mixture.
Add the water and crumble in the chicken bouillon cube.
Add the yogurt and distribute it evenly. Place the chicken into the pot.
Bring it to a boil on high heat and remove the foam. Cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes on low heat. This will allow the bone marrow to melt into a savory broth. Occasionally stir the bottom of the pot to keep it from burning.
Add the salt, pepper, curry powder, garam masala spices, and the fruit jam, and distribute evenly.
Cover and simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes. Turn off the burner and now the curry is ready to serve.
Place the steamed rice with mixed grains and seeds onto a plate. Ladle the chicken curry next to the rice. And now, the chicken curry is ready.
Sauteing the onion for 30 minutes is quite a bit of work but your effort will be rewarded by the delicious chicken curry.
Add the powdered spices again in the final stage since they easily lose the aroma when cooked thoroughly.
When rushed, you may use ready to cook fried onion paste to save time.
Let's drain the firm tofu. Remove the tofu from the package. Wrap the tofu with a thick paper towel. Use a dish as a weight and let the tofu sit for 20 minutes. If the room temperature is high, let the tofu sit in a fridge.
Let's cut the vegetables. Remove the root end of the garlic clove. Crush the garlic clove with the flat side of a knife. Remove the skin and chop the garlic into fine pieces.
Slice the ginger thinly. Stack the slices on top of each other and cut them into fine strips. Turn the strips and chop across the ginger.
Remove the root ends of the garlic chives. Cut the chives in half and chop them into half inch pieces.
Here is the Chinese-style chicken stock powder. Pour hot water in the heatproof measuring cup. Stir and dissolve the chicken stock well.
Dissolve the potato starch in twice its volume of water.
After 20 minutes of draining, gently remove the paper towel from the tofu. Be careful not to break it. First, slice the tofu horizontally and divide into 2 blocks. Next, cut vertically across the tofu. Finally, dice up the tofu into 3/4 inch cubes.
Let's make Mapo Tofu. Heat up the pan and pour in the sesame oil. Swirl the pan to coat it with oil. Stir-fry the ground pork at hight heat while breaking it into small pieces.
When the pork is thoroughly cooked and the color of pork fat becomes clear, add chopped garlic and ginger and reduce the heat to medium. Stir-fry until aromatic.
Move the pork to one side and make an extra space on the pan. Put the doubanjiang and tian mian jiang directly on the heated surface and fry at low heat to increase the flavor. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
Mix the condiments and pork together and stir-fry until evenly browned. Add the sake and stir until the moisture is gone.
Add the chicken stock, soy sauce and sake to the mixture and stir lightly.
Put in the tofu cubes and gently spread them in the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil at high heat. When it boils, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for two to three minutes. The tofu's moisture gets reduced and it will absorb the flavor of the sauce. This process will reduce the tofu's moisture and let the tofu absorb the flavour of the sauce.
Add in the garlic chives and gently stir with the wooden spatula. Mix and dissolve the potato starch evenly before adding it to the Mapo Tofu. Lift the pan from the burner and pour in the potato starch while swirling the pan.
Gently mix the content by sliding the spatula away from you, otherwise the tofu easily breaks into pieces. Heat over high heat for around 30 seconds and it's ready to serve.
Turn off the burner and serve the Mapo Tofu in the bowl. Sprinkle on Sichuan pepper if you like the unique aroma and flavor.
After adding the potato starch, heat the Mapo Tofu well until thickened, otherwise it will get runny when served.
You can also serve the Mapo Tofu on a rice bowl, making it Mapo Tofu donburi.
Doubanjiang, Tian Mian Jiang and Sichuan Pepper are found in the Chinese food section of most major grocery stores.
Drop-lidotoshi buta, substitute: aluminum foil or parchment paper with several half inch holes
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Let’s prepare the saba, mackerel fillet. With kitchen tweezers, remove the small bones from the middle of the fillet.
Flip the mackerel over, cut it in half and make a shallow diagonal cut in the skin of each piece.
Add water to a large amount of boiling water to bring it just below the boiling point. With a mesh strainer, submerge a piece of mackerel into the hot water. When the surface turns white, immediately drop it into a bowl of ice water. Repeat this process for the other piece of mackerel.
Gently rinse the surface of the fillet and remove the moisture thoroughly with a paper towel. This process will help remove the fishy smell and clean the surface.
Let’s simmer the mackerel. Combine the water, sake, sugar and mirin in a pan. Dissolve half of the miso in a ladle and then distribute it into the mixture. Turn on the burner and bring it to a boil.
Place the fillet into the miso sauce with the skin side facing up. A pan or shallow pot is easy to use when simmering fish. Bring the sauce to a boil again and remove the foam with a mesh strainer.
Drop in the ginger root slices and the green part of the long green onion. The onion will help cover the fishy smell.
Place the dampened wooden drop-lid called otoshi buta onto the fillet to help it cook evenly. Simmer for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Uncover and remove the long green onion. Ladle the broth into a bowl and dissolve the rest of the miso and then distribute it back into the pan. Adding the miso in 2 steps will help prevent the miso from losing its aroma.
Add the bell pepper, cover and simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes.
Uncover and remove the bell pepper before it fades in color. Ladle the miso sauce over the fillet and reduce the sauce without the drop-lid.
Turn off the burner and place the fillet onto a plate. Put the bell pepper next to it and ladle the miso sauce over the mackerel. Finally, garnish with the shiraganegi, the shredded white part of the long green onion.
For the drop-lid you can substitute aluminum foil or parchment paper with several half inch holes. In that case, you should place some kind of small weight on top, for example a light plate.
Let's prepare the ingredients for Gyudon. Cut the onion into 1cm (0.4") wedges. Separate the layers with your fingers. Grate the ginger root. Cut the scallions into fine pieces.
Let’s make Onsen Tamago, which means hot spring egg in Japanese. Place 2 eggs in either a heavy pot or an earthen pot. Add enough boiling water to submerge the eggs. These eggs are often heated in Japanese hot springs.
Cover and let the eggs cook for 20 minutes. Remove the eggs, and let them cool in icy water.
Let's crack the eggs into a bowl and see how they look. The egg white will be softer than the yolk.
Let’s parboil the beef. This will bring out the flavor and remove unwanted smell along with the excess fat. Bring water just to a boil, turn off the burner and parboil the beef.
When the beef loses its red color, remove and drain well. Do not overcook the beef or it will lose its savory flavor.
Let's make Gyudon. Add sake, mirin, soy sauce and sugar to a skillet. Turn on the burner and stir the mixture on medium heat.
When it starts to sizzle, add the beef. Toss to coat evenly.
Before the liquid evaporates too much, turn off the burner and remove the beef.
Reheat the skillet and add the water, dashi stock powder, grated ginger and onion to the mixture. Stir lightly and cover.
When the liquid boils, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 more minutes. Remove the lid.
Mix in the beef. When the beef is cooked, put steamed rice in a bowl.
Spoon the beef and onion along with the juices on top of the rice.
Sprinkle on the spring onion leaves. Garnish with beni shoga, pickled ginger and Onsen Tamago. Finally, top with shichimi, seven flavored chili pepper.
A tip to making delicious Gyudon is using the thinnest possible beef slices and finding the right balance of sweetness and saltiness.
If sliced beef isn't available, partially freeze a block of beef and slice it as thin as possible.
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.
Drain the rinsed sweet rice with a mesh strainer for 30 minutes. As for the dried shrimp, soak them in 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water for 30 minutes. Add the shrimp liquid to a measuring cup. Fill with water to equal 180ml (6.1 fl oz).
Place the sweet rice into the inner bowl of a rice cooker. Pour in the shrimp stock. Then, cook the rice in sweet rice mode on the rice cooker. If your rice cooker doesn't have a sweet rice mode, select the white rice mode instead.
Meanwhile, let's prepare the ingredients. Coarsely chop the rehydrated shrimp into smaller pieces. As for the shimeji mushrooms, remove the stem ends and tear them into individual pieces.
Let's make the seasoning. Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sake, sugar, pepper and water. Mix thoroughly.
Cut the pork shoulder into 1cm (0.4") cubes and pour the sake and soy sauce over it. Thoroughly rub the pork with the seasoning until all the liquid is absorbed.
Next, heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a pan. Place the pork in the pan. The diced pork cubes are visually appealing but you can also use ground pork. Brown the pork cubes and flip them over.
When both sides of the pork turn golden brown, place onto a tray. You don't need to cook the pork completely at this stage.
Clean the pan with a paper towel. Add the vegetable oil again and reheat the pan. Add the minced ginger root and rehydrated shrimp. Stir-fry the ingredients.
When the aroma grows stronger, add the shimeji mushrooms. Distribute the oil and stir-fry until the mushrooms are slightly softened. Stir the seasoning and add it to the ingredients. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Then, add the shelled amaguri chestnuts. Now, add the pork shoulder. Continue to stir-fry and reduce the seasoning until most of the liquid is reduced.
Finally, add a small amount of sesame oil and distribute. This will help to bring out the aroma and the flavor. Turn off the burner and the ingredients are ready.
When the sweet rice is ready, lightly loosen up the rice with a rice paddle. Then, add the seasoned ingredients to the inner bowl. Using the steaming hot rice will make it easy to combine the ingredients.
Distribute the ingredients evenly but be careful not to crush the rice grains. Close the rice cooker and let it sit for 5 minutes to even out the flavor.
Now, the Chuka Okowa is ready. Place the mixed rice into a bowl. Finally, garnish with the chopped spring onion leaves to taste.
This recipe doesn't require soaking the sweet rice in water or steaming the rice so you can easily make Chuka Okowa.
This is a great bento ingredient since sweet rice is tender even when cold.
You can also make onigiri rice balls and keep them in the freezer on standby.