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.
Remove the firm stringy fibers of the snow peas. You can also use snap peas or string bean pods instead. Add salt to a pot of boiling water to help keep the peas from getting soggy. Boil the snow peas for about 1 minute. Remove and strain the peas with a mesh strainer.
Boil the firm tofu in the same pot. As shown, tear the tofu and submerge it in the boiling water. This parboiling process will reduce the water in the tofu and also help it absorb the flavor.
When the inside becomes hot, remove and strain the tofu with a mesh strainer.
Let's cut the ingredients. Cut the snow peas into 1cm (0.4") pieces using diagonal cuts. Slice the carrot into 4cm (1.6") slices. Then, cut into relatively thick strips.
Rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms and squeeze out the excess liquid. Save the shiitake liquid for later use. Remove the stems. And cut the caps into fine strips.
As for the chicken breast, cut into 1cm (0.4") cubes. Cut the white part of the long green onion into thin circular slices.
Let's make the Iri Dofu. Heat the sesame oil in a pan. Add the white part of long green onion. Stir-fry until the onion is slightly browned and it starts to grow more fragrant.
Add the carrot. Then, add the shiitake mushrooms.
When the sesame oil is distributed evenly, add the chicken. Continue to stir-fry.
Now, the chicken is cooked. Remove the excess water from the tofu with a paper towel. Then, add the tofu. Roughly break the tofu into smaller pieces while sauteing.
Lightly season the tofu with salt. If you are a health-conscious person, you can definitely leave it out but a pinch of salt makes a big difference and brings out the savory flavor. Stir-fry on high heat and reduce the liquid.
Add the sugar, salt, soy sauce and shiitake liquid. The savory shiitake broth should be about 2 to 3 tablespoons. If you add too much liquid, you will need to spend more time to reduce it.
Thoroughly stir-fry the ingredients and reduce the excess broth. Then, pour the beaten egg over the mixture.
When the edges begin to firm up, gently distribute the egg. Add the snow peas and quickly mix.
Now, it is ready. Ladle the Iri Dofu into a bowl.
When you use the Iri-Dofu as a bento ingredient, be sure to stir-fry thoroughly to reduce the broth and cook the egg completely.
To rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in water and store in the fridge overnight. You can also freeze the rehydrated shiitake to keep them on standby.
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.
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.
Yakisoba noodles are commonly served by vendor booths at festivals and also when people go out camping in Japan. This is a simple, delicious and healthy recipe and you can eat plenty of healthy vegetables.
Let's make the Tebasaki sauce. Combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, and the grated garlic and ginger root in a pot. Turn on the burner. Stir evenly with a spatula.
Bring it to a boil to let the alcohol evaporate. Turn the heat to low, reducing the sauce for a few minutes. Pour the sauce into a bowl. Add the vinegar and stir with the spatula.
Let's prepare the chicken wings. Place the chicken wings onto a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and press with your hands, removing all of the excess water.
Remove the paper towels and sprinkle on the salt. Lightly pat the salt onto the chicken. Flip it over and sprinkle on the salt again, lightly patting it.
Place the chicken into a bowl. Add the sake and ginger root juice. Rub the seasonings into the chicken thoroughly. After seasoning the chicken, allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
Press the chicken with a paper towel to lightly remove the excess liquid. Put the potato starch into a food storage bag. Place the chicken wings into the bag. Shake vigorously to coat the chicken with the starch. Place the chicken wings onto a cooking tray.
Let’s deep-fry the Tebasaki chicken. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Drop in a sprinkle of sesame oil for added fragrance and taste. The amount of the frying oil should be enough to almost cover the chicken wings.
Remove the excess starch from the chicken. Place them into the pot while the oil is still cold. Deep-fry the chicken without stirring until the surface is cooked. This will help hold the starch in place while cooking.
When the temperature begins to rise, ladle the hot oil over the chicken to cook thoroughly. The hot oil tends to splash so be careful not to burn yourself.
When the edges of the chicken begin to brown, flip them over. Deep-fry the chicken evenly until golden brown. Place the chicken onto a cooling rack. Turn off the burner.
When they are still hot, put the chicken wings into the bowl of Tebasaki sauce. With a paddle, toss to coat with the sauce.
Serve the Tebasaki chicken wings on a plate. With a kitchen brush, coat the chicken with the extra sauce.
Sprinkle on the toasted white sesame seeds and a generous amount of the coarsely ground black pepper. Finally, top with the sansho pepper powder and red chili powder to taste.
Be sure to drop in the chicken when the oil is still cold. This will help the chicken heat up slowly, cooking the inside with the juices while deep-frying the outside to a golden brown.
This recipe allows you to make plenty of Tebasaki chicken wings without any trouble. You should definitely try it on Thanksgiving Day.
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.
Let's prepare the lotus root. Thoroughly rinse the lotus root and grate it along with the skin. The grated root should make approximately 50g (1.8 oz).
Slice about 100g (3.5 oz) of the lotus root. Then, coarsely chop the slices into small pieces.
Let's make the sauce. Combine the vinegar, sake, sugar and soy sauce. Stir to dissolve.
Let's combine the meatball ingredients. In a large bowl, season the ground pork with the salt and pepper. Add the soy sauce and sake. With your hand, squish the mixture to combine the ingredients. Then, loosely spread your fingers forming a rake shape to thoroughly mix the meat until the mixture becomes sticky. This will make it easier to combine other ingredients later.
Add the chopped ginger root, coarsely chopped long green onion, grated lotus root, and coarsely chopped lotus root. Add in the potato starch and sesame oil. Squeeze the mixture so all ingredients are well incorporated. Even if you use lean meat, adding the grated lotus root will give it a tender texture. The crispy chopped lotus root also adds a pleasant texture to the dish.
When the meat mixture is thoroughly combined, shape them into balls about the size of ping pong balls and place them onto a plate. You'll have about 12 meatballs in total. Now, remove your kitchen glove. Wet your hands with vegetable oil and roll each meatball between your palms to make a smooth surface.
Let's cook the meatballs. Heat the oil in a pot to 170 °C (340 °F) and reduce the heat to low. Gently place the meatballs into the pot. Then, bring to medium heat. Don’t touch the meatballs until the surface firms up. Occasionally shake the pot to keep the bottom of the meatballs from burning.
When the surface firms up, turn the meatballs over. Keep turning them to brown evenly for 5 to 6 minutes. They will turn to a delicious golden brown color. Remove the meatballs and place them onto a cooling rack.
Let's coat the meatballs with the sauce. Heat another pot on medium heat. Stir the sauce and pour it into the pot. Bring it to a boil and reduce the sauce. When the sauce begins to thicken, add the meatballs. Coat the meatballs with the sauce.
Place the meatballs onto a plate along with the sweet and sour sauce.
You can also top with shichimi chili pepper, sansho pepper or a generous amount of chopped seasonal kinome leaves to taste.
The meatballs are great for adding to bentos but be sure to cool them before packing.
Finally, the meatballs can be refrigerated or frozen so you can always keep them on standby.