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.
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 make the batter for okonomiyaki. Combine the cake flour and water in a bowl. Mix it with a balloon whisk until there are no pockets of dry flour. Let the batter sit for ten minutes in order for it to reach the correct consistency.
Meanwhile, remove the core of the cabbage. Take out the center part and then shred the leaves.
Let’s make Hiroshima Okonomiyaki. Preheat the griddle to a high heat. Coat a heated griddle with vegetable oil. Stir the batter and then pour it onto the griddle.
Spread the batter into a round shape using the back of the ladle. Make sure to leave a bit of batter in the bowl for later use.
Sprinkle on the bonito powder. Place the shredded cabbage onto the batter and sprinkle on more bonito powder.
Layer the moyashi bean sprouts on the cabbage. Crumble on the ikaten, deep-fried dried squid coated with batter.
Line up the pork belly slices on top and cook for about 5 minutes. Make sure the okonomiyaki isn’t stuck to the griddle.
Season the pork slices with the salt and the pepper. Stir the remaining batter and pour it onto the okonomiyaki. This will help to combine the vegetables and also prevent the pork from getting tough.
Flip the okonomiyaki with the turners. Gather the scattered vegetables and reshape the okonomiyaki.
Coat the griddle with vegetable oil and add the fresh yakisoba noodles. Sprinkle on the sake, salt and the pepper. Divide the noodles in half and stir-fry the yakisoba.
Add the okonomiyaki sauce, continue to stir-fry, distributing the sauce evenly. Shape the noodles into a circle, and brown the other side.
Lift the okonomiyaki with the turners and place it onto the noodles.
Clean the griddle with a dampened kitchen towel and then recoat it with oil. Add the egg, break the yolk and shape it into a circle.
Quickly place the okonomiyaki onto the fried egg and then flip it over.
Coat the okonomiyaki with a generous amount of okonomiyaki sauce. Sprinkle on the bonito powder and the aonori seaweed. Finally, top with the chopped spring onion leaves and now it is ready to serve.
Preheat the griddle to a high heat to fully cook the inside of the okonomiyaki.
You can also use udon, soba or pasta instead of yakisoba noodles.
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.
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.
We are making moist and fluffy Chiffon Cake. Enjoy it along with whipped cream or custard cream. They will go great with this cake. You’ll be able to make many different versions so it’ll be fun to master this basic recipe.
Beat the 5 egg yolks in a bowl. Add the sugar and dissolve it completely. Add the vegetable oil and mix. Then, add the milk and combine the mixture well.
Combine the cake flour and baking powder and sieve it one time beforehand. Sieve the flour once more into the bowl of the egg mixture.
With a balloon whisk, mix in the flour. Avoid any pockets of dry flour and give the batter a smooth texture.
Let’s make the meringue. Lightly beat the 6 egg whites in a bowl. Add one third of the sugar. Continue to beat and add another third. Then, add the rest of the sugar. The egg white should begin to have a glossy texture.
When the meringue is created, slow down the hand mixer and break the relatively large bubbles into foam. Beat the meringue until it reaches a stiff peak stage.
Add one third of the meringue to the batter. And thoroughly fold in. This will make the batter slightly soft and help to combine the rest of the meringue.
Add the rest of the meringue. And quickly fold in the batter again but avoid breaking the foam to create a light and fluffy cake.
Now, the batter is ready. Pour the batter into the angel food cake pan. Avoid coating the pan with butter or any oil. If the pan and the cake are not firmly attached together, the cake is less likely to hold its height.
Mix the batter with bamboo sticks to remove any pockets of air inside otherwise they will puff up and create hollows in the cake. Additionally, drop the cake pan onto a flat surface several times to remove the remaining air.
Before making the batter, make sure to preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Place the pan into the oven and bake at 170°C (340°F) for about 50 minutes.
Remove the cake pan from the oven. Flip the cake over and place it onto a cooling rack. Chiffon cake is a relatively tall cake so cool it upside down to keep it from shrinking due to the weight.
The chiffon cake is completely cooled. Insert an icing spatula between the cake and the pan. Slide the spatula along the edge. Likewise, using a small icing spatula, detach the cake from the center of the pan.
Flip the cake pan over and gently remove the side of the pan
Run the spatula along the bottom. Flip it over again and carefully remove the bottom of the pan.
Place the whole chiffon cake onto a plate.
Cut a piece of cake. And place it onto a plate along with the blueberries and whipped cream. Finally, sprinkle on the icing sugar.
Two tips to making chiffon cake successfully are creating the perfect meringue with a stiff consistency and removing any pockets of air in the batter.
Oven safe paper angel food cake pans are also available. If you don’t have a large angel food cake pan, use the paper pans or muffin cups instead.
We are cooking easily available frozen salmon to make Yakizuke, in which the main ingredient is grilled first and then marinated. This is a local dish in Niigata Prefecture and it was originally made at home to preserve fresh salmon which are caught in that area.
Let’s make the marinade. In a small pot, combine the sake and the mirin. Turn on the burner. Bring it to a boil and let the alcohol evaporate until you can’t smell it anymore. Pour the mixture onto a plate.
Add the vinegar, yuzu citrus juice, dashi kombu seaweed, dried red chili pepper and soy sauce. You can use any type of sour citrus juice instead of the yuzu juice. Stir to mix.
Make numerous cuts along the long green onion diagonally. The small cuts will help it to absorb the flavor and also help soften the texture. Then, cut the onion into 4cm (1.6") pieces. As for the bell pepper, cut it the same size as the onion.
Let’s make the Salmon Yakizuke. Add the sake to the salmon. And coat both sides evenly.
Add the vegetable oil to a pan. Turn on the burner and add the long green onion and the bell pepper. Stir-fry the vegetables. You can also use asparagus, snap peas, onion or mushrooms instead.
Now, the vegetables are deliciously browned. Place them into the marinade.
With a paper towel, remove the moisture from the salmon. Then, using a mesh strainer, sprinkle all purpose flour on both sides. This will help to create a nicely browned surface and also absorb the marinade.
Add oil again and reheat the pan. Place the salmon into the pan. Saute the top side first so that you can present a beautifully browned surface. Occasionally shake the pan to brown evenly. Cover and saute on low heat.
When the bottom is golden brown, flip it over. Brown the other side. You can also grill the salmon to give the skin a crisp texture, making the dish more delicious. Now, it is ready.
Place the salmon onto the plate. Spoon the marinade over the ingredients and let them sit until cool.
Now, the Yakizuke has absorbed the flavor. Place the kombu seaweed and a piece of long green onion onto a plate. Then, lean the salmon against them.
Garnish with the bell pepper and the long green onion. Finally, spoon the marinade over the salmon.
You can enjoy the dish immediately or keep it in the fridge for several hours to help it absorb more delicious flavor.
The kombu seaweed did an excellent job! The dish absorbed the flavor well and it goes great with steamed rice.
Let’s make the batter. Combine the cake flour and the baking powder and mix it with a balloon whisk. Then, sieve the flour into a bowl with a mesh strainer.
Beat the whole egg in a bowl. Add the sugar and mix to dissolve. Pour in the milk. Add the vegetable oil and the vanilla extract. Thoroughly mix the ingredients.
Make a shallow hole in the flour and pour in the egg mixture. With a balloon whisk, gradually mix in the flour from the center to the outside. This will help avoid pockets of dry flour.
When the flour is completely moistened, it is ready.
Let’s make the pancakes. Thinly coat a pan with vegetable oil using a paper towel. Turn on the burner and heat the pan. Then, with a sizzling sound, slightly cool the pan on a dampened kitchen towel. This will help to brown the pancakes evenly.
Ladle the batter into the pan. And cover.
When small bubbles begin to form on top and the bottom is golden brown, flip it over and cover again.
A tip to make the both sides puff up is to do this when the top is still in a fluid condition. Now, it is ready.
On a plate, place 2 pancakes on top of each other. Dust the pancakes with icing sugar. Place a dollop of whipped cream on top. And spoon the vanilla ice cream onto it.
Sprinkle on the diced almonds. Add a small amount of whipped cream. Finally, garnish with the mint leaves. Enjoy the pancakes with the maple syrup.
Avoid thickly greasing the pan to keep the pancake from having a patchy pattern. If you are using a non-stick pan, additional oil may not be required for the second pancake.
When the batter is too thick, add milk a little at a time to adjust its consistency.
Let's prepare the ingredients. Cut the onion in half lengthwise and then slice into 1cm (0.4") slices across the grain. Slice the carrot into 4cm (1.6") slices and cut into 2mm (0.1") strips. Tear the shimeji mushrooms into small pieces. And slice the long green onion into 2cm (0.8") pieces.
Let's make the curry sauce for udon noodles. Add a small amount of vegetable oil to a pot and turn on the burner. Add in the white part of the long green onion sliced diagonally. Saute the onion to make it sweet and tender. When the onion is deliciously browned, remove and save it on a plate.
Add the vegetable oil again and reheat the pot. Add the onion, carrot and shimeji mushrooms. Lightly cook the ingredients. When the oil is distributed evenly, add in the beef slices. Continue to saute the ingredients.
When the redness in the meat has disappeared, reduce the heat to low. Then, add the curry powder. Stir-fry and bring out the aroma. The curry powder will easily burn so turn the heat off or maintain the lowest possible heat.
Now, pour the dashi stock into the pot. The curry has a strong flavor so you should use a relatively rich and savory broth to compensate. Add the sugar and usukuchi soy sauce. Combine the sauce. The usukuchi soy sauce helps to retain the presentable color of curry sauce but you can also use regular soy sauce.
Bring it to a boil on medium heat. Then, remove the foam. When the vegetables soften, reduce the heat to low. Thoroughly stir the diluted potato starch and add it to the broth a little at a time. If the heat is too strong, the starch will instantly clump up before it can be distributed.
Now, the sauce slightly thickens. Bring it to a boil on medium heat. Then, add the long green onion. Now, the curry sauce is ready.
Let's make the curry udon. Place the frozen udon noodles into a pot of boiling water. Loosen up the noodles. Then, boil for 30 seconds.
Remove the pot and quickly place the udon into a mesh strainer. Remove the excess water thoroughly and place the noodles into a bowl.
Pour the hot curry sauce over the udon along with the ingredients. Finally, top with the chopped spring onion leaves.
Usukuchi soy sauce is both saltier and lighter in color than regular soy sauce. It is often used in dishes that feature the colors of ingredients to help keep them from darkening.
Some people may have difficulties to find mirin so we intentionally made this recipe without using it. Hope more people can enjoy this delicious curry udon noodles!