Return of the Japanese Cooking Thread!!

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Return of the Japanese Cooking Thread!!

Postby Mouse2010 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:27 pm

We've had a couple of these threads in the past, but I don't see a current one now. So rather than gravedig, I thought I'd start a new thread. If you're thinking that my love of Sweetness and Lightening might be fueling the idea, you're probably right. Reading that manga HAS made me more interested in cooking Japanese food again. (It's a great manga and I highly recommend it, but it WILL make you hungry, oh yes.)

So . . . who else here cooks Japanese food? Any recipes you really like?

I just tried making taco rice tonight. It's really more of an American dish with just a Japanese touch, but I thought it was worth mentioning because I first heard of it here on CAA, in a previous Japanese cooking thread.
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Re: Return of the Japanese Cooking Thread!!

Postby Rusty Claymore » Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:13 pm

Octopus rice?!? 本気じゃニャいですよ。

This may not count, but I make Japanese curry occasionally, using Golden Curry rouge. Or, whatever you call those blocks of pre-prepared curry spices. Yesterday's rendition I added a can of coconut cream, and the texture was amazing! The curry flavor was a little subdued, though.

Another cheater dish is Nissin Raoh ramen. Amazon US sells it, and it is my Japanese friend's go-to for making ramen at home. I like the tonkotsu flavor the best.

However, if I'm feeling serious, I'll make Nikujaga. Here's the general guidelines I substituted for a recipe:

MEAT - whatever you want, how much you like. I usually buy either a pork or beef stew meat pack from the grocer. ニャんでもいいですよ。
Potatoes - Since they tend to get bigger the more you cut them up, I usually use one medium to large baker potato, cut small enough to put in your mouth easily. >_>
Onion - I ratio the onions by looking at the meet and potatoes. They're a good supporting cast, but shouldn't take over the stage. (You can blame that analogy on Japanese food TV.)
Dashi Soup (1 1/3 tbsp Bonito Stock in 2 cups water. I use HonDashi brand.)
Mirin - 2 Tbsp
Soy Sauce - 4 Tbsp

The way of the Nikujaga:

Heat your choice of cooking oil in a large, coverable saucepan that's reasonably deep. (I've been using coconut oil because it's weird.) Cook the meat until it changes colors, then add the veggies. (Carrots are an option, especially if you like things sweet.) Cook them for about a minute or two,then add the Dashi Soup and cook under a lid for 20 minutes. Add the mirin and soy sauce (I usually mix them together first.) and cook under a lid for another 15 minutes. Douse the flames and let it stand for 30 minutes. おわりました!

One of these days I'm gonna make those sweet potato crepes from Sweetness and Lightening.
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Re: Return of the Japanese Cooking Thread!!

Postby Kaori » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:12 pm

Mouse2010 wrote:I just tried making taco rice tonight. It's really more of an American dish with just a Japanese touch, but I thought it was worth mentioning because I first heard of it here on CAA, in a previous Japanese cooking thread.

Huh. I wonder who that could have been.

Rusty wrote:However, if I'm feeling serious, I'll make Nikujaga. Here's the general guidelines I substituted for a recipe:

I love nikujaga. Delicious and easy to make. There are also a lot of variations on it, so like you said, you can basically use whatever meat and whatever vegetables you want to. Personally I like including しらたき(yam noodles), and in theory I like it when nikujaga has green peas in it, but the frozen ones I use are always all wrinkly and not worthy of enthusiasm, so I tend to not put them in when I'm making nikujaga myself.

This is from back when I lived in Japan. Looks like beef, potato, carrot, and しらたき。

Between moving back to the States and coming into the Orthodox Church (lots of fasting seasons; needed to learn to make fast-friendly foods) I haven't been doing as much Japanese cooking as previously, and the new dishes I have learned to make have mainly been Western ones (I can now make a very tasty lentil soup). But I have been doing some. For example, this is a favorite standby of mine:


The recipe is supposed to be a Chinese-style stir fry (but the recipe is Japanese) using pork, 小松菜 (Japanese spinach), and きくらげ (Jew's-Ear???). Looks like I substituted tofu for the pork and チンゲンサイ (I forget what we call this in English . . . bok choy?) for the 小松菜 in the photo above, and I have never used きくらげ yet. You could also substitute in regular old non-Japanese spinach.

Recipe calls for:

小松菜 (komatsuna, Japanese spinach) one bunch (350 grams)
thin-sliced pork 150 g
きくらげ 50 g after being rehydrated
garlic 1 clove
赤とうがらし (dried red chili pepper) 1 pepper
酒 (Japanese rice wine) 1 tbsp
cooking oil


1. Cut your meat and vegetables of choice into appropriately small pieces for stir-frying.
2. Cut the garlic clove in half. Cut the 赤とうがらし in half and remove the seeds.
3. Heat one Tbsp. of cooking oil in a frying pan and add the leafy vegetables and a dash of salt. Add 1/2 cup of hot water and put a lid on the frying pan for 1-2 minutes. Once the vegetables have become flexible, put them in a strainer to drain the water.
4. Dry the frying pan and put 1/2 Tbsp. cooking oil in it. Put in the garlic, 赤とうがらし, and meat, and cook them. Add the きくらげ, then return the 小松菜 to the frying pan.
5. Season by adding 1 Tbsp. 酒、 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper to taste.

Very easy to make (the only seasoning ingredients are garlic, dried red pepper, 酒、salt, and pepper), flexible (for vegetables Japanese spinach OR Western spinach OR bok choy; for meat, thin-sliced pork OR beef OR substitute fried tofu), and it doesn't take very long to cook.
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Re: Return of the Japanese Cooking Thread!!

Postby Sheenar » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:02 pm

I really want to learn how to make/find a recipe for gluten free, soy free, nut free chicken and vegetable udon soup. Because I really miss that --there was this amazing Japanese restaurant next to campus in college that made the best udon soup I ever had.
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Re: Return of the Japanese Cooking Thread!!

Postby ClaecElric4God » Fri May 06, 2016 5:22 am

When I was still in the states I used to make curry all the time, but ironically since I've been in Japan I haven't made it once. I am sadly lacking in cooking skills, so I usually make simple stuff. But probably my favorite dish to make here is 麻婆豆腐 (mabodofu?). It's technically a Chinese dish, I guess, but whatever. It's super yummy. I will admit I make it from a box, but I fully intend to make it from scratch one of these days when I have time.
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