When I was leaving home as a youth, this is one of the first recipes I copied out of my mother’s card file. When Dad returned from Japan in the early ‘50s, he brought back a love of all things Japanese and several Japanese recipes. My mother was making chicken teriyaki when it was still an exotic foreign food in California.
Tag Archives: Japanese cuisine
Before I left home for the first time, I sat down with my mother’s recipe box and wrote down my favorite dishes. This is one of the dishes that Dad brought back from Japan in the ‘50s. When most American families were getting hamburgers and hotdogs, we were getting chicken teriyaki and rice once a week. When Jan and I were living in China I received great praise for my ability to eat with chopsticks. Because of dad’s love of things Japanese, I had been using chopsticks from the time I could hold them.
Whenever I make a Japanese feast I usually include miso soup. The soup broth itself is quick and easy to make, by itself it is simply dashi—a Japanese soup base—with some miso added for flavoring. After that, you may add pretty much anything you have available. Today, I decided on bay scallops, tofu, enoki mushrooms, green onion, and I happened to have some daikon sprouts, because I had also made hamachi shots for this meal.
While the women in my life are at school/work, I sometimes have only myself to cook for. Usually this is leftovers from the previous dinner. This time I had only a single cooked chicken thigh. Jan does not like buckwheat noodles—soba—but I do. Some chicken, some noodles, this I can work with.
Miso soup is perfect for a weekday meal. The soup broth itself is quick and easy to make, by itself it is simply dashi—a Japanese soup base—with some miso added for flavoring. After that, you may add pretty much anything you have available—a great way to use up any miscellaneous bits of vegetables that you have lying around. Today, I decided on shrimp, tofu, napa cabbage, green onion, and I happened to have some daikon sprouts and slivers of red jalapeño on hand.
I made a Japanese feast for Sunday’s dinner. An ohitashi is basically a Japanese salad. A variety of green are parboiled, lightly dressed with a soy sauce based dressing and then served chilled. Using spinach seemed just too ordinary. I had planned to use komatsuna (Japanese mustard greens), but the greens at the store were yellowed and bug eaten. In the next bin was some fresh mizuna (also called Japanese mustard greens), so I decided to use that for my ohitashi.
I am making a Japanese feast this Sunday and—with my family’s dietary concerns—I need to make the starch dish separately. In most Japanese rice dishes the rice is cooked and then things are added to the plain rice. Takikomi gohan is “similar to Japanese maze gohan (mixed rice), but where maze gohan involves mixing cooked ingredients and seasonings into precooked rice, to prepare takikomi gohan, ingredients and seasonings are combined with uncooked rice and [then] cooked together.”
Jan’s favorite dish, when we go to a Japanese restaurant is kitsune udon. Udon is a thick wheat noodle that is a standard for a large variety of Japanese soups—both hot and cold. While kitsune refers to a fox, the distinguishing ingredient in this dish fried tofu—apparently the favorite food of the magical, Japanese, shape-shifting foxes.