• けんちん汁

    [From December Issue 2010]

    Ingredients [Serves 2]

    • 1/2 block (150g) momen (cotton/firm) tofu
    • 40g chicken thigh meat
    • 2 dried shiitake mushroom
    • 50g daikon radish
    • 20g carrot
    • 1 mid-sized (80g) satoimo (taro) potato
    • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
    • 5cm Japanese leek
    • Pinch of 7-flavor chili pepper



    • 1 tsp (powdered) Japanese soup stock
    • 1.5 cups water
    • 1/3 cup shiitake mushroom soaked water


    • 1 tbsp cooking sake
    • 2 tsp soy sauce
    • 1/6 tsp salt

    Kenchin: Originates from the Chinese dish of chopped vegetables wrapped in yuba (soy milk skin) and abura-age (deep fried tofu) cooked in oil. It is also said that “Kenchin” is a derivative of “Kencho-jiru” which originates from the “Kencho” temple in Kamakura.

    • Hyoushigi-giri: Cutting vegetables into rectangular bars. Used for boiled, dressed, vinegar-based dishes.
    • Hangetsu-giri: Cutting vegetables into semicircular (half-moon) slices when rings are too large. Used for boiled or soup dishes.

    1. Soften dried shiitake mushrooms by soaking them in 1/2-cup of water (20~30 mins). Lightly squeeze out excess water and cut off stems, then slice thinly. Save soaking water for later use. Cut daikon radish and carrots into 3~4cm hyoushigi-giri pieces. Cut satoimo (taro) potatoes into round or semi-circular 5~6mm slices (hangetsu-giri).

    2. Dice chicken thigh meat into 2cm pieces.

    3. Gently wrap momen tofu in clean kitchen towel to drain any excess water.

    4. Heat sesame oil in pan, then on high, stir-fry vegetables prepared in (1). Add diced chicken and cook. Add tofu and cook until the oil blends thoroughly with the other ingredients.

    5. Add broth (A). Scrape the lightly burnt residue from the sides of the pot into the broth to add fragrance. Bring to a boil and remove the scum. Lower heat to medium, partially cover and then let cook for 12~13 minutes. Once the vegetables are soft, flavor with the broth (B).

    6. To serve, first thinly slice the Japanese leeks. Then pour soup into a bowl and sprinkle the sliced leeks, along with the 7-flavor chili peppers over top.



    • 木綿どうふ 1/2丁(半分)150g
    • とりもも肉 40g
    • 干ししいたけ 2個
    • 大根 50g
    • にんじん 20g
    • さといも 中1個 80g
    • ごま油 大さじ1/2
    • 長ねぎ 5cm
    • 七味とうがらし 少々



    • 和風だし(顆粒)小さじ1
    • 水 カップ1+1/2
    • しいたけの戻し汁 カップ1/3


    • 酒 大さじ1
    • しょうゆ 小さじ2
    • 塩 小さじ1/6


    • 拍子木切り:角柱形に切ります。煮物、和え物、酢の物に使います。
    • 半月切り:輪切りを半分にした物、輪切りでは大きすぎるときに使います。煮物、吸い物に使います。

    1. 干ししいたけは、水カップ1/2につけて(20~30分)戻します。水気を軽くしぼって軸を取り、細切りにします。戻し汁は取りおきます。大根、にんじんは、3~4cm長さの拍子木切りにします。さといもは5~6mm厚さの輪切りまたは半月切りにします。

    2. とりもも肉は、2cm角に切ります。

    3. 木綿どうふは、ふきんに包んで軽く水気をしぼります。

    4. 鍋にごま油を熱し、強火で1全部をよくいためます。とり肉を加えさらにいため、とうふを加えて、全体に油がなじむまでいためます。

    5. (A)の煮汁を加えます。鍋肌についた軽いこげも煮汁に落として、香ばしさを移します。煮立ったらあくを取り、弱めの中火にして、ふたをずらしてのせ、12~13分煮ます。野菜がやわらかくなったら、(B)の煮汁で調味します。

    6. お椀によそいます。長ねぎを小口切りにします。お椀に盛り、ねぎを散らして七味をふり、できあがりです。

    Read More
  • 揚げ出しどうふ

    [From November Issue 2010]

    Ingredients [Serves 2]

    • 1 (300g) block momen (firm/cotton) tofu
    • 1 tbsp flour
    • Oil for deep-frying


    • 1/2 cup (or 1/2 tsp powder) soup stock
    • 1 tbsp mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce


    • 100g daikon radish
    • 1 piece (10g) ginger
    • 2 sticks banno negi (green onions)
    • Flour is added just before frying. The flour will get more watery if you leave it for some time before frying.
    • Kinu (soft/silken) tofu may be also used.
    • Tofu may also be powdered with starch.
    • Starched, deep-fried tofu has a smoother texture.
    • Floured tofu will be crispier and have darker coloring.
    • 1. Tofu: cut into 4 pieces then strain for about 15 minutes to drain excess water. (When rushed, then wrap in paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes.)

    2. Daikon radish: grate and drain with strainer. Ginger: scrape skin then grate. Negi: chop finely.

    3. Sauce: Mix ingredients in a pot and let boil.

    4. Pour approximately 3 cm of oil into a deep frying pan. Lightly dab the tofu with paper towels to absorb the excess water, then lightly cover with flour, dusting off any extra.

    5. Heat the oil to a high temperature (180°C) then deep-fry the tofu. Turn over when the batter turns golden, and completely remove when the tofu turns light brown.

    6. Place fried tofu in a deep dish and garnish with toppings. Cover with sauce before serving.



    • 木綿どうふ 1丁(300g)
    • 小麦粉 大さじ1
    • 揚げ油 適量


    • だし(顆粒、小さじ半分)カップ1/2
    • みりん 大さじ1
    • しょうゆ 大さじ1


    • 大根 100g
    • しょうが 1かけ(10g)
    • 万能ねぎ 2本
    • 小麦粉は揚げる直前につけます。粉をつけて時間をおくと、とうふの水分でべたついてきます。
    • 好みで絹ごしどうふでもかまいません。
    • とうふにまぶす粉はかたくり粉でもよいです。
    • かたくり粉で揚げたとうふは、つるりとした食感に仕上がります。
    • 小麦粉は揚げたときの色がよく、香ばしく揚がります。

    1. とうふは4つに切り、ざるにのせて15分ほどおき、自然に水を切ります。急ぐときは、とうふをペーパータオルで包み、皿にのせて電子レンジで約2分加熱します。

    2. 大根はすりおろし、ざるにとって自然に水気をきります。しょうがは皮をこそげてすりおろします。万能ねぎは小口切りにします。

    3. かけ汁は鍋に材料を入れ、ひと煮立ちさせます。

    4. 揚げ鍋に約3cmの深さまで油を入れます。とうふの水気をペーパータオルで軽くおさえ、小麦粉を全体にまぶし、余分な粉をはたいて落とします。

    5. 揚げ油を高温(180℃)に熱し、とうふを入れます。衣が薄く色づいてきたら裏返し、全体が薄茶色になったら取り出します。

    6. 深めの器にとうふを盛り付け、薬味をのせます。かけ汁をかけてできあがりです。

    Read More
  • きんめの煮付け

    [From October Issue 2010]

    Ingredients [Serves 2]

    • 2 pcs kinmedai (alfonsino/sea bream) (240g)
    • 1 small pc ginger (5g)


    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/4 cup sake
    • 3 tbsp mirin
    • 1 & 1/2 tbsp soy sauce


    • 20g seaweed
    • 5-6 (30g) banno-negi (konegi, young leeks)


    • Kinmedai: With a knife, make one or two cuts on the skin of the fish. This is to make it easy for the flavor of the sauce to soak through. It also prevents the fish from arching.
    • Ginger: Keep the skin and cut into thin layers.
    • Seaweed: Wash and leave it in water for 2 to 3 minutes then cut into pieces of 2 to 3 cm.
    • Banno-negi: Cut into 5cm lengths.

    1. Put the ginger and the ingredients for the sauce into the pot then over a high flame. Dry the kinmedai and put into the sauce when it comes to a boil.

    2. Pour the sauce over the kinmedai with a spoon. This makes the surface of the fish solidify in a short time and will ensure the fish retains its flavor. It also prevents the skin from sticking to the small lid that rests directly on the fish.

    3. When it returns to a boil, skim the sauce, lower the flame to medium and place a smaller lid on the fish. To prevent the fishy smell from filling the pot, do not cover the pot.

    4. Simmer for about 10 minutes, basting the fish a couple of times along the way.

    5. Remove the smaller lid, turn the flame to high and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. When the kinmedai has become shiny, and while there is broth still left at the bottom, turn off the flame.

    6. Since the fish crumbles easily right after it is cooked, let it cool for 1 to 2 minutes before carefully removing it. Put it in a deep saucer with the skin facing up.

    7. Add seaweed and banno-negi to what is left of the broth and boil it for less than one minute. Place it to the right front side of the kinmedai. Pour the remaining sauce over the fish as the final touch.



    • きんめだい 2切れ(240g)
    • しょうが 小1かけ(5g)


    • 水 カップ1/2
    • 酒 カップ1/4
    • みりん 大さじ3
    • しょうゆ 大さじ1 1/2


    • わかめ 20g
    • 万能ねぎ 5~6本(30g)


    • きんめだい:皮に1~2本切れ目を入れます。これは魚に味をしみこみやすくします。また魚のそり返りを防ぎます。
    • しょうが:皮付きのまま薄切りにします。
    • わかめ:水で洗って水に2~3分つけもどし、2~3cmの長さに切ります。
    • 万能ねぎ:5cmの長さに切ります。

    1. 鍋に煮汁の材料、しょうがをいれ、強火にかけます。きんめだいの水気をふきとり、煮汁が煮立ったところに入れます。

    2. スプーンで、煮汁をきんめだいの上にかけます。こうすると魚の表面が早く固まり、うま味が逃げるのを防ぐとともに、皮が落しぶたにつきにくくなります。

    3. 沸騰したらアクをとり、中火にして、落しぶたをします。生臭さがこもらないように、鍋ぶたはしません。

    4. 途中2回ほど、きんめだいに煮汁をかけながら、約10分煮ます。

    5. 落しぶたをとり、強火でさらに2~3分煮詰めます。煮汁が鍋の底に残り、きんめだいのつやがよくなったところで火を止めます。

    6. できたては形が崩れやすいので、1~2分おいて少し冷まして(あら熱をとる)から、そっと取り出します。深さのある皿に皮が向こうになるように盛りつけます。

    7. 残った煮汁にわかめと万能ねぎを入れ、さっと(1分弱)火を通して、きんめだいの右手前に添えます。煮汁をかけてできあがりです。

    Read More
  • 炊き込みごはん

    [From September Issue 2010]

    Ingredients [Serves 2] 

    • 1 cup rice (use a rice measuring cup)
    • 200ml dashi (cooking stock)
    • 1 1/2 cup water
    • 3g shaved bonito
      (A) 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
      1/2 tbsp rice wine
    • a pinch of salt
    • 1/4 sheet abura-age (deep-fried tofu)
    • 20g burdock root
    • 10g carrots
    • 1 shiitake mushroom
    • 2 split peas
    • 30g chicken leg meat
    • 1/4 tsp soy sauce
    • 1/2 tsp rice wine

    When using a rice cooker:
    Follow all instructions up to (8) then use the rice cooker. Mix the rice when the cooking is done and the warmer is turned on.

    Tips on cooking a delicious takikomi-gohan:
    Add seasoning right before cooking, but beware of using sodium (salt) as it stops the rice from absorbing enough water. The cooked rice will not turn out soft this way.

    1. Make the cooking stock by boiling a predetermined amount of water, reduce heat then add shaved bonito. Bring to a boil once again then heat on low for 2 minutes, strain and set aside to cool.

    2. Wash rice. Pour rice into a bowl and quickly add water. Rinse briefly by hand then immediately drain the milky-colored water. Swish rice around by hand about ten times then rinse with water another 2 or 3 times or until the water is no longer milky. Drain with a colander then place it in pot with the stock. Set aside to soak for about 30 minutes.

    3. Pour boiling water over the abura-age to rinse off excess oil. Then slice it into 3 cm long, 3~4 mm wide strips.

    4. Shave the burdock roots into 1.5 to 2 cm strips. Soak in water to remove dirt. Then, drain with a colander.

    5. Peel the carrots then cut them into 2 cm julienne slices. Separate the cap and stem of the shiitake mushroom. Thinly slice the cap into 3 mm wide slices, and finely chop the stem length-wise.

    6. Remove the string from the split peas. Briefly boil (about one minute) then cut them diagonally.

    7. Dice the chicken leg into 1 cm pieces, then season with soy sauce and rice wine.

    8. Put (A) (soy sauce, rice wine, and salt), the meat and vegetables into the pan with the rice, and then mix just before steaming.

    9. Let sit to steam, then remix to loosen.

    10. Fill bowl 70~80% full, leaving space to sprinkle split peas before serving.



    • 米 米用カップ1
    • だし カップ1
    • 水 カップ1+1/2
    • けずりかつお 3g
    • (A) しょうゆ 大さじ1/2
      酒 大さじ1/2
      塩 ひとつまみ
    • 油揚げ 1/4枚
    • ごぼう 20g
    • にんじん 10g
    • しいたけ 1個
    • さやえんどう 2個
    • とりもも肉 30g
    • しょうゆ 小さじ1/4
    • 酒 小さじ1/2



    1. だしをとります。鍋に分量の水をいれて火にかけ、ふっとうしたらけずりかつおをいれます。再びふっとうしたら火を弱め、約2分煮出して火を止め、こして冷まします。

    2. 米をとぎます。ボールに米とたっぷりの水を一気に入れ、さっとかき混ぜ白くにごった水を手早く捨てます。手のひらを使いシャッシャッと10回程度とぎ、再び水を入れ、水のにごりがなくなるまで2~3回すすぎます。ざるにあげ水気をきり、米を鍋に移し、分量のだしに30分以上つけます。

    3. 油揚げは、熱湯をかけ油抜きします。3cm長さ、3~4mm巾程度の細切りにします。

    4. ごぼうは1.5~2cm長さに削ります。水に放し、あく抜きする。ざるにとり、水気をきります。

    5. にんじんは皮をむき、2cm長さの太めのせん切りにする。しいたけは石づきをとり、かさと軸を離します。かさは3mm巾の薄切りにする。軸は縦に細かく切ります。

    6. さやえんどうは、筋をとり、1分ほどさっとゆでます。斜めに切ります。

    7. とりもも肉は1cm角に切り、しょうゆ、酒で下味をつけます。

    8. 鍋の米に(A)(しょうゆ、酒、塩)と具を混ぜて炊きます。

    9. ごはんを蒸らし終わったら全体を大きく混ぜてほぐします。

    10. 茶碗の7~8分目まで盛り、さやえんどうを散らしてできあがりです。

    Read More
  • いわしの蒲焼き

    [From August Issue 2010]

    Ingredients [Serves 2] 

    • 2 medium-size sardines (200g)
    • 1 tbsp starch
    • 1 tbsp cooking oil
    • a pinch of sansho (Japanese pepper)


    • 1/2 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp mirin (sweet sake)
    • 1 tbsp sake

    amazu shoga (ginger pickled in sweet vinegar, available in stores)

    Kabayaki: is a dish made by broiling or frying fish such as eel, conger eel, saury and sardines in a thick sweet sauce. It is believed that the name “kabayaki” originates from the old days when eels were skewered and broiled whole, which looked like “Gama no Ho” (the ears of cattails).

    Tebiraki: Sardine flesh is soft enough for you to open it with your hands.
    1. Cut off the head, split open the belly lengthwise and remove the organs. Clean with water and wipe dry.

    2. Place both of your thumbs along the backbone, then sliding them downwards remove the meat from the bone as it opens up.

    3. Place the fish on the cutting board, snap the back bone at the tail and remove from the fish.

    4. Angle a kitchen knife and shave off the small bones from the belly.

    5. Cut off the dorsal fin by holding it with the knife then pulling the tail.

    1. Split open the sardines with your hands, using the “tebiraki” technique.

    2. Mix (A) to make sauce.

    3. Before frying, coat both sides of the fish with starch and tap off the excess. Use a tea strainer to lightly sprinkle the starch.

    4. Pour cooking oil into the frying pan and leave on medium heat. Place the fish in the pan skin-side up. Fry for about 3 minutes flipping over once brown. Fry for another 2 to 3 minutes then remove from pan.

    5. Wipe the remaining oil from the pan with a paper towel. Pour the sauce into the pan over medium heat, then when it begins to bubble, put the fish back in skin-side down. With a spoon, quickly pour the sauce over the fish, without flipping it over. Turn off the heat before the sauce comes to a boil.

    6. Place the fish on a plate skin-side down with the tail to the right. Then, pour the sauce on to make it look glazed. Arrange the amazu shoga on the plate and sprinkle the fish with sansho.



    • いわし 中2尾(200g)
    • かたくり粉 大さじ1
    • サラダ油 大さじ1
    • 粉さんしょう 少々


    • 砂糖 大さじ1/2
    • しょうゆ 大さじ1
    • みりん 大さじ1
    • 酒 大さじ1

    甘酢しょうが (市販のもの)


    1. 頭を切り落します。腹を少し切り落とし内臓を出します。洗って水気をふきます。

    2. 中骨の上に両親指を入れ、指をすべらせて骨から身をはずして開きます。

    3. まな板におき、中骨を尾の手前で折って身から外します。

    4. 包丁を寝かせ、腹骨を削ぎとります。

    5. 背びれを包丁で押さえて、尾を引きながら切り落とします。

    1. いわしは手開きにします。

    2. (A)の調味料を合わせ、たれを作ります。

    3. 焼く前に、いわしの両面にかたくり粉をつけ、余分な粉をはたいて落とします。かたくり粉は茶こしで振ると薄くつけられます。

    4. フライパンにサラダ油を入れて強めの中火で熱し、いわしの身を下にして入れます。3分ほどして、こんがりとしたよい焼き色になったら裏返し、2~3分焼いて、取り出します。

    5. フライパンに残ったいわしの油をペーパータオルでふき取ります。たれを入れて中火で熱します。煮立ってきたら、いわしの身を上にして戻しいれます。裏返さずにスプーンでたれをかけ、手早く全体にからめます。たれが煮詰まる前に火を止めます。

    6. 皿に、尾を右、身を上にして盛り付けます。たれをかけて、つや良くします。甘酢しょうがを添え、いわしに粉さんしょうをふります。

    Read More
  • ざるそば、天ぷら

    [From July Issue 2010]

    Ingredients [Serves 2]

    < Soba >

    • 140g soba (buckwheat noodles-dry)


    • 5cm naganegi (Japanese leek/white part only)
    • Moderate amount of neri wasabi (kneaded Japanese horse radish)


    • 1 cup ready-made men-tsuyu (seasoned soy sauce)
    • 1 to 2 cup(s) water (depending on the brand of men-tsuyu)

    < Tempura >

    • 2 medium to large-sized prawns (beheaded/shelled)
    • 50g pumpkin
    • 2 shiitake mushrooms
    • 1 eggplant
    • moderate amount of deep frying oil

    Yakumi (grated)

    • 100g daikon (Japanese radish)
    • 1 small piece (5g) ginger
    • Batter
    • 1/2 egg + cold water to make 1/2 cup mixture
    • 1/2 cup (50g) white flour (soft)

    Yakumi: Yakumi’s are the spices and herbal vegetables that add flavor to the dish.
    Checking oil temperature: drop bits of batter into the oil. 150~160°C: the batter sinks to the bottom then slowly rises. 170~180°C: sinks midway then rises. Over 200°C: immediately rises and dissipates at the surface

    < Soba >

    1. Mix men-tsuyu and water to make soba-tsuyu (soba sauce). Dilute the sauce accordingly since thickness differs by manufacturer.

    2. Chop the yakumi leek by koguchi-giri (thinly sliced, starting from the root end). Submerge in water, then drain.

    3. Boil plenty of water and drop in the noodles while separating.

    4. Remove with strainer, rinse under cold water, then drain.

    5. Serve the soba noodles with soba-tsuyu and yakumi.

    < Tempura >

    1. Prawns: Peel shells leaving the last tail joint, and devein. Slice pumpkin into 7 to 8 mm thick slices. Cut the hull of the eggplant then cut into four vertical pieces then slice 3 to 4 incisions into each piece. Cut the stems off the shiitake mushrooms and slice incisions on the top of the mushroom.

    2. Make the batter. Mix beaten eggs with cold water in a measuring cup. Pour into bowl then add flour while sifting.

    3. Mix lightly with cooking chopsticks. Be sure not to make the mix sticky.

    4. Pour 3cm of oil in a frying pan and heat to medium temperature (170°C).

    5. Dip vegetables into batter one by one, then use chopsticks to smoothly slide them into the oil. Turn vegetable over when the batter slightly browns. Take out when the color turns light brown and the batter feels crisp.

    6. Lightly sprinkle 1/2 tbsp flour (not included in above ingredients) on the prawn. Leave tail part batter free and set prawn into oil.

    7. Place the tempura in a mound. Place ten-tsuyu and yakumi along side the tempura to serve.




    • そば(乾麺) 140g
    • 薬味 長ねぎ(白い部分) 5cm
    • 練りわさび 適量


    • 市販のめんつゆ カップ1
    • 水 カップ1~2(メーカーによる)


    • えび (無頭・殻つき)(中~大) 2尾
    • かぼちゃ 50g
    • しいたけ 2個
    • なす 1個
    • 揚げ油 適量


    • 大根 100g、しょうが 小1かけ(5g)
    • 衣  卵1/2個+冷水適量 合計カップ1/2
    • 小麦粉 カップ1/2 (50g)



    1. めんつゆと水をあわせ、そばつゆを作ります。メーカーによって濃さが違うので好みで調節します。

    2. 薬味のねぎは小口切りにします。水にさらしてから水気をしぼります。

    3. たっぷりのお湯をわかし、そばをほぐすようにして入れ、ゆでます。

    4. ざるにあけ、冷水で洗い、水気をきります。

    5. そばを盛り付け、そばつゆ、薬味を添えます。


    1. えびは尾の1節を残して殻をむき、背わたをとります。かぼちゃは7~8mmの厚さにします。なすはへたを落して縦に4つに切り、それぞれ3~4本切り込みを入れます。しいたけは軸をとり、かさに切り込みを入れます。

    2. 衣をつくります。計量カップにとき卵、冷水を加えて混ぜます。これをボールに入れ、小麦粉を振るいながら加えます。

    3. さい箸で、練らないようにざっと混ぜます。

    4. 揚げ鍋に油を約3cmの深さまで入れ、火にかけます。170℃で揚げます。

    5. 野菜は1つずつ衣をつけながら、箸で静かに押して泳がせます。衣が淡く色づいてきたら裏返して、薄い褐色になり、カリッとしたら取り出します。

    6. えびは、小麦粉大さじ1/2(材料外)を薄くまぶしてから、尾を残して衣をつけ、油にいれます。

    7. 盛り付け、天つゆと薬味を添えて出来上がりです。

    Read More
  • 手軽に食べられる日本食

    [From June Issue 2010]

    There are a variety of different foods available in Japan, including Chinese, Korean and Western cuisines, and among them is the Japanese light meal, or fast food. “Yoshinoya,” “Matsuya” and “Sukiya” are well-known gyu-don (beaf bowl) chain restaurants where you can have a regular-sized bowl for less than 300 yen. “Tenya” is another well-known chain restaurant that specializes in ten-don (tempura bowl).

    “Don” means bowl, and “gyu” mean “cow” or “beef,” so together it’s a bowl of beef, with gravy, on rice. “Ten-don” is a tempura rice bowl, and “una-don” is unagi (eel) rice bowl. “Katsu-don” is made with a batter-coated and deep fried pork cutlet, while “oyako-don” is mixed chicken with eggs, on rice. In Japanese, “oyako” means parent and child, and since a chicken and an egg are similar, that’s how it got it’s name.

    Ramen (noodles) is the most widely eaten food in Japan, with more than 25,000 ramen restaurants across the country, and about 3,000 in Tokyo alone. Though ramen came from China, its cooking has been developed in Japan to meet Japanese taste for so long that it is considered to be Japanese food. Originally, it was cooked with a soy sauce broth, but nowadays there are many varieties, including miso-based and salt-based flavors. In Japanese, “men” means “noodle.” Other noodles like soba and udon are also included in “men.”

    Traditionally, sushi was considered a luxury food. However, now that kaitenzusi has spread across Japan, inexpensive sushi is now readily available at kaitenzushi restaurant chains such as Sushiro, Kura-zushi and Kappa Zushi. In kanji, sushi is written commonly as “寿司,” but it is originally written as “鮨.” The kanji is a combination of “魚” (fish) and “旨い” (tasty), and means “tasty fish.” This kanji is also used now.

    Many so-called “famiresu” or “family restaurants” such as “Gusto,” “Denny’s,” “Saizeriya” and “Jonathon’s” are often frequented by non-Japanese, especially tourists. There, you can enjoy meals in a relaxed atmosphere, with different dishes to choose from, all at reasonable prices.

    Upon entering, restaurant staff members will usually greet you with “irasshaimase” (welcome, or come in), but you don’t have to reply as it is just a customary greeting. And don’t forget that in Japan tipping does not exist.

    At some restaurants you may come across these signs: “本日休業” (closed today), “臨時休業” (temporarily closed),“営業中” (now open), or “準備中” (under preparation).

    The following Japanese words are often used at the table.

    Mizu (water), o-cha (tea), biiru (beer), koppu (glass), hashi (chopsticks), satou (sugar), shio (salt), koshou (pepper), wasabi (horse radish), shouyu (soy sauce), sousu (sauce), su (vinegar), kaikei (bill), otsuri (change), and ryoushuusho (receipt). Often used phrases include “mada desuka” (Not ready yet?), “okawari” (another one), “xx arimasuka” (Do you have xx?) and “ikuradesuka?” (How much is it?).











    Read More
  • 厚揚げのいんろう煮

    [From June Issue 2010]

    Ingredients [Serves 2]

    • 1 block (200g) atsu-age
    • 1 tsp potato starch

    <minced meat stuffing>

    • 60g minced chicken
    • 10 cm green onion (finely chopped)
    • (A) 1 tsp soy sauce
    • 1/2 tsp ginger sauce
    • 1 tbsp beaten egg

    <cooking broth>

    • 1 cup stock (1 tsp bonito and seaweed stock powder/commercially prepared)
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tbsp sweet cooking rice wine
    • 1 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp sake
    • a pinch of salt
    • 40g field mustard
    • Inrou: A small, wooden case often tied to the waist, inrou was traditionally used to carry around small items such as personal stamps (inkan) and medicine. Inrou also refers to a dish where one ingredient is hollowed out and stuffed with other ingredients.
    • Atsu-age: This is thick, deep-fried tofu, also called nama-age (raw and deep-fried) because its center remains uncooked. Atsu-age is similar but different to abura-age in that it is thin and deep fried instead (also referred to as usu-age.)

    1. Pour boiling water over the atsu-age to rinse off any excess oil. Cut the block in half, then cut around the inside of each piece leaving 5 to 6 mm along the edges. Scoop out the atsu-age making a pocket.

    2. Lightly mash the scooped out tofu then thoroughly mix it in a bowl with minced meat, green onions and part (A). Divide that mixture in two. Using a strainer, sprinkle half of the potato starch along the insides of the atsu-age, then spoon the tofu/meat stuffing into the pocket, sprinkling the remaining potato starch over it.

    3. Boil water then cook the field mustard for approximately 1 minute. Once cooked, immediately immerse them in a bowl of cold water for another minute to brighten their green color. Remove, align the stalks and wring out the water, then cut in two.

    4. In a pot mix together all the cooking broth ingredients then add the atsu-age. Cover, using an otoshi-buta (small wooden lid), and cook over a low-medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, basting occasionally. Remove from heat when only a thin layer of broth is left.

    5. Diagonally cut the atsu-age in half, then arrange them in a slightly deep dish. Garnish with the field mustard at the front and pour the remaining broth over top and serve.



    • 厚揚げ 1枚(200g)
    • かたくり粉 小さじ1


    • とりひき肉 60g
    • ねぎのみじん切り 10cm分
    • (A)しょうゆ 小さじ1
    • しょうが汁 小さじ1/2
    • とき卵 大さじ1


    • だし カップ1(市販のかつお昆布だし顆粒小さじ1を水でとく)
    • 砂糖 大さじ1
    • みりん 大さじ1
    • しょうゆ 大さじ1
    • 酒 大さじ1
    • 塩 少々
    • 菜の花 40g
    • いんろう:昔、印鑑や薬などを入れ、腰に下げた小箱のこと。材料にあけた空洞に、詰めものをした料理に使われる名前です。
    • 厚揚げ:とうふを厚く切って揚げたもの。油揚げを「薄揚げ」と呼ぶのに対してついた名前。中が生なので「生揚げ」とも呼ばれます。

    1. 厚揚げに熱湯をかけ、油を抜きます。2つに切り、外側5~6mmを残して包丁で切り込みをいれ、中身をくり抜いて袋状にします。

    2. ボールに、ひき肉、ねぎを入れ、厚揚げをくり抜いた中身を軽くつぶして加え、(A)も加えてよく混ぜます。それを2等分にします。厚揚げの内側に、茶こしでかたくり粉を半分ふりかけます。ひき肉あんをつめ、上から残りのかたくり粉をふりかけます。

    3. 熱湯に菜の花を入れて約1分ゆでます。ゆで上がったらすぐに、ボールに入れた冷たい水に約1分つけます。冷たい水につけることにより菜の花の緑色が鮮やかになります。根本をそろえて水気をしぼります。根本の固い部分を切り落とし、長さを半分にします。

    4. 鍋に煮汁の材料を入れます。2を並べ入れ、弱めの中火にして、落としぶたをのせ、鍋のふたをずらしてのせます。時々、スプーンで煮汁をかけながら10~15分煮ます。煮汁がなべ底に少し残るぐらいになったら火を止めます。

    5. いんろう煮を、斜め半分に切り、少し深めの皿に盛りつけます。手前に菜の花を添え、いんろう煮に煮汁をかけてできあがりです。

    Read More
  • 焼きさばすし

    [From May Issue 2010]

    Ingredients [Serves 2]

    • 1 mackerel (sliced into 3 pieces)
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp vinegar
    • 2 shiso (green perilla) leaves
    • 10g sweet pickled ginger

    Sumeshi (vinegary sushi rice)

    • 1/2 cup of rice
    • 90ml water

    Vinegar mix

    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tbsp vinegar


    • 2 tbsp vinegar
    • 2 tbsp water
    • Tezu: Vinegar-water solution to moisten hands, rice paddle and kitchen cloth, to prevent the sushi rice from sticking. Equal amount of vinegar and water is mixed together to make the solution.
    • 3-Piece Fillet: Cutting a fish into three pieces: upper, below and bone.
    1. Rinse the rice, and then add water (90ml). Let sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
    2. Slice the mackerel into 3 pieces and debone. Take one piece and lightly sprinkle salt on both sides, then let sit for 10 minutes. Season with vinegar and leave for 5 more minutes.
    3. Turn grill on high. Place mackerel on grill skin side up. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes until brown. Turn over and cook thoroughly. Let cool.
    4. Well-stir the “vinegar mix” ingredients. Once the rice is cooked, pour vinegar mix evenly over the rice. Use the rice spoon to blend using cutting motions.
    5. Moisten hands with the tezu, and mould the sushi rice into a roll.
    6. Spread a piece of plastic wrap (30cm x 40cm) vertically and then place the mackerel, skin-side down, at the center. Layer the shiso green perilla leaves, sweet pickled ginger and the sushi rice on top. Spread the sushi rice so that it entirely covers the mackerel.
    7. Firmly wrap and then shape the sushi into a small loaf. Twist the edges of the plastic wrap and then let sit for 1 hour so the flavors can blend.
    8. While still wrapped, cut the sushi into 8 pieces. Peel off the wrap, then place the sushi on a plate and serve.



    • さば(3枚におろしたもの) 1枚
    • 塩 小さじ1/2
    • 酢 大さじ1
    • しその葉 2枚
    • 甘酢しょうが 10g


    • 米 米用カップ1/2
    • 水 90ml


    • 砂糖 大さじ1
    • 塩 小さじ1/4
    • 酢 大さじ1


    • 酢 大さじ2
    • 水 大さじ2
    • 手酢:酢飯がつかないように、手やしゃもじ、ふきんをしめらせる酢水のこと。酢と水を同じ分量あわせて作る。
    • 魚を3枚におろすこと(三枚おろし):魚を上の身、下の身、中骨の3つに分けること。
    1. 米はとぎ、水(90ml)を加えます。30分以上おき、炊きます。
    2. さばは3枚におろします。(そのうちの1枚を使います)腹骨と小骨をとります。さばの身の両面に塩をふり、10分おきます。さらに酢をかけて5分おきます。
    3. グリルを強火で予熱します。皮を上にしてグリルにいれ、焼き色がつくまで5~6分焼きます。裏返して中まで火を通したら、さまします。
    4. 合わせ酢の材料をよく混ぜます。米が炊き上がったら、合わせ酢を全体にかけます。ごはんはしゃもじで切るように混ぜます。
    5. 手酢で手をしめらせ、酢飯を棒の形にします。
    6. ラップ(30×40cm)を横長に広げ、さばの皮を下にして中央に置きます。さばの上にしその葉、甘酢しょうがを順に並べ、酢飯をのせます。さばの大きさに合わせ、酢飯を広げます。
    7. ラップでしっかり巻き、形を整えます。ラップの両端をねじり、1時間おいてなじませます。
    8. ラップを巻いたまま、8等分に切り、ラップをとり、盛り付けてできあがりです。

    Read More
  • 茶碗蒸し

    [From April Issue 2010]

    Ingredients [Serves 2]

    • 1 pc (40g) sasami (white chicken meat)
    • a pinch of salt
    • 1/2 tsp sake
    • 2 mid-size prawns
    • 1/2 tsp sake
    • 1/4 pkg (30g) shimeji mushrooms
    • 2 sprigs mitsuba (honeywort)

    Egg liquid

    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups dashi (see below)
    • 2 cups water (to be boiled down to 1 1/2 cups)
    • 5 x 10cm long kelp slices
    • 1/2 cup shaved dried bonito
    • (A) 1/3 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp mirin cooking sake
    • 2 or 3 drops soy sauce

    Tips on Making Smooth Chawan-Mushi

    For a smooth taste keep the ratio of eggs to stock at 1:3. Since eggs solidify at 80℃, keep the steamer temperature between 80 ~ 90℃, but pay attention. Continuous steaming over a high flame will result in air-bubbles. (“su ga tatsu” in Japanese.)

    1. Leave the kelp unwashed as the white surface powder adds flavoring. Clean with a dry cloth then let soak in (2 cups) of water for about 30 minutes.
    2. Heat all the above over a low flame removing the kelp just before it boils. Add shaved, dried bonito, bring to a boil, and then turn off heat. Let cool for a minute or two, then strain stock through a damp, tightly wrung out dishcloth or paper towel.
    3. With stock still warm (approx. 60℃, the temperature of lukewarm tea), add (A) salt, mirin cooking sake and soy sauce.
    4. Remove prawns from shells leaving only the tails intact. Devein then pour sake.
    5. Strip the sasami (white chicken meat) of any bones or cartilage then cut into 4 pieces by sogi-giri (long, thin diagonal cuts). Season with salt and sake.
    6. After removing the hard tips from the shimeji mushroom, divide them into small amounts. Similarly divide the stems and the leaves of the mitsuba (honeywort). Slice the stems into 2-to-3 cm lengths.
    7. Break the eggs but do not beat them. Add them to no. 3 above, then strain.
    8. Put all ingredients except for mitsuba into tea bowls then slowly pour in the egg mix, careful to avoid any air bubbles.
    9. Put water in steamer and heat over a high flame. When steam occurs, place the tea bowls inside.
    10. Steam over high flame for 3 minutes. When the surfaces turn whitish, lower the flame and continue steaming for another 12 to 13 minutes.
    11. Poke a bamboo skewer into a tea bowl, to see if the soup is still clear – if so, stop steaming.
    12. Turn off heat, then place mitsuba on element and continue steaming with the remaining heat for about a minute.
    13. Remove tea bowls from steamer and cover with lids. You are now ready to serve.



    • とりささみ 1本(40g)
    • 塩 少々
    • 酒 小さじ1/2
    • えび 中2尾
    • 酒 小さじ1/2
    • しめじ 1/4パック(30g)
    • みつば 2本


    • 卵 2個
    • だし カップ1+1/2
    • 水 カップ2(出来上がり量 カップ1+1/2)
    • こんぶ 約5x10cm角
    • けずりかつお カップ1/2
    • (A)塩 小さじ1/3
    • みりん 小さじ1/2
    • しょうゆ 2~3滴



    1. こんぶは、表面についている白い粉もうまみの成分なので、洗わずに乾いたふきんでふきます。分量の水(カップ2)に30分以上つけます。
    2. 1を弱めの火にかけ、ふっとう直前にこんぶを取り出します。けずりかつおを入れ、再びふっとうしたら、火を止めます。1~2分おいて、かたくしぼった布きんやペーパータオルでこします。
    3. だしが温かいうち(60℃。ぬるめのお茶くらいの温度)に(A)塩、みりん、しょうゆを加えます。
    4. えびは尾の1節を残して殻をむき、背わたをとります。酒をふります。
    5. とりささみは筋をとり、ささみを4切れのそぎ切りにします。それに塩、酒で下味をつけます。
    6. しめじは石づきを落し、小房に分けます。みつばは茎と葉に分け、茎は2~3cmに切ります。
    7. 卵は泡立てないようにほぐし、3とあわせてこします。
    8. みつば以外の材料を茶碗に入れ、卵液を静かに注ぎます。表面に泡が出来たら泡をとります。
    9. 蒸し器に水を入れ強火にかけます。蒸気が充分に出てきたら、茶碗をのせます。
    10. 始めの3分は強火で、表面が白っぽくなったら弱火にして、12~13分蒸します。
    11. 竹串を刺してみて、穴の汁がすんでいれば蒸し上がりです。
    12. 火を止めて、みつばをのせて、1分ほど蒸らします。
    13. 取り出してふたをしてできあがりです。

    Read More