Sweet and Sour Chicken or Pork Recipe

How to make Sweet-and-Sour

This is the recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken or Pork. This is anther popular Japanese Chinese quick meal package. Only cut pork and vegetables and put sauce from package by Ajinomoto Cook do. Only cut pork and vegetables and put sauce from package.

Ingredients:

*Meat (Chicken or Pork)————- about 1/2 lb, or 250g

*Onion ——————————One small

*Carrots —————————–1 or 2

*Bell pepper ————————–1/2

*Pineapple —————————-1/4

*egg ———————————1/2

*salt and pepper ———————-Pinch

*Potato starch ————————2TBS




The package looks like this.

First, Cut vegetables and pineapple like this. Then cut meat almost same size as vegetables. Put meat in the bowl and put salt and pepper then put egg mix together – marinate it. Put potato starch in the meat bowl and you can deep fry it. But this time, I put oil (2TBS) in the pan and cook it. [Read more…]

Basic Japanese Recipes

Basic Japanese Recipes

This page has many Basic Japanese recipes -Japanese. Why did I put “-Japanese”? Because, Japanese people are good at adopting things and creating a better way. You may analyze some of the Japanese food you see and think “this is not Japanese food” but it actually is.

So I want to separate original Japanese recipes and other Japanese recipes. These are original Japanese recipes. This is what they call it in Japan “Mother’s Taste” or “Comfort food”. These recipes are everyday foods and original Japanese meals.

Because they are original Japanese meals, you are not familiar with some ingredients. I will put here some of what I can buy from the Asian stores in my town. My town is not big town. Not so many big Asian markets out there. Your town would be a different. You may find more ingredients, or you may not find any at all. I will list ingredients that you can buy in U.S. grocery store as much as possible.
Anyway, if you learn the basic Japanese cooking, Japanese cooking is not difficult. Like Japanese culture, buy the season’s freshest ingredients and enjoy the season’s food and cooking!




Japanese Ingredients

Japanese ingredients and seasoning – What to buy
When you go to Asian grocery store, you can find not only Japanese ingredients but also some other Asian one. You may confuse which food products you need to buy. The price is different also.

I will list basic Japanese one here. Of course, you can choose whatever you want, but it may taste different when it’s done. I suggest when you cook Japanese first time, try Japanese seasoning first and learn the real taste then change to the other one. You may end up liking Chinese soy sauce taste in Japanese food. That is OK! However, I want you to know real Japanese taste first.

Some foods are tricky. If you need to buy canned food, you usually see the pictures. However, if you are looking for dry food, you may not have any idea.

I wrote “Use Japanese spice first” but I put some foreign spice here also. Those are foreign adopted recipes. I think if you use original spice for them, it is taste better. You will see what I am talking about, maybe later.

I will list preserved foods with pictures, also. You go to store, you can easily find same one on the shelf.




Japanese Hon Mirin the Cooking Wine

Japanese Hon mirin the cooking wine

Japanese Hon mirin the cooking wine.
What is the mirin substitute? 
Is there any mirin substitute?
What is the Hon mirin and Mirin-fu chomiryo?

Mirin is an essential condiment used in Japanese cuisine, consisting of 40 to 50 percent of sugar.  It is a rice wine similar to sake but with a lower alcohol content. 

mirin

There are three basic types which is Hon mirin, Shiro mirin, and Mirin-fu chomiryo meaning mirin like seasoning.  It is less alcohol contants but same flavour.  But I will tell you what is different.




Japanese-mirin contains alcohol so when you cook with fish or meat, it helps remove the fishy smell or meat smell.  It helps penetrate the taste into the ingredients, and helps ingredients not break into pieces while cooking.  Japanese-mirin contains sugar and it helps food taste sweeter (It is a different sweetness than sugar).  If you are cooking teriyaki foods, it makes food glossy looking.  Heat draws out the mirin and gives the ingredients a great aroma.
Hon-mirin’s sweetness is different than sugar because it contains d-glucose, oligosaccharide and other kinds of sugar.  If you use Japanese-mirin, food tastes softer and elegant.

Also Hon-mirin has a different kind of sugar so it makes food shiny and glossy looking.  Sake or other kind of sugars can not make same effect.  I usually use sake for substitute but it makes taste a little bit different.  If you can get Japanese-mirin, use it instead of sake.
I use both!

Hon mirin and sake contains 14% alcohol but Mirin-fu Chomiryo has only 1%.  Hon mirin contains zero sodium, Mirin-fu Chomiryo has 1% sodium, and Sake has 2%.  So both Japanese-mirin and sake has alcohol but it is a different ingredients.

Did you learn the difference?
Now, you are ready to cook!




How to Cook Japanese Rice

 

Cooking-Japanese-rice

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How to Cooking-Japanese-rice. This page contains many pictures how to cook Japanese rice. Rice is principal food in Japan and you should know this is Japanese basic cooking.

Ingredients:

*Japanese rice 2 cup

*Water 2 cup




Ideal water and rice amount 1 cup rice to 1 cup water. So if you want to cook more, simply add the each cups amount.

How to wash Rice
Put rice in the pot and cover with tap water and drain immediately. Rice is absorbing a lot of this (clean) water, so before you swishing in the pot, dump this water immediately.
Second time, you cover rice with tap water, swishing the water through with your hands (sometimes I use plastic fork and make it like beating eggs.)

Drain water quickly. This time the water color is milky white.

Do this process until water is clean and clear.

After wash the Japanese Rice

After washing process is over cover the rice in water and let it sit at least 15 min.

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Rice is same as dry food, like beans. Same concept, if they absorb the water, cook better, right? If you don’t have any time, use warm water instead of regular tap water to wash the rice. It will help a little bit but it is still better to leave in the warm water for about 5 minutes.

Cooking-Japanese-Rice with Rice Cooker
Use your electric rice cooker – It is very easy to cook Japanese-rice. You just need to follow the instruction measurement of the rice cooker booklet.

Pressure cooker – If you have pressure cooker, use it! Ideal water and rice amount 1 cup rice to 1 cup water. If you like sofer rice, add a small amount of water. Do not add too much! L mean little bit is about 1/8 of cup or so. First, put high heat and pressure cooker start ringing, turn hear to low. Leave it at least 15 minutes. I usually leave it 20 minutes.

Regular pot – If you don’t have pressure cooker, use a regular pot. However, I recommend a heavy pot with a heavy lid. The measurement is the same as a pressure cooker: 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water.

Why use a heavy lid? It is a similar effect to the pressure cooker. When boiling the water in the pot, the water causes the lid to make a seal whhich makes a better tasting rice the right way. Put high heat until water is bowiling and steams or bubbles are coming from the edge of the lid, turn the heat to low quickly. Be causious of the heavy lid, rice maybe boiling harder than you realize. You don’t want to burn the rice! After turn the heat low, continue to cook on low heat for 20 minutes.

<***IMPORTANT***> Once turn the heat low, DO NOT OPEN THE LID!!! Wait to open the lid at least 15 minutes!




What is polished Japanese rice?
Now, Japanese rice manufactures started polishing the rice (they used to not polish rice before they put on the shop counter) because new polishing way leaves more nutrition.
Rice bag instruction say “Less washing the rice” or “Almost no wash” but I found out I still need to wash the rice until the water is clean. It tastes better that way.

The rice taste changes if it’s getting older. Rice bran which makes water milky color when you wash the rice contains oil. Generally speaking any kind oil getting older, it makes change the food taste. If you think it is the older rice, you should wash well.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT JAPANESE RICE YOU WANT TO BUY, THOSE ARE MY RECOMMENDATION LIST. THE SHORT GRAIN TASTE BETTER THAN MEDIUM BRAIN. THOSE BRANDS ARE TASTE SIMILAR TO JAPANESE MARKET RICE IN JAPAN.

 




Yakisoba Noodle Recipe

Yakisoba Noodle Recipe

This is a recipe for Yakisoba noodle from package. This meal is popular Japanese noodle and very quick easy recipe. If you go to Japanese restaurant, you may find it – popular Japanese noodle.

It is very quick and easy recipes, you can easily cook yourself! It is packaged food; you may find frozen section in Asian super market or your own local grocery store.
The package looks like this.

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Ingredients:

*Yakisoba package
*Cabbage ————————–half of small one
*Meat —————————– anything you want, shrimp would be good also
*Bean sprouts ———————-if you buy small container, I put them all

I have a meat slicer. I use it a lot. Many Japanese cooking use very thin meat which is Philly steak cut like. (You may be able to find Philly steak cut beef at any grocery store) I start seeing Philly cut recently. I buy regular meat (steak meat) and cut it by myself.

How to cut so thin? I will write on the other page again. But easy way is freeze the meat half way, and use slicer. You can slice paper thin this way. Otherwise, it is very difficult to slice it.

This time I sliced half frozen pork chop.
1. Put oil in the frying pan.

2. Cook meats first but not all the way. Because, it is thin meat, you don’t want to over cook. It will be very tough.

3. Put cabbage and cook together.

4. Put noodle after all vegetables are cooked.

***You should have defrosted the noodles before you put them in the wok. If you don’t feel noodles are loosening, put half cup of water. Put lid on for about few minutes.

5. Mix all together and put the bean sprouts. Bean sprouts cook quickly, if you like very soft; you can put this when you put cabbage. I like crunchy, so I put it last.

6. Lastly, you put powder sauce and mix together.

It is very easy!




Japanese cooking and culture

There are not so many Japanese cooking shows on TV. I mean, those introducing Japanese foods and teaching you authentic Japanese recipes. Some Japanese recipes are even quick and easy recipes! So you can easily try them in your home.

Food is a culture – big time culture – in Japan. I believe Japanese food culture is one of the best in the world. Japanese people are pretty much gourmets. In Japan, there are many TV shows that introduce new restaurants every day. You would be surprised that almost any Japanese TV channel has restaurant or hotel meal shows every minute of air time. You often see so many people waiting in line in front of the restaurants in Japan. Those are the restaurants they just saw on the show the night before.Just like Sony, Panasonic, Honda and Toyota, Japanese people are very good to adopt foreign products and make them much better. Japan does the same for food. I heard of an Italian business man who came from Italy and my co-worker took them to an Italian restaurant in Japan. They said they liked it very much and it was better than in Italy. Do you know the Michelin Restaurant guide in Tokyo was started selling in 2007? For example, the wine, Beaujolais Nouveau, was the second most imported wine into Japan. Japanese people truly like to have good food and it has been a custom in Japanese culture.

If you love cooking, you will enjoy new tastes from Japan. I want people to know that some Japanese restaurants, they call themselves Japanese, are not even close to real one. If you know the good taste of Japanese cooking, you can choose great tasting foods and restaurants yourself.

Have you ever been in an Asian Grocery store? I bet you wanted to try some products and groceries. Maybe you saw some easy Japanese cooking products like instant or boxed foods but you were not quite sure what the package contains and were scared to try it. Or, you saw something that looked really weird and you may say “What can I do with this?” You may find something looking and sounding familiar to you, but you do not read the writing on Japanese recipes so you didn’t buy it.

Well…I feel this way! In my case, it’s not Japanese food, but some other exotic food.

So, I want to introduce you to the taste of Japanese food, Japanese cooking, Japanese recipes, quick and easy recipes, and Japanese food culture so you can cook your favorite dishes in your home and eat them. I will put a lot of pictures along with the recipe instructions. It will tell you step-by-step how to make it. Also, I’ll tell you what ingredients you need to buy, what the Japanese food culture and foods are, so you will understand more about Japanese food and cooking.

Now, you can enjoy real, authentic, delicious, quick and easy, ordinary Japanese food yourself. Eat healthy, inexpensively and enjoy Japanese cooking!

Japanese Rice

What is Japanese-Rice?
This page contains all about Japanese-Rice you need to know.   What kind Japanese rice brand you should buy?   Rice cooker necessary?   How is Japanese table setting?   Important tip of Japanese rice cooking.

There are two major different types of rice.   One is called Indica rice and the other one is Japonica rice.

Indica has a long skinny shape which is dry and not sticky.   India,  Thailand,  Vietnam,  China and U.S.   Produce this kind of rice.   Eighty percent of the rice in the world is this kind.

Japonica is short,  round and sticky.   Japan,  Korea,  Northern China produce this rice.   If you put heat to this kind of rice, the consistancy becomes sticky.   Maybe the way to cook Japanese rice is different than what you know about cooking Indica rice.

When I cook a Japanese dinner (pretty much every dinner),  I try to make it this way.   Rice,  Miso soup (or other kind of Japanese soup),  Main dish and 2 sub-dishes.   The main dish would be something heavy,  Like meat or fish.   Sub-dishes are usually vegetables or something light and small.

Pressure cooker – If you have pressure cooker,  use it! Ideal water and rice amount 1 cup rice to 1 cup water.   If you like sofer rice,  add a small amount of water.   Do not add too much! L mean little bit is about 1/8 of cup or so. First,  put high heat and pressure cooker start ringing,  turn hear to low.   Leave it at least 15 minutes.   I usually leave it 20 minutes.

Regular pot – If you don’t have pressure cooker,  use a regular pot.   However,  I recommend a heavy pot with a heavy lid.   The measurement is the same as a pressure cooker: 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water.

Why use a heavy lid?   It is a similar effect to the pressure cooker.   When boiling the water in the pot,  the water causes the lid to make a seal whhich makes a better tasting rice the right way.   Put high heat until water is bowiling and steams or bubbles are coming from the edge of the lid,  turn the heat to low quickly.   Be causious of the heavy lid,  rice maybe boiling harder than you realize.   You don’t want to burn the rice! After turn the heat low,  continue to cook on low heat for 20 minutes.




<***IMPORTANT***> Once turn the heat low,  DO NOT OPEN THE LID!!!   Wait to open the lid at least 15 minutes!

Important tip of Japanese-rice cooking
Why you don’t want to open the lid?
Some chefs suggest you wait until rice is boiling let lid put on.   I read some cooking articles.

However, I have never tried this way yet,  so I don’t know if it is good way.   Historically say “Don’t open the lid even if your baby is crying because s/he is hungry.”

If you open lid the durling the cooking,  you won’t cook good rice.   So I am pretty much against taking off the lid when you are cooking Japanese rice.   What will happen is if you do not put lid on or not soak in the water long enough,  the Japanese-rice won’t cook through.   Sometimes the rice will be hard in the middle.   So,  do not remove the lid when you are cooking Japanese rice.

How to keep the uncooked Japanese-rice
It is important to properly store the rice because it may change the taste.
The taste of rice will start changing after polishing the rice.  The amount you should buy would be a enough for 2 month in the winter,  2 weeks in the summer.

Also when you buy the rice,  put it in a round rice container.   Keep the rice in low humidity and low temperature,  dark and cool place.

How to keep the cooked Japanese-rice
If you use rice cooker,  you may be able to keep in the cooked rice in the same cooker.   It keep the same temperature in the cooker and that way,  you can keep the rice for 24 hrs.
I freeze rice almost right away (well, after cool down the rice) because I don’t want to cook everyday.   I think it is convenient to freeze the one meal amount,  so I can thaw the rice when I want to eat it.

Keep rice in the rice cooker would change the rice color and taste.   Freezing rice doesn’t this effect.

What kind of Japanese Brand Rice you can buy in U.S?
American Japanese rice brand is good taste.   When I came to U.S.  there were only a few brand Japanese-rice.   Now there are so many Japanese rice brands of rice here in the U.S.   Those are almost same as Japanese made rice.
This is what I buy now.  (Picture – Hitomebore)

hitomebore

I buy this rice brand and so do many of my co-workers and their families.   I guess it is the best rice that I can buy in my area.   You may not be able to find the same one.   I tried “Tama Nishiki” for long time.   It is good tasting rice.   Just “Nishiki” is not so good.   (Yes,  it is priced different)

If you can really tell the taste difference,  you should go to Asian store and find rice.

Regular supermarket may have Japanese rice,  I can not find good one there at all!

But you can buy small bags and experience the difference until you find your favorite one.   Some people said “Tamaki” brand is good;  I bought Tamaki when I was in College and I thought it is much better than what I was buying from local supermarket at that time.   But I don’t want to buy it now.

“Tamaki Gold” could be OK,  if I don’t have mistake.   But I prefer buying this picture one now.

I may put more names if I have chance to eat other American Japanese rice brand and think its good on my web page later.




Chinjao Rosu Instant Package Box Food

How to cook instant, package, box food version of Chinjao Rosu. It is quick easy recipe, Japanese-Chinese instant food that you can buy from Asian supermarket.

This is Japanese – Chinese instant box food from Ajinomoto.
Japanese call this Chinjao Rosu.
What you need is cut ingredients and stir-fry and put the sauce!




This is popular Japanese food.  Origin is Chinese recipe.  However it is different than original recipe.  In China, they don’t put bamboo shoots. 

Ingredients:

*Oil 2TBS

*Bell pepper 3/4 or 1

*Beef    1/3 lb

*Bamboo shoots  1/3lb

*Cook do -chin jyao ro- su (stir-fried beef and green pepper)

Point is cut all ingredients long and skinny.
One of the Chinese character on the box said “string”
So this food must have string like “thin cut” or “slice thin” ingredients.

Bamboo shoots, you can buy in the can, also.  I could find already cooked one like picture in local Asian store. This time, I use 2 of them.

Put oil in the pan and high heat.
Put meat first and but half way and other vegetables.
Stir fries all of them and put sauce the last.

This Beef-And-Bell pepper, Chinjyaorosu is one of very quick easy recipe!

I will up date from made by scratch version, in the other page.




What is Hijiki? – The dried seaweed products

Hijiki (Heejiki) – the dried seaweed products has many minerals like Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Zinc, Potassium, and Sodium just lilke other seaweed products those are wakame and konbu.

Especially, Hijiki has the largest amount of Calcium than the other sea weeds.

Compared to konbu, Hijiki has twice as much Calcium.

Calcium works with Magnesium and it makes bones and teeth stronger, prevents osteoporosis, and relieves stress.
Iron in Hijiki is 550 times more than in milk.  The cure for anemia!

Iron is difficult to absorb, usually you should eat an amount a few times more than what is recommended. But, if you cook with other vegetables and eat together with iron-rich foods, the vitamin C in the vegetables helps absorption of iron in to your body. Then, you don’t need to eat much.

Fiber in Hijiki is 5 times more than in Gobo.  The intestines start working well and it is good for constipation.  Hijiki is very good food for women.

Also Hijiki has great amount of Zinc.

Zinc is good for your taste buds and sense of smell. And it helps your scars to heal faster.
Also, Hijiki is low calorie and low fat.  It is good for loosing weight in a diet.




You may think it is too much work to cook Hijiki, but you actually need to put Hijiki in water for 30 min.  After that, you cook it in water and you can store it in the refrigerator for few days.

Now, you can julienne lettuce and cucumber and mix them with Hijiki. Put your favorite salad dressing on it. It will be a very easy salad day!

Also, if you cook Hijiki with Soy, Abura age (fried Tofu), meat, vegetables (which I will introduce here), those ingredients nutrition complement each other and offers better nutrition in your food.  Takikomi gohan rice, and Sunomono (like pickles) etc.
It better to eat a little bit everyday.

Hijiki grows in winter to spring on the rocky beach.  It is not usually eaten raw. Cook it in water or steam first then dry it.