Brown Bean Sauce

What is brown bean sauce or brown bean paste? How can you make this own?

brown bean souce

I make my own. It is not very difficult so if you have a time, make your own.
Of course, you can buy it. It is about 5 dollars  for a jar in the store.
I find regular grocery store at ethnic section.

Brown souce

Real one use Haccho miso.
It is difficult to find Haccho miso in my town so I use regular miso.
Haccho miso is storonger taste than miso compare to regular miso. Usually red color.

Miso ————————————- 1 pound
Sugar ———————————— 1 pound
Soy souce ——————————– 2 cups
Salad oil ———————————-1/4 cup
Sesami oil ——————————— 1 1/2 tbs

Put Miso, sugar, soy sauce in the pot and mix well. Cook it 40 to 50 min on low heat. (do not burn it!)
Add salad oil in cooked miso and additional 10 min to cook it. Turn off the heat and add sesame oil and mix well.
Put in the jar and store in the refrigerator.  This size makes 2 of my picutre’s jar.

Spicy Brown Bean Sauce

This picture is what I found in local super market.
It says  SPICY but my ingredients don’t have any hot spicy thing.
But Chinese character said this is the same sauce that I am making it.


Spicy Chili Paste

Tou ban jyan

This is Japanese one, I brought from Japan. My mother buys this brand.
It is same as picture below.
When I buy in U.S., I buy this brand below.

chili paste


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. 


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!

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.