March 26th 2011

6 simple Japanese recipes

If you don’t have Japanese food often, and never have prepared it at home, it’s important to know a single fact: Japanese dishes are more than sushi and edamame.

These simple recipes are easy to prepare, and perfect for a quick night in with the family or easy entertaining.

Hot and Sour Tofu Soup

1 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tbsp tamari
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
4 tbsp cornstarch
3 tbsp cold water
1 1/2 tsps sesame oil
1 (8 oz.) package firm tofu, sliced into 1/4″ cubes
1 (8 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
3 green onions, thinly sliced

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Saute 2 minutes. Add the broth, shittakes and tamari. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Whisk together the vinegar, cornstarch and water. Add it to the soup, and simmer for 5 minutes. The soup will thicken.

Stir in the sesame oil, tofu, water chestnuts. Cook 10 minutes. Add rice vinegar and tamari to taste. Distribute into bowls and garnish with green onions.

Tasty Bok Choy

8 baby bok choy
1 2/ tbsp hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tsp tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Seam the bok choy until tender. Drain and pat dry. Toss with hoisin sauce, tamari, and sesame oil. Sprinkle with  sesame seeds.

Miso Slaw

Green onions
1/4 cup miso paste
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp peeled fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp canola oil

Thinly slice vegetables. Put the remaining ingredients, except for the oil, in a food processor. While running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Toss with vegetables. Serve chilled.

Seared Sesame Crusted Tuna with Homemade Caramel

1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp water
1/2 cup tamari
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3 slices of ginger, about 1/8″ thick
3/4 pound sushi-quality tuna
6 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup peanut oil
Salt to taste

Bring the water and sugar to a boil on high heat. When it starts to brown, remove from heat. It will be starting to caramelize. Carefully add the tamari (it will splatter). Add the garlic and ginger. Let sit 30 minutes, then remove them.

Roll the tuna in the sesame seeds, coating completely. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season with salt and sear for 1 minute per side.

Let cool and thinly slice. Serve with caramel.

Cold Sesame Noodles

1 500 g package soba (buckwheat) noodles
1 cup sugar snap peas, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and chopped
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup warm water
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp salt

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Place the sugar snap peas and red pepper in a large bowl with the noodles.

Put the peanut butter, garlic, jalapeno, tamari, vinegar, oil and salt in the food processor. Blend until smooth.

Toss with noodles and vegetables. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Edamame Salad

1 16 oz. bag frozen shelled edamame
5 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup diced celery
1 cucumber, diced
1 small daikon, peeled and diced
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, chopped

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1-1/2 tbsp canola oil
Juice from 1 lemon
3 tbsp honey
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Toss to coat. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.