Japanese Recipes

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Tofu Miso Soup Recipe

Tofu Miso Soup

03.17.10 by Jackie

Tofu miso soup is very soothing. My little munchkin caught a bad cold and I thought the simple, clear broth would help with her congestion. To make the soup, I started by preparing a kombu dashi (Japanese stock) with fresh ginger. To make the traditional non-vegetarian version, just add shavings of bonito flakes, or dried and fermented tuna.

Once the stock was ready, I seasoned it with white miso paste. No salt is necessary as the miso paste is already well seasoned. Miso soup can be served with cubed tofu and accompanied with other vegetables such as soybean sprouts, enoki and shiitake mushrooms or baby spinach.

Miso paste is a fermented rice and soybean combination. I chose white miso paste which is fermented for a few weeks as opposed to regular miso (several months). I find the flavor to be less salty with a subtle sweetness. Don't be frightened by the size of miso containers sold in markets. Miso paste stores well in the refrigerator and you can make other dishes with it such as Asian salad dressing, other soup broths and vegetarian gravy.


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California Sushi Rolls Recipe

California Sushi Rolls

02.24.10 by Jackie

Making sushi is a lot easier that it seems. The real key to well-presented sushi is having good utensils, such as a sushi mat and a sharp knife. Each ingredient can be prepped in advance and assembled when you're ready to serve, and when you make it at home, it's a fraction of the cost!

Though there are many wonderful forms of traditional makizushi, or rolled sushi, feel free to experiment with the ingredients you have on hand. I got my inspiration for the sushi pictured above from ingredients native to California; I used Hass avocados, goat cheese and baby Persian cucumbers. I wrapped these ingredients in the traditional combination of nori sheets and Japanese rice.

In standard California roll fashion, the rice is on the outside of the nori. If you've ever wondered why this is the case, the story goes that Japanese immigrants who came to the US turned the sushi inside out to hide the nori from culinarily unadventurous Americans. I don't know if that's true, but it's the story a sushi chef told me once. It certainly is a great tale!

I served the sushi rolls with wasabi paste, homemade pickled ginger and soy sauce. It may seem daunting, but a sushi dinner is really as easy as 1-2-3.


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Matcha Green Tea Latte Recipe

Matcha Green Tea Latte

12.26.09 by Jackie

I prepared my matcha green tea latte with the same procedure one would use for making white hot chocolate. The drink is made with a blend of lightly sweetened matcha green tea, white chocolate, steamed milk and heavy cream. You wouldn't want to drink this every day, but that's what holiday treats are all about!

This recipe can be modified to feature many different seasonal flavors. Peppermint, cinnamon and other spices come to mind. You don't have to go to the local coffee shop to enjoy holiday specials anymore; be your own barista and save the change for stocking stuffers.


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Matcha Green Tea Creme Brulee Recipe

Matcha Green Tea Creme Brulee

12.09.09 by Jackie

This dessert combines two of my favorite things, crème brulée and green tea. I love the natural jade color of matcha green tea powder, along with its distinctive flavor. It's an ingredient I use a lot in desserts. Whether it's in cookies, madeleines, pound cakes, crème pâtissière or chocolate truffles, the result is always a success.

My personal favorite application for green tea powder though is crème brulée. One could probably add spinach to crème brulée and it would still taste great, but there's something special about the flavor of green tea that cuts the decadence of the dessert while enhancing its elegance.


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Korean Tofu Soup with Rice Cakes Recipe

Rice cakes are made from glutinous rice flour. We buy them at the Korean market. They're a great alternative to bánh phở or ordinary noodles. What I love most about this product is  that they're made with no additives or preservatives. They're a favorite at our house. The texture is very nice, and works well in a simple, clear vegetable broth. If you're looking for a healthy meal, this is not your average diet cabbage soup.

Korean Tofu Soup with Rice Cakes Recipe with Picture


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