All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.

2018-02-21

Mineoka-dofu / Mineoka-tofu / milk kudzu pudding

Often made today with cream and sugar as a dessert, this milk pudding originally was improvised as a quasi-tofu dish about 300 years ago when the Shogun, during a visit to the pastures of Mineoka, simply mentioned his desire to eat tofu. Upon hearing the Shogun's words, a cook accompanying the Shogun made the pudding using cow's milk and kudzu found at the pastures. Traditionally, milk is the only dairy ingredient that goes into the pudding; I mixed it with additive-free tonyu soy milk to cut back on sodium in the recipe below. This pudding contains no sweetener, but its milky taste and creamy texture are quite gratifying.      


1 serving (1/4 of Mineoka-dofu recipe, 1/2 of sauce recipe, shrimp & arugula):
113 calories; 5.7 g protein; 5.3 g fat; 10.8 g carbohydrate; 9.9 g net carbs; 105 mg sodium; 19 mg cholesterol; 0.9 g fiber

Whole recipe of Mineoka-dofu only:
388 calories; 14.4 g protein; 20.6 g fat; 37.8 g carbohydrate; 10.8 g net carbs; 85 mg sodium; 24 mg cholesterol; 2.4 g fiber

2018-02-19

Seri okowa / steamed sweet rice with water dropwort

The mellow aroma that wafts up from okowa steamed sweet rice is comforting in cold seasons. Seri water dropwort acts as a counterpoint even when a smaller amount is used, as seri's slightly bitter taste and vibrant color provide just enough punch.



1/2 of recipe:
277 calories; 5.4 g protein; 0.9 g fat; 59.3 g carbohydrate; 58.3 g net carbs; 96 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.0 g fiber

1/3 of recipe:
185 calories; 3.6 g protein; 0.6 g fat; 39.6 g carbohydrate; 38.9 g net carbs; 64 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 0.7 g fiber

2018-02-11

Ebi no nikogori suigyoza / shrimp shui jiao dumplings

Delightful and tasty dumplings featuring shrimp. I used to use coconut oil as a pork fat substitute, but I could not fully get used to its clingy taste. Other oil or fat seemed to lack something. Then I realized that juiciness does not have to come from fat or oil. For example, with xiao long bao steamed soup buns/dumplings, the juiciness of the filling comes from the soup. Below I applied the technique of making nikogori jelly with the water used to rehydrate dried scallops, and mixed it in with the shrimp filling.




1/2 recipe (dumplings only; yu choy sum on top and dipping sauce not included):
251 calories; 15.0 g protein; 2.1 g fat; 40.3 g carbohydrate; 38.2 g net carbs; 149 mg sodium; 80 mg cholesterol; 2.1 g fiber

2018-02-06

Kabu to satoimo no surinagashi / Japanese turnip and baby taro root potage soup

A gentle, creamy soup for cold days. This takes full advantage of the sweet yet refreshing taste of kabu turnips. Satoimo baby taro provides subtle depth in terms of both taste and aroma, and its thickening effect creates a potage consistency that is appreciated when the weather is chilly. Mitsuba's crisp, invigorating aroma highlights the mellowness of the soup.   



1/2 recipe:
37 calories; 1.4 g protein; 0.1 g fat; 7.7 g carbohydrate; 5.9 g net carbs; 175 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.8 g fiber

2018-02-04

Dinner, January 31, 2018

Living on the coast does not necessarily mean easy access to fresh fish here. Simple grilled or steamed fish was what I wanted to pair with seri okowa bitter greens mixed in mellow steamed sweet rice. For some weeks, however, we have been out of luck finding very fresh fish from local stores. Rather than compromising on fish quality, I decided to change my menu plan.

  • Seri okowa / steamed sweet rice with water dropwort
  • Yudofu / hot tofu in kelp stock, served with citrus soy sauce
  • Kyabetsu to hakusai, kiriboshi daikon no tamago-mushi / steamed egg with cabbage, napa cabbage and dried radish
  • Yaki renkon to shiitake no gomaae / grilled lotus root and shiitake in sesame dressing
  • Murasaki tamanegi no amazuzuke / red onion in sweetened vinegar

2018-01-30

Bakuraba / baklava

This satisfies Tom's new habit of eating sweets without increasing sodium intake. But when I made these baklava earlier last year, he blamed me for him gaining weight, as I repeatedly experimented to figure out a good proportion of ingredients, especially erythritol (calorie- & net-carbs-free sugar substitute) so it does not re-crystallize when completely cool and does not trigger any noticeable cooling sensation in the mouth.

My original thought was, if I made 28 small pieces in one batch, they should last for 28 days or at least a few weeks. Making baklava from scratch is time consuming, but it would be not bad if each batch lasted that long ... So far I have been proven ridiculously wrong. Tom cannot stop reaching for more pieces. Although the recipe below is not heavily sweet, as with other sweets I make, it could be addictive. 

Whole recipe:
2,396 calories; 37.5 g protein; 175.1 g fat; 225.9 g carbohydrate; 165.9 g net carbs; 44 mg sodium; 158 mg cholesterol; 15.3 g fiber

1 piece (1/28 recipe):
86 calories; 1.3 g protein; 6.3 g fat; 8.1 g carbohydrate; 5.9 g net carbs; 1.6 mg sodium; 6 mg cholesterol; 0.5 g fiber

2018-01-27

Ninjin no shirishiri / stir-fried shredded carrot with eggs

A tasty everyday dish from Okinawa that has been gaining popularity across Japan in recent years. Slowly sauteing carrots with a small amount of oil enhances the sweetness of the vegetable, and eggs add a gentle, rich taste. Among a number of variations, canned tuna is often mentioned as an addition. The recipe below features okara-konnyaku (soybean pulp yam cakes) to make the dish more filling as well as snow peas for color.


1/2 recipe:
115 calories; 6.1 g protein; 5.4 g fat; 11.2 g carbohydrate; 5.1 g net carbs; 128 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-soy sauce and shoyukoji made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 106 mg cholesterol; 6.1 g fiber