Category Archives: Japanese

Shime Saba (Japanese pickled Mackerel)

Shime Saba is vinegar-pickled mackerel, a classic dish from Japan.  It is first cured in salt then washed with rice vinegar.   Mackerel does not keep well.  If it’s not consumed within the first several hours after being caught, it will deteriorate quickly.  Therefore, the Japanese pickle it before serving as sushi.


  • 1 fresh mackerel, cleaned, and filleted, with skin on
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I used sea salt)
  • 1 cup of rice vinegar, enough to cover the fish fillet


  1. Clean and fillet the fish. Remove the remaining bones with a tweezer.
  2. Sprinkle salt on both side of the fillet in a glass bowl for 1 hr.
  3. Pat away salt and and dry the fish with paper towel.
  4. Place the fish in a ziploc bag and pour enough vinegar the cover the fish.  Let it marinate for 25 minutes.
  5. Peel off the skin from the mackerel.  *Start by rubbing the corner of the fish fillet to peel off the skin.
  6. Then place the fish on a cutting board and slice the fish diagonally into ½ inch-wide
    pieces. Serve shime saba with grated ginger, wasabi and lemon juice.

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Washugyu Yakiniku

Washugyu (和州牛) refers to a breed of cattle that is cross-bred between the Japanese Black Wagyu (known for Kobe beef) and the American Black Angus. It has more marbling than regular beef, and has a unique flavor. It has gained popularity over the years and is now more commonly found. For those living in the New York/New Jersey areas, you can find it for sale at Japan Premium Beef in the East Village area and Mitsuwa Marketplace at Edgewater, NJ.


  • Pack of Washugyu yakiniku style beef

Yakiniku sauce:

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 stalk of scallion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Dash of sesame oil


  1. In a hot, heavy skillet, sear the beef under high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper while cooking. Do not overcook!
  2. Mix all Yakiniku sauce ingredients together, and cook under medium heat in a saucepan for a few minutes, making sure the garlic and scallions are cooked through
  3. Pour sauce over beef, or simply dip beef into sauce, and enjoy.


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As you may guess from the name, “omurice” comes from the combination of the words omelet and rice. A Japanese’s Western-style (yoshoku) rice dish, Omurice is chicken fried rice with tomato sauce, wrapped in an omelet with sauce on the top.

Ingredients: (make 4-5 Omurice)

  • 3/4 lb boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 1/2” piece
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 mushrooms, sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons corn kernels
  • 2-3 tablespoons peas and carrots
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1.5 cup steamed rice
  • 5 oz of crushed tomato (about 2/3 of a small can)
  • 2 tablespoon Ketchup + 1 tablespoon on top of each omurice
  • 2 eggs for each omurice
  • 1 teaspoon dairy creme (or milk) for each omelet
  • Kewpie mayonnaise, optional

  1. Marinate chicken pieces with soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and cornstarch.  Place in fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over high heat.  Stir in garlic, cook until fragrant.  Add onion, cook for 2 minutes then add mushrooms, corns, peas, carrots and bay leave.  Stir-fry for 2 more minutes.  Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate skillet, heat oil over high heat.  Add chicken pieces and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add sake and cook for another 2 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.  Set aside.
  4. In the skillet, combine the chicken pieces with vegetables. Remove the bay leaf.  Add rice, crushed tomato, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and ketchup.  Optionally, add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk two eggs with 1 teaspoon of creme and a pinch of salt.
  6. In a skillet, heat oil or butter over medium heat.  Pour the egg mixture on the skillet.
    Quickly spread the egg and make a round omelet.  When the omelette is nearly done, place some rice mixture in the middle of the omelet and fold top and bottom sides of omelet over the rice.  Place a plate over the pan and flip.  Use a paper towel to help shape the omelet.

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Kombu Seaweed Salad (Tsukudani)

A recipe to make use of leftover kombu from making dashi.

  • 1 oz. kombu, hydrated
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds

Cut leftover kombu into thin strips. Put kombu, sake, and rice vinegar in a small pan. Pour some water enough to cover kombu. Bring to a boil and simmer kombu on low heat until softened. Add soy sauce and sugar. Simmer until liquid is gone. Stop the heat. Mix white sesame seeds in.

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Teriyaki Pork Chops with Apple Chutney

Eastern and Western cuisines sometimes surprisingly agree on preparation and flavor combinations of certain ingredients. Pork chops is a good example. Most cuisines seem to agree that pork chops are best matched with some sort of sweet and or tangy flavor. On the Eastern side you have the Chinese sweet and sour pork or 糖醋排骨, Japanese katsu don, which is typically served with egg and onion cooked with sweetened dashi, and the Vietnamese grilled pork chops, served with a sweet fish sauce. On the Western side you have pork chops with apple sauce, and pork chops with barbecue sauce. In this recipe, Eastern flavors, such as mirin, Chinese five-spice powder, and ginger, are combined with Western styles, such as using apples and apple cider vinegar. The result is a juicy and slightly sweet pork chop that has very intense flavors. Give it a try sometime!


  • 2 pork chops (about 8 oz each)
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Terikyaki Marinate:

  • 1/3 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger


  1. Marinated pork chops with teriyaki sauce for at least one hour.
  2. Remove pork chops from marinate and set aside. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion, ginger, and cook for about 2 minutes, until the onion is translucent.  Add the apple, sugar, vinegar, teriyaki marinade, and five-spice, and stir to combine.  Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the fruit is softened and the liquid has thickened enough to cling lightly to the apples.
  3. Preheat a grill, cast iron skillet or pan.  Grill pork chop for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until lightly charred and firm.  Serve each chop with a scoop of the apple chutney.

Other Teriyaki Recipe:

Baked Teriyaki Recipe


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Wakame Seaweed Salad

This easy seaweed salad is a rotation in our house as a side dish.  It’s healthy and brings appetite before the main entrée.


  • 3 Tablespoons dried wakame
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  1. Soak wakame in warm water for 10 minutes.  Drain and squeeze the water out.
  2. In a bowl, mix vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, scallions and ginger until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Combine wakame and sauce.  Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  4. Chill in fridge before serving.

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Japanese Curry Shrimp Tofu and Vegetables

Cooking curry with instant curry cube isn’t the most authentic Japanese curry, but it is a decent trade-off between taste versus speed and ease of preparation.


  • 6 tiger shrimps
  • 1 pack of fried tofu (6 oz), cubed
  • 2 garlics, finely chopped
  • 2 small potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 lb broccoli, cubed
  • 1 small carrot, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, cubed
  • 2 tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 small onions, cubed
  • 1 box of curry cubes
  • 4 cups of water


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat.  Stir in shrimps.  Sprinkle salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add oil to the skillet.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add potatoes, tofu, and carrots; cook for a few minutes.  Transfer them to a pot with 4 cup of waters and cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet and cook the onions, peppers, broccoli and tomatoes. Cook for few more minutes and add salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer the vegetables to the pot.  Add curry cubes, stir to mix well.  Cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Stir in shrimps to the curry, cook for 5 minutes and serve with rice.

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