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


Shiifuudo to daizu moyashi no kankoku mushi / haemul jjim / steamed seafood and soybean sprouts Korean style

This is a seafood dish, but with lots and lots and LOTS of soybean sprouts! Despite the red look, it is quite mild. Enjoy this medley of seafood and soybean sprouts together with distinctive greens in season! 


(Serves 4)

1-2 fillets white-flesh fish (235g cod in photo)
4 shrimp (85g in photo)
4 calamari (150g in photo)
8 clams (142g in photo)

Large bowlful daizu moyashi soybean sprouts (370g cleaned in photo)
1 small onion (62g in photo)
1 fresno pepper (28g in photo)
2 serrano pepper (35g in photo)
Handful seri water dropwort (54g in photo)

Marinade for seafood
1/2 tbsp gochujang
1 tbsp + 1 tsp shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt
1/2 tbsp mirin
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp coarse Korean pepper powder (flakes without seeds)
1 1/2 tbsp fine Korean pepper powder
1 clove ginger
1 clove garlic

Katakuriko potato starch (to clean shrimp; not in photo)
1 tsp oil (not in photo)

206 calories (1/4 of recipe above); 27.0g protein; 3.6g fat; 14.3g carbohydrate; 363mg sodium (when using shoyukoji made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 172mg cholesterol; 7.9g fiber


Prepare marinade for seafood.
Grate garlic and ginger.

In a medium prep bowl, place grated garlic and ginger along with all other marinade ingredients, and mix well.


Shell shrimp, clean with potato starch, and rinse well.

Clean calamari and cut bite size.
Cut fish into large chunks.
Put all seafood (other than clams) in marinade, and gently mix. 


Cut onion lengthwise 1cm thick.
Seed and diagonally slice fresno and serrano peppers.
Chop seri.


In a frying pan or shallow pan, heat oil, and saute shrimp shells on medium high heat.
When they turn pink, discard.

To the same pan, add onion, and saute until somewhat translucent. 

Add soybean sprouts, and stir (flip several times to mix with onion). 


Place fish on top, cover, and steam for a few minutes. 

Gently turn.
Place remaining seafood and marinade on top, cover, and steam until clams open.  


Gently turn, add fresno and serrano peppers and stem ends of seri, gently turn again, and cook for 1-2 minutes.


Serve on a plate, and top with remaining seri.

  • This can be simply steamed or braised. I like to saute onion and soybean sprouts first to eliminate some of their moisture before steaming.
  • If the dish turns out to have a bit too much liquid, you can add potato starch + water mixture to thicken the broth (photo at right).
  • Any seafood works. Cutting it into smaller pieces (especially fish) is optional. If using fish that tends to crumble easily such as sole, cut it into a size that would fit in the marinating container. Fish and other seafood that does not easily crumble can be cut into smaller pieces with scissors before serving.
  • If seri is not available, try greens with distinctive taste or aroma, such as nira garlic chives, cress, arugula and green onions.
  • If shoyukoji is not available, use soy sauce. The sodium content above would be 420mg when using 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce and 576mg with regular soy sauce.
  • The above nutrition figures include all broth; if you are watching your sodium intake, try not to consume lots of broth.
  • The leftover broth can be saved for a key seasoning of soup, fried rice or noodles, and zosui rice, etc.
  • Gochujang is one of seasonings whose sodium content varies significantly. The product I use contains 360mg sodium per 1 tbsp (18g).
  • This dish is not very spicy, especially if you use mild gochugang. To make it spicier, add more Korean pepper powder (fine) or fresh hot peppers.


Nasu no hisui somen / eggplant jade noodles

Pretty, light-green noodles with a refreshing jelly-like texture. Served with dipping sauce with tomato below for a summery marriage of flavors.


1 Chinese nasu eggplant or 2-3 Japanese eggplant (205g in photo)
4-5 tbsp katakuriko potato starch

For condiments
1 knob ginger
Tiny handful kaiware daikon radish sprouts (purple type in photo)
3 shiso perilla leaves

150-180cc tomato-iri tsuketsuyu dipping sauce with tomato (not in photo)

Nasu somen noodles with condiments:
69 calories (1/2 of recipe above); 1.2g protein; 0.1g fat; 16.5g carbohydrate; 0mg sodium; 1mg cholesterol; 2.4g fiber

When served with dipping sauce with tomato:
122 calories; 2.7g protein; 0.2g fat; 26.1g carbohydrate; 281mg sodium; 1mg cholesterol; 4.2g fiber


Cut eggplant into two sections (if using a long eggplant).
Skin, and julienne (approx. 3mm thick).

Immediately soak in cold water.

Bring plenty of water to boil.


Grate ginger.
Julienne shiso, and soak in cold water.
Chop kaiware daikon.


Drain eggplant well, and coat with katakuriko.
Boil katakuriko-coated eggplant for a few minutes until translucent. 
Immediately transfer to ice water to cool.


Drain well, and serve with dipping sauce and condiments.

  • Pair this with a grilled, sauteed/fried or deep-fried dish. They complement each other well in terms of taste, texture and aroma.
  • Nasu somen is also good with regular somen dipping sauce.
  • Soaking shiso in water is optional if your shiso is mild. Some shiso can taste a bit harsh, and soaking significantly eliminates the edginess.
  • Above sodium content (served with dipping sauce) is when consuming all dipping sauce served in a cup. When no extra dipping sauce is consumed after finishing noodles, the figure goes down significantly (by about 50-60% with regular somen noodles). (Additional note for those who are watching their sodium intake: Serving less dipping sauce makes you more aware of the amount you use for each bite, which ultimately results in much less sodium intake.)


Somen no tomato-iri tsuketsuyu / dipping sauce with tomato for thin wheat noodles

This dipping sauce takes full advantage of the mighty tomato, which is known for its high umami content among vegetables. Many dipping sauces for noodles contain lots of sodium, and leaving more in the sauce cup naturally results in taking less sodium. But since Tom still likes to taste a bit more of the sauce than is good for him, here is a Tom-friendly variation. You can safely have a big taste of what is left in your sobachoko dipping sauce cup after finishing your noodles.

(Serves 3; 80-90cc per serving)

For dashi stock
200cc water
Handful katsuobushi (hanakatsuo) bonito flakes (6g in photo)
1 3-4cm piece kombu kelp
1/4 dried shiitake mushroom

1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt
2 tbsp mirin
1/4 tsp rice vinegar
1 roma tomato (88g in photo)

160 calories (whole recipe above); 4.4g protein; 0.3g fat; 28.7g carbohydrate; 843mg sodium (when made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce and shoyukoji based on 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 0mg cholesterol; 5.4g fiber

53 calories (1/3 of recipe above); 1.5g protein; 0.1g fat; 9.6g carbohydrate; 281mg sodium; 0mg cholesterol; 1.8g fiber 


Prepare dashi stock.
Break kombu and dried shiitake into smaller pieces, and place in heat-resistant container.

Add katsuobushi.

Pour boiling water (200cc water is microwaved until boiling).
Let sit until everything settles to the bottom.


Grate tomato.


In a stove-top safe container or small pot, put mirin and rice vinegar, and bring to boil.


Strain in dashi, add shoyukoji, soy sauce and tomato, and bring to boil.

Reduce heat, and simmer for 6-7 minutes while skimming white foam that appears on surface. 
Let cool, and refrigerate until use.

  • Keeps for a few days in the fridge.
  • Strong dashi is the key. If using regular dashi you have on hand, add some katsuobushi in a tea bag after dipping sauce is ready, simmer for a while, let cool, and remove katsuobushi bag.
  • The taste of this dipping sauce largely depends on the tomato. A very ripe roma tomato seems to work best. Sweet cherry tomatoes are also a good choice.
  • Among condiments often served with somen noodles, grated ginger pairs especially well with this dipping sauce.  
  • This is also good for udon thick wheat noodles.
  • If shoyukoji is not available, use soy sauce. If using 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce, sodium content would be 1,014mg (whole recipe) and 338mg (1/3 recipe).
  • When made with regular soy sauce and shoyukoji made with regular soy sauce, sodium content would be 1,609mg (whole recipe) and 536mg (1/3 recipe). When made with regular soy sauce only, the figures would be 1,954mg and 651mg, respectively.


Kyuri to kani no shoga-amazu-ae / Japanese cucumber and crab in ginger-flavored sweetened vinegar

Wonderfully light and pleasant on a hot day. This is a different take on an old standby, cucumber sunomono (rice vinegar dressing dish), and takes advantage of softly salty and sweet Dungeness crab in season. It's very easy to make -- just remember to let it sit for a while after mixing everything, as this has a quick pickling effect on cucumber and prevents the dish from tasting bland.


1 kyuri Japanese cucumber (155g in photo)
Small handful Dungeness crabmeat (50g in photo)
Generous pinch salt (not in photo)

For shoga-amazu ginger-flavored sweetened vinegar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 knob ginger

46 calories (1/2 of recipe above); 5.1g protein; 0.4g fat; 5.8g carbohydrate; 113mg sodium; 15mg cholesterol; 0.9g fiber


Thinly slice cucumber, and place in a prep bowl.
Sprinkle generous pinch salt, gently mix, and let sit for 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, prepare shoga-amazu.
Grate ginger.
Add sugar to rice vinegar, and mix to dissolve.
Add lemon juice.
Juice in ginger, and mix. Set aside.


Squeeze out excess water from cucumber, and place in another (or rinsed) bowl.

Put crabmeat, and pour shoga-amazu.
Gently mix, and let sit for 10+ minutes. 

  • Fresh kyuri cucumber has sharp spines on the surface. Carefully rub them off while washing cucumber. Fresh cucumber is normally rolled with a generous amount of salt against the cutting board to remove spines, but this is skipped above, as it would leave some sodium on cucumber.
  • This is great with spot shrimp early in the season (photo at right).
  • The above sodium figure is based on the assumption that 40% of salt sprinkled is absorbed by cucumber. Above, I used 0.5g salt, thus 0.2g (0.1g salt or approx. 40mg sodium per serving) goes into the cucumber.