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


Karashina no karashi-bitashi / mustard greens in mustard-flavored light dashi

A simple variation of a standard ohitashi, cooked vegetables marinated in light dashi. Among basic seasonings (soy sauce, salt, sake, mirin) for dashi for ohitashi, only soy sauce is chosen for this recipe to heighten the pungent aroma of karashi mustard.

1/4 of recipe:
16 calories; 1.6 g protein; 0.3 g fat; 2.6 g carbohydrate; 1.0 g net carbs; 66 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.6 g fiber; 124 mg potassium

1/2 of recipe:
31 calories; 3.3 g protein; 0.5 g fat; 5.1 g carbohydrate; 2.0 g net carbs; 133 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 3.1 g fiber; 249 mg potassium


Seiyo meshida to ebi no tosazu-oroshi-ae / lady fern fiddleheads and shrimp in bonito flake infused vinegar dressing with grated daikon radish

Grated daikon radish adds a slightly spicy, refreshing note to the dressing. Aside from taste, since daikon's digestive enzymes work best when uncooked, adding grated daikon makes the dish a nice companion for something cooked with oil.

1/2 of recipe: 
54 calories; 8.8 g protein; 0.2 g fat; 3.9 g carbohydrate; 2.0 g net carbs; 150 mg sodium (with usukuchi pale soy sauce with standard sodium content and 50% reduced-sodium koikuchi regular soy sauce); 65 mg cholesterol; 1.9 g fiber; 215 mg potassium


Keeru to kurumi no beeguru / kale and walnut bagels

One of our bagels takes advantage of kale for a deeper flavor, which is especially noticeable when toasted, while toasting also intensifies the crunch of walnuts.

This is a variation based on a plain version I adapted from ChefSteps (Amazing Chewy Bagels From Scratch). In my adaptation, shiokoji salted rice malt to lower sodium content also conditions the dough, making it softer and triggering a Maillard reaction due to its enzymes. For this reason, I do not use diastatic malt powder, which the original recipe lists as a key ingredient, but I do use non-diastatic malt powder for flavoring. Yet considering kale's effect of making the dough taste slightly "earthy and green," non-diastatic malt powder may not be needed at all in the recipe below. Until I experiment further, this is what appears at our table. These are smallish bagels packed with flavor.

1 bagel (1/8 recipe; 74 g baked):
219 calories; 6.8 g protein; 4.3 g fat; 37.7 g carbohydrate; 34.8 g net carbs; 93 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 2.9 g fiber


Taiwan-fu tamago kureepu / dan bing / Taiwanese egg crepes

Found both on the street and at specialty takeout & eat-in eateries, egg crepes with various fillings are one of the many breakfast choices in Taiwan. Dan bing with ham was my usual choice at an eatery near my work. The crepes presented here are adapted from a Japanese translation of a Taiwanese cookbook by Zhou Qingyuan (周清源). To lower sodium content, I skip the salt and use cold milk instead of cold water. Below is my current favorite combination with alderwood smoked salmon, a Pacific Northwest specialty, and Thai basil with a note of anise.

Whole recipe (2 dan bing egg crepes with fillings, without dipping sauce):
533 calories; 22.9 g protein; 20.4 g fat; 59.7 g carbohydrate; 56.9 g net carbs; 269 mg sodium; 427 mg cholesterol; 2.8 g fiber


Gomoku ankake udon / wheat noodles with thickened soup and assorted ingredients

Udon often is mentioned as a good choice when feeling unwell. When made with hot, thickened soup, it warms your body from inside. Noodles and warm soup alone is the basic foundation. Ginger -- either grated, finely julienned or only the squeezed juice -- intensifies the warming effect while adding a zesty note and aroma to your soup. Select and cook goodies according to your appetite and condition. While everything is simmered in broth starting with the toughest item below, goodies can be grilled or fried and added to the soup for those who want more texture. This is also a nice dish for chilly days.

The broth's sodium content is on the low end (0.7%), and partly because of the amount of vegetables and mushrooms, it might be too weak for those who have not been on a reduced sodium diet. Adjust the taste to your preferred level at the end.

1/2 of recipe (with virtually sodium-free homemade udon noodles):
480 calories; 22.0 g protein; 3.2 g fat; 87.0 g carbohydrate; 82.9 g net carbs; 651 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium regular soy sauce and shiokoji salted rice malt); 72 mg cholesterol; 4.1 g fiber


Kurumi daifuku / soft rice cake with sweetened azuki bean paste and walnuts

Toasted walnuts add a rich taste and crunch to a standard everyday daifuku rice cake. Turbinado in soft gyuhi mochi goes really well with walnuts and tsubuan crumbly azuki bean paste inside. Best on Day 1 for contrasting texture with walnuts, especially while still warm.

1 daifuku cake (1/4 of recipe):
130 calories; 2.8 g protein; 3.0 g fat; 23.4 g carbohydrate; 21.6 g net carbs; 1 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.8 g fiber; 145 mg potassium


Koyadofu no ageyaki to renkon no horenso-an / fried freeze-dried tofu and lotus root with spinach dashi sauce

Rehydrating and frying koyadofu freeze-dried tofu results in a chewy and juicy texture, making a good contrast with crunchy lotus root. A blanket of flavorful dashi sauce brings the two ingredients together while adding a green touch of spinach. Ginger provides a zesty counter-punch to the rich taste from oil used in preparation. A nice side dish for cool days and nights.

1/2 of recipe:
160 calories; 5.2 g protein; 11.9 g fat; 7.3 g carbohydrate; 6.3 g net carbs; 100 mg sodium; 0.1 mg cholesterol; 1.0 g fiber; 267 mg potassium