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


Ichigo no shootokeeki / layered sponge cake with strawberries

A Japanese-style "strawberry shortcake" comes as either a double or triple layer of airy, delicate and somewhat moist sponge cake, with whole or sliced strawberries packed inside and more on top. The sponge and cream are equally soft and almost melt together in your mouth, yet you can still clearly sense the mellow aroma of sugar and fresh eggs of the sponge, the fresh silkiness of the cream and the sweet, subtly sour taste of strawberries. This is the most common Western-type cake in Japan, as it has been one of the preferred choices for special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas for many years.

Whole cake: 2605 calories; 32.0g protein; 185.5g fat; 192.8g carbohydrate; 285mg sodium; 1002mg cholesterol; 5.5g fiber
1/8 slice: 521 calories; 6.4g protein; 37.1g fat; 38.6g carbohydrate; 57mg sodium; 200mg cholesterol; 1.1g fiber


Suponji keeki / sponge cake (genoise)

Indispensable for a number of Western-style cakes, including layered cake with fruits and fresh cream, framboise or raspberry mousse cake, baked chocolate or chocolate mousse cakes, Mont Blanc, baked & unbaked cheesecakes, matcha green tea cake, etc. Key ingredients are as simple as flour, eggs and sugar. Below I replace some all-purpose flour with potato starch, and add some maple syrup, butter and milk to increase the cake's soft and delicate texture and moist finish.

Whole cake (18cm mold): 1135 calories; 27.2g protein; 43.2g fat; 154.6g carbohydrate; 231mg sodium; 713mg cholesterol; 2.2g fiber


Hotate to meshida no bataajoyu itame / stir-fried scallops and Western lady fern in butter and soy sauce

The softly mellow taste of scallops and faint bitterness of lady fern heads complement each other really well as the no-fail combination of butter and soy sauce works again here for a pair of ingredients from the sea and the land.

116 calories (1/2 of recipe); 12.8g protein; 2.7g fat; 8.4g carbohydrate; 192mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 304mg with regular soy sauce); 27mg cholesterol; 2.7g fiber


Fuki no gomani / Japanese butterbur in sesame-flavored broth

Fuki's mild bitterness is softened by tahini sesame paste, making the juicy stalks a delightful companion for your meal and drinks. Delicious hot or at room temperature. Adjust the amount of tahini to make the dish lighter or richer.

59 calories (1/2 of recipe); 2.2g protein; 2.4g fat; 5.9g carbohydrate; 112mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; about 200mg with regular soy sauce); 0mg cholesterol; 1.1g fiber


Ebi-iri tanuki donburi / shrimp and tempura pearls over steamed rice

At our house, we call this "fake tendon." Tempura pearls perform the wonderful trick of transforming this sober combination into a rich, filling dish. Add the pearls right before the egg to enjoy some crunch in the final dish as below, or add them at the same time as shrimp for mellower results.

1/2 of recipe above when served with 150g steamed rice:
379 calories; 15.1g protein; 4.6g fat; 65g carbohydrate; 301mg sodium (with homemade tempura pearls and 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 497mg with regular soy sauce); 157mg cholesterol; 1.4g fiber


Ninjin to enoki no pirikara itameni / braised spicy carrot and enoki mushrooms

This kinpira-style spicy side dish with the clear taste of soy sauce and a sweet underlying note is an everyday favorite. Cooked enoki become a bit creamy, providing a nice contrast to the texture of carrot spears. Quick and easy, this is a great small addition at your table or in the lunch box.

52 calories (1/2 of recipe); 1.3g protein; 1.2g fat; 8.7g carbohydrate; 98mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 177mg with regular soy sauce); 0mg cholesterol; 2.4g fiber