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


Papurika to hijiki no marine / marinated sweet pepper and hijiki seaweed

Juicy, cheerful sweet pepper is quickly microwaved and marinated with boiled hijiki. The combination of apple cider vinegar and rice vinegar is fruity and mild, making it a good match for non-Japanese meals, too. A great addition as an appetizer or as part of a salad or bento.

42 calories (1/4 of recipe); 0.9g protein; 2.2g fat; 5.5g carbohydrate; 70mg sodium (with shoyukoji made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 0mg cholesterol; 0.3g fiber 


Sake to shimeji no takikomi gohan / steamed rice with salmon and shimeji mushrooms

As the weather cools and we enter the season of mushrooms and return of the salmon, takikomi gohan featuring seasonal ingredients really hits the spot.

353 calories (1/2 of recipe); 13.6g protein; 4.9g fat; 59.7g carbohydrate; 132mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 210mg with regular soy sauce); 23mg cholesterol; 1.3g fiber 


Shungiku to ringo no mizore-ae / garland chrysanthemum and apple with grated daikon radish and sweetened vinegar

The slightly bitter taste of shungiku garland chrysanthemum compliments sweet and juicy apple. Grated daikon with sweetened vinegar provides a refreshing blanket. The pleasant aftertaste really stands out when paired with dishes prepared with oil.

39 calories (1/2 of recipe); 0.6g protein; 0.1g fat; 9.5g carbohydrate; 41mg sodium; 0mg cholesterol; 1.5g fiber


Konnyaku no miso oden / boiled konnyaku yam cake with sweetened miso sauce

A quick and tasty konnyaku dish, which is also a popular "street food" at community and school festivals. Sweetened miso sauce makes chewy konnyaku a favorite with kids as well as adults. Grated ginger and chopped green onion are added below for a zesty punch, preventing this rather plain dish from becoming bland without using lots of sauce. 

16 calories (1/2 of recipe); 0.5g protein; 0.2 fat; 4.3g carbohydrate; 96mg sodium; 0mg cholesterol; 2.7g fiber


Tom cooks 17. Katsuo-kobu dashi & Tai-chan kukkii (bonito kelp stock & cookies for Tai)

Savory and chewy, and obviously mouthwatering for Tai, our dog.

The first time Tom made katsuo-kobu dashi earlier this year, that was all he did. He kindly prepared an essential stock for me, and I ended up making something with it.

The second time Tom made the dashi, it was to get a key ingredient for Tai's cookies. Dashi simply was a by-product of his operation.


Petoraaru karei to edamame no myoga-mushi-zushi / steamed sushi with petrale sole and edamame, wrapped in myoga ginger leaves

If you have access to fresh myoga leaves, try them as wrappers. A somewhat intense, refreshing aroma stimulates your senses as you unwrap packets at the table. Below is an example with steamed sushi.

1 packet:
114 calories; 6.0g protein; 0.8g fat; 19.3g carbohydrate; 59mg sodium (with sushizu made with shiokoji & ponzujoyu made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 210mg with store-bought sushizu & ponzujoyu); 10mg cholesterol; 0.4g fiber


Okara to kinoko-iri kabocha no korokke / pumpkin croquettes with soybean pulp and mushrooms

Savory and sweet pumpkin croquettes. Sauteed enoki and eringi mushrooms are added for a slightly earthy, deep taste and aroma, which nicely disguises the low sodium content of the dish. The deep-fried version with crispy panko bread crumbs is quite satisfying even when eating only one or two pieces. The baked version tastes light and significantly cuts down the amount of oil and calories. The baked version involves a bit of a process to prepare panko, but it can be done ahead of time.

Deep-fried version:
391 calories (1/2 of recipe); 6.5g protein; 26.4g fat; 32.9g carbohydrate; 90mg sodium (with shoyukoji made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 27mg cholesterol; 7.9g fiber

Baked version:
202 calories (1/2 of recipe); 6.5g protein; 6.0g fat; 32.9g carbohydrate; 90mg sodium (with shoyukoji made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 27mg cholesterol; 7.9g fiber