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


Nagaimo to okura no ume-ae / Chinese yam and okra with pickled plum

A little summer dish for your good health. Nagaimo and okra, both loaded with mucin to protect your immune system, are paired with umeboshi, yet another traditional health food.


3cm nagaimo Chinese yam (90 g in photo)
3 okra
Pinch salt (to remove fuzz on okra surface; not in photo)
A small piece nori seaweed (optional)

For umeboshi pickled plum dressing
1/2-1 umeboshi pickled plum (2/3 of a whole umeboshi in photo)
1 tsp dashi
1 tsp usukuchi soy sauce


Toast nori seaweed over burner until crispy.
Thinly cut with scissors.
Set aside.


Sprinkle salt on okra, and rub with finger to smooth.

Quickly rinse, blanch for 1 minute, drain, and let cool.


Meanwhile, skin and cut nagaimo into squares.
First take off four outer ends to obtain a rough square block.

Cut the block in half.

Turn 90 degrees, and thinly slice into squares.


Finely chop umeboshi flesh, making sure to leave some pieces.

In a small prep bowl, mix with dashi and usukuchi soy sauce.


When okra cools, thinly slice (the same thickness as nagaimo slices).


Place nagaimo, okura, umeboshi dressing, and mix well.


Serve in individual bowls, and top with nori seaweed slices.

  • Garnish with nori seaweed immediately before serving. Otherwise, nori absorbs moisture from vegetables and dressing, and sticks to vegetables (not appealing to the eye).
  • When chopping umeboshi, make sure to leave pieces instead of making paste, so that red pieces stand out against white and green vegetables when served.
  • Umeboshi's saltiness and sourness vary by product. If unsure, first try less than the specified amount.
  • This is a slippery dish. Thin slices of nagaimo and okra may be challenging to capture while eating. If this is a concern, cut nagaimo and okra into small cubes. They should be easier to pick up and also provide more crunchy texture.

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