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


Koebi to tofu no mabo harusame / mapo bean vermicelli with bay shrimp and tofu (milder version)

This is a reduced-sodium version of the original koebi to tofu no mabo harusame recipe of October 2011. By cutting back on soy sauce, partially replacing tobanjan chili bean paste with taka no tsume red chili peppers and using Shaoxing wine and kurozu brown rice vinegar, this is milder and lighter while still being aromatic and clearly spicy. Some simple techniques are involved to bring out the most of the seasonings below.

1/2 of recipe:
298 calories; 17.7 g protein; 11.6 g fat; 28.1 g carbohydrate; 26.8 g net carbs; 430 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 697 mg with regular soy sauce); 75 mg cholesterol; 1.3 g fiber


Ainame no dyukuseru-yaki / grilled ling cod with duxelles

Tasty mushroom sauce adds amazing aroma and depth to a simple fish dish. This is a very easy fish dish that looks pretty impressive at the table.

1/2 of recipe:
226 calories; 28.7 g protein; 8.5 g fat; 5.9 g carbohydrate; 4.9 g net carbs; 114 mg sodium; 95 mg cholesterol; 1.0 g fiber


Dyukuseru / duxelles / minced mushroom saute

Sauteed mushrooms with their concentrated flavor are handy as a filling for rolled meat dishes and a topping for grilled fish as well as an ingredient of omelets, croquettes, savory tarts, soups, and more.

Whole recipe:
145 calories; 7.7 g protein; 5.7 g fat; 17.7 g carbohydrate; 12.0 g net carbs; 15 mg sodium; 14 mg cholesterol; 5.7 g fiber


Tom cooks 14. Kyabetsu to age no misoshiru (miso soup with cabbage and thin deep-fried tofu)

A long time ago when my friend got sick, her husband made her miso soup. His effort to comfort her really did touch her heart, she said. But, she continued, "he made too much and we ended up eating the same thing for days. I couldn't say I didn't want to eat it anymore, because I knew he had worked hard to make it for me ... "
How sweet... or does it sound like the recipe for disaster?


Kani to mibuna no mazegohan / steamed rice with crab and mibuna mustard greens

A common winter-season duo of crab and mibuna mustard greens is mixed in steamed rice. The hidden flavor of a piece of kombu kelp and sake, which are added when cooking rice, tops off the overall combination.

1/3 of recipe:
197 calories per serving; 7.1 g protein; 0.6 g fat; 37.9 g carbohydrate; 37.3 g net carbs; 137 mg sodium; 12 mg cholesterol; 0.6 g fiber

1/2 of recipe:
295 calories per serving; 10.7 g protein; 0.9 g fat; 56.9 g carbohydrate; 56.0 g net carbs; 205 mg sodium; 18 mg cholesterol; 0.9 g fiber


Lunch bento, December 5, 2013

Tom likes to hike even in below-freezing temperatures. He usually makes a sandwich or grabs one at a store, but a warm lunch must be nice on a cold day. So here we tested a new thermos lunch box to see how warm the food stays.


    Fu champuruu / Okinawan-style stir-fry with wheat gluten cakes

    Fu wheat gluten cakes come alive in champuruu, a common Okinawan stir-fry dish. Fu is soaked in egg before frying, making this dish very filling. Any vegetable, mushroom, meat or  seafood works great. Check your fridge!

    1/3 of recipe:
    101 calories; 7.6 g protein; 4.5 g fat; 6.1 g carbohydrate; 4.9 g net carbs; 100 mg sodium; 145 mg cholesterol; 1.2 g fiber


    Hijiki no irini, chikuwa-iri / saute-simmered hijiki seaweed with chikuwa fishcakes

    A small side dish with mineral-rich hijiki seaweed. This is relatively sweet and strongly flavored without being overly salty.

    1/3 of recipe:
    49 calories; 3.3 g protein; 0.9 g fat; 6.7 g carbohydrate; 4.7 g net carbs; 134 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 185 mg with regular soy sauce); 5 mg cholesterol; 2.0 g fiber