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


Ika-iri unohana / saute-simmered soybean pulp with calamari

A gentle and comforting okara dish with the added touch of calamari.

1/4 of recipe:
57 calories; 3.9 g protein; 1.6 g fat; 5.7 g carbohydrate; 2.4 g net carbs; 97 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 152 mg with regular soy sauce); 32 mg cholesterol; 3.3 g fiber


Warabi to ebi no kakiage / mixed tempura with bracken and shrimp

As with any ingredient in season, bracken makes great tempura. Here is a wonderful combination with shrimp.

2 kakiage + tentsuyu*: 
218 calories; 4.8 g protein; 17.4 g fat; 9.2 g carbohydrate; 8.2 g net carbs; 108 mg sodium (tentsuyu made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 184mg with regular soy sauce); 341 mg cholesterol; 1.0 g fiber
*When 1 tbsp is consumed.


Bibinba no tare, koebi-iri / bibimbap sauce with bay shrimp

Very tasty. Sauteed onion and bay shrimp add a nice sweet note and depth to a simple gochujang and miso mixture. My current favorite to combine with steamed rice and simple, almost plain namul.

1/2 of recipe:
62 calories; 6.3 g protein; 1.4 g fat; 6.4 g carbohydrate; 5.7 g net carbs; 239 mg sodium (with reduced-sodium miso; 274 mg with regular miso); 45 mg cholesterol; 0.7 g fiber


Asari no sakamushi / steamed clams with sake

A very simple, very flavorful and absolute knockout clam dish.
This is one of the simplest versions of steamed clams in Japanese cooking. See Notes below for variations.

1/2 of recipe:
66 calories; 8.7 g protein; 0.6 g fat; 2.7 g carbohydrate; 2.6 g net carbs; 351 mg sodium; 18 mg cholesterol; 0.1 g fiber


Asupara no penne, gorugonzoora soosu / penne pasta with asparagus, gorgonzola sauce

A great pasta dish to finish up the tough lower part of asparagus spears. Have a nice crusty bread ready to finish up the sauce! Adapted from Pasta Vegetale by Hiroyuki Isaki.

With 80 g penne per serving:
569 calories (1/2 of recipe); 17.0 g protein; 25.2 g fat; 62.2 g carbohydrate; 58.5 g net carbs; 353 mg sodium; 77 mg cholesterol; 3.7 g fiber


Ninjin to okura, satsumaage no itameni / saute-simmered carrot, okra and deep-fried fishcake

Yummy! This gently sweet, salty and spicy dish goes perfectly with plain rice and drinks. Also makes a great bento item.

1/2 of recipe:
93 calories; 5.0 g protein; 1.6 g fat; 13.9 g carbohydrate; 17.6 g net carbs;  151 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 227 mg with regular soy sauce); 4 mg cholesterol; 2.3 g fiber


Satsumaimo to shungiku no gomaae / Japanese sweet potato and garland chrysanthemum in sesame dressing

Starchy sweet satsumaimo is paired with tangy shungiku. To create a light salad-type dish, shungiku leaves are left uncooked, while stems are cooked and mixed with gomaae dressing.

1/2 of recipe:
137 calories; 2.0 g protein; 5.0 g fat; 21.0 g carbohydrate; 18.9 g net carbs; 75 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 126 mg with regular soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 2.1 g fiber


Asupara to minitomato no kakitama misoshiru / egg flower miso soup with asparagus and cherry/grape tomatoes

A great combination of egg, asparagus and tomatoes that is perfect for everyday miso soup!

1/2 of recipe:
67 calories; 5.6 g protein; 3.2 g fat; 4.0 g carbohydrate; 2.9 g net carbs; 167 mg sodium (with reduced-sodium miso; 197 mg with regular miso); 107 mg cholesterol; 1.1 g fiber


Aatichooku to ika no ringuiini / linguine with artichoke and calamari

Starchy artichoke with its mild tangy taste is the perfect partner for calamari. Fresh tomatoes are reduced almost to paste, fully infused with calamari for a deep taste, then loosened with pasta cooking water to blend flavors with pasta in the final dish. Grate some parmesan cheese or throw in several olives if you want slightly more punch or saltiness.

1/2 of recipe:
528 calories; 27.4 g protein; 12.1 g fat; 71.6 g carbohydrate; 63.1 g net carbs; 240 mg sodium; 93 mg cholesterol; 8.5 g fiber


Hakusai to tamago no okakaitame / stir-fried napa cabbage and egg with bonito flakes

The gentle taste of hakusai napa cabbage is further softened by egg, while a small amount of katsuobushi bonito flakes provides a counterpunch of clear saltiness.

1/2 of recipe:
75 calories; 5.5 g protein; 3.8 g fat; 3.7 g carbohydrate; 2.5 g net carbs; 121 mg sodium; 111 mg cholesterol; 1.2 g fiber


Lunch, March 29, 2014

Our neighbors brought us fresh clams on their way back from Oregon the other day, and it was a real wake-up call about what we had been missing. Clams are common in the Japanese diet (prepared in Japanese, Western and Chinese styles in particular), but after coming to the US we had forgotten about them, partly due to their low visibility at stores. In addition, each time an occasional closure of nearby recreational clamming sites due to pollution was announced, we drew further away from the creature. But once you find a reliable source, the delicious experience clams offer is worth the time spent on prep.