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


Kabu to usuage no nimono (genen) / Japanese turnip and thin deep-fried tofu in broth (reduced-sodium version)

Among many variations of nibitashi or nimono simmered dishes, this is one of my favorite combinations. While I continue to use usukuchi soy sauce with its pale color and higher sodium content than regular soy sauce, I cut the amount by more than half. Also reduced is the amount of dashi, sake and mirin, and I add a small amount of rice vinegar to the broth. Kabu leaves are removed from the pot after sauteing to keep their green color, but cooking them in broth actually results in a deeper, more satisfying taste (see Notes).

99 calories (1/2 of recipe); 3.5 g protein; 5.5 g fat; 8.2 g carbohydrate; 6.1 g net carbs; 204 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 2.1 g fiber


4 kabu Japanese turnips (304 g in photo)
1 large or 2 small usuage thin deep-fried tofu
180 cc dashi
1 tsp sake
1 tsp mirin
1/4 tsp rice vinegar
1 1/4 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
1 tsp oil


Prep-boil usuage to remove extra oil. Pat off excess water and oil, and cut into 2 cm-wide strips.
Skin and cut kabu vertically into four.
Cut kabu leaves into 3-4cm.


In a pot, heat oil, and saute kabu on medium heat. 
When coated with oil, add kabu leaves, and saute. 
When leaves brighten, transfer to a plate.


To the pot, add dashi, and bring to boil.

Add sake, mirin, rice vinegar, usukuchi soy sauce and usuage

Place otoshibuta drop cover, and simmer on medium low to low heat for 10 minutes. 
Flip usuage halfway through. 
If not serving immediately, remove from heat, and cool.


Heat as necessary, put kabu leaves back in pot, gently mix, and heat through.

Ready to serve.

  • Cooling the dish helps give it a deeper taste without using additional soy sauce or salt at the end. While cooling can be skipped, it is highly recommended, and even if cooled the dish is still nearly ready to serve (just return leaves to pot and reheat).
  • For more flavorful results, transfer half of sauteed kabu leaves to a plate and keep the remaining half in the pot, simmering them with broth. Simmered leaves would lose their bright green hue, but the removed and returned green leaves can cover up the dullness to some degree, as shown in photo at right. Pleasing the eye is one of the keys to a pleasant dining experience ...
  • The above sodium content excludes broth pooled in bowls and not consumed. The total sodium figure per serving is 266 mg.
  • Original version is found here.

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