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


Kinkan namasu / daikon radish and kumquat pickled in sweetened vinegar

This contrasting combination of sweet, faintly bitter kumquat and spicy daikon radish makes a juicy, refreshing side dish that goes well with any dish of any cuisine! Just one thing to remember: It tastes bland immediately after putting everything together, so prepare it several hours ahead of time or a day in advance.

23 calories (1/3 of recipe); 0.4 g protein; 0.1 g fat; 7.7 g carbohydrate; 3.7 g net carbs; 58 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.3 g fiber

17 calories (1/4 of recipe); 0.3 g protein; 0.1 g fat; 5.8 g carbohydrate; 2.8 g net carbs; 44 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.0 g fiber


Tom Cooks 18. Mame gohan (steamed rice with peas) & daikon, ninjin, age no itameni (daikon radish, carrot and thin deep-fried tofu saute simmered in broth)

One day Tom got particularly ambitious and decided to make a Japanese dinner consisting of five dishes for my birthday. Working hard all by himself, he carefully planned the menu and made a shopping list, and was looking nervous as the day approached. Then he won an unexpected reprieve from his self-proposed task, as our savior friends took us out for dinner!
Lucky Tom.

Well, now he must regret that the time and thought he put into the menu have evaporated as if they never existed. So, to recognize his efforts, I suggested he prepare two dishes the next day. A reduction from five dishes to two seemed like a bargain to him, and almost instantly Tom said, "I can do that," flashing a cheeky smile.


Nattojiru / miso soup with fermented soybeans

A stew-like miso soup featuring natto. Natto's distinctive aroma softens after simmering for some time, and this is a good introductory dish for those who are not familiar with the ingredient. Great for chilly or cool days, as the soup warms your body. 

104 calories (1/2 of recipe); 8.8 g protein; 5.2 g fat; 5.4 g carbohydrate; 3.3 g net carbs; 261 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 2.1 g fiber


Ebi to zukkiini no ebimayo-fu / shrimp and zucchini in ebimayo-style sauce

A delightful dish inspired by a popular Chinese-influenced recipe, ebimayo or deep-fried shrimp in mayonnaise sauce. This takes full advantage of light soy milk curd made with apple cider vinegar, softly rich tamago no moto egg yolk emulsion, and fresh tomato. Zucchini and shrimp are sauteed for a quick fix, and mixed with the sauce. Yes, making the soy milk curd and egg yolk emulsion takes extra time, and so does cleaning shrimp with potato starch, but you will not regret it with the pleasant result.

212 calories (1/2 of recipe); 18.0 g protein; 11.9 g fat; 6.7 g carbohydrate; 5.6 g net carbs; 206 mg sodium; 148 mg cholesterol; 1.1 g fiber


Tamago no moto / egg yolk emulsion

This simple mixture of egg yolk and oil is often used to give fluffy texture and impart subtle richness. It also works as a moderate binder. For successful, creamy emulsification, add a small amount of oil to egg yolk at a time and whisk well. Otherwise, the two ingredients end up separating unhappily.

390 calories (whole recipe); 2.5 g protein; 41.0 g fat; 0 g carbohydrate; 0 g net carbs; 7 mg sodium; 211 mg cholesterol; 0 g fiber

111 calories (1 tbsp); 0.7 g protein; 11.7 g fat; 0 g carbohydrate; 0 g net carbs; 2 mg sodium; 60 mg cholesterol; 0 g fiber


Tsumire to retasu no nimono / fish dumplings and lettuce simmered in broth

This resembles a nabe hot pot but is cooked in a stronger broth. Soft and fluffy tsumire fish dumplings crumble in your mouth, while lettuce gives some crispiness. As with any item made with surimi ground fish paste, these dumplings by themselves contain a relatively high amount of sodium, but the sodium is released into the broth while simmering, and you can comfortably enjoy the gentle taste tsumire offers -- one of the great advantages of nimono simmered dishes, where the broth is often left behind in the pot or untouched in bowls.

196 calories (1/2 of recipe); 12.6 g protein; 8.2 g fat; 14.6 g carbohydrate; 13.0 g net carbs; 250 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 79 mg cholesterol; 1.6 g fiber


Fuki to atsuage no nimono (genen) / Japanese butterbur and deep-fried tofu in light broth (reduced-sodium version)

This is a reduced-sodium version of a past fuki and atsuage recipe. The original recipe already tasted soft and hit the spot for me, and I cut the amount of soy sauce by only 25% of the original version while adjusting most of the other seasonings and adding a tiny amount of rice vinegar to maintain the flavor. As with the original recipe, this dish, especially atsuage, would taste bland immediately after cooking or cooling only for 1 hour; making this hours ahead or a day in advance ensures maximum flavor.

104 calories (1/2 of recipe); 6.7 g protein; 6.6 g fat; 3.2 g carbohydrate; 2.3 g net carbs; 95 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 0.9 g fiber


Radisshu no kazarikiri, temari / decorative thread ball cut for radish

Create a decorative edible ornament with a little radish! It takes a bit of time, but all cuts are simple. It's an instant upgrade to a cheerful plate, bento or table, even ones filled with dull colors. Use globe-shaped radishes for best results.


Maitake to warabi no gorugonzoora pasta / pasta with hen of the woods mushrooms and bracken in gorgonzola sauce

Crunchy maitake is a nice addition to rich gorgonzola sauce for pasta. A vegetable in season -- warabi this time -- takes away the heavy note of the cheese sauce, which is also lightened by replacing the typical heavy cream with a combination of soy milk and sakekasu sake lees.
Since the sauce cooks fast once you add the soy milk and gorgonzola mixture, start cooking pasta before starting to saute maitake and warabi for the sauce.

548 calories (1/2 of recipe); 21.6 g protein; 24.2 g fat; 59.8 g carbohydrate; 54.2 g net carbs; 234 mg sodium; 30 mg cholesterol; 5.6 g fiber