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


Tomorokoshi gohan / steamed rice with corn

Sweet kernels of corn instantly make ordinary rice a summer dish. Julienned green shiso perilla leaves offer a nice counter punch, preventing the rice from becoming too mellow.

1/3 of recipe:
209 calories; 4.0 g protein; 0.9 g fat; 43.5 g carbohydrate; 42.5 g net carbs; 79 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.0 g fiber

1/2 of recipe:
313 calories; 6.0 g protein; 1.3 g fat; 65.3 g carbohydrate; 63.8 g net carbs; 101 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.5 g fiber


Hiyajiru / steamed barley rice with cold sesame-miso soup with cucumber and grilled fish

Literally called "cold soup," this soupy rice dish is a quick meal for hot days in southern Japan's Miyazaki Prefecture. When I first learned about this dish, the description sounded reminiscent of neko manma [lit. cat rice], where you pour miso soup over steamed rice and shovel it in, and at first I was doubtful: Would this actually taste good? Well, there was nothing to do but to try to figure that out. The mixture of miso and sesame paste is first toasted for a deep rich taste, while cucumber, shiso leaves and ginger contribute to a refreshing aftertaste. When the soup is prepared in the cool of the morning, the rest is quite easy and fast. While cucumber is available all year around nowadays, in oriental medicine it is known for cooling down your body -- a very appropriate vegetable for the dog days of summer.
This is another great choice when having little appetite on hot days!

1/2 of recipe, served with 120 g steamed barley rice:
370 calories; 26.8 g protein; 8.8 g fat; 45.2 g carbohydrate; 40.9 g net carbs; 452 mg sodium; 35 mg cholesterol; 4.3 g fiber

1/2 of recipe, soup only:
209 calories; 24.0 g protein; 8.3 g fat; 9.6 g carbohydrate; 7.0 g net carbs; 452 mg sodium; 35 mg cholesterol; 2.6 g fiber


Breakfast, August 17, 2016

Summer is finally here, and local corn has started to look appetizing. Weeks of chilly days up until mid August have already turned the giant leaves of the maples partially yellow around our house. Before we lose the warm weather, we had a breakfast featuring a couple of summer vegetables.

  • Tomorokoshi gohan / steamed rice with corn, topped with julienned shiso perilla leaves (209 kcal; 79 mg sodium)
  • Mini tomato to nira-iri nattojiru / miso soup with fermented soybeans, cherry tomatoes and garlic chives (80 kcal; 231 mg sodium)
  • Zukkiini to tofu no yuzukosho-itame / stir-fried zucchini and tofu, yuzu citron pepper flavor (78 kcal; 60 mg sodium)
  • Horenso no ohitashi, kuko no mi-zoe / spinach marinated in light broth, with goji berries (16 kcal; 30 mg sodium)
  • Hijiki no itameni / braised hijiki seaweed (17 kcal; 79 mg sodium)

Total calories & sodium content: 400 kcal; 489 mg sodium  (For Tom: 608 kcal; 523 mg sodium)