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


Okara-iritamago no okaka mazegohan / steamed rice with scrambled soybean pulp, egg and bonito flakes

An easy makeover of plain steamed rice into a tasty comfort meal. Scrambled eggs fluffed up with fiber-rich okara increase the overall volume of rice, so even one-third of the entire recipe is quite filling. Mild okara-egg is balanced with the strong taste and aroma of okaka or katsuobushi bonito flakes. Although forms are totally different, onigiri rice balls came to mind when I first tasted this rice. Yummy!

1/3 of recipe:
229 calories; 6.6 g protein; 3.5 g fat; 40.4 g carbohydrate; 38.9 g net carbs; 41 mg sodium; 72 mg cholesterol; 1.5 g fiber

1/2 of recipe:
343 calories; 9.9 g protein; 5.2 g fat; 60.6 g carbohydrate; 58.4 g net carbs; 61 mg sodium; 108 mg cholesterol; 2.2 g fiber


Tomuyamukun / tom yum goong

Here is the tom yum goong I longed for. I finally was able to make this simple soup that indeed reminds me of what I routinely had from a locally popular Isan restaurant near my apartment in Bangkok. There is no secret. As with any cuisine, all you need is good ingredients. What I learned from my trials and errors over the years is not to add too much of aromatic ingredients and make a good stock.

1/4 of recipe:
111 calories; 14.9 g protein; 2.0 g fat; 10.3 g carbohydrate; 8.1 g net carbs; 427 mg sodium; 93 mg cholesterol; 2.3 g fiber


Yuzu daifuku / soft rice cake with sweetened bean paste and candied yuzu citrus peel

This sweet rice cake will send your senses into overdrive as you bite into the soft rice cake envelope that surrounds silky sweet bean paste and candied yuzu peel. The shiroan below straightforwardly delivers invigorating yuzu aroma. If you prefer a deeper taste, try pairing yuzu peel with azuki koshian, or strained tsubuan for a slightly more complex taste. All taste a bit different but are equally good. Great with unsweetened Japanese or Chinese tea.

One daifuku cake (1/4 of recipe; figures for granulated sugar for yuzu peel excluded):
104 calories; 2.1 g protein; 0.1 g fat; 26.1 g carbohydrate; 24.5 g net carbs; 0 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.6 g fiber


Nanbanzuke / deep-fried fish marinated in sweet and sour broth

One of our standard dishes for get-togethers. This is on the mild end, as broth is prepared with rice vinegar and plenty of dashi, making it go well with meals or drinks as well as with both Japanese and non-Japanese dishes. Because of high dashi content, it tastes better from Day 2. Makes a great bento item as well.

1/4 of recipe: 124 calories; 11.9 g protein; 5.9 g fat; 4.5 g carbohydrate; 3.8 g net carbs; 148 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium regular soy sauce); 33 mg cholesterol; 0.7 g fiber


Kuri chakin / mashed steamed chestnut cakes

These little sweets are a personal experiment that I made as a substitute for kuri kinton, a chestnut dish for financial luck that is often part of the New Year's Day meal. While standard ingredients for kuri chakin are only chestnuts and sugar, I mixed chestnuts with shiroan bean paste and roasted satsumaimo. These sweets are not as yellow as typical kuri kinton, so they might not have the Midas touch, but they can provide a gently sweet reward and relaxing moment.

One chakin cake (1/10 of recipe):
54 calories; 1.0 g protein; 0.2 g fat; 12.1 g carbohydrate; 10.7 g net carbs; 1 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.4 g fiber


Furofuki daikon / soft simmered daikon radish with sweet miso sauce

One of the standard cold-season daikon dishes that is very simple to make -- simmering is all it needs. Daikon is simmered until it is very soft, soft enough that one chopstick sinks to the center as you cut with the other. Typically served with aromatic miso-based sauce for a delightful experience. Below is an example served with yuzu miso citrus sauce.

1/2 of recipe:
35 calories; 0.9 g protein; 0.3 g fat; 7.2 g carbohydrate; 5.4 g net carbs; 111 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.8 g fiber