In my experience, if you tangle vegetables in a mess of fried noodles, your kids will be much more likely to eat them. To that end, yaki udo is a family-friendly stir-fry that’s heavy on plants and fungi.
My mother always made curry with S&B or House Foods curry bricks, just as convenient as bouillon cubes. I like the convenient part, but I don’t care for all the additives that go into most of these store-bought brands. So I started making my own by blending a variety of spices including turmeric, which gives my curry a bright mustardy yellow color and pungent flavor. First you will need to make your own Japanese Curry Brick which you can keep in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months. The base stock is a cold-brew kombu and shiitake mushroom dashi, which can, like the curry brick, be made ahead of time. The curry is traditionally served with rice or noodles and fukujinzuke, a classic pickle made with seven vegetables, a perfect crunchy counterpart to the soft, mild curry.
Shio koji is a traditional use of koji, the ancient mold that gives us soy sauce, miso, fermented bean paste, and sake. It is made by combining rice koji (cooked rice that has been inoculated with koji spores and then dried), salt, and water and letting the mixture ferment for about a week, during which time it develops a sweet, fruity, slightly funky aroma. Shio koji is primarily used as a marinade. Because it is rich in protease enzymes (which break down proteins) and amylase enzymes (which break down starches), it can transform many foods. In our Koji Fried Chicken, it turns the chicken incredibly savory and tender. In our tests on fish, we found that shio koji firmed and gently cured the filets. Makes about 1 quart.
This is a super easy, quick mid-week dinner and a fantastic way to introduce Japanese miso into your everyday cooking. It is also terribly addictive.
This tasty noodle salad couldn’t be easier to make — the only cooking involved is preparing the noodles. The all-purpose noodle sauce doubles up as a salad dressing and noodle sauce.
These keep in their marinade for about two weeks in the refrigerator, but are best within a couple of hours of pickling.
Omu raisu (rice omelet) is one of the most popular dishes in Japan, both at home and in restaurants. To Western ears it doesn't sound immediately compelling -- lightly fried rice laced with ketchup and covered with a sheet of runny eggs. It's slathered with more ketchup to finish, which is probably why I jumped on the bandwagon almost immediately and have never looked back. My childhood recollections don't include any warm and fuzzy comfort dishes, so when I feel down and out or just need some food love, this is the dish I invariably turn to.
Place 2-3 chicken balls on a small skewer or toothpick, then sprinkle on the Japanese red pepper powder, if using, and serve.