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Recipes

 

 

 
Basic Su print
recipe

A universal Japanese flavored sweet/sour dressing that is used on many foods. It is the seasoning for making sushi rice, it is the salad dressing for the delicately sliced fresh vegetables in sunomono and namasu or it is the vinegar seasoning to use on vegetables for suzuke.

1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
Salt to taste

Combine sugar and white vinegar in a saucepan on low heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add salt to taste. Remove from heat as soon as sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature. Basic Su can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

 
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Bitter Melon print
recipe

This is a home-style recipe to experiment with bitter melon. Bitter melons are bitter! If you haven't acquired a taste for them, about a 3-minute parboil before adding them to a recipe will reduce the bitterness.

1-2 slices of bacon
4-5 bitter melons
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup water

Slice bacon into 1/4" thick pieces and sauté until done. Cut bitter melons in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Slice into 1/4" thick pieces and add to cooked bacon. Add soy sauce, sugar and water and cook until desired doneness.

Seeds for this recipe:
Bitter Melon

 
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Bitter Melon with Egg and Tofu print
recipe

This recipe was shared with us by Terry Tsurue Combs. She learned to make it from Okinawan friends when stationed in Okinawa.

4 bitter melons
4 eggs
4 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 brick medium/firm tofu
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup dried bonita flakes
Salt/pepper to taste

Cut bitter melon in half and scoop out seeds. Slice into 1/4" thick pieces. Soak in cold water for 3 minutes and drain well. Cut tofu into small cubes. Heat the oil in a wok. Add bitter melon to hot oil and stir fry until bitter melon is soft. Add salt/pepper to taste. Add tofu and cook a minute longer. Add eggs and scramble with the bitter melon mixture until egg is set. Move bitter melon mixture to one side of wok. Add soy sauce to uncovered side of wok. When soy sauce is bubbling, mix all ingredients. Add bonita flakes and stir. Serve with hot rice.

Seeds for this recipe:
Bitter Melon

 
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Burdock print
recipe

Burdock or gobo is a long, fibrous root that can be eaten raw (sliced in salads) or cooked. A familiar recipe is Kimpira.

Kimpira
1/2 lb of gobo
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (can use a little sesame oil)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
Cayenne pepper

Scrape the exterior of the root with a sharp knife to remove the skin. Cut gobo into thin matchstick size. Soak gobo in water for 15 minutes and rinse. Do this a couple of times. Soak gobo in ice water, drain and pat dry (the gobo may be frozen at this point). Add oil to hot pan and sauté gobo for 3-4 minutes. Add all ingredients and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Take off heat and add cayenne pepper.

Seeds for this recipe:
Edible Burdock

 
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Daikon Tsukemono (Radish Pickles) print
recipe

Most Japanese meals are served with vegetable pickles, tsukemono. The pickling is done in various methods depending on desired flavor and length of storage. Some are preserved for only 1-2 days to 5-10 years.

Daikon (giant white radish)
1/3 cup salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
Chile pepper

Cut daikon into 1/2" x 1 1/2" pieces. Pack daikon into a glass container. Bring salt, sugar and vinegar to a boil. Pour the hot vinegar solution over the daikon. Cover with lid. Refrigerate 3-4 days. Stir once or twice. This tsukemono is not intended for long keeping.

Seeds for this recipe:
Daikon (giant white radish)

 
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Deep Fried or Grilled Japanese Eggplants print
recipe

Japanese eggplants, nasubi, are often deep-fried, su-age, or grilled because of their full flavor and beautiful purple color. The flesh and skin are very tender and rarely bitter. Soaking eggplants in water will reduce or remove the bitterness.

Japanese Eggplants
Peanut, canola or vegetable oil

For deep-frying, leave Japanese long eggplants whole and cut 3-4 slits through the skin and for Japanese round eggplants cut in half. Then deep fry until the center of the eggplant is soft.

For grilling, leave Japanese long eggplants whole and brush the eggplant with oil and poke a few holes through the skin. Put on a grill for about 15 minutes. Turn eggplants so they will cook evenly. If the skin gets charred, place the eggplants in cold water and peel off the charred skin.

Dip the cooked eggplants as you are eating them into the Ponsu sauce with grated daikon.

Seeds for this recipe:
Japanese Long and Round Eggplants

 
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Edamame print
recipe

Grow soybeans in your kitchen garden for the freshest snack. Edamame is a good choice as an appetizer too. Bite on the cooked pod and out pops the beans.

Green, black or brown seeded soybeans
Salt
Water

Wash fresh podded soybeans. Add them to salted boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes or less. Taste test for the desired doneness.

Seeds for this recipe:
Green, black or brown seeded soybeans

 
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Ichiyazuki (One night pickling) print
recipe

Ichiyazuki is a salt pickling and is the easiest, fastest and most popular way of pickling. Basically, vegetables are washed, sliced, salted and placed under a weight for about a day. You may prepare this in the morning and serve pickles at dinner. Raisins or chilies may be added for desired flavor. Salt is rinsed off the vegetable before serving. The vegetables are good for only 1-2 days.

Choice of vegetables such as nappa, cucumber, young radish leaves, mizuna, mustards, turnips and leaves, etc.
Salt
Raisins, chilies - optional

For Chinese cabbage, wash nappa leaves. Sprinkle salt on leaves and massage salt into leaves (especially white mid ribs). Place nappa leaves in a deep pan or bowl. For sweet or hot flavoring, add raisins or chilies on the side of the leaves. Sprinkle salt on top of the nappa. Place a dish that will be able to sink down and place it on top of the nappa. Put a heavy weight on top of the plate. Another pan filled with water placed on top of the plate may be used as weight. When you are ready to eat the pickles, wash the leaves and squeeze out the water. Cut leaves into 1/2" lengths.

Daikon tops, radish leaves, takana or mustard leaves. Follow the like nappa process described above. It is preferred not to use raisins or chilies for these spicy vegetables.

For cucumbers, they can be lightly peeled. Cut lengthwise in half and cut again 1/2" crosswise. Sprinkle with salt and massage and follow like nappa described above. Cut to desired size before serving.

Seeds for this recipe:
Nappa (Chinese Cabbage)
Radish Leaves
Mustard Leaves
Mizuna
Cucumber
Tunip Greens
Turnips

 
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Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin) print
recipe

Kabocha can be easily prepared to fully enjoy the flavor and texture of the winter squash. It can be served hot or cold depending on the time of year.

1 kabocha
Chicken broth or dashi
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

Cut kabocha in half and remove stringy portion and seeds. Peel any skin defects. Slice into chunks approximately 1 1/2" x 1 1/2". Place chunks with skin side down in a large pot. Add enough chicken broth or dashi to cover kabocha, add sugar and mirin. Cover with lid. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add soy sauce and continue to cook for 7-8 minutes or until a fork can penetrate the kabocha. Uncover the pan and remove from heat. Let the kabocha set awhile so the chicken broth/dashi gets absorbed.

Seeds for this recipe:
Ebisu, Wrinkled Skin or Other Favorite Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin)

 
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Roasted Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin) print
recipe

This recipe is so simple and delicious you can hardly wait for next summer to grow more kabocha.

1/2-1 kabocha (depending on size of kabocha and servings needed)
Olive Oil
Salt

Heat oven to 475°F. Cut kabocha in half and remove stringy portion and seeds. Peel any skin defects. Slice into chunks approximately 1 inch x 1 inch. Place chunks of kabocha in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste. Occasionally, toss kabocha to prevent burning. Roast for 15-20 minutes.

Seeds for this recipe:
Ebisu, Wrinkled Skin or Other Favorite Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin)

 
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Miso Su print
recipe

This is a miso dressing or dipping sauce that may be used on fresh or blanched vegetables. Experiment with different vegetables such as green onions (try them blanched), any green beans, asparagus, snow peas, yu choy, kailaan, etc.

2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup miso
Chile flakes, sesame seeds are optional for flavoring

Instead of using the vinegar and sugar ingredients, use the Basis Su you may already have prepared. Mix all the dressing ingredients until smooth. Add a little water to thin or to reduce the flavor if necessary. Miso Su can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Seeds for this recipe:
Green Onions
Green Beans
Snow Peas
Yu Choy Sum
Kailaan (Chinese Broccoli)

 
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Okazu print
recipe

This is a complete main dish to serve with rice and pickles. Here are a few kitchen garden recipes to add to your everyday menu.

Vegetable Okazu

Diced pork, beef or chicken (meat is used as flavoring and is optional)
Japanese eggplants, tomatoes, green peppers, green beans, onions, etc.
Soy sauce
Sugar

Brown meat and add cut tomatoes. Cut vegetables into large chuck sizes and add a little water so the stew will not burn. Bring to a boil and then simmer until desired doneness. Add a little soy sauce and sugar to taste.

Seeds for this recipe:
Japanese Eggplants
Tomatoes
Green Peppers
Green Beans
Onions

Chinese Cabbage Okazu

Diced pork, beef or chicken (meat is used as flavoring and is optional)
1 sliced onion
1 nappa
6 cut tomatoes
Sugar to taste

Brown meat and add sliced onions. Cut nappa into 1" slices. Add the white mid ribs first and then the leaf parts. Add tomatoes and a little water so the stew will not burn. Bring to a boil and then simmer until desired doneness. Add sugar to taste.

Seeds for this recipe:
Onions
Nappa (Chinese Cabbage)
Tomatoes

 
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Ponsu Sauce print
recipe

This uncomplicated citrus flavored dipping sauce can be used for salads, tempura vegetables, shabu-shabu, yosenabe and mizutaki.

1/2 cup yuzu or lemon juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
6 tablespoons chicken broth or dashi
2 tablespoons mirin

Combine all sauce ingredients. Try adding grated daikon (drained) to individual sauce dishes and pour Ponsu sauce over it. Serve at room temperature and store in the refrigerator.

Seeds for this recipe:
Grated Daikon (Daikon Oroshi) or
Hot radish

 
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Sakura Zuke or Cherry Blossom Pickle
Adapted from World Cuisine website.

Ingredients:

1 bunch Hinona Kabu red turnips
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Trim the top off the turnip to make a flat base. Place 2 pencils or other sticks on a cutting board to stop the knife from cutting all the way through the root. Place the turnip on its top (now a flat base) between the sticks. With a sharp knife, make 4 to 6 cuts the full length of the turnip ending carefully at the sticks. This way there will be a piece of turnip intact to hold it together. Turn the root 90° and make another 4 to 6 cuts, stopping at the sticks. Repeat this with all the turnips.

Put the cut turnips in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and lightly massage it in. Place a plate that is smaller than the diameter of the bowl on top of the radishes. Put a weight on top of the plate to force some of the liquid out. After 30 minutes remove the plate and drain the liquid.

Stir the vinegar and sugar together until dissolved, heating a little if necessary. Pour over the turnips and leave at least 8 hours or longer to marinate.

Drain well before serving. Use with green leaves as a garnish.

Seeds for this recipe:
Hinona Kabu Turnip

 
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Auntie Aki's Sanbai Zuke print
recipe

Crunchy and delicious Sanbai Zuke pickles. Auntie Aki has made this tsukemono for many years and we wanted to share this recipe with our customers. Try, and enjoy!

2 medium daikons (giant white radish)
1 small cabbage
4 small cucumbers
4 carrots
1 small package kiri konbu
1 small package dry renkon (lotus root)

Wash all vegetables thoroughly. Cut daikon, cabbage, cucumber, and carrots into small bite-size pieces. Salt vegetables. Place weight on top of vegetables and set over night. Next day, drain vegetables and squeeze water from vegetables. Set aside.

Soften kiri konbu by soaking in water. Cook dry renkon until tender yet crunchy. Cool renkon. Cut kiri konbu and renkon into small pieces. Add to vegetables.

Sauce:
4 cups sugar or (1 cup mirin + 3 cups sugar)
1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup white vinegar
Ginger (grated or sliced)
250 ml (1 cup) water
1-2 chili peppers

Combine sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar in sauce pan. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Add ginger and chili peppers. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Add vegetable mixture to sauce and let set for 1 hour, mix occasionally. Drain sauce (and save) from vegetable mixture. Bring the drained sauce to boil and cool slightly. Add the vegetable mixture to sauce. Do this process 2-3 times until vegetable mixture is to desired flavor. Place in sterilized jars. Refrigerate. Pickles are ready to eat in 3-5 days.

Seeds for this recipe:
Daikon (giant white radish)
Cucumbers
Carrots
Chili Peppers

 
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Sesame Seed Dressing for Steamed/Boiled Vegetables print
recipe

This nutty sesame dressing will complement almost any vegetable. Try growing sesame seeds in your garden!

A green vegetable such as spinach, watercress, komatsuna, misome, Chinese cabbage, green beans, etc.
2-4 tablespoons roasted and/or ground white, tan or black sesame seeds
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chicken broth or dashi

Combine all sauce ingredients and mix. Boil or steam vegetable until desired doneness. Strain vegetable and dash with cold water. Squeeze vegetable to release most of the water. Cut vegetable to desired size. Lightly dress vegetable with sesame dressing.

For green beans, sprinkle sugar on beans while hot so the sugar will dissolve. Sprinkle ground or whole roasted sesame seeds and add soy sauce to desired taste and toss.

Seeds for this recipe:
Sesame Seeds
Spinach
Watercress
Komatsuna
Misome
Nappa (Chinese Cabbage)
Green Beans

 
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Shabu-Shabu print
recipe

This is a hot-pot method of cooking derived from a Mongolian style. Shabu-shabu can be cooked at the stove or table using a cast iron pot or shabu-shabu ceramic pot. A favorite dish served during cold winter months. Enjoy cooking shabu-shabu together with family and guests.

Vegetables from your kitchen garden such as bunching onions, Chinese cabbage, chrysanthemum greens, spinach, mizuna, mustards, daikon, mushrooms, etc.
Very thinly sliced beef, small chucks of chicken, tofu and/or seafood
Chicken broth or water

Cut vegetables to desired size. Pour chicken broth or water (water will make a lighter broth from all the meats and vegetables being cooked) into cooking pot to cover the quantity of items being cooked. Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add meats, and cook until it is slightly done. Add vegetables and cook until desired. Dip meat and vegetables as you are eating them into the Ponsu sauce with grated daikon.

Seeds for this recipe:
Bunching Onions
Nappa (Chinese Cabbage)
Chrysanthemum Greens
Spinach
Mizuna
Mustard Leaves
Grated Daikon (Daikon Oroshi)

 
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Sunomono Salad print
recipe

Thinly slice any Japanese, Armenian or Thai cucumbers, Japanese eggplants, shiso leaves, red onions, green peppers, etc. Put in a large salad bowl. Lightly dress with Basic Su and toss.

Seeds for this recipe:
Cucumbers
Japanese Long Eggplants
Shiso (Perilla) Leaves
Shonan Red Onion
Japanese Sweet Green Peppers

 
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Suzuke print
recipe

Slice any one or two types of vegetables such as daikon radishes, red and small radishes, carrots, Japanese turnips, or just a red onion. Dress with Basic Su and serve in 1-2 hours. Keep leftovers marinated in the Basic Su (becomes almost pickled-like) and store in refrigerator.

Seeds for this recipe:
Daikon, Red, and Small Radishes
Carrots
Japanese Turnips
Shonan Red Onions

 
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Auntie Betty's Takuan Tsukemono print
recipe

Auntie Betty's takuan tsukemono is the best! The tsukemono is crunchy, salty, spicy, and sweet. Enjoy these pickles alone or along with your meal.

6 large Daikon (giant white radish)
1/3 cup salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp turmeric
Chile pepper (optional)

Wash daikon thoroughly and cut daikon into 1/2" x 1 1/2" pieces. Place in large pan for future mixing. Bring to boil salt, sugar, vinegar, and turmeric. Quickly pour this liquid over the cut daikon. Let stand 2-3 hours and mix occasionally. Pack daikon into a sterile glass jars. Pour remaining liquid in jars covering daikon. Add chili pepper (optional). Cover with lid. Refrigerate. This tsukemono is not intended for long keeping.

Seeds for this recipe:
Daikon (giant white radish)
Chile Pepper

 
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Winter Melon Soup print
recipe

A simple soup deliciously served during cold winter months. Winter melon is mild flavored with a crunchy melon texture.

Winter Melon
Diced beef, chicken or pork
Mushrooms, water chestnuts, green onions, carrots, etc.
Chicken broth
Egg (optional)
Seaweed (optional)

Cut winter melon in half and scoop out the stringy portion and seeds. Peel the skin and cut into large chunks. Slice mushrooms, water chestnuts, green onions, etc. Sauté ground or diced meat used for flavoring. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the melon and all the vegetable ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer 15-20 minutes until melon is tender. Add soy sauce to taste. You may add seaweed and/or a slightly beaten egg. Stir until it egg is cooked.

Seeds for this recipe:
Winter Melon
Green Onions
Carrots

 
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