お茶漬け- (Ochazuke)- Green tea soup
One packet, a bowl of rice and hot water- voila! Instant delicious soups. These packets come in variety packs, with flavors such as salmon, pickled plum and wasabi. All you have to do is make some rice, put that rice in a bowl, put the contents of the packet on the rice and pour hot water over it. This is by far my favorite quick soup. Enjoy!
Stir Fry packets
The packets for making stir fry are great resources: grab one, the ingredients they list, and get going. It`s very easy and quick to make. There are pictures on the ingredients and directions list, so they`re friendly for the non-Japanese speaking chef. There are so many options and they`re all great. I recommend the mabo nasu (a spicy eggplant stir fry). J
It helps to read a little Japanese, but you can approximate amounts if you can’t. For example, for the mabo nasu packet, you can see from the pictures that it calls for carrot, onion, peppers and eggplant.
Easy Tofu Tuna salad
Canned tuna (“In water“ is better than “in oil”)
Goma (sesame seed) dressing
Make a bed of sprouts and spinach on your plate. Spread the tuna over the greens, then put the tofu (as much as you like, sliced or in a large slab) on top of the tuna. Cover with goma dressing, and garnish with some sprouts on top to be fancy.
* Want to make it more Japanese? Sprinkle plain cornflakes over the salad!
* Delicious additions: walnuts, raisins, daikon sprouts (gives it a spicy kick)
豚キムチ(Buta Kimchi) -Pork Kimchi
A spicy (or sweet, depending on the kimchi) meat and veggie filled dish. Goes great on rice, by itself and even between bread as a sandwich.
Pork (豚) (thin slices)
Bean sprouts 1 bag
Bell peppers (thinly sliced) 4-5
Onion (thinly sliced) 1/2
Kimchi with liquid (chop coarsely) 1 container
Sesame oil (ごま油)
On medium heat, add a little oil (olive or veggie) to a large pan. Lightly fry the onions then add the meat and brown it. After the meat is browned, put the kimchi on top of the meat and cover it with the peppers and bean sprouts. Add a little water to the pan, cover it with a lid and let it steam. Once the peppers have steamed to be as soft as you like, take the lid off and let the water mostly boil off. Add a little sesame seed oil and stir well. Turn off the heat, add a little soy sauce, mix again and you`re done!
* Add garlic and ginger as you like
* Sprinkle sesame seeds or thinly sliced scallions on top for garnish (and taste!)
* Drizzle a little mayo over the top (Japanese version)
* For sandwiches, put some buta kimchi between two pieces of bread, a slice of cheese on top and melt it lightly in the microwave or toaster. Yum.^^
Learn to love the easiness of this dish. Before I came to Japan I had a deep dislike for mayo and potato salad. Since my first time in Japan I`ve learned that not only do I like their mayonnaise but I also like potato salad! This is a versatile, easy to make dish.
Potatoes (boil and cut up)
Onions (if you want)
Ham (cut up)
Cucumbers (slice thin)
Salt & black pepper
Mix together and enjoy! Put as much or as little of each ingredient as you like. Put in small containers and keep as a side dish for dinners or take it for lunch.
* add cumin and some sesame seeds for a little splash of flavor
* add lemon juice or mustard for a little tang
* lightly splash the cucumbers in some apple vinegar then drain for a nice bite
* Possible additions: boiled eggs (protein!), olives, red onion, pasta, crab (or any other meat), bell peppers, almonds (cut up), celery, pickles (sometimes pickled daikon works, but not always. Choose your pickled veggie carefully!)
I've often been told that this is a Japanese soul food. A meat and potato dish, it`s good for summer and winter alike. Some recipes will include somen noodles, while others don`t. Add or not as you like.
I've only made this once before with a friend so I`m not too clear on the instructions, but these are two very helpful sites that will teach you how to make this simple dish:
Cooking with Dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj-hgpUn0bQ
Japan Food Addict: http://www.japanfoodaddict.com/beef/nikujyaga/