“Satsumaimo-no-lemon-ni (Japanese Sweet Potatoes Simmered with Lemon and Sugar)” is extremely easy and quick to make. It can be served hot or cold, as side dish or dessert. It lasts about 4-5 days in a fridge.
Ingredients: 2 small Satsumaimo (Japanese sweet potatoes), 1/2 lemon, sugar and water
- Slice sweet potatoes in 1cm thick. Peel off the lemon and slice them in 5mm thick. Put them in a pod.
- Pour water over them till they are just barely covered.
- Add 2 tbsp sugar, heat and simmer till soft.
- Leave them in a pot for a while to allow the taste of lemon and sugar go into the sweet potatoes.
*When you store them in a fridge, keep them with the lemon syrup left in the pod in a container with a lid.
Unohana is the very basic Japanese okara (soybean pulp) recipe. As it’s an edible by-product from tofu, eating okara is good for your health and the earth!
In the past, tofu shops give it to the customers for free. It’s no longer free in most shops, but still quite cheap.
1 bag (around 200g) of okara , 1/2 carrot, 4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms, a handful of shimeji mushrooms, 50g konnyaku (devil’s tongue), a small amount of scallion, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp mirin.
1. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in water until soft.
2. Cut carrot and konnyaku in strips. Slice shiitake mushrooms. Discard the base of shimeji mushrooms and separate them. Stir-fry these ingredients in a pan with vegetable oil.
3. Add okara in the pan and stir. Then add 2 cups of the water used to soak shiitake mushrooms and 3 tbsp soy sauce, 3 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp mirin. Cook until the liquid is gone and it looks like mashed potatoes.
4. Add some scallion, stir and remove the pan from the heat.
Can be stored about 2-3 days in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer.
It’s one of the basic Japanese side dishes that you can find in bento boxes.
Kinpira is named after the son of Kintaro, an extraordinarily strong foak hero, and gobo means burdock root. As you can imagine from its name, Kinpira Gobo is appreciated as a healthy and nutritious dish.
Cut 1/2 – 1 burdock root and 1 carrot into match box strips. Stir-fry them in a pan with sesame oil. Add 2 tbsp sake, 2 tbsp mirin, 1.5-2 tbsp soy sauce (pls adjust the amount of seasonings as you like!). Cook until the liquid is gone. Sprinkle sesame seeds and red pepper or shichimi pepper.
Can be stored about 2 days in the fridge and 1 month in the freezer.
We call batch cooking side dishes ‘jobisai’ in Japanese. Preparing several kinds of ‘jobisai’ helps save cooking time as well as achieving a well-balanced diet.
‘Kinpira’ is one of the basic jobisai recipes using root vegetables and ‘renkon’ means lotus root. It’s a simple, quick way to enjoy lotus roots in season.
1. Heat sesame oil in a pan and stir-fry thinly sliced lotus root.
2. Add sake, soy sauce and mirin in the pan and cook until it smells nice… I added two tablespoons of each ingredient but adjust the amount as you like – please enjoy finding the best balance of salty and sweet. If you don’t have mirin, substitute sugar or maple syrup.
3. Sprinkle sesame seeds and red pepper powder.
It can be stored for 2-3 days in the fridge and around 2 weeks in the freezer.