3 “Inauthentic” Japanese Meals Recipes (easy, lazy, healthy)

"Okonomiyaki"

Adapted from One Meal A Day

Ingredients (2 Servings):

  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cabbage (~200g)
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour¹
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper
 

Toppings:

  • Okonomiyaki sauce (Homemade recipe from Just One Cookbook)
  • Bonito flakes
  • Aonori dried seaweed
 

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice cabbage and place them into a large bowl.
  2. Add eggs, flour, salt, and pepper to the cabbage and mix well.
  3. In a greased pan over low heat, add batter and flatten evenly with a spoon.
    Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until base is golden brown. Flip pancake and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. To serve, top pancakes with a thin layer of okonomiyaki sauce, followed by bonito flakes and aonori (dried seaweed).
 

Notes:

¹ Corn starch, potato starch, or all-purpose flour should work too.

Spicy Tuna Mayo Sushi

Ingredients (Makes 6 small rolls or 12 big rolls):

  • 1 can of tuna in water, drained
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 japanese cucumber
  • 3 nori sheets, halved¹
  • Hot sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 batch of cooked & seasoned sushi rice² (I used ~¾ US cup uncooked short-grain rice)
 

Directions:

Prepare ingredients:

  1. Add drained tuna into a small bowl. Mix in hot sauce and mayonnaise to taste.
  2. Halve an avocado. Remove the pit and skin. Slice thinly.
  3. Cut the cucumber to match the length your sushi rolls will be, then julienne.
 

To assemble:

  1. Lay a nori sheet, shiny side down. Wet your hands and add a handful of cooked rice to nori. Spread to a thin even layer.
  2. Sprinkle some sesame seeds.
  3. Add seasoned tuna, cucumbers, and avocado slices near the bottom of the nori sheet.
  4. Roll the sushi up firmly to keep the ingredients in place.
  5. Cut into bite-sized pieces and enjoy!
 

Notes: 

¹ I halved the nori sheets to make it easier to roll without a bamboo mat.

² Recipe from JustOneCookbook. I skip the soaking of rice on days where I have no time (add a tad more water). Experiment to see what works for you!

Lazy Miso Salmon

Adapted from Just One Cookbook

Ingredients (2 Servings):

  • 280g salmon
  • Roasted sesame seeds (garnish)
 

Seasoning:

  • 2 tsp miso
  • 1 tsp sake
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
 

Directions:

  1. Place salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Combine seasoning ingredients and mix well.
  3. Spread a thin layer of seasoning mixture evenly on salmon.
  4. Broil in the oven on medium heat setting for 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of fish. Medium heat allows the salmon to cook without burning the miso seasoning. Broil on high heat for an additional few minutes if you want a bit of browning on the surface of the salmon.
 

Notes:

  • Salmon can be marinated ahead if you prefer it to be more flavorful

Lazy Spinach Goma-ae

Adapted from No Recipes

Ingredients (2 Servings):

  • 170g spinach

Seasoning

  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp soy sauce
 

Directions:

  1. Place spinach in a large microwavable bowl and add a splash of water. Steam in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring midway through, until spinach has wilted.
  2. Drain, and also give spinach a little squeeze to get rid of as much liquid as you can.
  3. Cut the spinach into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add seasoning to spinach and mix well. Serve!
 

Notes:

  • Traditionally sesame seeds are ground into a sand-like texture for a better-tasting spinach goma-ae. Do that in a mortar and pestle or food processor if you have time.
  • Blanching the spinach and then cooling it in ice-cold water can help to retain color and improve texture of spinach. We prefer our spinach warm, so we skipped this step.

Lazy Miso Soup

Adapted from Just One Cookbook

Ingredients (2 Servings):

  • 400ml water
  • 150g tofu
  • 2 tbsp miso paste (I used white miso)
  • 1 tbsp dried wakame
  • Garnish: spring onions
 

Directions:

  1. Hydrate dried wakame in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.
  2. In a pot, heat water until simmering.
  3. Dissolve miso with the help of a strainer or dissolve the miso in a ladleful of soup.
  4. Add tofu and heat until soup is hot, but not boiling. Serve and add drained wakame to the miso soup. Garnish with spring onions.
 

Notes:

  • Traditionally dashi stock is used in place of water.

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