Japanese New Years Feast - 2

Healthy Japanese Miso Soup 
雑煮 Zouni, Rice Cake Soup

Zoni (雑煮) literally means stew with many different ingredients.
It’s a traditional food for Japanese New Year.

 There are so many kinds of zoni.  People in different region make different style Zoni. 

Zoni, mochi(sticky rice cake) in soup, is a must in new years feast, however, people in some region eat grilled mochi. 

Tokyo style is a clear fish consomme soup with chicken, kamaboko(fish cake), komatsuna(green vegetable), shitake mushroom, Yuzu lemon peal and mochi.

Kyoto style is white miso soup with Kyotoks traditional vegetales such as Kyo ninjin (dark red carrot), Shogoin daikon (large turnip), Ebiimo (taro potato), and mochi, and put dried bonito flakes on top. 

I made my original Zoni this year.
It’s a miso soup like Kyoto style but I made with beef fillet mignion.

Japanese taro potato
Seri (green wild vegetable)
mochi (millet and sticky rice)
bonito powder
white miso (soy bean paste)

Japanese New Year’s Feast ー お節料理

Healthy Japanese Food

Japanese New Year’s Feast

Celebrating new year is the most important event for Japanese people.

Visit parents, family gather, and eat special feast like Thanksgiving and. Christmas.

Traditional foods for new year are Kuromame(sweetened black soybean), Datemaki(rolled egg omlette), Gomame(small sardine) Kurikinton(sweetened chestnut), Kamaboko(steamed fish cake),, Kazunoko(herring eggs), Namasu(pickled turnip, carrot, and dried persimmon), Subasu(sour lotus), Kobumaki(rolled Kobu seaweed), Nishime(bamboo shoot, carrot, burdock, vegetables)fish, shrimp, and more. 

Usually put all dishes in Jubako, three layered boxes and put on a dinner table that the family can serve food by themselves.

There are varieties of ingredients. You can cook less fat, less salt, and less sugar at home today.  Some people eat Chinese style Osechi and others eat western style Osechi.  

The family must drink Toso(herbal non-alcohol sake) before start eating food to thank and wish for new year.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, I stayed home alone and didn’t prepare many dishes.   No food in Jubako boxes. 

My new years dishes for 2021 is very simple.



Edible Wild Plants in Japanese Cuisine

Eating spring wild plants to maintain your health

Eating super sprouts became popular among the world today. Edible wild sprouts and buds are really “super sprouts”.

April is springtime in Japan. Japanese people have habit of eating wild buds and sprouts in springtime. 

People in everywhere used to go pick edible wild plants in the field, forest, or mountain. They could even find some in their own gardens. We hardly can find them in the big cities today.

They had learned from ancestors that spring wild buds and sprouts are high in nutrient. They will strengthen the body to prevent sickness and overcome the heat of summer. 

Most common spring wild plants are bamboo shoot (Takenoko), butterbur sprout (Fukinotou), cod sprout (Taranome), ostrich fern (Kogomi), and horsetail buds (Tsukushi)
Some of them taste sharp, bitter, pungent, or astringent. It’s hard to describe. 

There are many homestyle cooking recipes. Tempura is very popular. You can also eat in Kaiseki.

Butterbur sprouts and cod sprouts frits (right)
fresh bamboo shoots cooked with bonito flakes and pickled plum sauce (left)


Smoked Duck Liver (foie gras) from Hokkaido

Happy Mother's Day!
Smoked Foie Gras Terrine with Black Truffle Paste and Baby Fennel Salad with Rose Wine Dressing

The foie gras terrine contains brandy and port wine.  It has rich taste as smoked with cherry chips.  

Spicy cherry taste of Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella goes well with the dish.   


Smoke Chicken and Kumquat Salad 金柑

Kumquat Salad 

Smoke Chicken Leg
Fresh Kumquat
Dressing (Vinegar,Vegetable Oil,Salt,Orange juice)

Kumquat  金柑 is ever green shrub with very small fruits and leaves.  They look like Bonsai盆栽.  They are widely grown in China, Taiwan, Japan, and other Asian countries.  The fruits can be eaten from January to April.  Kumquat has a lot of seeds and the fruit is tastes sour.  Usually eaten with peel which is sweet and tangy.  Fresh kumquat peel has been eaten to help stop coughing and also to prevent catching cold.  Japanese new year's feast "Osechi お節料理" must include kumquat.  Kumquat symbolize good fortune so Chinese people love to grow them in their garden.


Cranberry Cocktail for Christmas and New Year

This is non alcohol healthy cranberry drink

Cranberry juice
Sparkling mineral water
fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
sliced appl
cinammon stick

Cranberries are one of the healthiest food.  It's a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene, 
The research shows anti-cancer benefits, digestive tract benefits.  Also, antioxidants and phytonutrients in cranberries help prevent stroke and cardiovascular disease.  Helps prevent and treat urinary tract infection, and also prevents forming plaques on teeth.


Anti-aging Fruits Salad

Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad with Persimon Dressing

Ingredients for salad:

fresh mozzarella cheese
prosciutto ham
cresson or arugula
butter lettuce
thinly sliced red onion 

Ingredients for persimmon dressing:
ripe soft persimmon
white balsamic vinegar
olive oil and safflower oil

Persimmon contains a good amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients.  These nutrients neutralize free radicals to help slow down aging.  Persimmon is also rich in fiber that helps prevent constipation.


15minutes cooking: Codfish cheeks

Codfish cheeks in garlic butter(olive oil) sauce

Simple and delicious!
Matchs well with Chardonnay wine


codfish cheeks
white pepper
thin sliced garlics
white wine
butter (or replace with olive oil)
(Herbs de Province or curry powder)

fresh tomatoes

Put salt and pepper on the fish.  
Heat the pan and melt the butter.
Put thinly sliced garlic.  Cook the fish cheeks with medium heat until well done.  Take out the garlic slices when they brown.  Put the white wine, put the garlics back, and flip over the cheeks.  Add some herbs de Province or curry powder if you prefer.  

Codfish is not very high nutrient compared to some other fish, however it is very low in saturate fat, high protein, a good source of  potassium, niacin, phosphorus, serenium, and vitamin B12


Afternoon Champaign Instead of Afternoon Tea

Tea Time on Mother's Day

To celebrate Mother's Day, we had champaign instead of tea.

Some Champaign match strawberries and crispy buttery pie.

Strawberry rhubarb paste and passion fruit cream mille feuille pie

Strawberry rhubarb and passion cream mouse topped with 

Ham, egg,and potato salad sandwich 

Fresh mango slices, edible carnations, and bing cherries


Japanese Bamboo Shoot Dish, A Good Appetizer for Sake(rice wine)

Japanese Pepper Miso Sauce and Bamboo shoot: Kinomeae

The word "Kinome木の芽" in Japanese cuisine is new bud of Japanese pepper which sprout in spring.  

 Bamboo shoot on the left side and Ainame sashimi(raw fish) on the right 

Kinome Miso Sauce:
Grind Japanese pepper leaves.
Add shiro miso(white sweet soy bean paste) and dashi(soup stock)

Bamboo shoots:
Cook diced or small pieces of boiled bamboo shoot in dashi( soup stock) for 10 to 15 minutes.
Put in miso sauce and mix well.
Seve on a plate.

Also mixed fresh Ainame(greenling) sashimi(raw fish) with the same sauce. 

Steamed Rice with Bamboo Shoot

Bamboo Shoot: healthy vegetarian Japanese dish

Thinly sliced boiled fresh bamboo shoot 筍
Japanese rice 白米
soup stock(dried bonito fish 鰹節)
sea weed 昆布 soup stock for vegan
sake rice wine 日本酒
salt 塩
 a little bit of soy sauce 醤油
Japanese pepper leaves 山椒

Bamboo shoots are consumed in many Asian countries.  There are various kinds of bamboo shoots.  They are harvested in April and May in Japan.  Usually, Japanese shoots have very bitter acrid taste and hard texture.  

孟宗竹 Phyllostachys edulis

Bamboo shoots have no cholesterol.
Contains good amount of potassium which helps reduce high blood pressure
High in dietary fiber
Low calorie         


Healthy Vegetarian Dish for Chinese New Year

 Buddha's Delight  Jai(羅漢齋luo han zhai)

羅漢齋 Luo Han Zhai is popular in Chinese restaurants in Hawaii.  They call it "Jai"

Buddha's Delight羅漢齋 is a traditional dish eaten on the first day of Chinese  Lunar New Year.  This vegetarian food is originally Buddhist monk's dish.  

All dried ingredients (except kobu) should be soaked in water for a few hours and drained before cooking.  Stir fry the ginger in vegetable oil, then add all the ingredients.  Put 1 table spoon of sesame oil just before turning off the heat to add the flavor if preferred.   

ginko nuts 白果
bamboo shoots 竹笋
baby corns 玉米笋
carrots 紅萝卜
water chestnuts 馬蹄
straw mushrooms 草菇
dried shiitake mushrooms 香菇
dried black moss 髮菜 
dried lily buds 金针菜
dried bean curd 枝竹
black fungus 木耳 
fried tofu(bean curd) 豆腐泡
wheat glutens 面筋
shredded napa cabbage 白菜
mung bean noodles 粉丝

Ingredients for seasoning:
sliced ginger 姜
soy sauce 生抽
salt 鹽
shiitake mushroom's soaking water
kobu sea weed 海帶
Chinese rice wine 绍兴酒
sugar 糖
red fermented bean curd 南乳 
sesame oil 芝麻油



Apple Pancakes for Christmas Brunch

Pancakes with Sautéed Fuji Apple  and Mascarpone Cheese

Christian Drouin's Cidre Bouche Brut de Normandie for drink  matches the pancakes.


Fuji apple  
Maple syrup
mascarpone cream cheese
walnut or peacan

Saute slices of Fuji apples with butter and brandy or calvados
Pour maple syrup on the pancakes
Put mascarpone and walnut on the top



How to roast tender and juicy turkey

Roast Turkey 烤火雞(吐绶鸡)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Heat the oven temperature to 220℃(428°F).  

Put the turkey in the oven and roast until the skin becomes light brown.

Reduce the oven temperature to 160℃(320°F).  Roast until inside is done.  

Recommend to cook the turkey dressing separately.  If you put the stuffing inside, it will take longer time to cook and the turkey meet will become dry and hard.  Instead of the bread stuffing, put some cloves of garlics, chopped onion, some slices of fruits(apple, lemon, orange), thyme, bay leaves, and parsley which give nice aroma and keep the turkey's moist.

Do not slice the turkey immediately after taking out from the oven. Let it cool down a little.  All the juice will go out from the meet when it's very hot.



Hawaiian Dish: Lomilomi Salmon Tokyo Style

Lomilomi Salmon and Kona Beer

Lomilomi salmon is a famous Hawaiian dish.  The word lomilomi is originally used as spiritual Hawaiian massage.  It means to press, knead, rub, or squeeze.  The dish was named lomilomi salmon because all ingredients are gently combined with hands like lomilomi .

Cure fresh clean salmon fillet with sea salt and sushi vinegar(sweetened rice vinegar) for 24 hour to 3 days.  Rince the salmi and dry well.   Cut into small dices.  Also cut tomatoes,  sweet onion, and avocado into small dices. Chop green onions and cilantro.  Add salt, chili pepper, and olive oil.  Put all in a bowl and mix together.  Chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Salmon contains lower level of mercury and dioxin than other fish.  Salmon has a good amount of omega 3 which is good for heart.  Omega 3 also helps reduce symptoms of depression.  


Anti-oxidant vegetable and ravioli

Apple and Radicchio with Truffle Cheese Ravioli 

Truffle Cheese Ravioli (or any other ravioli)
Clove of garlic
Mascarpone cheese (or fresh cream) 
Dill or Italian parsley on top 

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan with medium heat.  
Stir fry chopped garlic, add thinly sliced apple and walnuts.  
Do not cook until apples are transparent and soft.  
Add white wine.  
Put arugula and radicchio in the pan.  
Add salt and pepper. 
Put boiled ravioli when vegetables are half cooked and stir.   
Add mascarpone cheese.  
Stir and mix all together.    
Turn off the heat immediately before vegetables are cooked. 

Radicchio is a red leaf chicory.  It has spicy bitter taste.  Radicchio is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and fat free.The red color of radicchio contains good amount of anthocyanin.  Anthocyanin is flavonoid, the powerful antioxidants.


Tuna Sashimi Salad

Fresh Tuna Salad and Dry Rose Wine

 鮪サラダ 日本語版は、yahooブログでご覧下さい。

Marinate diced fresh tuna(sashimi) with ponzu(soy sauce dressing).

Mix mayonnaise, Dijon mustard(seed style), white balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, chopped sweet onion, broccoli super sprout.

Mix with tuna and serve on a plate.  Put freshly ground pepper on top of the salad before eating.

Tuna contains good amount of DHA,  EPA, vitamin D, and other nutrients.   Broccoli super sprouts may help fighting aging and also has much more  cancer fighting benefit than broccoli alone, according to Johns Hopkins' research.



Lambrusco Orange Cocktail

Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro


The Lambrusco produced in Grasparossa di Castelvetro 

Modena is sweet Italian red sparkling wine which is dark red 

color, full bodied, and tannic.

The secco (dry style) matches light meals such as salami, 

sausage, cheese, and pasta.  

The sweet style tastes good with tacos, chili bean, and spicy 

meat dishes. 

Orange juice cocktail is a soothing drink for daytime and 


It's very easy to make.

1.  Fill one third of the wine glass with fresh orange juice. 

2.  Pour Lambrusco into theglass.  Put some ice cubes 

and a slice of orange into the glass. 


Apple Croissant Sandwich

It's So Easy To Make Apple Sandwiches

Why don't you try it instead of baking an apple pie!

Heat Croissants until crispy outside
Slice a fresh apple into thin slices
(Add cinnamon powder if you prefer)

Now is apple season in Japan.  Fuji apples are very sweet and crunchy.  Jonna Gold, Mutsu, Tsugaru are also very popular.  Kougyoku, the sour apples are mostly for baked apples and apple pie filling.  Sekai Ichi(which translates into the world's number one apples) are the huge red apples.  It means the world's number one.  They are approximately 12 - 18 inches and weighing over 2 lbs, the largest of all Japanese apples.  

Apple with skin contains antioxidant nutrients, flavonoids and polyphenols.  Also, there is a fair amount of Vitamin C and beta carotene and some potassium, calcium, and other minerals.  Apple is fat -free, cholesterol free, and good source of fiber.  


Shiba Shrimps and Fruits Salad

Seafood Salad  

Healthy food:  Shiba Shrimps and Fruits

Shrimps are considered as one of the healthiest foods today.

Some people avoid eating shrimps because of high cholestrol content.  However, shrimps contain good amount of omega3 fats.

It is high in protein and cargohydrate-free.  Also, contain fair amount of Vitamin B12, Vitamin B3, selenium(lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes), calcium, zinc, astaxanthin(anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient), and other nutrients. 

Shiba shrimp is Japanese name.  They are consumed in many Asian countries.  
Japanese shiba shrimps are smaller and taste sweet.  Usually 1 to 2 inches long.
It doesn't have stripes like tiger shrimp.  

Boiled Shiba shrimps
Pink grapefruits pulps 
Delaware grapes(petite size, light purple, seedless grapes very common in Jaoan, easy to get rid of the skin)
Red onion
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice
White balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper


Wild Rice Salad

  Wild Rice Salad for Balanced Diet

The vegetables in this salad are colors of Wu Xing, Chinese philosophy called Five Elements(Wu Xing), which are white, black, green, red, and yellow. For example, lung relates to white, kidney to black,  liver to green, heart to red, spleen to yellow.  Keeping the balance of Wu Xing Five Elements is important for your health.  Vegetables can be related to Five Elements.  Eating all colors of vegetables may help you get more varieties of nutrition even you don't know the nutritional facts of each vegetables.        

Extra virgin olive oil
Finely chopped garlic 
Diced eggplants, bell peppers, and zucchini, 
Cooked wild rice
Belgian endive
balsamic vinegar

Stir fry garlic in oil with low heat.  Fry the vegetables with medium heat.  Salt them.  Add wild rice, and just a few drops of balsamic vinegar 

Wild rice is high in protein and low in fat.  Contains minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and manganese.  Also, provides Vitamin B, niacin, riboflavin, and folate.  It is also a good dietary fiber.


Sudachi Lemon in White Sparkling Wine

Simple Cocktail: Frizzante and Sudachi Lemon

Sudachi is Japanese green lemon which is tiny and more zesty than lemon.  Usually it's used to make cocktails, ponzu soy sauce,  or simply squeeze the juice on Tempura or grilled fish.  It's tasty with grilled Shitake mushrooms.  Japanese people enjoy Matstake mushroom dishes with sudachi lemon.  The health benefits include vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and other minerals. 

Frizzante is a slightly sparkling Italian wine.

The aroma of the citrus makes Chardonnay wine very refreshing.   Avoid squeezing the juice directly into the wine unless you desire the sour taste in wine.