Category Archives: Japanese

Okara with Chicken and Vegetables

Okara is the soy bean residue from making tofu (bean cake). It is usually available at tofu shops. Okara itself is an excellent ingredient used as an extender for making meat loves or hamburger patties. Highly nutritious and uses what might ordinarily be wasted.

2 cups okara (soy bean residue)
⅓ cup boneless chicken meat, chopped
2 dried mushrooms (shiitake, stems removed, soaked in ½ cup warm water for 15 minutes, squeezed dry and chopped
¼ cup fresh string beans, diced
1 medium size carrot, cut short like matchsticks
1 Tablespoon soy sauce (Japanese shoyu)
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
dashes MSG (optional)
1 Tablespoon oil for frying
2 green onions, chopped

Save mushrooms soaking water and add it to saucepans along with ingredients. Cook over low heat for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally so contents will not scorch. Set aside. Heat a frying pan and add oil. Add okara. Stir so it will not burn. Add cooked mixture. Cook about 4 minutes more on low heat until well heated throughout. Stir constantly to prevent bringing. Taste and adjust seasonings, if desired. Add chopped green onions just before removing from heat. Mix together.

Serves 6

©️ Shufunotomo Co., Ltd. Japan 1974

Gleaming Jewels

Top of stove

This glistening “gelatin-type” dessert is light, tasty and a different approach from the usual Japanese sweets. It sets at room temperature and is entirely unusual in texture from Western style jelled desserts. There is an extra bonus in this creation. Agar agar is seaweed and tasteless by itself. Highly nutritious and has advantage of “holding up” even on a moderately warm day where regular gelatin would melt.

2 long sticks red agar agar (Japanese kanten) this amount equal to ½ ounce agar agar
3 cups water
1 ⅓ cups sugar
dash salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup crushed canned pineapple packed in heavy sweet syrup or canned mandarin oranges, juice combined with fruit and measured together.

Wash and squeeze agar agar in a bowl with lots of cold water to remove any sediment. Rinse and remove all water by squeezing agar agar. Some red coloring will be lost in this rinsing process. Place agar agar in sauce pan. Add 3 cups water. Soak 30 minutes. Then cook over medium heat. Stir until agar agar is dissolved. Add sugar and salt. Stir again. Strain through a fine sieve into a 9 inch square pan. Add lemon juice. Stir again. After 15 minutes add fruit. When set, cut into desired shapes.

©Shufunotomo Co., Ltd. Japan 1974

Steamed Egg Custard with Vegetables (Chawan-mushi)

Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
To serve 4

You will need

4 eggs
1 1/8 pints stock
2 teaspoons mirin (See Card No. 20)
1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
3 oz. very thinly sliced chicken
4 dried shiitake (dried Japanese mushroom) or canned mushrooms
4 prawns
4 oz. white fish
1/2 teaspoon sake (Japanese rice wine) (see Card No. 20)
4 green beans

Beat the eggs well, add stock, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon mirin, 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce and 1/4 teaspoon monosodium glutamate. Strain into a basin. Put chicken on to a plate, add 1 teaspoon mirin and 1 teaspoon soy sauce and leave for 5 minutes. Soak shiitake in water till soft, then drain, if mushrooms are used, slice thinly. Peel and devein the prawns and cut in half. Shred the fish and sprinkle with the sake and a little salt. Slice the green beans thinly in a slanting direction. Cook in boiling water and drain. Divide the chicken shiitake, prawns, fish and green beans equally between 4 fireproof dishes. Pour the egg mixture over, cover with greased paper and steam until custard has set (about 20 minutes).

Note This is a hot dish in which chicken, shiitake, green beans, fish, prawns, etc. are steamed together in an egg mixture. It can be made from canned crab meat only with the egg mixture. Also, instead of steaming each serving separately, it can all be put in a casserole together and baked in the oven as a baked custard.

© Shufunotomo Co., Ltd., Japan 1968 English text © Shufunotomo Co., Ltd., Japan 1968