U no hana (Okara dish) – it’s really good for you

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“U no hana” is one of the famous dish we make from Okara or soy pulp.
Okara consists insoluble parts or the soybean which remains after pureed soybeans are filtered in soy milk production.
It has good nutrition in it and it is really good for you.
(My mum often said “Eat a lot, it’s good for you”)

When you make soy milk or tofu by yourself (click here how to make tofu from scratch),
you instantly get this okara.

Here is how to make U no hana with simple ingredients.
Ingredients : Okara, spring onion, carrot fried tofu. Dashi
Seasoning : Mirin, soy sauce, sugar (option)

Cut spring onions.
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Place oil in the pan and heat it.
Cook the spring onion, white part first.

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While cooking it, grate a carrot.
Add the grated carrot and the rest of the spring onion.
Also add cut fried tofu.
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And stir it well.
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Pour Dashi soup.
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And Mirin. If you like sweet one, add sugar as well.
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Soy sauce as well. Then cook it.
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Once it is cooked, add Okara
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Then mix it well.
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My mum add cheese as well to make it nice texture.

Serve.
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Mayonnaise topping is also yummy.
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Making Tofu from scratch

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It is always fun to make something from scratch.
Tofu is not that difficult to make. Would you like to try?

By the way, I’m always wondering, why the tofu from shop last so long?
When you make it by yourself, it last only a few days.
This one from organic shop for example, until April. Come on, that is more than 2 months away!

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When you make something by yourself, you can see what’s in it. That’s really good, isn’t it?
For making tofu, ingredients are very simple.
Soy beans, water and bittern.

First what you need to do is making soy milk with soy beans and water.

Soak soybeans in the water over night.
Mix the soaked soybeans and water in the mixer.
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Until it become like this. Smooth & milky.
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While you are mixing above, prepare water in the pot and heat it up.
Then pour soybeans mixture into the hot water.
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Then cook it with mid to high heat for 10 min.
High heat is better.
We want to make thick soy milk. Not the light one.
Keep stirring it.
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After 10 min, put them through a very fine sieve.
I use bowl, strainer and clean cloth (Tenugui)
Make sure you place a big enough bowl under the strainer,
because all the soy milk comes to the bowl.
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Be careful, it’s hot!
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Can you see? This is the pure soy milk! Your home made fresh soy milk!
Simple soy milk. No sugar, no oil added. Yummy.

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A great spin-off from making soy milk is inside of the cloth.
We call this “Okara” – soy pulp.

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We can make yummy dishes out of this. Do you want to know how to cook this? Click here.
So don’t throw this “Okara” away. It is full of fiber, really good for you. It’s taste of mum’s home dish.

Well well well.
Making soy milk is the first step.
Next step is making tofu from this soy milk! Exciting.

Put back the soy milk into the pot and heat it up to 75-80℃.
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Now you need bittern or “Nigari” – left over after the crystallization of seawater or brine.
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You can find it in Japanese glossary store. Ask for “Nigari”

Pour bittern into soy milk,
and stir it one way once, and the other way once.
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Leave it for 5 min. with lid on.
Then you see funny things like this in the pot!
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That’s Tofu!!

You can put them on the strainer (to get rid of liquid) or use frame to make nice shape.

Again, bowl, strainer and clean cloth (tenugui)

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This soft tofu can be served like this. Simply with spring onion and good soy sauce.
You can enjoy the sweetness from soybeans.
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Or, make nice shape with frame.
But I don’t have proper frame, so I make shape with cloth, just fold it nicely.
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Now I need weight.
I put a little bento box on the wrapped tofu, and put tins on it.
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Leave it for 15 min.
Then open the cloth!
This is firmed tofu! Isn’t it amazing?
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Cool it by placing in the cold water for one hour.
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Cut nicely and serve.

“Hiya yakko”(冷や奴)is good for summer.
If you like, you can put bonito flakes on top!
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In winter, Yudo-fu(湯豆腐)is nice, too.
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Mabo do-fu is yummy, too!
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Hope you enjoy making tofu from scratch!

Japanese home cooking workshop (Vegetarian & Gluten Free)

Chris and Anna,
thank you for coming to my Japanese home cooking workshop.
It was full of laughs.
This workshop was for Vegetarian and Gluten free food! We used Tamari soy sauce for all dishes.

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Demonstration of making rolled egg.
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Let’s try!
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Cutting pumpkins for simmered dish.
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Preparing Vinegary miso sauce (sumiso) with a bowl called suribahci!
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We made 5 dishes today. Kampai with Japanese sake.

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Thank you for coming to my class.

If you have interests trying Japanese home cooking,
you can cook with me.
Please contact us.

Side menu – Spinach dressed with sesame sauce

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This is a typical Japanese side menu.
You can often find it at diners which serve set menus (Teishoku-ya 定食屋さん).
You can also find it in lunch box (Bento box) quite often.

Since this is easy to make, but nutrition rich,
every time I buy spinach, I cook this.

Here is how I prepare it.

Put a pot over the fire.
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While waiting water is boiled, prepare spinach.
Wash them well, and make a cut into the roots.
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Just like this.
This cuts makes to cook spinach easier.
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Once water is boiled…
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Put the spinach into the pot, but from root side. Hold like this for few seconds.
Root side need to be cooked longer than leaf side.
Then put all the part and cook it.
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Once it cooked, take the spinach from the pot and put it into the cold water.
It stops over cooked. Also keeps nice green colour.
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Then place then on a colander.
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Now prepare sesame sauce.
This is the mixture of sesame seed, Mirin and soy saucae.
If you like sweet one, you can add a little bit of suger.
Using a suribachi, grind sesame seeds. Then mix them with mirin and soy sauce.
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This is the beautiful part of this cooking.
While grinding sesame seeds, you can enjoy nice feeling and sounds of grinding as well as beautiful smell of freshly grinding sesame seeds. I love this moment.

Now, drain the water of spinach, softly and nicely by hands.
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Cut the spinach into 3-4cm, them mix with the dressing you have just made.
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Done!
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This is a typical Japanese side menu,
but you can also have this a bit with your western plates. It goes well.
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Enjoy on your way.

Sautéed asparagus with Shio-Koji

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How easy!
5 min will bring you a juicy asparagus dish.
One of my favorite dish with Australian vegetable.

Here is easy steps.

Step 1.
Heat olive oil in the pan and place cut asparagus.
Leave asparagus as it is until the surface gets lightly burnt.
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Step 2.
Once it gets lightly burnt, pour some water to make it steamed.
Add shio-koji at this point, then put lid on.

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Step 3.
When it steamed nicely, sprinkle black pepper on it.
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Step 4.
Serve on a plate and enjoy !!
You will surprise how juicy it is!!
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Quick cucumber Shio-koji pickles

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Simple taste of cucumber and ginger.
Quick salad taste pickles made with Shio koji.
When you feel like one more vegetable side dish, you can try this.
Less than 5 mins and ready to go.

Slice cucumber.
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Put them into container.
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Slice ginger.
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Add the ginger.
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Add Shio-Koji, then mix well.

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Alternatively, you can use plastic bag to mix all vegetable.

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That’s it. Easy and quick preparation!!

You can eat it straight away, or you can leave it overnight.
You can find the different taste!!

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Shio-Koji Daikon Steak !

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This is really good.
If you have Shio-Koji, please try.
Daikon(White radish) become so sweet and so juicy in just few steps.
It might be my favorite Daikon dish.

Step 1: Cut Daikon.
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I used only upper part, because this part is sweeter than lower part.
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Cut into about 2cm – 3 cm.
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Step 2: Steam them first.
If you have steamer, you can use it.
I don’t have it, so I used normal pan with bit of water.
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Step 3 : Prepare marinade sauce. Only 2 ingredients.
Shio-Koji & Soy Sauce.

Shio-Koji (2 table spoons)
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Add soy sauce (2 tea spoons)
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Then mix well.
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Step 4 : Marinade Daikon with this shio-koji soy sauce.

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Step 5 : Pan grill them!!

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For both side until it become golden.
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That’s all. Easy huh?
It’s worth trying. Really yummy. Hope you enjoy this Daikon Steak!!
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