the appetizer:

Some Western culinary influences in Japan, including Portugal (tempura) and the Americas (teppanyaki), have been so integrated into Japanese cooking, it is difficult to differentiate them from more traditional Japanese cuisine like sushi and kaiseki. Standard Japanese meals usually include rice, soup, pickles and an entree, like fish or vegetables.

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Tori No Mizutaki

1 lb chicken drumsticks chopped into 1-inch pieces
    (Use cleaver or heavy knife)
1 lb tofu, pressed and drained, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bundle watercress
1 Chinese cabbage, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups shirataki (or substitute bean vermicelli,
    available at your nearest Chinese grocery store)
2 cups spring onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced diagonally
8 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water (Keep this water.)
1 2 inch x 6 inch kombu seaweed, or
    2 tsp. dashi powder (not for purists)

Dipping sauce

1 cup Kikkoman soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 lemon


Add 1 inch of water to a 12-inch table-top skillet (electric or gas, whatever is available). Add the kombu and boil. Just before it starts to actually boil, remove the kombu. If you are using dashi powder, add it now. If you soaked the shiitake mushrooms, dump that water in here, too. Anyway, just put whatever you want to eat in the water to cook it until ready. Serve with dipping sauce (just mix what's shown above) and lots of steamed rice. It will make you very warm.

If you have the luxury of obtaining shichimi togarashi, sprinkle in a bit for added flavour.

When you are finished, dump some rice into the remaining water and cook gently to make congee. It's good in the morning.

Copyright (c) Ken Iisaka. May be distributed freely provided this copyright notice is not removed.



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This page modified January 2007