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Japanese Home Cooking RECIPE COLLECTION

If you’ve ever lived in Japan, you’ll know that authentic Japanese home cooking is more delicious than what’s served in any restaurant, but you’ll seldom get a chance to try these homely dishes if you don’t live with a Japanese family. These recipes were taught to me by Japanese friends and relatives, and have become my family favorites too. Enjoy!

Click on the photo to get the recipe

Tasty Ginger Pork

Shogayaki simmered pork and onions over rice

This is shōgayaki, one of the fastest and easiest Japanese meals my Japanese friends taught me how to cook. This dish is fast, easy, and will make your kitchen smell delicious!

Savory Japanese Beef & Vegetables
Niku-jaga Curry Rice

Niku-jaga and niku-jaga curry rice

The great secret about niku-jaga, the classic Japanese mom comfort food, is that it’s a two-night delight! The first night, you serve the tender beef, potatoes and vegetables simmered in a savory sauce, then add instant curry to the leftovers the next night. And let me tell you: Niku-jaga Curry Rice is so much better than any curry rice you’ve ever eaten, I sometimes make it the first night, because it’s so delish that I’m happy to eat it two days in a row!

Creamy Sesame Noodles

Creamy sesame noodles

You’ll never guess how healthy these sesame noodles are, because they’re decadently creamy…without the cream.

Yakitori Chicken Mini-Burgers

Yakitori chicken mini-burgers tofu hamburg

Why do we call these “Stealth Burgers” at my house? Because while they’re cooking, every family member wanders into the kitchen, one by one, saying, hey, something smells great, when’s dinner? And then they devour these down to the last bite…not stopping once to ask what’s in them or suspect how insanely healthy they are.

Japanese Chicken Salad with Tangy Soy-Lemon Dressing

Japanese chicken salad with soy lemon dressing

This salad is satisfying enough to be a light meal in itself, or as a side with rice and grilled meat. It’s a great way to use leftover rotisserie chicken, and the Tangy Soy-Lemon Dressing also turns asparagus, snap peas, or green beans into an instant side dish.

Sweet & Salty Miso Sauce

nasu dengaku sweet and salty miso sauch on eggplant

Dengaku auce is one of those tasty toppings that makes even people who “don’t like Japanese food” beg for seconds. Everything from eggplant to slices of pork tenderloin to skewers of grilled chicken will disappear in record time if slathered in Dengaku. (Also, it’s so easy to make, you can’t fail.)

Black Sugar Sundae with Kinako

Vanilla ice cream sundae with kuromitsu Okinawan brown sugar sauce and toasted soybean kinako

Vanilla ice cream topped with Okinawan brown sugar sauce and toasted soybean flour is a favorite summer treat in Japan. It’s a truly Japanese taste that even Westerners love.

Japanese Rice Bowl with Miso Salmon

Japanese rice bowl with miso salmon and spicy marinated mushrooms

This trio of Japanese flavor bombs are distinctive, but harmonious, and involve barely any time slaving over a hot stove.

The Ninth Attachment
Apple-Ginger Sours

These cocktails/mocktails are built around a surprise ingredient. It’s a traditional Japanese taste that’s becoming all the rage at modern Tokyo bars: fruit-infused vinegar. These apple-ginger sours are sophisticated and satisfying, with or without the alcohol.

Sesame-Miso Hotpot

Japanese nabe sesame miso hotpot

As this tasty broth bubbles away and fills your kitchen with cozy goodness, you’ll forget that this dish is as healthy as it is satisfying.

Chicken & Ginger Yakitori Meatballs

Tsukune Japanese yakitori meatballs

All over Japan, these absolutely delicious chicken meatballs are a must-try at yakitori restaurants. Skewered and slathered in a tangy sauce, they never fail to be a crowd pleaser!

Marinated Pork Medallions
with Melted Leeks

Have a special occasion coming up, and want to try something new that’s guaranteed to have your guests begging for seconds? These marinated pork tenderloin medallions are so deliciously tasty that they always get rave reviews, even from people who “don’t like Japanese food.” (Bonus: they’re easy to make, they turn out perfect every time, and I’ll teach you how to cook them using only hot water and a beer cooler!)

Japanese Chicken Soup for the Soul

Japanese chicken soup for the soul

People in Japan long for comfort food just as much as we do, and this chicken soup will warm you right down to your toes. It’s comforting, but a little bit different, all at the same time.

Japanese Treasure Rice

Takikomi gohan Japanese treasure rice

This dish elevates plain old white rice to star level, with “treasures” of vegetables and a deep down savory flavor that will have everyone asking for seconds. Add marinated chicken pieces to the pot, and you’ve got the easiest one-dish meal ever!

Japanese Ginger-Soy Steak Sauce

When it’s time to dust off the BBQ and grill up some steaks, the only thing that will make them taste even more sublime is this yum of a dipping sauce! In Japan, bite-sized slices of steak are grilled at the table, then dipped in this savory sauce that zings with just a hint of ginger. But it tastes just as good if you carve off a bite of Western-syle BBQed steak, and dip it into the sauce before popping it in your mouth. Try it tonight, and see why this is Japanese families’ go-to “celebration dinner”!

Green Salad with Japanese Pickled Onions
Wafu Onion Dressing

Nothing tastes better with grilled everything than a crisp green salad bejeweled with tasty pickled onions and a tangy wafu dressing that’ll knock your socks off!

How to host a great sake tasting

Sake isn’t just for Japanese food anymore—it’s popping up in top restaurants all over the world as the perfect pairing for all kinds of cuisines. Crisp and clean, it’s delicious with everything from spicy south Asian dishes to French seafood. But if you’re like me, it’s hard to know what to order, and it’s even harder to explain what kind of sake I like. Here’s everything you need to know to get started on really enjoying Japan’s national drink and ordering like a pro!

Kinako Shortbread Cookies with Salted Brown Sugar Buttercream

Every holiday season I like to sneak one new cookie onto the plate of old favorites, and I can already tell these are going to be a big hit! They’re sparkly and buttery (with a hint of nutty), and the filling is bursting with brown sugar goodness

Sweet Sesame Spinach

As a veteran vegetable hater, I have a special spot in my grinchy heart for leafy greens, but this traditional Japanese way of cooking spinach is so good I can eat a bag of green stuff as big as my head and still go back for more

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More features are in the JAPANAGRAM ARCHIVE

The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

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