Grilled Salmon Balls

Posted June 10th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

Looking for an easy, healthy snack?  Make these salmon balls with no hassle!

This is another recipe that makes a healthy snack in a flash.  It is grilled, not deep-fried, and all the ingredients are cooked prior to being shaped into balls so it won’t take too long to grill.  You just need to grill both sides to give delicious color and crunchy texture.

If you have left-over mashed potato, this is the snack you can make on next day 🙂

<Salmon Balls>

  • 1 tin (around 450g) salmon
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1 tbs chopped herb (I used basil, but coriander will be a great one too)
  • 1 egg
  • 2~3 tbs bread crumbles

  1. Drain the salmon.
  2. Mix everything in a mixing bowl.  Season.
  3. Shape into balls.  Flatten the centre.
  4. Heat a non-stick fry pan, and lightly spray with oil.  Grill the salmon balls until coloured and crispy.


Prawn and Edamame Triangles

Posted April 11th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

Golden triangles filled with juicy prawn and edamame!  The texture of crispy skin and soft edamame are so great…

I just wanted to use up the leftover spring roll sheets, and it turned out to be a great midday snack.  It’ll also go well with beer, I believe.  You can also use gyoza skin or wonton skin, instead of spring roll sheet.

The shelled edamame (called “muki-edamame”) can be found at some Asian grocery shops.

<Prawn and Edamame triangles>

  • 4 spring roll sheets
  • 180g prawn
  • 1/4 cup edamame, shelled
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp minced ginger
  • plain flour + water
  • oil to fry
  1. Thaw the prawn and edamame, if they are frozen.
  2. Chop up the prawn finely.
  3. Mix the prawn, edamame, ginger and soy sauce in a mixing bowl.  Season with salt and white pepper.
  4. Cut the spring roll sheets into four squares each.  You should have 16 small square sheets.
  5. Spoon the prawn mixture on the sheets.  Wet the 2 side edges with flour water, and firmly press to close the edges.
  6. Heat the oil to 180 ℃.  Deep-fry the triangles until golden.

Serve with a dipping sauce (soy sauce + chilli oil) or as it is.

Green Beans in Sesame Dressing (Ingen Goma Ae)

Posted October 23rd, 2010 in Food | 5 Comments »

One of my favorite side dish.  The aroma of roasted sesame seeds are so tempting.  

If you have a suribachi (a Japanese grinding-bowl) it’s best to grind the sesame seeds.  I used normal mortar and pestle.  Or, you can simply use a blender to do the job 🙂

Mix with other sauce together.  The oil from the sesame seeds has the distinctive nutty smell.

When you blanch the beans, make sure you don’t overcook them.  Leave the crunchy texture to the beans and you can enjoy the juicy crisp beans in sesame dressing.

<Ingen Goma Ae> serves 4 as an entree


  • 200g green beans
  • 30g white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp sake (cooking wine)
  1. Heat a clean dry frying pan over medium heat.  Add sesame seeds and shake the pan so that they spread to form a even layer.
  2. Cook until they become light brown color and produce the nutty smell.  Shake the pan or stir with a wooden spoon to avoid them from burning as you cook.  Remove from the heat, and place the seeds in a mortar.
  3. While the seeds are hot, grind to form a paste.  You don’t need to grind finely if you want to enjoy the texture of the seeds.
  4. Add miso, sugar, soy sauce and sake, and mix together.
  5. Boil a medium pan of water to a boil.  Blanch beans for 30 seconds, or until just cooked but still crunchy.
  6. Drain, and add to the sesame sauce.  Combine together.

You can also use other vegetables such as spinach, asparagus and broccoli.


Daikon and Carrot Pickles (Namasu)

Posted September 29th, 2010 in Food | 1 Comment »

This dish is one of the Japanese new year food, but it is so easy to make and can be eaten as side dish and a bento item as well.  A great hashiyasume (“chopstick rester”).

With very simple ingredients, you can make this marinade in less than 5 minutes.  Namasu can be made with any ingredients –  uncooked (“nama”) vegetables and/or seafood.  I also like cucumber namasu, but this daikon and carrot namasu is the very standard namasu eaten in Japan.

<Daikon and Carrot Namasu>  makes a bowlful

  • 1/3 daikon radish (around 300g)
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 tsp lemon rind, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs vinegar
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp roasted white sesame seeds
  1. Slice carrot and daikon very thinly.  You can use the slicer if you have.
  2. Place daikon, carrot and lemon rinds in a bowl, and sprinkle with salt.  Let it stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Mix vinegar and sugar in another bowl.
  4. Squeeze out the liquid from daikon mixture, and marinate in the vinegar mixture.  Sprinkle sesame seeds.
* You can eat them straight away, but it tastes better if you marinate little longer in the fridge.

Tofu Croquette

Posted August 18th, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

Coated with breadcrumbs, deep-fried until golden brown….  Croquette can be a snack item as well as a main menu.  You can arrange it with the ingredients and sauces for a variety.  Adding tofu to the croquette and making the potato % into half potato and half tofu can reduce the calorie, carb, and add extra nutrition.

Enjoy while they are hot!  You can freeze the batch before deep-frying : place in a gip-lock bag and close the bag tightly. If freezing, you’d better shape the croquette flat so that they will be cooked thoroughly when deep-frying the frozen ones.

<Tofu Croquette>  Makes 8~10
  • 100g mince (I used 50g beef & 50g pork)
  • 2 potato
  • 350g tofu (momen tofu preferred)
  • 1/2 onion
  • plain flour,   1 egg, breadcrumbs to coat
  1. Boil peeled potatoes until cooked through.  Cut the potatoes into pieces so that they’ll be cooked faster.  Drain, and mash.
  2. Meanwhile, chop onion finely.  Heat 1/2 tbs oil in a frying pan and saute over low heat.  Add mince and saute until cooked.  Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a container or plate to cool.
  3. Place tofu in a microwave proof plate or container.  Microwave for 3 minutes.  Drain any liquid, and wipe with paper towel.
  4. Mix the tofu with mashed potato.  Add mince, and mix through. Divide and Shape.
  5. Beat the egg well.  Prepare 3 plates: one is for the flour, one is for the egg wash, and the one is for the breadcrumbs.
  6. Start heating up the oil in a deep pan.  Dust the croquette mixture with flour, shake off any excess.  Dip in the egg wash, then drop in the plate of breadcrumbs.  Coat well, and deep-fry until golden.  (the oil should be around 180°)
  7. Serve while hot with sauce  (I mixed tomato sauce and Worcester sauce) or as it is.

Edamame Stick

Posted June 4th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

I used to eat this Edamame Stick at Izakaya in Japan.  Crunchy, and light snack that goes with any drinks inclduing beer 🙂

Edamame beans can be purchased at any Oriental Grocery shops, I think.  Refer here for the list of Oriental Grocery Shops around Perth that I usually shop.

This stick gets cooked very quickly, and go brown very quickly too.  So don’t just leave them in hot oil while cooking.

Enjoy while it’s hot and crispy!

<Edamame Age> serves 3~4

  • 200g edamame in pod, or 1 cup shelled edamame – frozen
  • 2 sheets spring roll paper (harumaki paper)
  • plain flour + water
  1. Shell edamame beans from pods.
  2. Cut a harumaki sheet horizontally into 4 strips.  With 2 sheet, you should have 8 strips.
  3. Line edamame beanss on the harumaki sheet.  Wet the edge of the sheet with flour+water mixture, and roll up.  Press the edge with finger so that it closes.  Repeat with the remaining edamame.
  4. Heat oil to 170 ℃.  Place harumaki roll, one at a time, into the oil while holding it straight.  Deep-fry both side.  Repeat with the remaining rolls.
  5. Serve immediately.  Sprinkle salt as you eat.

Salmon Carpaccio with Wasabi Mayonnaise

Posted April 6th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

A cold entree idea.  It is very easy to make, yet gives a great impression at the table.  Mix wasabi to add a hint of authentic taste.  All you need is packaged smoked salmon, white onion, mayonnaise and wasabi tube!  (and snow pea sprout for garnish if needed)

Serves 4 as entree

  • 100 g smoked salmon
  • 1 white onion, small
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 5 ml lemon juice
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise
  • 1 cm wasabi from a tube
  • snow pea sprouts to garnish
  1. Slice white onion very thinly across the grain.  Immerse in a cold water for 5 minutes, then drain well.
  2. Arrange smoked salmon on a bed of sliced onion.  Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice.  Chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix mayonnaise and wasabi.
  4. Garnish the carpaccio with snow pea sprouts, and serve with the wasabi mayonnaise.

Small Wafu Plate

Posted April 1st, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

Sometimes I suddenly feel like eating these food.  They are some of the ordinal Japanese food that can be seen at normal Japanese houses.  We eat roots vegetables quite often.  They are high in fiber and very healthy.

Clockwise: Spinach ohitashi, kinpira-gobo, simmered egg in a pocket of abura-age (fried bean curd), and chikuzennni (simmered roots vegetables).

I personally like light-seasoned food with no much sauce nor oil. (Especially people from Kyoto side in Japan prefer light-seasoned food.)

Eating these food makes me feel that I am a Japanese. 😀

<Spinach Ohitashi> serves 2~3

  • 1 spinach
  • 3 tbs hot water
  • 1/2 soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp dashi powder
  • 1.5 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • bonito flake (katsuo-bushi)
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Branch spinach for about 1 minutes. Remove from the water and immerse in a bowl of iced water. Drain water and squeeze out any excess liquid.
  2. Cut the spinach into 3~5cm. Pour 1/2 tbs of soy sauce, and squeeze out the liquid well. Discard the liquid.
  3. Place dashi powder into water and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add soy sauce and mirin. Let it cool slightly.
  4. Immerse spinach in the liquid and leave it for 20~30 minutes. You can refrigerate.
  5. Arrange on a plate and garnish with bonito flake.

<Kinpira Gobo>

  • 1.5 cup gobo (burdock root) – frozen
  • 1 carrot – Julienne
  • 1 tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  1.  Heat the oil in a frying pan, and saute gobo and carrot for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add sauce and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is evaporated.
  3. Garnish with roasted white sesame seeds.

<Egg in Bean Curd> serves 2

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 abura-age – frozen
  1. You can cook this in chikuzenni (recipe below) broth to save time.  Just place in the broth and cook together with these root vegetables.
  2. To serve, remove from the broth and cut in half.  Garnish with black sesame seeds.  

<Chikuzenni> serves 2~3

  • 1/2 wafu yasai mix – frozen
  • 1 tsp dashi powder
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 1 tbs mirin
  1. Place water, dashi and yasai mix in a sauce pan, and bring to the boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add sauce, and simmer for another 8-10 minutes.

** Those frozen vegetables can be found at Asian grocery shops.

Classic Bruschetta

Posted January 30th, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

A classic bruschetta with simple salsa and fresh Parmesan cheese.  If you have old Italian bread, use it to make this delicious entree dish 🙂


  • 4 slices crusty Italian bread
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/4 red onion, small
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbs chopped Parsley
  • 4 tbs Parmesan, shaved
  1. Skin the tomatoes. (remove the stem from the tomatoes and score cross on the skin on the other side.  Branch in simmering water for 10 seconds and then place in a bowl of cold water.  Peel the skin)
  2. Deseed the tomatoes and chop finely.
  3. Chop red onion finely.
  4. Combine the tomatoes, onion, olive oil and chopped Parsley.  Season well.
  5. Toast the bread on one side.  Rub the toasted side lightly with halved garlic.  
  6. Top with tomato mixture and garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Finger Size Meatballs

Posted June 21st, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

Great items for luch, and tapas party!  They are small enough for kids to grab and eat too.

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tbs bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • chopped herbs
  • salt & pepper
  1. Chop onion fine.
  2. Place mince, chopped onion, bread crumbs, egg and chopped herbs in a bowl.  Season.  Using a hand, mix it through until the mixture become little sticky.  Move hand as if you are squeezing a wet sponge.
  3. Shape the mixture into little balls.
  4. Heat little amount of oil in a frying pan, and grill meatballs.
  5. Enjoy with your favorite dipping.

You can simply use pasta sauce for dipping sauce, or make home made tomato sauce for your guests ♪

Deep-fried Tofu in Dashi Soup (Agedashi Tofu)

Posted May 27th, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

In Perth it’s getting really cold, especially at night time.  I need a heater and blanket every night…

Why not warm up with this Japanese tofu dish?  Enjoy while tofu is hot and crispy ♪

<Agedashi Tofu>

  • Tofu
  • corn flour
  • 1/2 tsp dashi powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbs sake (or white wine)
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp grated ginger
  1. Heat up water and add dashi powder.  Turn down the heat, and add sake and soy sauce.  Keep warm.
  2. Cut tofu into about 5cm cubes.  Coat with corn flour and shake off any excess flour.  Deep fry until nicely crispy.
  3. Immerse the tofu into the sauce and eat immediately.

Fresh Spring Rolls

Posted May 1st, 2009 in Food | 2 Comments »

Fresh spring roll is one of my favorite food.  Every time I go to Vietnamese restaurants, I order one plate.

Few years ago in Japan we had a big “Asian food trend”, and many Asian restaurants (like Thai food, Indonesian food, Korean food, etc etc) opened everywhere.  That time was the first time for me to eat fresh spring rolls.  Fresh spring rolls in Japan might be little different from their original flavor, I think.  I don’t remember there’s any herbs (coriander, mint) inside.  I guess Japanese chefs changed the ingredients/recipe to match Japanese people’s taste.

Now, spring rolls can be found anywhere in Japan too.  When I go to Izakaya I always order fresh spring rolls.

One of the reason I like spring rolls is that I can eat lots of fillings with thin skin.  Sometimes I feel like some salad rolls, but bread sometimes really stuff me up.  Then, I just use rice paper instead of bread.

For Vietnamese people, those food I make might seem to be a really weird, I like it.

  1. Soak rice paper in water until it’s soft.
  2. Roll up ham, salad and some mastard (or anything you like)

You can also make unagi rolls;

  1. Soak rice paper in water until it’s soft.
  2. Slice roasted unagi and cucumber.
  3. Roll up unagi, cucumber and ginger in softened rice paper.

Personally I eat them without any sauces, but you can dip in any of your favorite sauce.

Japanese Omelet with Roasted Eel (U-maki)

Posted March 22nd, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

  • 1/2 ~ 1 packet of frozen unagi
  • 4~5 eggs
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 2 tsp sake (cooking wine)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • salt
  1. Defrost unagi.  Cut it to about 5cm width.  Adjust the length of unagi to match the pan you are using.  (you may be not using even 1/2 of unagi, it depends on its size)
  2. Mix all the liquid together with egg.
  3. Heat up tamagoyaki ki (frying pan for tamagoyaki – Japanese rolled omelet) and pour 1 tsp of oil.  Wipe off the excess with paper towel.  Pour about 1/4 of the egg mixture into the pan and scramble as you would lightly cooked scrambled eggs.  Over low heat, let the bottom of egg set.
  4. Once the bottom of omelet is set, place unagi on the egg; about 3 cm from the edge of the pan.
  5. Carefully roll up the egg,  (same as making sushi roll)  and push the omelet to the edge of pan.
  6. Clean the surface of pan with oiled paper towel.
  7. Pour another 1/4 of egg mixture into the pan and rotate the pan so that it coats the entire bottom. Quickly lift the cooked egg mass up and let the egg mixture flow underneath before putting it back down. This step is crucial in getting the layers to adhere.
  8. When the new layer of egg is almost cooked through but still a little wet on top, roll it up like step 5.
  9. Continue the process until you use up all the mixture.
  10. If the roll seems undercooked or unstable, you may want to turn the roll on its side and cook briefly to firm things up.
  11. To make it look nice, use makisu (bamboo mat) to re-shape the omelet.  Let it cool the omelet in makisu.  (this process is not necessary if you don’t care the shape 🙂
  12. Cut and serve.
*** You can use normal frying pan, but it’ll be little difficult to shape like how it should be.

Healthy Wonton

Posted July 29th, 2008 in Food | No Comments »

This is one of my healthy Chinese food recipe 🙂

<Juicy Cabbage Wontons>

  • 20~25 Wonton skin
  • 4~5    Cabbage leaves
  • 15     Prawns
  • 1tsp grated ginger
  • 1tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2tbsp salt
  • 1pinch pepper
  • 1tbsp corn lour
  • 1stp sesame oil
  1. Chop up cabbage leaves and sprinkle salt.  Once it’s wilted, squeeze out the liquid and pat with paper towel.
  2. Chop the prawns roughly.  Place all the ingredient in a bowl (except for Wonton skins) and mix it together.
  3. Place 1 tsp of filling on Wonton skin,and wrap it up.  Make sure there is no hole or gap, otherwise all the juice will come out while cooking.
  4. Cook them as you like; you can steam, deep-fry or grill them!

Enjoy with some dipping 🙂

* Soy Sauce + Drops of Sesame Oil

* Mayonnaise + Paprica

* Worcester Sauce + Mayonnaise

* Cut Chili or Chili Powder + Soy Sauce