Salmon Teriyaki Donburi

Posted August 20th, 2015 in Food | No Comments »


Eating Japanese food makes me feel I’m home and I love that moment.  In Japan I used to eat seafood almost everyday, and I lived near a big lake so seafood was part of my life, really.  I don’t know why seafood is so expensive in Australia – they are both island countries but in Japan you can get fresh delicious seafood at much cheaper price.  That’s why I don’t eat seafood as much here in Perth now 🙁

But I did have a craving for nice salmon so I made salmon teriyaki donburi for dinner tonight.  It’s simple to make and you’ll just need those basic Japanese sauces only – soy sauce, sake, and mirin! (And, fresh salmon fillets, of course.)

My old post of Salmon Teriyaki recipe is here – on this recipe salmon is cooked in the oven.  Tonight I cooked the salmon in a frying pan.


I love skin – I eat chicken with skin on, and I eat most of fish with skin.


I served salmon on top of rice so I can enjoy the sauce-drizzled rice.  (・ω<)  Yum.
(on the photo, skin side is down)

For the side, I blanched spinach and seasoned with just bonito-flake (katsuo-bushi 鰹節), roasted sesame seeds, and a dash of soy sauce.

Don’t forget freshly cooked steamed rice!


<Salmon Teriyaki Donburi> serves 2

  • 2fillets/400~500g Salmon (I used Fresh Skin-on Atlantic Salmon Fillets)
  • 1tablespoon Sugar (I used raw sugar)
  • 3tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 3tablespoons Mirin
  • 1tablespoon Sake


  1. Place sugar, soy sauce, mirin and sake in a small pot.  Bring to gentle boil, and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.  Set aside.
  2. Heat a frying pan (wide enough to place salmon fillets), and spray oil.  Place salmon fillets, skin side down, and grill over medium~low heat until the skin is coloured crisped.  Gently flip them over, and cook other sides.
  3. Once salmon is cooked, remove from the pan and place into the pan of sauce.
  4. Serve salmon on top of steamed rice, and drizzle with sauce.


Tako Su

Posted August 18th, 2012 in Food, Japan | No Comments »

Obon has finished….!  Obon is one of holiday season in Japan where people go back to their hometown and pray for ancestors.  During Obon you are not supposed to kill any living creature (including a fly) because it may be your ancestor visiting you in a form of the creature.  I feel so bad now because I forgot about Obon and killed a small spider 2 days ago.  It’s hard to remember these things while living in Perth.  😐

Above photo is marinated octopus, cucumber and wakame seaweed in vinegar sauce.  I call it tako-to-kyuri-to-wakame-no-sunomono, but I think you can just call it tako-su.  It’s typical summer salad (or should I say side dish) in Japan.

It is hard to find octopus legs in Perth, but in Japan we eat it very often.  If you go to kaiten sushi bar you’ll see octopus sushi, which is a nigiri sushi with a slice of cooked octopus leg.  Octopus leg is always available at supermarket too.   It is usually sold cooked though.  I don’t get to see raw octopus legs much over there unless I go to a fish market.

I think octopus legs are kind of gross food here?  That’s why I can’t buy it from any grocery shops?  Most Asian grocery shops don’t sell it too.  I usually buy it from seafood shops.

<Tako Su>

  • Octopus Leg (cooked) 100g
  • Cucumber 1
  • Wakame seaweed (dry) 1 tbs
  • White Wine Vinegar 2 tbs
  • Sugar 1 tbs
  • Soy Sauce 1 tsp
  • Ginger 1 slice


  1. Soak wakame in water until soften, and drain well.
  2. Slice cucumber thinly. (or thick if you prefer crunchy texture)  Slice cooked octopus leg.  Slice ginger into long matchsticks.
  3. Mix vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and ginger.
  4. Marinate octopus, cucumber and wakame in the dressing in the fridge for 1 hour or more before serving.


Hijiki Nimono

Posted July 1st, 2012 in Food | 2 Comments »

This is a very classic Japanese dish; hijiki-no-nimono (stewed hijiki with vegetables and fried bean-curd)  which is often used to fill bento box as well.  Hijiki is a type of seaweed and is good for skin and hair – very healthy!  Unfortunately hijiki is not available at stores in Perth because of Australian import laws, so you will have to bring it from Japan by yourself (import non-commercially is currently allowed).  If you have a friend who is flying to Japan then you can ask him/her 🙂

Hijiki-no-nimono can have any ingredients – but I usually cook with carrot, konnyaku, aburaage (fried bean-curd), chicken thigh and chikuwa (fish-cake).  You can also add soy beans or/and snake beans.  Since I didn’t have chikuwa in my fridge, I cooked without it.

You can find abura-age and chikuwa in freezer section at Asian grocery shop.  Konnyaku is usually in the fridge, or sometimes sold at room temperature on the shelves.

It’s a great accompaniment to steamed rice 🙂

Here is the recipe :


  • Dried Hijiki 17g
  • Chicken Thigh 50g (no bone. with or without skin)
  • Carrot 1 (medium)
  • Konnyaku (black) about 90g (I used 1/2 of normal packet)
  • Aburage 1/2 sheet
  • Soy Sauce 1 tbs
  • Sake (cooking wine) 1 tbs
  • Mirin (sweet cooking wine) 1 tbs
  • Dashi Powder 1 pinch


  1. Soak dried hijiki in cold water for at least 30 minutes.  Drain.
  2. Cut chicken into small pieces.  Slice carrot, konnyaku and abura-age.
  3. Place all the ingredients in a pot.  Turn on the fire and bring to gentle boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer with lid on for about 10 minutes.
  4. Serve with steamed rice 🙂

Iwashi no Nitsuke

Posted March 16th, 2012 in Food | 2 Comments »

While I was in Japan, my dad bought iwashi (sardine) from a local seafood shop.  Iwashi is miracle fish – it can be eaten in many ways.  Grilled, deep-fried, poached, simmered in sauce, and even raw as sashimi.  I love young sardine (shirasu/jako) too.  I often ate young sardine in Japan by just sprinkling on steamed rice.  I just love it!

You may find it not easy to eat iwashi due to its small bones.  But actually you can eat the bones too if you cook the fish very well.  The iwashi my dad bought had been trimmed already (gutted and head had been chopped off), so I didn’t need to do anything but placing into simmering sauce to make nitsuke. (a dish used simmering technique)

Almost any fish can be cooked as nitsuke.  I think the common fish used for nitsuke are saba (Mackerel), sardine and salmon.  Sauce for nitsuke is usually soy sauce-based, but miso-based one is also often used.  For both sauces, ginger and sake (cooking wine) are used to kill the smell of fish.

The iwashi I used for this iwashi-no-nitsuke was pretty small and got lots of bones, but I could just eat them.  Serve with steamed rice, miso soup and pickles, and now you have a set of beautiful Japanese food. 🙂

<Iwashi-no-Nitsuke>  serves 3~4

  • 10 iwashi (sardine), gutted and head removed
  • 1 cup sake (cooking wine)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 clove ginger (about 3cm)

– recipe –

  1. Wash iwashi in cold water, and pat to dry with kitchen paper.  Set aside.
  2. Slice ginger.
  3. In a wide sauce pan, place sake.  Bring to the gentle simmer to burn off the alcohol.
  4. Add sugar, soy sauce, and mirin.  Arrange iwashi into the pan, level (flat), and scatter sliced ginger around.  Turn the heat to low.
  5. Cut baking paper or aluminium foil into about same size as the pan. Crumple the paper, and place on top of iwashi to cover.  Place a lid, and simmer until the liquid is almost gone and becomes sticky.
  6. Turn off the heat, and let the iwashi cool down slightly.  The flavour will be absorbed during the cooling process.
  7. Serve with steamed rice.


Yaki Somen (stir-fried somen noodles)

Posted October 23rd, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

Somen noodles are usually eaten cold with dipping sauce, or warm in soy sauce based soup.  Cold somen with dipping sauce and condiments is a popular dish in summer, and nagashi somen (I wrote about it here) is one of popular activity at summer festivals.

The first time I ate stir-fried somen was in Okinawa, when I stayed there for one week to get scuba diving licence.  I was 17 years old.  Okinawa has unique foods and drinks compared to other parts of Japan (I wrote about it here) due to its history.  Stir-fried somen is called “somen champul (= stir-fried somen)” in Okinawan language.  I ate it at an izakaya along with other unique Okinawan dishes, and they were all delicious!!

I made this with seafoods, but you can use meat such as pork, beef and chicken instead.  This recipe is not like the one I ate in Okinawa (they use pork), and it doesn’t taste like typical Japanese food.  I guess it’s because of oyster sauce and fish sauce I added.

The key to make this dish is to wash the somen noodles very well then drain before adding to the frying pan.

<Yaki Somen>  serves 2

  • 50g dry somen noodles
  • 6 prawns
  • 3 squids, small
  • 1 crab stick
  • 2~3 leaves cabbage
  • 1 carrot, small
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbs chopped spring onion
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  1. Boil water in a deep pan, and cook somen noodle to al dente.
  2. meanwhile, cut the ingredients: cut cabbage into 3cm cubes, cut carrot into 4cm-long thin batons.  Chop garlic. Slice prawns into half.  Slice crab sticks and squids.
  3. Once the somen noodles are cooked, place into a strainer to drain.  Wash the noodle by rubbing them with hands under running cold water until the slimy gluten is gone.  Drain well.
  4. Place garlic and 1 tbs of oil in a frying pan, and turn on the heat.  Once aromatic, add ginger, prawn and squid. Stir-fry for 1 minutes.  Then, add carrot, cabbage and crab stick.  Stir-fry for 1 minutes, and pour soy sauce, sake and oyster sauce.
  5. Add somen noodle to the pan, and stir quickly.  Drizzle sesame oil and fish sauce over, and scatter spring onions.  Turn off the heat.  Serve immediately.


Steamed Tuna Miso Salad

Posted October 6th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

It’s not quite a salad, actually.  It has thick salty miso taste, and it made me want to eat this dish with steamed rice.

Very cheap, easy, and fast to make.  What you need are plastic wrap and microwave.  I made up this dish because I didn’t have any meat in the fridge, and have been trying to save on grocery bills (post) so just wanted to create a dish with cheap ingredients.  Since I started to record my expenses on groceries I’ve been more careful what to buy and able to save some money!  Now our grocery expense (for 3 of us, sometimes includes diapers and toilet paper) is less than $400.00 a month. 😀

The salty miso goes with steamed rice!  I was actually thinking to make this with thinly sliced pork (I think it would taste much better) but tuna was also ok.  You can simply substitute chicken too!  If you use port or chicken instead of tuna, make sure you cook through the meat.

<Steamed Tuna Salad> serves 2

  • 1 cup cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 100g tined tuna
  • 2 tbs miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 1 tbs sugar (I use raw sugar)
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1 tbs spring onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  1. Mix miso, sake, soy sauce, water, sugar and spring onion.  Drain tuna well.
  2. On a microwave-safe plate, arrange cabbage then top with tuna.  Spread miso mixture on top.
  3. Wrap the plate with plastic wrap, and microwave for about 2 minutes.
  4. Drizzle sesame oil over.  Serve with steamed rice.


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.


Teriyaki Squid

Posted May 19th, 2011 in Food | 1 Comment »

This grilled squid in sweet soy sauce-based sauce is great item to accompany beer or a bowl of steamed rice.  You can also chop it up and add to fried rice/noodles, or simply as a topping for salads.

It’s best to grill the squid in open flame to give delicious flavour, but cooking in a frying pan will just do the job.

<Teriyaki Squid>

  • 6 baby squid
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 2 tbs sugar


  1. Turn on a pan over high heat, and lightly spray oil.  Grill squid until coloured.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, and cook until the liquid is reduced and caramelized.

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.

Salmon Teriyaki

Posted January 29th, 2011 in Food | 2 Comments »

My another salmon teriyaki recipe here.

A typical, yet delicious Japanese salmon dish : salmon with teriyaki-style sauce.  In Japan I normally use a fish-grill to grill salmon, but I don’t have it here in Perth so I cook it in the oven.  No need to worry about washing fish-smelling pan afterward and I could chill while the salmon is being cooked in the oven!

The word “teriyaki” means the method of cooking – which the food is brushed with sauce while being grilled.  I call this dish “salmon teriyaki” although there is no such cooking method involved.  It’s just easier for people (non-Japanese) to remember the name.  I can also call it “Salmon with Soy and Ginger Sauce”.  It’s actually more like it.

<Salmon with Soy and Ginger Sauce> serves 2

  • 2 salmon fillets (around 350g)
  • 3cm ginger
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs mirin
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 cm ginger

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°.
  2. Halve the salmon fillets.
  3. Slice the 3cm ginger into matchstick shape.
  4. Spray alumifoil with oil, and line the salmon.  Sprinkle with salt, and top with the ginger.  Bake in the oven for 20~ 30 minutes until golden.
  5. For the sauce: Place soy sauce, mirin, sugar and ginger (sliced into matchstick shape) in a small sauce pan, and bring to the gentle boil to dissolve the sugar, stirling well.
  6. Serve with steamed rice.

Grilled Salmon with Tangy Soy

Posted January 19th, 2011 in Food | No Comments »

I got a big piece of salmon fillet from a friend the other day.  Salmon is one of my favorite fish – .. well I love all fish though, but salmon is great to eat anytime, on breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I normally eat salmon with rice, such as sushi and porridge, but I love my grandma’s simmered salmon.  She uses only the part near the bones (salmon ara アラ).  The part contains the delicious oil and condensed flavor of salmon.  I’ve never seen a shop selling this in Perth. (people think it’s not edible part, I think)

I grilled the salmon last night and served with steamed rice and tangy soy sauce.  This is a meal you can create in a flash!

<Grilled Salmon with Tangy Soy> serves 2

  • 2 fillets salmon
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/8 lemon
  1. Heat a frying pan with oil.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper, and grill over medium-high heat until the bottom coloured.  (if your salmon got skin, cook the skin side first)  Carefully flip it around and cook another side over low heat until just done.
  2. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice and chopped coriander.
  3. Serve with steamed rice!
You can add chopped chilli to the sauce for colour and heat, if you like.

Japanese Rice Soup with Salmon (Salmon Zosui)

Posted September 9th, 2010 in Food | 4 Comments »

It’s stormy lately in Perth.  Very strong wind and cold rain.  Warm up your body with this Japanese rice soup with grilled salty salmon 🙂

Zosui is a Japanese rice soup made from pre-cooked rice and water.  There is a similar dish called okayu, but okayu is cooked from uncooked rice and to more watery consistency.

Grill the salmon first with seasonings.  The salmon looks so delicious at this point, but it will be added to the simmering rice soup.  Pre-cooked rice is simmered in dashi water with mushroom, then dried wakame, blanched spinach and chopped spring onion will be added.  Mushroom and wakame gives the flavor to the soup too.

<Salmon Zosui> serves 2


  • 200g salmon fillet (skinned and boned)
  • 1 tbs mirin and 1 pinch salt for seasoning salmon
  • 500ml (2 cups) water
  • 5 cm konbu (dried seaweed sheet)
  • 2 dried shiitake mushroom
other ingredients:
  • 200g cooked rice, cold (I used brown rice)
  • 100g oyster mushroom
  • 2 bunches spinach
  • 1 tbs dried cut wakame
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbs sake
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 ~ 1 tsp salt
  • chopped spring onion to garnish
  1. Sprinkle salmon with salt.  Line aluminium foil in a frying pan, and spray oil.  Heat the pan, and sear the salmon.  Brush with mirin both side while turning the salmon.
  2. Meanwhile, place water, konbu and shiitake in a heat-proof bowl, and microwave for 2 minutes.  Leave it for 1 minute.
  3. Remove the konbu and shiitake from dashi water.  Discard konbu.  Slice up shiitake mushroom.
  4. Place the dashi water in a cooking pot along with shiitake mushroom, oyster mushroom (stemmed, and roughly separated), sake and soy sauce.  Place on the stove and bring to the gentle boil.
  5. Add rice, and simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Wash spinach and cut into 3 cm width.  Beat eggs in a bowl.  Roughly break the salmon meat.
  7. Add spinach, cut wakame, and salmon to the rice.  Season with salt.  Pour the egg mixture into the simmering rice soup.  Stir, and turn off the heat.
  8. Sprinkle chopped spring onion and serve with chilli powder (optional).

Fried Salmon in Dark Vinegar Glaze (Salmon Nanban)

Posted September 2nd, 2010 in Food | No Comments »

I used to buy white fish Nanban (deep-fried white fish in Nanban sauce) from deli in supermarkets.  It’s vinegary sauce whips the appetite, and the sweetness of the sauce and the onion are best match with steamed rice.

I made this dish with salmon instead of white fish.  The white fish we eat in Japan are different from those in supermarkets here.  You can make this recipe with any white fish, but I thought I’d try it with salmon.  I’m sure you can get the fish (that we eat in Japan) from some shops here too, but I believe almost everyone loves salmon and it’s easy to get from anywhere.

<Salmon Nanban>  serves 2

  • 125g x 2 Salmon Fillet
  • 1 onion, small
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1 red chili, small (optional)
  • 4 tbs soy sauce
  • 5 tbs vinegar
  • 6 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tbs corn flour + 1/2 tbs plain flour to dust
  • oil for deep-frying
  • 1 tsp corn flour + 1 tsp water
  1. Slice onion and carrot thinly.  Chop chili.
  2. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan, and fry onion and carrot.  Add chili.
  3. Add the sauces to the pan, and bring to boil.  Pour corn flour + water mixture into the pan, while stirring.  Simmer for 1 minutes, and remove from the heat.
  4. Heat oil in a deep pan.
  5. Slice salmon into 1 cm thick pieces.  Dust with corn flour + plain flour, shake off any excess.  Deep-fry until golden and crispy.
  6. Drain any excess oil, and immerse into the sauce (at stage 3)
  7. To serve: Arrange the salmon in a serving plate, and pour over the onion, carrot and sauce.  Best to be served with steamed rice.
* Check out Chicken Nanban recipe → here

Rice Balls with Roasted Eels (Unagi Balls)

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

I made this to eat at home, but it’s also a great item for picnic.  It’s such easy to make and looks cute, like temari-sushi (small and ball-shaped sushi). You can add more colors such as red (red ginger), green (green veggie or green pickles), orange (tobikko) …

The good thing is, you don’t even need to make your hands dirty – shape it by using pieces of plastic wrap.

I used normal steamed rice (not vinegared rice) so this is not sushi.  You can use vinegared rice if you like.

Makes 8~10
  • 100g unagi (roasted eel)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • about 3 small bowl-full of steamed rice (short or medium grain)
  1. If you are using a frozen unagi, defrost and warm up in a boiling water.  Cut into pieces.
  2. Beat egg with 1 pinch of sugar.  Heat a frying pan and lightly grease the pan.  Pour the egg and cook as if you are making very fine scrambled egg.  Try not to color the egg.  Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Cut plastic wrap about 15cm x 15cm.  Place a piece of the plastic wrap in a small bowl. (this makes easy to shape)  Arrange a piece of unagi in the centre, and spoon scrambled egg around it.  Drop 1.5 tbs of rice on top and close the plastic wrap.  Shape into a round ball.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Ao-nori Pasta with Smoked Salmon

Posted April 22nd, 2010 in Food | 5 Comments »

Very simple pasta with smoked salmon and ao-nori.  Ao-nori, also known as green laver, is dried and powdered green seaweed and it has distinctive flavor.  You should have seen it as a topping on Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki and other Japanese dishes.  This goes well with smokey salmon and mild Parmesan.


<Ao-nori Pasta with Smoked Salmon> serves 2

  • 2 portion pasta
  • 100 g smoked salmon
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs (1g)  Ao-nori
  • 1 tbs margarin 
  • 1tbs olive oil
  1. Bring a large pot of water (salted) to the boil.  Cook pasta to al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, chop onion and garlic.
  3. Heat olive oil in a frying pan, and sautee garlic and onion until fragrant.  
  4. Add margarin, then smoked salmon, drained pasta and ao-nori.  Mix through gently, and season.  Turn off the heat.
  5. Serve on the plate and top with shaved Parmesan.

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.

Light and Crispy Tempura

Posted March 8th, 2010 in Food | 2 Comments »

The keys to delicious, crispy and light tempura are:

  • Don’t mix the batter too much ( as it will develop the gluten from the flour)
  • Cold batter x hot oil 

If you do so, the tempura stays crispy even when it’s cold.


  • 45 g plain flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 80 ml water
  • 1/2 tbs sake (cooking wine)
  • 2~3 ice cubes
  1. Place water, sake and ice cubes in a bowl, and shift in the dry ingredient.  Using a pair of chopsticks, lightly mix the batter.  (there should be lumps of flour in the batter.  Don’t mix too much!)
  2. Heat oil in a deep pan to 180℃.
  3. Coat prepared vegetables or seafood with batter, drain any excess batter, and deep-fry.  (Don’t fry too many vegetables/seafood at once, as it will drop the temperature of the oil.)
  4. Drain, and serve with salt or tsuyu sauce.
* If you are making seafood tempura, you may want to dust with plain flour before coating with batter.
Tsuyu sauce:

50 ml soy sauce
50 ml mirin
200 ml water
10 g katsuo-bushi (bonito flakes)

* mix all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 2 minutes. let it cool down, and remove the katsuo-bushi.

You can keep this for 2 days in the fridge.


  • Thinly shredded onion and carrot, and chopped onion.  (equal amount) Mix into batter.  Using a spoon, scoop the mixture and carefully drop into hot oil.  Deep-fry both sides until cooked through. 
  • Fresh herbs (eg: basil, parsley, coriander etc).  Coat with batter lightly and deep-fry for 30 seconds. (both sides)
  • Silver fish, or any small fish.  
  • Camembert cheese … my favorite 🙂

Grilled Miso-mayo Salmon

Posted August 3rd, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

If you get bored with teriyaki salmon, why not try this creamy miso flavored grilled salmon?  It’s as easy as toasting a slice of bread.  Simply spread the mixture on the salmon and grill it.  Enjoy with steamed rice and a cup of miso soup  🙂

<Miso-mayo Salmon>

  • salmon fillet, skin free
  • miso paste
  • Japanese mayonnais
  1. Mix 2 tsp of Japanese mayonnaise and 1 tsp of miso paste.  You can use either red or white miso depending on your taste.

2.  Spread the miso paste on salmon (skin side).  Grill under Salamander or in the oven until cooked.

If the miso paste starts to get colored but the salmon is not quite cooked through, cover the top with aluminium foil to prevent it from burning.

Japanese people often use Japanese mayonnaise in cooking.  Some people really LOVES mayonnaise, and they eat it with anything… my mum is one of them.  She even eats pickles, nimono (simmered dish, mostly vegetables), grilled fish, meat, natto, noodle .. anything with mayonnaise.  I don’t usually eat mayonnaise except when eating okonomi-yaki or tako-yaki, so I always get surprised how quickly my family finish one bottle of mayonnaise at home :p

Some of the recipes using Japanese mayonnaise are little weird to me, and some of them are actually delicious.  I wouldn’t like stir-fried rice with mayonnaise (:p) or mayonnaise pan-cake (supposed to be eaten with maple syrup… eww) but I would eat mayonnaise omelet or mayonnaise hamburg.  …  who knows, maybe they’d all taste pretty good.  It’ll be high cholesterol for sure though.

Creamy Prawn Gratin

Posted June 10th, 2009 in Food | 2 Comments »

Creamy tasty prawn gratin ♪This is also one of popular yo-shoku dish in Japan.  You can find this “Prawn Gratin” in family restaurants, cafes, and even at convenience stores.

<Prawn Gratin>

  • 15g butter
  • 15g plain flour
  • about 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup prawn
  • 2 tbs macaroni
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 tbs white wine
  • grated mozzarella cheese + bread crumble
  1. Slice onion.  Cook macaroni till just before al dente.
  2. Melt butter in a sauce pan.  (Do not burn)  Add flour and stir.  Add milk little by little,  stir well at each addition of milk.  (using warmed milk is easier than cold milk)  Adjust the consistency with extra milk if needed.
  3. In another pan, heat up olive oil and saute sliced onion.  Add prawn, then pour white wine and burn up the alcohol.
  4. Pour bechamel sauce into 3.  Add macaroni, and stir through.  Season well.
  5. Pour the mixture into a plate, and sprinkle grated cheese and bread crumble on the top.  Bake in the oven (200 ~ 220) until golden colored.  Sprinkle chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Let’s Make Pizza

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

This long weekend was lovely!  Nice weather, nice food….  On Saturday night we were invited to aunt’s house for BBQ.  We had a drink, sung karaoke…  it was fun 🙂  Sunday I went out with friend, and chatted for 2 hours over 1 cup of coffee and 1 piece of cake.  Talking never end…  That night D’s family and I went to South Ocean for dinner.  It was pretty disappointing that waiters mistook our orders twice 🙁  2 dishes out of 3 were not what we ordered, and waiters seemed to not understand what we were saying.  It actually happened few times in the past…  It was much nicer with their previous manager.  Shame that he no longer works in this restaurant.


Tonight I cooked dinner at home.  Asian Salad, 3 kinds of pizza, and Takoyaki.  A bowl of Edamame as appetizer too 🙂

I like the base of pizza to be thin and crispy.  Light taste and nice texture.

< base >

  • 4g sugar
  • 7g dry yeast
  • 80ml warm water
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2g salt
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water.  Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Pour yeast mixture and stir well.  Stir in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour is absorbed.
  3. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for about 1 minute.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.  Cover with damp cloth or kitchen paper, and them plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 245.
  6. Deflate the dough and knead briefly on a lightly floured surface for about 1 minute.  Pat the dough into a sheet, and bake in the oven for about 5~10 minute (until just cooked).
Then, you can enjoy decorating pizza toppings!
I made three flavors:
< cajun chicken + bacon + bbq sauce >
Spread napolitana sauce (recipe below) on pizza base.  Arrange chopped bacon, shredded chicken breast (boiled or grilled), sliced mushroom, sliced mango (tinned), and sprinkle cajun spice.  Top with grated Mozzarella cheese and bake in very hot oven until nicely colored.
< tuna + corn + mayo + bechamel >
Spread bechamel sauce (recipe below) on pizza base.  Arrange tuna (tinned) and corn kernel.  Sprinkle paprika and drizzle mayonnaise.  Top with grated Mozzarella cheese and bake in very hot oven until nicely colored.
< seafood + lemon + coriander >
Spread napolitana sauce on pizza base.  Arrange branched seafood (prawn, squid etc), sliced olives, and drop little amount of pesto.  Squeeze fresh lemon juice over, and sprinkle chopped coriander and salt&pepper.  Top with grated Mozzarella cheese and bake in very hot oven until nicely colored.  Serve with lemon wedges.
Enjoy while it’s hot ♪
< Napolitana Sauce >
  • 1 tin whole tomato
  • 1/4 onion
  • 3cm carrot
  • 3cm celery
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1~2 basil leaves
Chop onion, carrot, celery and garlic finely.  Saute vegetables with 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat.  Pour tinned tomato and bring to boil.  Turn the heat down to low, and add shredded basil leaves to the sauce.  Simmer for about 10~15 minutes.  Season.

< Bechamel Sauce >
  • 5g unsalted butter
  • 5g plain flour
  • milk
  1. Melt butter in a small pan.  (don’t let it burn)  Add flour and stir.  Pour little amount of milk, and stir.  Add milk, little amount at a time, and stir well each time until the mixture is right consistency.

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.

Spicy Seafood Japanese Curry

Posted February 2nd, 2009 in Food | No Comments »

It was another hot day…  Onece I stepped outside, I could feel that my body was getting cooked in this heat.  Japanese people tand to eat hot/spicy food in summer to overcome the heat, and today was the day for me.  I cooked spicy Japanese curry with seafood.  I chose Udon noodle to accompany the curry instead of steamed rice as I wasn’t in a mood for rice.  I prefer noodle to rice in such hot days.

It’s always easy to cook Japanese curry: you just need to buy Japanese curry roux which is available from Asian grocery shops or some supermarkets.  Then you can arrange any flavor: pork, beef, chicken, veggies and seafood.

The key for tasty curry is the cooking time.  Longer you simmer, deeper the taste develops.  I used Japanese curry mix “Hot” and added extra chili to make it really spicy!

<Spicy Seafood Curry> for 3~4 ppl

  • 1/2 Japanese curry sauce mix “hot” (about 110g)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 onion
  • squid, prawn about 250g
  1. Slice onion and squid.  Heat a sauce pan and saute onion.
  2. Add squid and prawn into the pan.  Saute until lightly browned.
  3. Add water and bring to boil.  Turn down the heat and add curry sauce mix.  Simmer over low heat for about 20~30 minutes.  Add chili (or chili powder) if you like.
  4. Enjoy with steamed rice, noodle, whatever you like.

The standard Japanese curry uses sliced meat (pork, usually), potatoes, onions and carrots.  They are the ingredients that you can see at the back of the Japanese curry mix package “how to cook Japanese curry”.  The standard curry tastes great, but why not try more varieties??  You can add any vegetables like cabbage, eggplant, capsicums, corn, and broccoli.  Or, add boiled eggs (shells off) into curry and simmer.  The egg absorbs the flavor of curry, and you can enjoy the different texture.

By the way, I also like eating pieces of bread dipped in Japanese curry too.

Grilled Octopus Balls (Takoyaki)

Posted February 1st, 2009 in Food | 6 Comments »

Since we got back from Japan my fiance and I have been craving for Takoyaki: octopus balls originating from Osaka Japan.  We saw Takoyaki grill plate at electric shops in Japan, but after a while of discussion we decided to not buy.  Now, however, we really think that we should have bought it!

It’s really difficult to find one of those in Perth.  Some Asian shops sell Takoyaki plates for stove top, but I’m after electric one.  Electric one cooks Takoyaki evenly and it’s more fun: you can just cook them before you, while watching tv.  eBay and other online shops sell Takyaki plates/machines, I know, but they are quite expencive.  It just costs 2000yen in Japan.  Obviously I needed to get transformer for voltage though if I bought it in Japan.  (Japan 100V, Australia 220~240V)

Luckly one of my friends here actually got an electric Takoyaki plate! 🙂  so I asked her to lend me.

It’s the second time for me to actually make takoyaki myself.  Besides, I don’t have packaged Takoyaki mix or Takoyaki sauce here!  I could go to Asian shop and look for them, but I knew it would be expensive.  so, I decided to make them from scratch.

I don’t think many people have chance to make Takoyaki at home, but I will show the recipe here anyway…

What I used: plain flour, 1 egg, Dashi powder, cabbage, red ginger, spring onion, octopus

  1. Crack one egg in a bowl, and add plain flour (about 2~4 table spoons).  Add water (about 3~5 cups) to create really runny mixture.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of Dashi powder (if you have).
  2. Chop up cabbage, red ginger and spring onion.  You won’t need them much, as Takoyaki is pretty small food and you can’t  make perfectly round Takoyaki if there are too many ingredients.  For 18 Takoyaki, you will probably need 1 leaf of lettuce, 1 tbs of red ginger and 1 spring onion.
  3. Cut octopus into pieces (small enough to be put in the Takoyaki grill holes).


  • 1 tbs Worcester sauce
  • 1 tbs tomato ketchup (tomato sauce)
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp honey

Just mix them up, and done!  Set aside.

<How to make>

You will have to heat up the grill plate really well.  Once the grill plate is hot, pour the mixture into the holes (fill about 1/3 full)  Sprinkle the chopped cabbage, red ginger, spring onion and octopus into the holes.  Pour the rest of the mixture over.

Cook for few minutes.  Once the mixture starts to set, try to push the mixture into holes.  You can slowly try to turn them around and make them shape like balls.

Cook 360 degrees.  Once cooked, transfer to a serving plate and brush the sauce over.  Sprinkle Bonito flakes, Ao-nori and drizzle Japanese mayonnaise.  Enjoy!

p.s…  I found a Takoyaki grill plate on eBay and bought it straight away.  Now, we are enjoying making them at home anytime we want. 🙂

Salmon Dishes

Posted December 25th, 2008 in Food | No Comments »

I love seafood!  I used to eat lots of fish and other seafood everyday in Japan.  We eat raw seafood: the seafood in Japan is so fresh and tasty that no need to be cooked.  Here in Perth, on the other hand, I can’t get fresh seafood easily 🙁  I wouldn’t eat the white fish uncooked which I purchased from local supermarket.  Feels dangerous to eat them raw.

However, I like salmon here. I think the quality is ok, and sometimes you can get sashimi-grade salmon from fish markets.  Fish is good for your brain and health so I try to eat as much as I can 🙂

How we eat salmon in Japan, except for raw dish such as carpaccio and sashimi, is usually grilled or braised in a pan.  In Japanese cuisine we grill the salmon with just a sprinkle of salt, or sometimes marinade the salmon in preserved-malted- rice( Koujizuke) and grill them.  We usually cook till well-done.  You can also marinade in miso paste or soy sauce based marinade.

Marinade salmon in miso paste mixture (1 tbs miso paste, 1tbs sake (Japanese wine) and 1tsp sugar) for more than 30 min before grilling.

Marinade salmon in soy sauce mixture (2 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs sake, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp grated ginger) for 30 min, then pan fry or grill in the oven.  Boil the sauce down till half its volume and pour over the salmon.

Or you can just deep-fry them with corn flour, then eat with some dipping sauce!!

  • Cut Chili + Soy Sauce or Sambal … Indonesia Style
  • Soy Sauce + Sesame Oil + Chopped Spring Onion, Grated Garlic … Chinese Style
  • Chopped Coriander + Sweet Chili Sauce + Roasted Peanuts (crushed) … Thai Style
  • Pest + Fresh Tomato Salsa … Italian Style
  • Sansho Powder … Japanese Style
  • Soy Sauce + Grated Ginger … Japanese Style
  • Hoisin Sauce + Sweet Chili Sauce … Ume Style

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