One of the things Japan is famous for is its wide range of food. Some people even say you have to live a year round in the country to actually be able to taste the complete assortment of food, since every season knows many specialties. In this guide I’d like to share some really easy recipes for you to bring home the Japanese taste. The only thing you need is a local Asian shop (toko) to buy some Japanese ingredients.
Goya is a bitter melon often used in the Japanese kitchen. It does taste very bitter but, when it's prepared properly, even people who don't like bitter food will actually like this. This recipe is for a small serving for two people, but doesn't make a complete meal, so be sure to serve with rice and other dishes.
- half goya
- 1 egg
- soy sauce (1 table spoon)
- sliced pork loin (100g)
- sesame or regular oil
- Wash the half goya, cut in half lengthways, remove the inside, then slice it thinly.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the goya. Fry it for several minutes on medium heat, stirring every now and then.
- Stir in the sliced pork and wait until it’s almost cooked.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg in a bowl, and add it into the pan.
- Add the soy sauce and some salt and pepper, mix a bit and you’re done. Serve with rice.
Renkon with Komatsuna and Ginger
Renkon is an Asian vegetable often used in Japanese cuisine. Uncooked it feels like wood, but sliced and cooked or fried it gets a bit softer, and makes your dish visually stunning because of the hole pattern. Komatsuna is Japanese spinach. Because of the ginger and komatsuna, this dish is full of vitamins and minerals.
- 1 renkon
- komatsuna (3 pieces, only use stalks)
- grated ginger (1cm)
- pepper / salt
- soy sauce (150ml)
- sesame or regular oil
- Wash the renkon and slice it thinly.
- Heat the oil in the frying pan on medium heat, and add the sliced renkon. It may take a while before the slices are ready, so wait for them to turn brown, stirring every now and then.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by mixing the soy sauce and ginger well in a small bowl.
- Now remove the leaves from the komatsuna and slice the stalks. When the renkon is ready, add the komatsuna stalks to the pan. Mix it a bit and add pepper and salt.
- Now add the soy mix and stir for a while. Be sure not to cook the komatsuna too long, since it will lose its vitamins, minerals and taste. One minute will be good. Serve with rice.