Japanese, Lactose Free, Recipes, Salad, Vegan, Vegetarian, Veggies

Miso Turmeric Dressing

May 26, 2016

Miso Turmeric DressingThis is a beautiful and versatile dressing.  It’s delicious with chopped iceberg lettuce and cucumbers, or drizzled over a crisp watercress salad.   It’s the perfect match for a cool summer soba salad with finely shredded red cabbage and pan-fried tofu.

White MisoThis Hawaiian Style Mellow White Miso is perfect for this dressing.  It has a semi-sweet flavor that compliments the rest of the ingredients.

White Miso

Ground Turmeric

Shredded Ginger & CarrotThe dressing can be prepared in less than 10 minutes.  All the ingredients are whisked together in a small bowl.  That’s it!  It will keep nicely in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days.

Miso Turmeric Dressing with Soba Salad

Miso Turmeric Dressing
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
Serves: about 1 cup
  • ⅓ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2½ tablespoons finely grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve over crisp salad greens such as iceberg lettuce, watercress, chopped cabbage or use as a dressing for soba salad.


Dinner, Japanese, Lactose Free, Recipes, Salad, Side Dishes, Vegetarian, Veggies

Crunchy Cabbage & Ramen Noodle Salad

May 15, 2016

Crunchy Cabbage & Ramen Noodle Salad

This is the perfect salad to take on a summer picnic or potluck party.  Everything can be prepared in advance and put together in one bowl just before serving.  I love the crunchy texture of the cabbage, ramen and almonds.  Sometimes I’ll add leftover shredded rotisserie chicken to the salad.  You could also add baked or pan-fried tofu for a tasty vegetarian lunch.  This is a salad, with its refreshing ingredients and delicious dressing, that I will never get tired of eating.

Ramen Noodles

Though the ramen is already baked, I prefer to enhance it just a bit to make it very crisp. I toast the crushed ramen in my toaster oven for 4 minutes before adding it to the salad.

Slaw Mix

Crunchy Cabbage & Ramen Noodle Salad


Crunchy Cabbage & Ramen Noodle Salad
Adapted from the kitchn blog recipe
Serves: 4
  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded carrot (about 3 ounces)
  • ¼ cup shelled edamame
  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil (Kadoya brand recommended)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds, white, black or a combination of both
  • 1 (3-ounce) package ramen noodles, crushed and toasted (discard seasoning packet)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  1. Place shredded cabbage, carrot and edamame in a large bowl.
  2. Combine seasoned rice vinegar, sesame oil, canola oil, honey, and sesame seeds in a jar. Shake to combine ingredients.
  3. Preheat toaster oven (or oven) to 325 degrees. Spread crushed ramen noodles on a foil lined baking sheet and toast for about 4 minutes. Watch closely so it doesn't burn.
  4. Toast sliced almonds for 4 -5 minutes. If you use your oven, you'll have enough space to toast the ramen and almonds at the same time (on separate pans). The ramen and almonds should be slightly toasted with just a hint of golden color.
  5. Add dressing to the cabbage mixture by the spoonful. Toss, then fold in ramen, green onions and almonds. Toss again and serve right away.










Dinner, Japanese, Lactose Free, Pork, Recipes, Sauces

Grilled Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

May 5, 2016

Grilled Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

Virtually anything grilled with Granny’s teriyaki sauce is terrific.  Sometimes we grill tofu, sometimes chicken, occasionally fish, or in this case for the first time, pork tenderloin.  It’s such an easy meal to whip up on a week night and leftovers are more than welcome the following day.  Pork tenderloin is lean and because of its compact size, it cooks quickly which means dinner is on the table in no time.  A side of Japanese rice and baby bok choy makes the perfect meal.

Pork Tenderloin Marinating

Place the sauce and pork in a bowl, or even better, a Ziplock bag.  Refrigerate for a few hours, turning occasionally.

Grilling Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

Use a gas or charcoal grill.  This time we used our gas grill and started cooking over indirect heat (to about 95 – 100 degrees internal temperature) then finished over direct heat to 145 degrees, basting occasionally with sauce. Our favorite digital thermometer the Thermapen is essential for perfect doneness. This cooking technique is also known as the reverse sear.  The traditional method is to sear the meat first and finish in the oven or on the grill over indirect heat.  The reverse sear method prevents an over done “gray” rind and the meat cooks more evenly with  a consistent  doneness and color from edge to center. Voila!  In less than half an hour our pork tenderloin is ready.

Grilled Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin


Grilled Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
Serves: 2 generous servings
  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound
  • Granny's teriyaki sauce
  • Reserve ¼ cup sauce for basting pork
  • Save remainder for finishing as described below
  1. Trim pork tenderloin removing any visible fat and silver skin. Trim off the ends if they are very thin so that the pork tenderloin is of uniform size. The trimmings can be frozen for another meal (tacos!).
  2. Place pork tenderloin in a Ziplock bag with ½ cup of teriyaki sauce. Seal bag and place in the refrigerator for 3 - 4 hours. Turn bag occasionally so the pork is well marinated.
  3. When you are ready to grill the pork, remove it from the bag and discard marinade. Grill the pork by reverse sear method, basting occasionally with the reserved ¼ cup sauce, until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees on a digital thermometer.
  4. Meanwhile, simmer the reserved teriyaki sauce in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the sauce becomes a bit thick and syrupy. Set aside.
  5. Let pork rest for 5 minutes then slice into ½ inch pieces. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce and serve with rice and steamed boy choy.







Japanese, Lactose Free, Potato Salad, Recipes, Salad, Side Dishes

Japanese Potato Salad

April 23, 2016

Japanese Potato SaladJapanese potato salad has much in common with the American version however it does have a few unique twists.  The potatoes are crushed instead of cubed, and an assortment of vegetables are added such as cucumbers, carrots, onions, corn. Finely chopped ham and hardboiled eggs can also be combined in this wonderful potato salad.  Occasionally I will add a handful of green peas.  Many recipes call for Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise however my personal preference is to use regular mayonnaise. Either way, this is a delicious salad that everyone loves.

Japanese Cucumber

Japanese cucumbers are readily available at our local markets in Hawaii, however, if you don’t have access to them, any small, seedless cucumber works.  Slice them very thin. I use my favorite Benriner mandoline.

Japanese Cucumber & Onion

I have made this salad without ham (top photo) and with ham below. Both are equally delicious.

Japanese Potato Salad

Japanese Potato Salad


Japanese Potato Salad
Serves: 6 - 8
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" cubes
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced into thin half moons (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium Japanese or other seedless cucumber very thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced sweet onion
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, finely chopped
  • ½ cup thinly sliced ham, optional
  • ¼ cup green peas, optional
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper
  1. Put the potatoes in a saucepan of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft, and easily pierced with a fork, 10 - 15 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander.
  2. Meanwhile, toss the thinly sliced cucumber and onion with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, then rinse gently and press out the liquid using a clean dish cloth or paper towels. This is an important step that will prevent your potato salad from becoming soggy.
  3. Blanch carrots in boiling water for just a minute or two. The carrots should be al dente and still have a slight crunch. You may microwave the carrots in water if you prefer. Drain, pat dry and set aside.
  4. Whisk rice vinegar with the sugar until it dissolves. Whisk in mayonnaise.
  5. Place potatoes in a large, wide bowl and crush with a wooden spoon leaving a few small chunks for texture. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Add mayonnaise mixture, vegetables, chopped egg, ham, and peas if using. Stir gently to combine all ingredients. Chill for an hour before serving.


Appetizers, Bread, Lactose Free, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Pita Chips

April 13, 2016

Homemade Pita Chips

Having recently discovered the superlative quality of homemade hummus as opposed to the store-bought version, I thought why not make my own pita chips too?  They are one of the simplest snacks to make and all you need is a bag of pita bread plus olive oil and salt, items that we all have in our pantries.

Pita Bread

You can opt to use all the pita breads in the package, or make a smaller batch using just three.  The pita chips bake for just 10 minutes and come out of the oven perfectly golden brown.

Pita Bread Halved and Split

I tried splitting the pita bread, and not splitting the pita bread.  Conclusion – splitting the pita bread is the way to go if you want thin and crispy chips.  The pita chips that were not split were a bit tough and didn’t seem to hold their crunchy texture for very long, which brought to mind the time I purchased a bag of Stacy’s Pita Chips at Mana Foods.  They were nice and crisp.  Later, I saw a giant bag at Costco so I bought it, after all it was a good deal.  Once I took a bite of Stacy’s Costco version, I was sorely disappointed.  The chips were really hard and not delicately crispy as I had expected them to be.  Curious about why there was such a variation of the two bags, I contacted Stacy’s customer service department and was informed that the pita chips sold at Costco (in the giant bag that’s such a deal) are not split, and the ones at the market are.  So there you have it!

Pita Bread Halved and Split + Olive Oil & Maldon Sea Salt

Brush or dab a little olive oil on the rough side of the pita bread.  Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, such as Maldon.  I like to sprinkle a bit of dried oregano over the pita bread but it is optional.  You could also season the pita chips with pepper, or other dried herbs.  Bake until completely crisp.

Ready to Bake Homemade Pita Chips


Homemade Pita Chips


Pita Chips
Serves: 36 chips
  • 3 pita breads, about 6" diameter each
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • dried oregano
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut each pita bread in half, then split each half making 4 pieces per pita bread
  3. Stack the halves and cut into thirds, making 12 chips per pita (36 wedges total)
  4. Brush a bit of olive oil over the rough inner side of each piece and sprinkle with salt and oregano.
  5. Place wedges on foil-lined baking sheet making sure not to overlap.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, checking at the 8 minute mark as oven temperatures vary.
  7. Pita chips should be golden brown and crisp. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Serve with homemade hummus.


Appetizers, Beans, Lactose Free, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Easy Homemade Hummus

April 4, 2016

hummus - 1 (6)

Hummus and pita chips are a great snack any time of the day.  I have purchased hummus from our local markets in the past, but I’m always disappointed. Most of the time it’s because there’s too much garlic in the hummus for my taste.  When it comes to using raw garlic, especially in hummus and pesto, I prefer a light garlicky flavor, just enough to give the dish a nice zing, but also allowing the other flavors to shine.  This simple recipe does just that.  You taste the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and a bit of garlic.  A few dashes of cayenne pepper adds a delightful touch of heat.  This snack will take you just 10 minutes to whip up in your food processor.

chickpeas - 1

I’ve tried a number of brands of canned chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and finally decided that I like Eden the best (so far).  The beans have a nice color and a good texture.

hummus - 1 (7)

Easy Homemade Hummus
Ready in just 10 minutes!
Serves: 4 - 6 as an appetizer
  • 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas drained, 2 tablespoons of liquid reserved (you may reserve a few beans to sprinkle over the hummus)
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons reserved liquid from the beans
  • 1 very small garlic clove, pressed (scant ¼ teaspoon)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • few grinds of black pepper
  • few dashes of cayenne pepper
  1. Place chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon reserved bean liquid, garlic, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. If the hummus seems too thick, add the other tablespoon of reserved bean liquid and process for a few seconds. Taste and add more salt and cayenne pepper if you desire.
  2. Before serving, drizzle a little olive oil over the hummus and sprinkle with a bit of cayenne pepper or paprika and reserved garbanzo beans. Serve with pita chips.




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