Udon Noodles

2012_12_13This is a really easy lunch to throw together. I love noodles and so does Ellie so it’s a win win.


Udon Noodles


350ml water
2.5Tb soy sauce
1tsp mirin
1 tsp dashi no motto (It’s a powder to make Japanese broth. We got ours at a Japanese grocery store)
1/2tsp sugar

Add all ingredients and cook noodles in the broth. I garnished mine with chopped green onions. We bought frozen noodles from the Japanese grocery store, but you can also buy them uncooked. Uncooked noodles usually takes about 15 minutes to cook all the way through.

Yakisoba (やきそば) and Oden (おでん)

We had our friend Mike (my IT guy for this site) over to celebrate his birthday. We decided on a Japanese menu of oden, yaki soba, and gyoza. This was a big deal for me because I’d be cooking things that Aya has never made. But luckily what we picked is pretty simple.

Oden is a very traditional winter Japanese food which ingredients consist of hard boiled egg, konnyaku, daikon radish, and various processed fish cakes cooked slowly in a light soy flavored broth. Japanese Seven Elevens sell this instead of hot dogs. It’s also a very common bar food. To be honest, this is far from my favorite dish, but to me as an outsider, this tastes and smells like Japan.

Yakisoba is a stir-fry noodle dish with sauce that has many variations. Some with or without meat, and all kinds of vegetable variations. We used carrots, cabbage, onions, and pork. You can buy packages than come with sauce, or you can make your own.



(Ingredients and quantity vary)

1 konnyaku
6 chikuwa (ground fish cake)
3 gobo maki (ground fish cake)
4 boiled eggs
1/2 medium size daikon radish in 1 inch slices
1 package of oden soup mix

This was easy. I bought a package that all I had to do was add water to make the broth. I boiled the eggs, sliced the daikon radishes, cut the fish cakes, tossed them all in the pot and let it cook on low for a few hours.


3 packages of yakisoba cooked noodles (just follow the instructions on the package. Some noodles are already cooked and some you need to cook. The pack we used were already cooked)
3 carrots cut matchstick style
1/4 head of cabbage sliced
1 onion sliced
2 pork filets sliced thin lengthwise

Sauce (we tripled this for three servings, so adjust accordingly)
2Tbs Worcester sauce
2Tb tonnkatsu sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce

Saute pork, carrots, cabbage, and onions with a little oil. Set aside. Heat 1 table spoon of oil in pan on medium-high. Add noodles and cook for a few minutes. Turn heat to low and add vegetables and pork. Stir in sauce and serve. We served ours with a fried egg on top garnished with beni shoga (pickled ginger) and aonori (seaweed powder. It’s the Japanese equivalent of garnishing with parsley).

Custard Pudding (カスタード・プリン)

Aya has found memories of her mom making this pudding when she would stay home sick from school. While her mom was here visiting she gave us a lesson on how to make. It’s pretty much the same thing as the flan, crème caramel. Aya said this custard pudding is extremely common in Japan.

400 ml whole milk
4 large eggs
100g (1/2 cup) sugar
1~2 drops of vanilla extract
2 tsp rum
<Caramel sauce>
4 Tbp sugar
1 Tbp water
2 Tbp hot water

  1. To make the caramel sauce, boil the sugar and water together in a small sauce pan and brown the sugar. Add the hot water, stir, and turn off the heat. While it’s still hot, pour about 1tsp each into the pudding molds.
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar together.
  3. Slowly add warm milk to the above and add vanilla extract and rum once the sugar has completed melted.
  4. Run the milk and egg mixture through a strainer to remove the bubbles.
  5. Gently pour the milk and egg mixture into pudding molds.
  6. In a 9×13 cake pan, fill boiling water half way and gently place the pudding molds inside.
  7. Bake in oven at 425 for 20 minutes.

Miso Glazed Tilapia

(I can never get fish to photograph to well. It tastes much better than it looks)

I found this recipe on the internet. I’m not sure I prepared the glaze correctly, but we did enjoy the flavor. The saltiness of the miso balanced out the citrus from the zest. As the instructions read on the blog, I just smothered the marinade on top and baked instead of doing the cheesecloth method. This was easy to do and I just  scraped off some of the marinade so it wouldn’t be too strong.

I served this with gyozas, seaweed salad, and rice. I was surprised how quickly I threw this together.


Miso Glazed Tilapia

Miso and Butter Sauteed Pork Donburi (豚肉のみそバター焼き丼)

I did get to eat this (that’s why the photo is from Aya’s phone) when Aya’s mom made it, but Aya loved it and said it was super easy.

300g (about 1/2 to 3/4lb) thinly sliced pork shoulder
2Tb butter
2 Tb potato starch
Sauce: 1Tb sugar, 4Tb miso, 4Tb Japanese cooking wine
1 small head of lettuce
8 shiso leaves
2tsp ground white sesame seeds

  1. Chop shiso and lettuce into thin strips.
  2. Slice the pork into bite size pieces and coat with potato starch.
  3. Mix A together.
  4. Melt butter in a pan and saute both sides of pork.  Add sauce.
  5. Serve rice in a bowl and top with the lettuce, shiso, pork, and sprinkle ground sesame seeds on top.