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Cooking For Fun

Japanese Side Dishes

Japanese Fried Rice
Courtesy of Linda

2 Tablespoons Oil
1 Egg -- beaten
3 Cups Cold Cooked Rice
4 Scallions With Green Tops -- chopped
1/2 Cup Cooked Shrimp Or Crabmeat
1/2 Cup Frozen Green Peas -- thawed and drained
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

Heat oil in nonstick pan; add egg and scramble briefly. Add rice, scallions, seafood, and green peas. Stir gently until hot; about 3 minutes. Add soy sauce; mix thoroughly before serving.

NOTES : It is important to use cold rice in fried rice. A short grain white rice is used in Japan.

Spinach With Sesame And Miso
Courtesy of Sarah <>

2 1/2 Tablespoons Sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons Miso, light -- see * Note
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1/4 Pound Fresh spinach
1 Tablespoon Peanut oil

* Note:  Fermented soybean paste; available in Japanese or Oriental markets.

Heat a wok or frying pan and add the sesame seeds.  Stir over medium-high heat until they are lightly toasted.  Cool the seeds and crush them with a mortar and pestle or food blender.  Mix with the miso and sugar.

Wash the spinach and drain well.  Heat a wok or frying pan and add the oil. Stir-fry the spinach just until it collapses. Remove from the wok. Stir the miso and sesame paste into the spinach.

Comments: The Japanese immigrants quickly learned to give common American vegetables flavors that reminded them of the old country. I think this is such a dish. I really do love this served as a cold vegetable side dish. However, it may be served either hot or cold.

Cucumber Namasu
Courtesy of Sarah <>

4 Cucumbers
1 1/4 Tablespoons Salt
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Rice wine vinegar
1 1/4 Teaspoons Grated fresh ginger root
1/3 Teaspoon Salt -- or to taste

Prepare the cucumbers by slicing them in half. Remove the seeds if they are large. Slice in thin diagonals. Sprinkle with 1 1/4 tablespoon of salt and place in a bowl. Let stand for 20 minutes. Rinse, drain and remove excess water by putting the cucumbers in a kitchen towel and squeezing out the water. Combine the sugar, vinegar, remaining salt and the ginger.  Pour over the cucumbers and chill. This recipe yields about 5 servings.

Comments: The Japanese table must always appeal to the eye as well as to the stomach.  For this reason several pickle dishes, which can also function as decoration, are often served. This is a good one.

Japanese Vegetable Salad
Courtesy of Iara <>

***THE RAW***
1 Cup Romaine Lettuce -- Shredded
1/2 Cucumber -- Peeled
And Sliced Into Rounds
1/4 Cup Shredded Carrot
1 Japanese Tomato -- Sliced In Quarters
Or Substitute Roma Tomato

***The Cooked***
1/2 Cup Steamed Broccoli
1/2 Cup Steamed Snow Pea Pods

***Miso-Carrot Dressing***
3 Tablespoons White Miso
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Shredded Carrot

1. Mix dressing ingredients well. Refrigerate up to 1 hour before using.

2. Steam the broccoli and snow peas until they have turned a bright, vivid green (about 8 minutes). They should still have a crunch to them. Run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

3. Toss all the vegetables in a large bowl. Spoon miso dressing on top and toss well. Salad will keep up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Notes: * A Japanese tomato looks like a large, deep red Roma tomato with a greyish blush to the skin. It is in season only a short time in the summer and can likely be found at your local farmers' market.


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