Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

30 min Dinner : Chicken Teriyaki, Daikon and Carrot salad with Miso dressing

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist /  Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Chicken Teriyaki is loved by everyone! I was quite surprised to find Teriyaki sauce sold at supermarkets in a bottle. Since when did they become so internationally famous?

There are so many different ways to make this, using thigh fillets, breasts, drumsticks, having skin on or off, using mirin or sugar or honey. The combination is endless, but today, I will introduce what I make at home that my family loves.


I’ve added some eggplants to it, turned out really nice. Since the teriyaki is sweet and quite filling, I made a simple salad to go with it, and this day, dinner was served with rice and miso soup(potato and wakame-seaweed), and some left over veggies. Not bad for a 30min dinner? I hope you find it easy and tasty too!


Chicken Teriyaki (for 2 people)

-300 Chicken Thigh fillets with skin

-1 Tablespoon Organic raw sugar

-2 Tablespoon Soy sauce

-2 Tabespoon Sake (cooking rice wine)

-Eggplants (optional)


To cook;

Step 1: Cut the meat into bite size, remove excess fat but leave the skin on, marinate in sauce mixture(sugar, soy sauce, sake) for 10min

Step 2: On a non-stick frying pan, grill meat from skin first; remove fat coming out of the meat using paper towel (I used about 5-6 sheets, that’s how much fat will come out); when the skin gets crispy, turn over the meat and add vegetables

Step 3: When the vegetables are cooked, add sauce mixture remaining in the bowl, put on lid and cook on low for 5-8min.

Serve and enjoy! If there are lots of sauce remaining in the frying pan, you can add cornflour(1 Tablespoon diluted in 1 Tablespoon water) and make a thick sauce to cover your meat and veggies. Instead of eggplants, you can add onions, cabbage or anything that goes well with this sweet flavor. I think this recipe is good because you can make it without mirin! If the sauce is too sweet, change the sugar into maple syrup, I prefer it this way but my husband said he prefers raw sugar. Oh well 🙂



To make the salad, I just peeled daikon radish and carrots using a vegetable peeler, sprinkled some salt on it and let the water seep out. The dressing was really good, so I will leave it for my own future reference 🙂


-1 teaspoon Oranic tahini

-1 teaspoon  Mayonnaise

-2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

-1/2 teaspoon organic raw sugar

-Sesame to sprinkle on top


This is so similar to the sesame dressing I used to buy in Japan! It goes well with most vegetables, and makes your salad rich with flavor and minerals(from the sesame!).


I hope you enjoy it!



February 28, 2012

Chicken Kara-age with Ponzu and Marinated Cucumber

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist/ Healthy Muffin Maker /  Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Last week, I made Chicken Kara-age using cornflour, something easily bought from any local supermarket. Today, I decided to make it with potato starch and ask my husband which he prefers more.


He is very polite, and he said both tasted just as nice, and ate everything so quickly, it must have been good 🙂 He didn’t forget to add, “Why don’t you make both at the same time so I can compare it as I eat”, which means he wants to eat both of them again! Oh well, fair enough, if he is up to it, I think I will make it together to see how different it is.


To cook this Chicken Kara-age, I used

-250g Chicken (meat cut off from drumstick to cook Basic Chicken Stock)

-1 Tablespoon Sake (cooking rice wine)

-1 Tablespoon Soy sauce

-1 teaspoon ginger

-Potato starch

-5cm Daikon (white radish)

-1 Lime, Soy sauce


To make:

Step 1: Mix sauce (sake, soy sauce, ginger) and marinate chicken for 10min; while waiting, grate daikon


Step 2: Pat dry chicken on a paper towel, cover with potato starch and fry on medium to high temperature oil, cook on both sides


Step 3: Put lettuce, chicken on plate, cover with daikon just before serving squeeze lemon and drop 1 tablespoon soy sauce.


This is easy, yet very filling. If you made more than you can eat at one go, keep it without the daikon sauce. I like to eat it with the mixture of crunchy skin and the dressing together,  but if you prefer it separately, it’s ok. If you don’t have daikon around you, just squeeze lime or lemon directly. The chicken itself already has a flavor to it, ponzu (daikon sauce) is optional.


For a side dish, I made  Marinated Cucumber.

This is

-2 Lebanese Cucumber

-1 Tablespoon Sesame oil

-2 Tablespoon Soy sauce

-1 Tablespoon Vinegar (I used Apple cider vinegar today)

-1 teaspoon Chinese chili bean paste


To cook, don’t be surprised,

Step 1: Bang the cucumber with a rolling pin and break it into small pieces!

Step 2: Combine the marinating sauce, mix in the cucumber and rest for at least 30min in the fridge. The longer it’s left, more flavor will soak in.

Step 3: Serve! I garnished it with sesame seeds, but that’s an optional.

Super easy, super tasty.


I hope you enjoy this too!





February 28, 2012

30 min Dinner : Chicken Kara-age with Ponzu, Marinated Cucumber, Tomato Salad

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artisit/ Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


I dropped my i-phone under water, and this is making it hard to take photos and update my blog 😦 Sorry for the inconvenience.


No matter how sad or upset you are, one must still eat, and this is another super fast dinner menu that you can cook on a day to make you feel better. The cucumber and tomato can be made earlier in the day, in fact it is better to have the cucumber marinated for at least 30min, to make this dish first!


So, the order would be:


Step 1: Boil eggs, prepare marinated cucumber(5min)

Step 2: Slice tomato, marinate chicken (5min)

Step 3: Prepare Tomato Salad on plate (5min),

Step 4: Cook Chicken Kara-age with Ponzu, serve everything and eat!!!


The tomato salad is soooo simple, yet really tasty, one of my favorite summer dish that my mum used to make. It is good for children too! When I give it to my 17 months daughter, I chop the tomato into dice and instead of dressing, I just squeeze some lemon on it.


I hope this helps your busy day too. ENJOY 🙂

February 27, 2012

Sweet Chili Chicken Noodle

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Is it only me that buys different sauce and seasonings to cook new flavors, but don’t know how to use it up before it goes bad? Living in Sydney for almost 6 months, I used up more than 3 bottles of soy sauce, 2 bottles of sake(cooking rice wine), 1 bottle of vinegar, 1 bottle of sesame oil and 2 packets of miso. So these things, I know how to use everyday.

However, I have bottles of fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, tomato sauce, and many other sauces that I don’t know how to use very much.

Sweet chili sauce, I bought it to make Vietnamese rice paper roll, and I think I made it more than 3 times, but the sauce is still here. Today, I decided to make some noodle from this, and believe it or not, it is YUMMY!


Ingredients (for 2 people)

-1/2 Onion

-1/2 cloves Garlic

-1 bunch Coriander

-Leftover vegetables (I used, 1/4 Carrot, 1/4 Red Capsicum, 2 Tomatoes, Lettuce)

-2 bunch of Organic Somen Noodle

-1 1/2 cups Asian Chicken Stock (Home made)

-2 Tablespoon Sweet Chili Sauce

-1-2 Limes


How to Cook:

Step 1: Cut all the vegetables into thin strips, in a large pot, stir fry onion, garlic and half the coriander using a little bit of oil. Add all the vegetables EXCEPT lettuce and cook.


Step 2: Pour the chicken stock and sweet chili sauce; in a separate pot, prepare the noodle.


Step 3: Put the noodle in a bowl to serve, pour over the soup, garnish with lettuce, remaining coriander and leftover chicken meat.


Enjoy with lots of limes and beer! YUM 🙂

I used lettuce, but you can use bean sprouts to make it more Vietnamese. Or even cucumber. The point is to have some fresh (Uncooked) vegetable on top as a garnish to give you some texture while you are eating.

This Asian Chicken Stock is sooooo handy, yet I forgot to introduce it! Will do so soon 🙂


February 23, 2012

30 min Dinner: Sukiyaki style beef, Su-no-mono, Vegetable side dish

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist/ Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


I already introduced how to cook

Sukiyaki style beef with tofu and vegetable, and Su-no-mono already, just wanted to show you how the final dinner looked like!



The vegetable side dish that I haven’t introduced is “Itoko-Ni” , pumpkin and Adzuki beans cooked together. This is another kind of food that is there in the fridge all the time, and served to add color (the bright orange of a pumpkin always makes me happy!) and nutrients to the meal. Pumpkin is full of good vitamins, and the same with adzuki.


I hope this adds ideas to your everyday cooking! Enjoy 🙂

February 23, 2012

Miso Dengaku (Tofu and Vegetables with Miso sauce)

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artisit / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


This is one of my favorite dish! Miso Dengaku is usually made with tofu and sweet tasting miso paste. It could also be made with eggplants, or “konnyaku(konjak)”, jelly‐like food made from the starch of devil’s tongue (devil’s tongue is a name of a flower). Miso paste can be made in different ways, personally, I like to combine Yuzu citrus, but since I can’t find Yuzu in Sydney, today I made a basic one.


Ingredients for 2 people (the photo is for 1)

-300-400g Firm Tofu (Momen)

-1 Eggplant (not the thin baby type, but choose the big fat round one!)

For Miso paste

-1 Tablespoon Miso

-1 Tablespoon Sake

-1 1/2 Organic Maple Syrup

(NOTE:Usually, this paste is made with Mirin and Sugar, but I substituted that with Maple Syrup. The result was just as nice, so I think I would stick to this recipe 🙂 )


Sesame and shallots are additional  as garnish.


To cook is easy and quick as usual!


Step 1: Cut Eggplants and tofu into squares, about 5cm  square and 2cm thick,  cook on a non stick frying pan with a little bit of oil, always on low heat.

Step 2: While the eggplant is cooking (it takes a while) , mix the sauce ingredients (miso, sake and maple syrup) in a small sauce pan and cook on low heat until it thickens. This does not take long and WILL BURN if you don’t keep your eye on it, so stay close and stir with a spatula occasionally.

Step 3: Place tofu and vegetable on plate, spread sauce and garnish if desired!


It can be served hot or cold, works as a good starter. The tofu and vegetables can be skewered with a bamboo skewer, and makes great finger food at parties or your next BBQ!

Enjoy 🙂



February 23, 2012

30 min Dinner : Chicken Kara-age and Baked Eggplant

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artisit / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


This is another 30min dinner, using the left over chicken meat from the Basic Chicken Stock. I made Japanese style pan fried chicken and baked eggplant. It was a surprise that my 17 month daugher LOVED this baked eggplant, I gave it to her with some organic pasta and she just ate everything and ate so much, it made me happy 🙂

This night, we went to meet our sister who just had a baby, so I prepared the baked eggplant before we left, marinated the chicken and off we went! Coming back, it had to be quick, so while heating the eggplant, I fried the chicken, chopped vegetables and here we go, it was done!


I made this Kara-age with corn flour, and although my husband said it was the best tasting chicken ever, I think I prefer it with potato starch. So, I will try this dish once again before introducing it!


The baked eggplant was another “using up all your vegetable dish”.

Ingredients (for 2 people, the photo is for 1)

– 1 Eggplant (I wanted to put the cooked sauce in the eggplant itself, so I used the big round eggplant. You can make this in an oven proof bake dish, if so, you can use any type og eggplant, large or small!)

-1 Medium Onion

-5-8 Mushrooms

-2-3 Tomatoes

-1-2 cloves Garlic

-1 teaspoon oregano

-1/2 cup Basic Chicken Stock

To cook:

Step 1: Cut all the vegetables (I usually cut as I cook, because vegetables like onions and garlic needs longer cooking time. Rather than waiting, I cut and cook as I go), cook on a frying pan with a little bit of oil and oregano

Cook the vegetables in this order: Garlic-Onion-Mushroom-Tomato-Eggplant


Step 2: Add stock , cover with lid and cook until it thickens.


You can cook until this part, and put the sauce somewhere cool to rest.

Before serving,


Step 3: Pour sauce into baking dish, spread some breadcrumbs or cheese and cook on 180 C oven for 8-10min, until the top gets golden.


Enjoy 🙂


NOTE:You can add meat or tofu to this sauce and serve as a main dish. It is really tasty and as I mentioned, this makes a great pasta sauce too! It went really well with the Shell shaped pasta that Yumi loves 🙂

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February 22, 2012

Cucumber and Wakame seaweed with a Vinegar Dressing

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artisit / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


One of the reason why Japanese food are considered healthy is we consume a lot of vinegar. Instead of eating salad, which usually requires oil in the dressing, Japanese people eat “Su-no-mono” , which means “Vineger things”.

The traditional vinegar dressing used in the dish is called “Sanbai-Su” which means “3 Tablespoon Vinegar”. It is mixing Soy sauce and Mirin and Vinegar together. The ratio is 1:1:1, and when mixing only Soy sauce and Vinegar, it is called “Nihai-Su”, meaning “2 Tablespoon Vinegar)




The combination here was using

-1/2 Lebanese Cucumber

-2 Tablespoon Wakame seaweed soaked in water

-1/2 cob Corn, precooked


For the dressing, I used

-2 teaspoon Soy sauce

-2 teaspoon Mirin

-2 teaspoon Sake

This was enough to mix with the ingredients. You can add Tuna for more volume (use one in water and not in oil), or add things like carrots, white horseradish, or even celery. As usual, remember to cut the vegetables into thin slices/strips but not too thin as you don’t want them too soggy.

Something like this is good when you are eating soy saucey + sweet food like Sukiyaki or Niku-jaga (Beef and potato), because it helps to refreshen your mouth. So simple (made in 3 min) yet the color of yellow from the corn adds colors to your table too!


Enjoy 🙂



February 22, 2012

Sukiyaki Style Beef with Tofu and Vegetable

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

This is part of our 30min dinner, the main dish! It is Sukiyaki Style Beef with Tofu and Vegetables. Usually, when cooking Sukiyaki, you need the beef to be cut in thin slices. There is one butcher in Chatswood that sells this type of meat, but since I didn’t have the time to go there, I just cooked regular beef (blade) and made it taste like Sukiyaki. Thus the title is Sukiyaki Style and not Sukiyaki! Would love to show how to cook proper sukiyaki one day 🙂




-200-400g beef, cut into thin strips (sliced, if possible)

-300g tofu

-1/4 Chinese cabbage

-1/2 packet Bean sprouts

-1/4 Carrots

For seasoning

-2 Tablespoon Soy sauce

-2 Tablespoon Organic raw sugar

-2 Tablespoon Sake (cooking rice wine)

To make, it is simple as usual!

Step 1 : Cut all the ingredients, cook meat on frying pan with a little bit of oil


Step 2: Place the seasoning ON MEAT, then put vegetables and tofu on top of that, so it would form a layer

Step 3: Cover with lid and cook on low heat until the ingredients are cooked, check from time to time if there is enough liquid in the pan. Tofu, Chinese cabbage and bean sprouts all tend to give out water when cooked, so you don’t have to add water to this, but if you think there is not enough, you an add 1-2 Tablespoon water or Dashi (Konbu broth).


Usually, sukiyaki is served with raw egg, you dip the meat and vegetable in beaten raw egg, but I think eating egg raw is not very common here so decided not to do it tonight. When I cook the proper sukiyaki, I’ll show you how!

Once the lid is put on, you can turn your back and cook other dishes, so by the time this is cooked, your dinner should be ready! Enjoy 🙂


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February 22, 2012

Making Basic Chicken Stock

by 田草川(たくさがわ)かおる

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Cooking is about love and patience, someone told me, and even though I never thought myself as a very patient person , I do put love in the meals I cook.

This Basic Chicken Stock is something I started to make when I moved to Sydney. Yes, you can buy soup stocks from the shelf, but I wanted to make something that I knew what was inside, and I also wanted to use celery leaves! What a funny reason to start 🙂




Ingredients for Basic Chicken Stock

-2 BONES from Free range or Organic Chicken Drumstick

(As you can see, I have separated the meat from the bone. This meat will turn into a different dish tomorrow! )

-5 Mushrooms

-2 medium size Onions

-1 small Carrot

-1/4 Bunch of Celery leaves (when I buy celery, I cut off the leaves and freeze it! )

-1 Bay leaf

-Salt, Pepper and Soy sauce to taste


Step 1: Cut all the ingredients and put in a large stove pan

Step 2: Cover the ingredients with water, make sure everything is soaked under the water plus 1-2cm extra.

Step 3: Cook on low heat until the water has halved in volume.

The amount of the vegetable varies in the amount of bones I have. This will make about 2-3 times worth of strong and tasty chicken stock. By using this in the cooking, it makes things taste really good! I usually save these stock in the fridge using milk cartons!

Just cut the bottom of the milk carton into 5-8cm height, pour in the stock, cover it with wrap and put it in the fridge. I tried using jars but it takes longer to thaw, and with milk cartons, it is much easier to push it out of the container when you are in a rush 🙂


Hope you enjoy this handy recipe too!

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