The Easiest Ever Japanese – Nasu Dengaku (Miso Glazed Eggplant)

I would like to introduce my 2nd Easiest Ever Japanese recipe – Nasu Dengaku, which is known as Miso Glazed Eggplant.

Nasu Dengaku a little bit of soy
Juicy! Nasu Dengaku.

Again there is nothing difficult involved in this recipe, basically all you have to do is make miso sauce (by just mixing) and bake eggplant. Ingredients are common Japanese ones which you might already have in your pantry, otherwise can be obtained easily from the shop.

The baked eggplant will be super tender and melting in your month with the sweet and salty miso glaze. It is delicious!

This is another good recipe if you are not familiar with cooking Japanese.  Hope you like it 🙂

Ingredients (serving 2)

1 big Eggplant – about 500g

2 teaspoon of Sesame Oil

Sesame Seeds for topping

For Dengaku Sauce

1 tablespoon of Miso

1 tablespoon of Sugar

1/2 tablespoon of Cooking Sake

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
  2. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Score the flesh (almost to the skin) around the inner edge of the skin about 5mm in, and then score the same diagonally inside in small squares (see photo).
    Nasu Dengaku step by step
    Nasu Dengaku How to score eggplant flash
  3. Put sesame oil on the surfaces of the eggplant. Place the eggplant facing up on a baking tray. Bake it for about 30 minutes or until the eggplant is cooked and juicy.
  4. In the mean time, mix all ingredients for dengaku sauce
  5. Take out the eggplant from the oven.  Glaze the eggplant with the dengaku sauce. Turn the oven to 220 °C. Bake the eggplant for another 8-10 minutes.
  6. Take it out from the oven. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Serve while hot.

 

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My Low Carb Recipe – Miso Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini (Vegetarian)

Today, I would like to introduce my second low carb recipe – a well-known Ottoman dish with my Japanese Twist – Miso Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini.

Lupin Miso Mushrrom Stuffed Zucchini_alittlebitofsoy

The rich miso stuffing definitely matches with fresh and light zucchini. I also like the crunchiness and juiciness of zucchini, which makes you satisfied without eating rice or bread.

Instead of flour, I use Lupin Flakes to prevent the stuffing from being runny (As you may have already known, Lupin is a low carb and gluten free legume full of protein and fibre).

I actually think that this is the first time for me to use Lupin as a supporting role…. It does not interrupt the main flavour, is super easy to use and works perfectly! Definitely it is still my favorite super food!

As with my other low carb recipe, this dish can accommodate most dietary requirements  -Vegetarian, Vegan and can be Gluten Free as well.

Hope you enjoy my Japanese twist in this dish 🙂

Ingredients (serving 4): 

2 Zucchini – large

4 pinches of Sea Salt

1 clove of Garlic – finely chopped

200g Mushrooms (about 4 large mushrooms) – roughly chopped

1/2 Onion – chopped

1/4 Red Capsicum  – chopped

1/2 Tablespoon of Miso

1/2 Tablespoon of Cooking Sake (or white wine)

1/2 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

2.5 Tablespoon of Lupin Flakes

Sea Salt for seasoning

Method:

For Zucchini

  1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and flesh with a spoon. Chop the seeds and flesh roughly and put them aside (we will use them later).
  2. Sprinkle 4 pinches of sea salt over the zucchini. Wrap the zucchini with some kitchen paper towels and leave it for about 15 minutes. This is to remove the excess water from the zucchini.

For Lupin Miso Mushroom Miso Stuffing

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil (not included in the ingredients list above) and garlic in a medium sauce pan on medium heat. Once the garlic becomes fragrant, add mushrooms, onion, red capsicum and the chopped zucchini seeds and flesh. Stir them with a wooden spoon for a minute or until the vegetables are evenly coated with the oil. turn the heat to low-medium and put a lid on. Keep cooking it for about 3 minutes.
  2. Add miso, cooking sake and soy sauce. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for about 2 minutes. Add lupin flakes and stir all together. season with sea salt as necessary. Turn the heat off and cool it down.

Construction and Baking

  1. Preheat oven to 220° C.
  2. Wipe excess water from the zucchini. Stuff the zucchini with the Lupin Miso Mushroom stuffing and place them on a baking tray. Bake them for 20 – 25 minutes or until the zucchini is cooked. Serve while hot.

Lupin Miso Mushroom Stuffed Zucchini _ alittlebitofsoy

Gluten Free! Lupin Chicken Katsu

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This is my first Japanese recipe using my new super food – Lupin Flakes!

I use Australian sweet Lupin Flakes as the crumb in a well-known Japanese dish – Chicken Katsu  (Did you know that Katsu is from the English ‘Cutlet’ or the French ‘ Cotelette’?).

In this recipe, the Lupin crumbs are as crispy as Panko, and for a bonus, this Chicken Katsu is now gluten free as well as suitable for low carb diet.

As Lupin Flakes are slightly sweet (as it is a legume), I do not think that you need to make a separate sauce to go with this Chicken Katsu.

Try this recipe if you are on a gluten free or low carb diet, or just want try something new in a traditional Japanese cooking. Hope you like it 🙂

Ingredients (Serving for 2):

1 free range Chicken Breast

1 teaspoon of Dark Sugar

2 pinch of Sea Salt

Sea Salt and Black Pepper for seasoning

1 tablespoon of Corn flour (or your choice of gluten free flour)

1 Egg

1/2 cup of Lupin Flakes

Oil for Shallow-Frying

Method:

Preparation for Chicken Breast

  1. Firstly make chicken breast thinner and flatter. Lay the chicken breast flat . Slice lengthways down the middle to halfway through. From the bottom of the cut, slice out towards the side and fold out the flaps you have created, like a book, door or butterfly (whatever you want to call it). Cut it into half to make 2 even pieces.
  2. Rub dark sugar and 2 pinches of sea salt into the chicken breasts. Cover them with a plastic wrap and leave them for about 20 minutes (This method is to neutrilise of the smell of chicken, as well as to make the chicken breast moist).
  3. Pat-dry the chicken breasts with kitchen paper towels and season with sea salt and black pepper.

Crumbing

  1. Tip corn flour (or your choice of flour) onto a plate, beat an egg in a shallow bowl and tip lupin flakes onto a plate.
  2. Firstly coat the chicken breasts with the flour and shake the excess flour off. Secondly dip the chicken into the beaten egg. And then, press the chicken into the lupin flakes.

Shallow-Frying

  1. Heat oil to 180 °C in a large frying pan. Place the crumbed chicken breasts into the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are cooked and become golden and crispy.
  2. Remove them from the oil and drain excess oil on a wire rack or kitchen paper towels.

Plating

Slice the chicken katsu into stripes and serve while hot.

 

Marinaded Vegetable and Bean Salad

This is a super easy and super humble recipe!

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In this season, we often get a lot of lemons from our friends who have lemon trees in their garden. In addition to my usual Honey Lemon Ginger, this is another good way of using up lemons.

I made this marinade liquid tangier than normal salad dressing so that the salad keeps a bit of kick after leaving over night.

If you make a big batch, it can be stored in the fridge for about 3-4 days.

If you have a lot of lemons in your kitchen or your garden, try this recipe. Hope you like it 🙂

Ingredients

1 Carrot – diced

3 stalks of Celery – diced

1 Onion – diced

1 tin (400g including liquid) of Borlotti Beans (or your favorite beans)

For Marinade Liquid

100ml of Lemon Juice (about 1.5 lemons)

100ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce

Good quality Sea Salt and Black Pepper for seasoning

Method

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for dressing.
  2. Marinade all chopped vegetables and beans in the dressing over night.

Vegan & Gluten Free! Roasted Capsicum and Lupin Dip

My new recipe using my new super food – Lupin Flakes! Today I would like to introduce a new flavour of my beloved Lupin Hummus – Roasted Capsicum Version!

Roasted Capsicum Lupin Dip_a little bit of soy

Roasted capsicum dip is so tasty and I always have to try not to eat it too much, due to the amount of cream cheese used in it.

So I thought, how about replacing it with something I do not need to feel too conscious about – Lupin Flakes!

The lupin’s subtle flavour complements the sweetness of roasted capsicums. Vegan and Gluten Free is certainly a bonus too. It lasts for about 4-5 days in a fridge.

Hope this new flavour of Lupin Dip can be a new addition of your repertoire 🙂

 

Ingredients

2 Red Capsicums (about 500 – 550g in total)

100ml Lupin Flakes

1 Tablespoon of Hulled Tahini

1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice

2 cloves of Garlic – roughly chopped

0.5 Tablespoon of White Vinegar

0.5 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt for season

 

Method:

  1. For red capsicums, cut each red capsicum into quarters. Remove the seeds and membranes. Place them skin side up on a greased oven tray. Grill them for about 15 minutes or until the skin has blackened and blistered. Remove them from the grill and wrap them with tin foil. Leave it for 10-15 minutes to make the skin loosen. Peel and discard the skin.
  2. For lupin flakes, place the lupin flakes in cold water and bring to boil. Boil it for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse the lupin flakes a few times, and then drain off the water from the lupin flakes very well.
  3. Place the roasted red capsicums (Method 1), the cooked lupin flakes (Method 2), tahini, lemon juice, garlic, white vinegar and extra virgin olive oil into a food processor. Process until they become smooth (or you can use a hand mixer if you do not have a food processor).
  4. Season it with sea salt and serve it with your choice of cracker, bread or vegetable sticks.

 

Cucumber Tataki – Smashed Cucumber Salad

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It is summer in Australia!! I know that many countries are enjoying the beautiful winter season, but we are having a good time on our beautiful beaches here in the southern hemisphere. I am, today, posting one of my favourite summer recipes  – Cucumber Tataki.

 

Tataki is one of the well known Japanese cooking methods, which is that a piece of protein is seared and the inside is almost raw- such as Beef Tataki or Tuna Tataki.

However “Tataki” has its original meaning; “beat” or “slap” in Japanese. As I have introduced a different Tataki previously (see Salmon Namerou), today, I would like to introduce another “Tataki” which is made from cucumber.

Well…, this is one of the dishes I made on the reality TV show called Chef’s Line last year, which got me kicked out (with the reason being that I made too many dishes!)… In my opinion, it is one of the perfect salads in summer. Maybe you can try it out to see if you like as much as the judges?!

 

Ingredients:

2 Lebanese Cucumbers

2 Teaspoons of White sugar

1 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce

2 Tablespoons of White vinegar

1/2 Teaspoon of Sesame oil

1 red chili – finely sliced

1/2 Teaspoon of Sesame seeds

 

Method: 

1. Bash Cucumbers with a wooden rolling pin. Tear them into bite size pieces by hand

2. Mix all other ingredients. Add the cucumbers into the mixture. Marinade it in the fridge at least for 30 minutes before serving.

Japanese Sesame Dressing

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You might feel “strange” or even “modern” when you hear that I use a well-know Middle Eastern food – Tahini in Japanese cooking.

In fact, roasted sesame seed paste is called “Neri Goma” and is commonly used in Japan. Apparently Neri Goma has a nuttier flavour than Tahini as sesame seeds for Neri Goma are roasted longer than for Tahini…. Well.., from my point of view (taste), they taste pretty much the same.

We often use Neri Goma to make Sesame Dressing. This dressing is very versatile and matches with both vegetables and most meats proteins (beef, chicken, pork and tofu). It can also be used as a dipping sauce for Japanese Hot Pot (Nabe). The bonus of my recipe is the measurement – very easy to remember!

Middle East and Japan might be far away, but I like the fact we enjoy the same food in spite of the distance.

 

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon of Tahini (hulled)

1 glove of Garlic – minced

1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of White Vinegar

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon of Dark Sugar

½ Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

Method:

Place tahini in a bowl. Using a whisk, stir all other ingredients one by one into the tahini. Mix them very well until the dressing becomes smooth.