Full Japanese Menu

This complete Japanese menu has five dishes plus dessert, and except for the dessert which comes last, there is no strict order to the food. Japanese people take a nibble from here and there, according to their own tastes and preferences. The bitter gourd recipe is the only one that is not standard Japanese food, it’s from Okinawa and thus tastes different, well, bitter. Many Japanese enjoy Okinawan food, though, so it’s worth trying.

Washoku - Japanese Menu I

Main Ingredients
(4 people)

Chestnut Rice (kuri gohan)

80 g chestnuts
Peel the chestnuts and soak them in a bowl of slightly salted water.

200 g Japanese white rice
– 60 g sticky rice
1/2 teaspoon salt
twice as much water as rice (by volume)

Mix and wash the rice and put it into a rice cooker. Drain the chestnuts and put them on top of the rice. Do not mix them under yet. Add the water and salt, then cook the rice as usual
When the rice is cooked, mix the chestnuts into the rice.

Grilled Chicken Skewers with Vegetables (Yakitori)

400 g chicken thighs
2 spring onions
Cut the chicken into small cubes (3 cm side length) and the spring onions into 3 cm pieces.

salt and pepper

Soy-based Sauce:
– 2 tablespoons of whole soybean sauce

– 3 tablespoons of sugar
Mix the soy sauce with the sugar.

Coat 300 g of the chicken with the soy-based sauce.
Thread the chicken and spring onions alternately onto bamboo skewers, thread the remaining chicken onto skewers and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill the skewers on a grill or open fire.

1 paprika
– 8 green peppers

– 8 shiitake mushrooms
Trill the vegetables (or fry them in a pan with oil) and garnish the skewers of meat.

Boiled Chrysanthemums With Radish (daikon no hana no oroshiae)

200 g daikon radish
Grate finely and drain from the resulting water.

2 blossoms edible chrysanthemums
Take the petals and boil them quickly, then put them in cold water and drain.

– 150 g cucumber
Slice thinly.

2 tablespoons baby sardines
Pour boiled water over them, then drain and let them cool.

Sweetened Vinegar as Dressing:
– 2 tablespoons of vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
Mix together.

Mix all the above ingredients together and dress with the sweetened vinegar.

Stir-fried Okinawan Gourd and Tofu

1 bitter gourd
Cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and slice in 5 mm pieces.

– 1/2 pack deep-fried tofu
Cut into slices of about 8 mm.

1/2 tablespoon oil
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 tablespoon miso

Fry the bitter gourds in oil. When they are softened, add the sugar and the miso. Towards the end, put in the tofu and fry for another minute or so.

Japanese Clear Soup (Dashi)

1 litre water
– 20 g dashi konbu (dried seaweed)
– 20 g katsuo bushi (dried bonito)
Put the konbu into the water and heat up. Just before the water starts boiling, remove the konbu and add the katsuo. Boil for one minute, reduce the heat and wait until the katsuo sinks. Strain the dashi through a wet cloth.

1/2 pack tofu
– 1/2 pack nameko mushrooms
– 1/2 pack daikon radish sprouts
– 1 tablespoon light colored soy sauce

– 1 tablespoon salt
– fragrant garnish (suikuchi)

Prepare the dashi, add salt and soy sauce. Place the tofu into the hot dashi and boil it. To serve, put the tofu, nameko, daikon, and suikuchi into a soup bowl and pour the dashi over it.

Potato Rice Cakes (Imo Mochi)

– 100 g sweet potatoes
– 1 rice cake
– 80 g red bean jam (anko)
some kinako (soybean flour)

Peel the potatoes, cut them in 1 cm slices and put them in water to eliminate the bitter taste. Put the potatoes on a dish and cook them in the microwave for 5 minutes.
Water the rice cake and heat it in the microwave for 1 min.
Crush the boiled potatoes in a bowl and mix with the heated rice cake. Put the mixture into a bowl covered with kinako, and make four pieces.

Divide the anko into four pieces and wrap it with the potato mixture. Lightly sprinkle the finished rice cakes with kinako.