Miso, a traditional Japanese soup

Label from AWASE MISO Soybean Paste

Miso soybean paste

I had never had Miso soup before. I tried it a few days ago and loved it.

Miso soup is a go-to item on oriental menus for a reason. Even though I am NOT a tofu eater, it was not bad in this soup.


  • 2 cups of water.
  • 2 tablespoons of Miso paste.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Dashi (optional, feel free to vary amount).
  • 1 sheet of Nori, roasted seaweed (optional, torn into tiny pieces).
  • 1/3 block of Tofu cut into 1/2″ blocks.
  • 1 or 2 Green Onions (optional).

Put water, Miso paste, and Dashi powder into pot.
Bring to boil.
Add Nori sheet, torn into tiny pieces, into pot.
Bring heat very low.
Add Tofu and heat until hot.
Turn off heat.
Add Green onion(s)

The AWASE MISO label points out that tofu and wakame can be replaced by other vegetables, meats, and fishes.

I added a handful of frozen oriental vegetables and think that it really added to the soup!

Where do I get my Japanese Recipes?

The Manga Cookbook: Japanese Bento Boxes, Main Dishes and More!

I would love to tell you that the recipes are all ancestral secrets, but I’m not oriental. I would tell you that I had a dream that involved two dragons. The white dragon gave me the recipes and the black dragon gave me ninja-like cooking skills. Nope. No dream. No Dragons.

What I do have is a book. The book is fun and VERY simple. It is targeted in such a way that a child, with appropriate adult supervision, could pull off most of the recipes. I got this book from Manga University, which has some interesting products. Along with a couple of simple manga cookbooks, they also have a fun manga kanji book series and a “Kana de Manga” book which teaches both Katakana and the Hiragana characters. They also have manga drawing tutorials and supplies.

While checking out the website to make sure it was around before publishing this article, I found out that they now have a second cook book! Before finishing this article, I have already ordered it!

Language geek note: I used the “Kana de Manga” to learn the basics of Katakana and Hiragana characters. For learning the more challenging Kanji, I chose to go with “Remembering the Kani 1” by Heisig. Note, the Heisig approach also means that one learns the meaning of the character without learning how to pronounce it. That means one can hold off determining whether Chinese or Japanese is more in line with their goals until they already have the meanings down.


I have cooked this meal so many times and LOVED IT EVERY TIME!

2/3 lb. thin sliced beef
1/2 Onion
1/2 Cup Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar
3/4 cup of Dashi
1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
3 cups of steamed rice

Slice onions into strips.
Heat oil in pan.
Add onion to oil and cook until semi-transparent.
Add Teriyaki, Sugar, and Dashi and bring to a slow boil.
Once it is simmering, add meat and cook for about 5 minutes.
Serve meat on top of steaming bowl of rice.

Do NOT hesitate to add frozen veggies! I liked mixed stir-fry, but snow peas are always welcome!

Note: Dashi powder can be purchased amazon.com. The dashi really gives it that Japanese zing.

According to Google, Gyudon is Japanese for “dumplings”. It is pronounced “goo-don”, making sure to soften the “n” sound.

Rice Burgers

direct link

I am fascinated by rice burgers. A great way to use leftover rice is to make the rice into burger buns! I’m in the process of trying different approaches. The Youtube video in this post looks VERY interesting.

My issue is getting the rice to stick together. They are using potato starch to get the bond. I will be trying this approach.

In their recipe, they are using freshly steamed rice, which kind of defeats the whole point… I will be trying it with old rice, new rice, and whatever else.

By the way, I don’t think having the dog in the video was the best idea…

How to Make Rice Burgers (serves 2)
200g Steamed Rice (7.1 oz) (1 rice bun: 50g/1.8 oz)
1 tsp Potato Starch
Sesame Oil
Soy Sauce

100g Thin Beef Slices or substitute: pork or chicken (3.5 oz)
20g Carrot, cut into thin strips (0.7 oz)
20g String Bean Pods, sliced diagonally (0.7 oz)
40g Onion, sliced into thin wedges (1.4 oz)

Vegetable Oil
Teriyaki Sauce (Approx. 2 tbsp)
½ tsp Sake

Toasted White Sesame Seeds
Green Leaf Lettuce
2 Hamburger Wrappers or waxed paper

The video is sponsored on youtube by JETRO, an organization promoting Japanese products overseas. To learn more about new Japanese food products check here: http://www.japanfoodshowcase.com/ (This URL is no longer valid).

The above URL seems to no longer be valid. The address you would want to start with is: https://www.jetro.go.jp/en/videos/food.html

20170124 Update: I have tried the potato starch with traditional Japanese rice and the paddies dig hang together much better. I will have to play with the cooking time and temperature to get it just right. I also want to experiment with standard American white rice.