This has been a favorite of our family since I first made it. I was inspired by a YouTube video I watched about Nikkei cuisine (basically Japanese-influenced Peruvian cuisine) and since I had some eggplant in the fridge and all the other ingredients needed, I made this. The miso sauce was adapted from another recipe, but the cheese on top of the eggplant is “Nikkei-influenced”. You can also make this without the cheese on top and it is also delicious.
Growing up, I wasn’t a big fan of potato salad simply because there was always too much mayonnaise in it. I wasn’t a fan of mayonnaise as a kid and avoided it like the plague. It wasn’t until the hubs (then bf) introduced his chicken/tuna salad concoction to me that I realized that one need not put so much mayonnaise in their salads to get it to be nice and creamy. During that time I also had an awesome (and unforgettable) Japanese potato salad made by one of mothers of my students. I still dream about it – yes, I dream about food.
Pictured above is a perfect example of why I will never be the perfect Japanese housewife (not that I am aiming to be one). My spinach is not arranged evenly and I neglected to mix in the sauce but decided to just dribble it over the spinach. I guess it doesn’t matter much to me, as long as it looks “presentable” and “delicious”. 🙂
The hubs loves katsudon and often orders it at Japanese restaurants. I, on the other hand am okay with this dish. I usually don’t order it as I find most restaurants either make it too sweet, salty or oily. I came across a recipe for katsudon while watching Cooking with Dog. It seemed simple enough to make and it was pork week according to our meal plan – katsudon it was!
Green beans are a staple in my freezer and we eat them often. I usually add them to stews or curries or stir-fry them with garlic and chillies. I was looking for another way to cook them when I remembered my ex-student’s parent (who was Japanese) who made a simple green bean dish by boiling green beans and topping it with sesame dressing. I went online to search for the recipe but came across this dish instead.
Usually when I head to the Japanese grocer I like to buy Japanese salad dressing, especially this creamy sesame one. However, Japanese dressings can be quite expensive since it’s usually imported. I also don’t like additives like MSG in my dressing. I came across this recipe after having a craving to have this dressing with my salad.
Melonpan is an Asian-style bun (i.e., soft and fluffy white bread) with a crisp, cookie-like top sprinkled with sugar. I haven’t looked much into the origins of the bun but the hubs and I speculate it’s called melonpan because the top part of the bun makes it look somewhat like a melon. It’s very similar to bo-lo buns or pineapple buns (no pineapple in these buns) that are popular in Hong Kong and Singapore. However, there isn’t a tonne of butter in this bun, unlike bo-lo buns which are served with a slab of butter in the middle. To read more about the differences between the buns, click here.
Japanese chashu is commonly eaten with Japanese ramen though I am sure it might also be eaten with other foods (rice?). I have seen it at the Japanese grocer but decided to try and make it on my own. The recipe is relatively simple but requires some babysitting. I had to turn the pork once every half hour to ensure even cooking. After slicing the pork, soak it in the cooking marinade to help it develop more flavour.
These eggs are commonly eaten with Japanese ramen. I know some people who actually order ramen so that they can eat these eggs – I might be one of them. However, since making these and realizing how easy they are to make, I guess I don’t have to go out and eat ramen in order to eat these eggs.