Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dinner in 5 Minutes

"Rice is main"

One of the best things about cooking Japanese-style, is that I can have a filling, healthy dinner on the table in literally five minutes.

Rice goes into the rice cooker in the morning, timer set for 8 or 9 hours later to be ready at dinner time.  That's wakame cup-soup on the right.  I could make it myself, but when I'm busy the kind in the pouch that you add boiling water to is as good, and just as healthy.  Umeboshi on top of the rice, and nori to the side.  That white container on the left is Natto--fermented soybeans, which probably sounds weird, but which taste good once you've got used to them.  One pack is 8g of protein and about 30cents--not bad!

The Deli section is your friend...

...The rest of our dinner--vegetables!  Two from the deli section (the black simmered Hijiki on the far right, and the brown Kinpira Gobo--spicy, simmered Burdock root).  Broccoli in the microwwave, and Goma Horenso (Sesame Spinach), which I can make in less than five minutes.  Here's the recipe for Sesame Spinach--my kids *love* spinach like that.  They usually eat it all before I get any, and I almost always take some out to save for my husband (he gets home later).  Those veggies in the photo were for everybody, not just me:-))  Even when I have no time to cook, or I'm just plain tired, I can still make everybody eat at least five kinds of vegetables--ahhh....warms the cockles of my Mommy's heart!


  1. Aah, that all looks delicious! I love it when there are several types of food on offer, and not just one main without any side dishes. (Which makes me sound like a hypocrite, but I'm living on my own and only cook once a week -- to freeze and then thaw side-dishes is a bit too ambitious a notion for my usual evening-zombie self.)


  2. that looks delicious! Also, i'm jealous that your rice steamer has a timer. Ours does not.

  3. Lostinsophistication--it's a *lot* harder to cook when you're by yourself. I *never* cooked like that when I lived alone--too much of a pain! If you cook once a week and freeze, that's a lot better than I did!:-))

    Sarah--I *love* the timer...I can put rice in at night and have it set to be cooked by morning for breakfast, too. Leftover rice becomes Cha-han (fried rice)...or onigiri...or o-chazuke...or sometimes just rice with milk and a little sugar for breakfast (like hot cereal). I could not live any more without the rice cooker!

  4. It all looks nommy EXCEPT for the natto, which I've heard can be dire!
    The sesame spinach is awesome!

  5. Natto isn't dire! You have to try it first ;-))! Try making the sesame spinach--it's *really* good, and really fast (even faster if you can buy ground sesame that you don't have grind with mortar and pestle yourself. Unless you like doing that.)

    Besides--they make "Ni-O-Wa-Natto" that doesn't smell at all. With the hot mustard on it, I think it has a kind of beer-n-pretzles taste...

  6. I eat natto every morning for breakfast. It was one of my great discoveries on coming to Japan - and a rather natsukashii one. In the days when I worked as a farm-labourer and under-shepherd, I had little money and was always hungry, so I used to nom some of the cows' and sheeps' rations, a lot of which is made out of soy-beans...
    But it's not only gaijin who tend to be put off by natto: it tends to be a northern Japanese food and people from the Kansai will often refuse to eat it. (Tim Harris)

  7. Tim--it *is* a northern food. My husband (whose family is all from Kyuushuu) eats it now because *I* do! He never liked it before--makerarenai, ka naaaa;-)). We only eat it occasionally for breakfast, though. I like to have it for dinner since I can basically just pull it out of the fridge--nice for busy days!

  8. delious japanese food
    i like sushi!!!!! best of best

  9. Hi vvv! We don't eat sushi all that often 'cause it's a little expensive--my kids *love* Kaitenzushi, though. All those little dishes on the conveyor belt going round and round...;-)

    I stink at making it myself--I can only make chirashi zushi. Do you like that kind, too?