All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Sake no karaage marine / marinated deep-fried salmon (white wine vinegar version)

Marinade based on white wine vinegar has a soft edge, making this a pleasant chilled dish in summer. Lemon and onion slices also neutralize the oily taste of deep-fried salmon while adding a refreshing note. Great as an appetizer with both Asian and Western food.


Akajiso no furikake / purple perilla leaf topping for steamed rice

Among a number of furikake toppings for steamed rice, purple perilla leaf furikake is definitely my favorite. It is widely available at stores, but you can make your own. One way is to shade-dry the purple perilla leaves that come with umeboshi pickled plums. My grandma's umeboshi had lots of purple perilla leaves in it, but this is not very common with store-bought umeboshi. The other way is to pickle fresh purple perilla leaves, and dry them in the shade. It takes several days, but you will get pretty red-purple powder & flakes with an intense aroma at the end.


Soramame no Morokko-fu sarada / Moroccan-style fava bean salad

Cumin & paprika, olive oil & lemon. Do they sound like common pairs? Combine these familiar duos, add fresh cilantro, and you have a great dressing for a summery fava bean salad.


Shiozake no oroshi donburi / grilled salted salmon and grated daikon radish on steamed rice

Grated daikon makes everything light and refreshing, and salted salmon is no exception. An easy, very satisfying rice dish. This is originally from a Seattle friend's friend who owns a sushi restaurant.


Mizuna no ohitashi okakazoe / mizuna in light broth, with bonito flakes

When you have whole leafy greens with roots still attached, it’s easy to turn a casual ohitashi into a slightly formal dish. Here is an example with mizuna mustard greens topped with bonito flakes.


Tsuruna to shimeji no oisutaasoosu itame / stir-fried New Zealand spinach and shimeji mushrooms with oyster sauce

The earthy taste of tsuruna perfectly complements the flavor of mushrooms. Clear flavoring is a good choice for tsuruna -- let's try oyster sauce for a stir-fry.


Gyuniku no amiyaki, oroshi ponzu-zoe / grilled beef with grated daikon radish and citrus-flavored soy sauce

Grilled beef with the refreshing note of grated daikon and citrus-flavored soy sauce. The beef slices are quite thin, contributing to an extra-light finish.