|Prep and Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Bring the water and salt to a boil in a saucepan, then turn the heat to low and add the oats.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly so that the oatmeal will not clump together. Add cinnamon, raisins and almonds, stir, cover the pan and turn off heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with milk and sweetener.
If you are using prepackaged Oats, it is best to follow the directions on the package.
A Guide to Easy Japanese Home-Cooking
JANUARY 11, 2016
Leave the pristine sushi to the restaurants. Japanese home cooking is full of flavor, light on ingredients, good for you, and surprisingly quick to make. In other words,the holy grail of weeknight meals. Bring something different to the table with these six classic recipes by chefs Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat of Ganso Yaki and Ganso Ramen in Brooklyn.
Every culture has a tradition of one-pot meals. Japan’s donabe just happens to be the tastiest and most elegant one on the planet. The word refers both to warming combinations of simmered-together ingredients and to the beautiful earthenware pot they’re traditionally cooked in. And while most one-pots are long-cooked, our favorite donabes are kitchen-sink compositions that are ready in minutes. Buy your own donabe vessel at toirokitchen.com. Whatever goes in your pot, remember these rules:
• Mix up seafood proportions: Use all shrimp or white fish, just don’t omit chicken—the fish-fowl combo is key.
• Cut whatever vegetables you’ve got into pieces that will cook quickly—think slices rather than big chunks.
• No matter what ends up in your pot, make sure that it fills it snugly. You want the whole arrangement to stay put while the liquid simmers.
Get the Recipe: Anything Goes Donabe
You know how properly made stock is the backbone of French cooking? That’s what dashi is to Japanese food. Smoky and sultry, it’s the umami-loaded base layer in hundreds of dishes. Instead of piles of bones and hours of simmering, all you need to make dashi are 45 minutes and two powerhouse ingredients—kombu (kelp) and bonito flakes (tuna that’s been dried, fermented, and smoked). Pro tip: Dashi’s more like making a delicate tea than a stock. You’re looking to extract the flavor of kombu through gentle heating, and then the bonito through steeping.
Get the Recipe: Dashi
How do you turn that motley assortment of things in your fridge into a satisfying meal in less time than it takes to fry an egg? Make miso soup with it. (Like the kind you get for free before your sushi arrives but way better.) Just thinly slice whatever you’ve got, simmer it in some dashi (déjà vu) until tender, and dissolve a spoonful or two of flavor-rich miso paste into it. Dinner: solved. Pro tip: Don’t add the miso paste to your soup until the add-ins have finished cooking and the pot is off the heat. Miso is alive (like yogurt), and boiling will kill those good-for-you organisms.
Get the Recipe: Elemental Miso Soup
Common Mistakes When Making Miso Soup
If there’s one Japanese dish that all Americans can agree on, it’s teriyaki. Why? Because when the salt-sugar-umami stars align, the result is a flavor sensation that no mortal can possibly resist. And if the only teriyaki you’ve ever had is the corn syrup–laden stuff from the bottle, well, you haven’t had the real thing. Making the genuine version requires only three staple ingredients (soy sauce, mirin, and sake), comes together in minutes, and is worlds healthier—and tastier—than the supermarket stuff. Pro tip: Unlike the mall food-court version we’re used to, proper teriyaki shouldn’t be served in a puddle. As you finish cooking the salmon, let the sauce reduce to a thick, intense glaze.
Get the Recipe: Salmon Teriyaki
In Japanese, the word for food is the same as the one for rice. Without it, a meal is not a meal. The real genius of rice is revealed when you think about it in reverse: Add just about anything to a bowl of it and, voilà! you’ve got dinner. But don’t think of it as a throwaway fill-you-up starch. Properly cooked short-grain white rice is a craveable study in subtlety and texture, to be mixed and matched at will.
Get the Recipes:Steamed Japanese Rice, Soboro Beef
When we think of steamed food, we think of a bland, joyless cuisine usually prescribed to someone with a side of Lipitor. But to the Japanese, steaming is about delicacy, not deprivation. It’s a means of cooking food gently, with less manipulation (and no added fat), so that flavors shine in all their brilliant simplicity. Is it healthy? Yes. Easy? Yep. And when it’s done with care, it is, most importantly, incredibly delicious. We love the stainless-steel steamer from toirokitchen.com, but any style will get the job done.
Get the Recipe: Sake-Steamed Chicken and Kabocha Squash
Yeah, yeah, we’re always telling you to buy new stuff. But trust us: Add these Japanese items to your arsenal, and you’ll reach for them again and again during the week. Some of these—kombu, bonito, miso—are common enough that you can find them at Whole Foods or your local health food store. Others might require a trip to an Asian grocery or an online order. Your efforts will be richly rewarded.
You don’t need to drop dime on fancy stuff for cooking, but a decent bottle is miles tastier and more complex than “cooking sake.”
This mineral-rich dried kelp is what gives dashi its oceanic depth. The sheets should be sturdy, with fine sea salt on the outside. Look for labels
that say “kombu.”
Dried, fermented, and smoked skipjack tuna (also known as katsuobushi)— this is the yin to kombu’s yang in dashi. Quality ranges widely; you get what you pay for.
Avoid “seasoned” rice vinegar, which has sweeteners and other additives in it. Choose a brand that lists rice and water as the only ingredients.
It encompasses a range of fermented soybean pastes, from younger, fresh-tasting white to long-aged, funky red. The latter, which is mellow and sweet, is the best intro.
Brewed from sticky rice, this cooking wine is sweeter and less alcoholic than sake. Pick one made with sugar rather than glucose or corn syrup—you can taste the difference.
Togarashi & Sansho
Make fruity togarashi chile powder your new Aleppo. Sansho, made from the husks of sansho peppercorns, lends tongue-tingling anise notes.
Short-Grain White Rice
With its pearly grains and subtle flavors, koshihikari is the crème de la crème of Japanese short-grain rice varietals.
Lighter, thinner, and saltier than standard soy, usukuchi is perfect for seasoning dishes like yosenabe (hot pot) without darkening the color too much.