Forget about sushi and sashimi, there are easy Japanese recipes out there for you to try at home.
Fellow Asian countries like Malaysia already have the basic Japanese ingredients like rice and soy sauce.
Other traditional ingredients that you might require to make your own Japanese cuisine at home are miso, dashi, sake and mirin.
In Sarawak, most of Japanese ingredients are easily available at local supermarkets such as Everrise and Ta Kiong.
Here are 8 easy Japanese recipes for you to try at home especially on weeknights:
For Malaysians, omurice is the closest thing you have to nasi goreng Pattaya.
It consists of fried rice covered with an omelette.
The rice is usually fried with chicken and various vegetables. Then a thin sheet of fried rice covers the top of the rice.
Tonkatsu is one of those easy Japanese recipes you might think is NOT so Japanese.
Tonkatsu (a combination of ton for ‘pork’ and katsu for’cutlet’) is a breaded, deep-fried pork cutlet often served with shredded cabbage.
It’s easy to make. Salt and pepper your pork fillet, then cover it with flour. Dip the meat into a beaten egg before coating it with panko. Panko is a kind of Japanese bread crumb easily available at the supermarket or a Japanese store.
Can’t find panko? Make your own bread crumbs by ripping up some bread, spread it on a baking sheet and put it in the oven at 300 F degrees for 6-8 minutes or until it’s a golden brown. Then crush it into powdery form.
You can either deep-fry the tonkatsu or bake it in the oven for a healthier option.
Once you know how to make your own deep-fried pork cutlet, now you can make katsudon.
This dish is a bowl of rice topped with pork cutlet, egg and some vegetables.
What you mainly need to make gyudon is beef, onion, dashi, soy sauce, mirin and salt.
Simmer the thinly sliced beef and onion with all the seasoning above. Once it is cooked, pour the beef on top of hot steaming rice.
If you like, add on a raw egg or soft poached egg.
For a complete Japanese experience, serve your gyudon with Japanese pickled ginger (beni shoga) and ground chili pepper (shichimi).
Oyakodon is almost similar to katsudon and gyudon.
But for oyakodon, the ingredients such as chicken, egg, scallion, onion are simmered together in soy sauce and stock.
After it is cooked, it is poured on top of a bowl of rice.
6.Onigiri Rice Balls
Forget about Korean kimbap, onigiri is much easier to make for that perfect lunch takeaway.
It is made from normal plain rice formed in triangular shapes and wrapped in seaweed.
Traditionally, the filling is usually made from pickled ume, salted salmon and other fancy Japanese ingredients.
But you can always make your own simpler version of onigiri with ingredients which are already available in your kitchen.
For example, tuna with mayonnaise, or even small portions of fried food such as fried chicken or pork.
7.Miso Soup with tofu
This is one of those easy Japanese recipes which only requires you to boil.
Apart from being easy to make, it is also a healthier cooking method.
Firstly, boil water your nori (seaweed) for few minutes. Then, put in some tofu and if you like some green onions. Finally, add in your miso paste.
The word niratama comes from nira which means garlic chives and tama which is an abbreviation of tamago (egg).
So this dish is basically made of eggs and garlic chives stir fried together to make an omelette.
After that, put it on top of a bowl of rice and get ready to dig in.