easy peasy recipes for a healthy dinner: a twist on traditional Japanese dishes

It’s not everyday that I make a 3-dish dinner with good looks, so I made sure I took some pictures to keep a record!

This meal is so easy to make, adds a twist to traditional and widely available Japanese ingredients, and tastes great! My husband really loved it.

Did I also mention it is healthy? To top it off, all the recipes also have a very short ingredient list:-)

Cold soba noodles with tomato tsuyu

Spinach ohitashi with sesame

Young asparagus with miso and butter sauce


Cold soba noodles with tomato tsuyu (modified from this recipe)

Ingredients (for two):

dried soba noodles – enough for two persons

2 tomatoes


6 tbsp tsuyu (soba sauce – you can either buy the ready-made one from the supermarket, or make your own by boiling together 200 mL of water, 100 mL of soy sauce, 2 tbsp of sugar, and 50 mL of mirin – once mixture boils, bring fire to low and put some bonito flakes (if available) into mixture and simmer for 12 – 15 min. before removing from heat and sieving bonito flakes out)

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper

garnish: chopped fresh basil, or dried seaweed flakes are also good


  1. Skin tomatoes (putting in boiling water and removing immediately makes skin easier to peel off). Chop one tomato coursely and put into large bowl. Add A (sauce ingredients), mix well and refrigerate mixture in fridge
  2. Deseed and dice remaining tomato into 1-2 cm cubes. Chill in refrigerator
  3. Prepare soba according to instructions on package. When done, chill in ice-cold water and drain.
  4. To serve, put soba in serving dish, add tomatoes on top, and pour tsuyu soup on top. Garnish as you like.




Spinach ohitashi with sesame

Ingredients (for two):

1 bunch of spinach

1 – 2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

1 tbsp stock (preferably fish or chicken – if n/a, add 1tbsp water and sprinkle a little chicken soup stock powder)


  1. Wash the spinach. There is no need to remove the ends at this stage but after finish washing, arranging the spinach so that you are holding to the spinach by the ends.
  2. Boil a large pot of water. When the water is boiling, quickly submerge the spinach into the pot, leaf first.
  3. Turn off heat and using tongs/chopsticks, quickly remove the spinach from water (we want them to be just done and not mushy)
  4. Quickly submerge the spinach in ice-cold water to cool it and stop it from cooking any further. When the spinach is cool, gather all the spinach by the ends again (makes sure they are all in the same direction). Squeeze all the water out.
  5. On the cutting board, cut off the stems of all the spinach, and cut the remaining into 4 portions of equal length.
  6. Put the spinach in a large bowl, mix with the remaining ingredients.


Young asparagus with sesame and butter sauce

I first got this idea looking at a menu of a restaurant. My family is a big fan of this miso-butter taste!


1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp miso paste

1 bunch of asparagus


  1. Prepare Miso butter – Mix equal portions of butter and miso paste (in this case, 1 tbsp each – you can adjust according to your personal liking). Melt the butter to allow for easy mixing.
  2. Prepare the asparagus – snap the ends off, use a vegetable peeler to remove the “scales”/fibrous skin
  3. Boil water in a frypan. When the water is boiling, submerge first the ends of the asparagus in the boiling water for 10 seconds before immersing the rest of the asparagus into the water. Boil just until the asparagus is soft and is bright green (around 2-3 minutes for me as the asparagus were quite thin).
  4. Turn off heat, remove asparagus from hot water and drain.
  5. Arrange asparagus on dish, and add miso butter on top.


Bon appétit!



4 thoughts on “easy peasy recipes for a healthy dinner: a twist on traditional Japanese dishes

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