Japanese cuisine has long been a part of Hawaii’s culinary identity and history. This collection of recipes emphasizes freshness, simplicity, and elegance of presentation—all guiding principles of Japanese cooking. Some recipes have a local touch, some are traditional, and others feature creative combinations of flavors, textures, and colors that will add a fresh dimension to your menus. These over forty recipes range from basic soup stocks and rice dishes, to easy-to-make sushi, and the currently popular one pot method of cooking, shabu shabu. Desserts also get their due with signature recipes such as Chichi Dango and Kanten. The directions for each recipe are simply written with most ingredients available in the Asian or Oriental foods section of any market. Many of the cooking methods may already be familiar to you. The recipes are more casual than the “classic” style of Japanese food preparation. It’s the perfect introduction to Japanese cuisine as celebrated in the islands.


Appetizers, Soup Stocks, and Soups (Zenzai, Dashi, and Owanrui)

Teriyaki Meatballs (Niku no Teriyaki Dango)

Aku/Ahi (Tuna) Poke (Katsuo/Maguro Butsu)

Sliced Raw Fish (Sashimi)

White Radish and Red Pepper Garnish (Some Oroshi)

Mustard-Soy Sauce (Karashi [Wasabi] Joyu)

Lemon-Flavored Soy Sauce (Lemon Joyu)

Delicately Flavored Soy Sauce (Tosa Joyu)

Spicy Dip (Chirizu)

Mustard or Wasabi Paste

Instant Soup Stock (Dashi)

Soybean Paste Soup (Miso Shiru)

Rice Dishes (Gohanmono)

Rice Balls (Onigiri/Musubi)

Rice with Chicken and Egg Topping (Oyako Donburi)

Vinegar-Flavored Rice (Sushi)

Basic Sushi Rice (Sushi Gohan)

Finger Sushi (Nigiri Sushi)

Tossed Sushi (Bara Sushi)

Hand-Rolled Sushi (Temaki Sushi)

Cone Sushi (Inari Sushi)

Noodle Dishes (Menrui)

Noodles Cooked in Pot (Nabeyaki Udon)

Cold Saimin (Hiya Ramen)

Fried Noodles (Yaki Soba)

Picked Vegetables (Tsukemono)

Cucumber Salad (Kyuri Namasu)

Dad’s Basic Vinegar Dressing (Namasu No Moto)

Pickled Yellow Turnip (Takuwan)

Simmered in Sauce (Niitsuke)

Fish Cooked in Soy Sauce (Sakana No Niitsuke)

Simmered Pumpkin (Kabocha No Fukumeni)

Fried Foods (Agemono)

Tempura Batter (Koromo)

Tempura Sauce (Tempura No Tsukejiru)

“Thorny” Tempura (Iga Age)

Aku Burger (Katsuo Dango)

Pork Cutlet (Tonkatsu)

Fried Tofu Cakes (Tofu Cakes)

One Pot Cooking (Nabemono)

Shabu Shabu with Ponzu (Shabu Shabu)

Ponzu Sauce (Ponzu)

Sesame Seed Sauce

Grated Radish Condiment (Momiji Oroshi)


Broiled Foods (Yakimono)

Basic Miso Sauce for Broiling (Miso Yaki No Mono)

Teriyaki Chicken (Matsu Kage Yaki)

Teriyaki Sauces

Desserts (Dezaato)

Baked Bean Paste Pastry (Yaki Manju)

Milk Dumplings (Chichi Dango)

Pineapple Kanten (Kanten)

Coffee–Red Bean Gelatin (Kohi-Azuki Kanten)

Japanese Doughnuts (Sata An Da Gi)

Author: Muriel Miura