Home-cooked Meals Japanese Style

This is a post about my cousin in Japan, Ate Sally. I have dedicated a page here about her and the delicious bento meals she usually prepares for her family.

On facebook, she continues to post on a regular basis the delectable Japanese food and other dishes she cooks at home. Even though I’ve always wanted to bug her with the recipes of each and every one, I know it would be a huge favor and sacrifice from her part. She’s a busy housewife, mom, and grandma, so I find it too much to ask for her recipes. I am content and grateful that she allowed me to take any of her photos and include them here on the Kitchen Invader blog, so we’ll have several inspirations and ideas for our own kitchen adventures.

I hope you’ll find these dishes inspiring and many of them are quite straightforward based on the ingredients you’ll see on the photos. As for the seasonings and flavorings, it is not too difficult to try a variety of Asian and/or Japanese sauces ranging from soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and chili sauces/oils.

One of the things you’ll notice on her home-cooked meals are the vegetables. She loves incorporating vegetables on every main dish as it is also quite common among the Japanese to eat and enjoy vegetable-based dishes.

Lastly, you may think I am advocating eating lots of vegetables or including them regularly on each and every meal of the day. Well, that is a big YES! We need to eat more veggies for better health, longer life, and improved well-being. It’s no wonder there are numerous living centenarians in Japan, right? Eating healthy is among their secrets.

Below are just a few of the variety of salads and appetizers that my cousin prepares at home. Most of their meals start with a salad or an appetizer that also includes vegetables and a type of dressing. She doesn’t always use mayonnaise to dress their salads.

home-cooked meals japanese style


Just some of the main dishes she prepares at home: clubhouse-style veggie salad with light ranch dressing, clubhouse sandwiches, shrimp cocktail, chicken wing lollipops, creamy baked penne pasta, and maguro carpaccio (tuna tartare).

home-cooked meals


As you can see, there’s a variety of dishes in my cousin’s daily menu. She may include pasta or a noodle dish like yakisoba. There’s also pork and fish dishes like the ones in the picture below. And as always, there’s lots of vegetables either as part of the ingredients or as side dish.

japanese home cooking



cooking at home


Someone on facebook asked my cousin about the radishes she used on some of the dishes she posted on her timeline. She said the flavor is milder and some varieties are sweeter, which make them perfect for salads, stews, and curries.

The tofu she uses are either steamed or eaten fresh. The texture is much like a soft velvety type of cheese and it is great when served with mild sauces, vegetables and other flavorings. The round soft tofu below looks like mozzarella cheese, but it is soft tofu with herbs and corn kernels.

variety of tofu dishes

I hope you’ll try cooking and serving these dishes at home.

Experiment and follow your taste buds.

And don’t forget to leave a comment here to tell us the turnout!