5 Japanese Winter Recipes for Cold Days

By Umami Recipe
5 Japanese Winter Recipes for Cold Days

For many of us, the months at the very end and very beginning of the year represent colder temperatures and shorter days. Umami Recipe has collected Japanese recipes that will warm up your heart and body for just such days!

We hope you find the dishes not only delicious, but appreciate the health benefits that the ingredients provide.

Sausage and Radish Hot Pot (Oden)

Have you ever heard of the Japanese dish "Oden"? It is a dish made by adding soy sauce and other seasonings to a broth made from bonito flakes and kelp, and then simmering many types of vegetables and meats. The classic ingredients are eggs, daikon (Japanese radish), chikuwa (fish ball) and hanpen (fish paste). Depending on the region, there are differences in the taste of the soup and the ingredients added. Originally, oden is said to have its roots in "dengaku," tofu skewered on a stick, coated with miso and baked. This gradually changed into oden, which is made by simmering a pot full of ingredients in a savory broth.

Oden is a dish that allows for a variety of ingredients to be enjoyed at once, but the recipe we introduce here--the oden-style stewed sausage and daikon--is a bit different. The only ingredients used are sausage and daikon. It's a very simple recipe and a great way to save money on ingredients.

Boiling daikon (Japanese white radish) in rice water removes the bitterness and acrid taste of the daikon, making it easier to soak up the flavor of the broth. Daikon is a vegetable in season in winter and has a delightful sweet flavor at this time of year. The dietary fiber contained in daikon is resistant to heat and helps regulate the intestinal environment.

Sausage is juicy and packed with flavor. The fat melts into the broth and creates a rich flavor, so you will want to drink up the broth too. Daikon radish has a light flavor that goes well with sausage.

Warm yourself up with this hot oden-style stew!

Sausage and Radish Hot Pot

In winter, the Japanese have a go-to comfort food. That's oden. It's a one-pot winter dish that has a variety of ingredients simmered in light dashi broth. This recipe's version of oden...

Chicken Hot Pot (Mizutaki)

Mizutaki is a famous dish from Hakata City in Fukuoka Prefecture.
In this dish, chicken bones are cut into pieces and kombu seaweed is used to make the broth. The broth is then seasoned with soy sauce and other seasonings and the other ingredients are simmered.

When making the broth, the green part of the spring onion is added to take away the smell of the chicken. The result is a beautiful, whitish broth. The flavor of the chicken is so highlighted in the soup that you'll want to drink it too.
Chicken is animal-based, and kombu is vegetable-based. By combining the two to make dashi, it becomes more delicious than making dashi from only one of them.

Once the dashi is prepared, use it to cook the ingredients and enjoy. It can be topped with grated daikon or spicy chili pepper as desired.

Radish contains digestive enzymes that aid in digestion. Since these digestive enzymes are sensitive to heat, eating them raw, such as grated daikon, is the most efficient way to consume them. In addition, isothiocyanate, a pungent component of daikon, is said to have a bactericidal effect. Therefore, it is expected to prevent colds and other illnesses. The capsaicin contained in chili peppers has a warming effect on the body. It is often used as a topping without much thought, but it has such a beneficial effect.

In order to enjoy the taste of Mizutaki until the broth is gone, after finishing the ingredients, I recommend adding rice, simmering it, and then adding beaten egg to finish the dish. You will be able to enjoy the flavor of the chicken and the ingredients as well.

Chicken Hot Pot

This mizutaki hot pot recipe is rich in umami from vegetables and chicken. Originating from Hakata-city, Fukuoka Prefecture, a visit to the region will confirm the many--locally famous-- hot pot resta...

Easy-to-Cook Japanese White Stew

Next, we look at the white cream stew. Butter and milk give this dish a creamy taste, and the vegetables add an irresistible sweetness.

Speaking of cream stew, there is a common perception that making white sauce is difficult. There are several different ways to make white sauce. One method is to cook flour in butter and gradually add milk. Another method is to cook meat and vegetables in butter, add flour and toss it, then add milk.
This recipe introduces a third method! It is a process of wrapping butter and flour in plastic wrap and rubbing it with your fingers. Rubbing it thoroughly will prevent the flour from becoming lumpy and prevent mistakes. The process of spreading the butter on a ladle and gradually adding it in the cooking water is very similar to the process of adding miso to miso soup, a typical Japanese dish. With the method we introduce, white sauce is a breeze to make.

Vegetables like potatoes, carrots and onions, which have a sweet taste, are perfect for this creamy stew. Bright green broccoli adds to the appearance of the dish. Broccoli is rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and folate. It is also low in calories. Vitamin C improves immune function and collagen production, while potassium is effective in reducing swelling. Dietary fiber is effective in improving constipation and preventing arteriosclerosis. Folic acid has a hematopoietic effect and is a nutrient that should be actively consumed, especially by women who are thinking of becoming pregnant or in the early stages of pregnancy.

Once you master how to make white sauce, you can apply it not only to stews but also to gratins and other dishes.
We hope you give it a try!

Easy-to-Cook Japanese White Stew

Stew is a dish that came into Japan from overseas. After that, cream stew developed independently in Japan, and became popular as one of the easy to eat dishes for children and the elderly, and became...

Miso Kenchin Soup with Soy Milk

Kenchin soup is made by stir-frying ingredients in sesame oil and simmering them in broth. The ingredients are generally daikon, gobo, carrots, taro and tofu. It is often seasoned with soy sauce.

This recipe uses pumpkin and enoki mushrooms in addition to daikon and carrots. In addition, it uses chicken thighs instead of tofu, which makes it a more hearty dish.

The flavor and aroma of the dashi and the smooth richness of the soy milk go well together in this dish. Soy milk and miso are both made from soybeans, so they are naturally a very good combination. Miso loses its flavor when it is boiled, and soy milk is easily separated when boiled. For this reason, it is best to use only broth when simmering, and only heat the miso and soy milk after adding them to the broth.

Soy milk contains isoflavones, which have been shown to be effective in preventing cancer and osteoporosis, and saponins, which have been shown to improve and prevent obesity and arteriosclerosis. There is also evidence that soy milk has anti-aging properties and is beneficial for beautiful skin. It also contains oligosaccharide, which is highly recommended for those who suffer from constipation. Oligosaccharides are one of the prebiotics that serve as a source of nutrients for the good bacteria in the intestines, and have the effect of increasing the number of good bacteria.

Miso is known as a typical fermented food. It is made by fermenting soybeans, and in the process, many amino acids and vitamins are produced, increasing its nutritional value.

Using a food full of such pleasant effects, the flavor of the vegetables and meat is blended into a mellow taste. This is a dish that you should definitely try.

Miso Kenchin Soup with Soy Milk

This Kenchin soup (traditional Japanese miso soup with lots of vegetables) has a mild and gentle flavor of soy milk and miso. Enjoy the combination with the tender texture of vegetables such as daikon...

Japanese Beef Hot Pot (Sukiyaki)

Sukiyaki is one of the most popular Japanese hot pot dishes. There is even a special pot just for sukiyaki. This recipe shows you how to make classic sukiyaki.

With a sweet and spicy flavor based on soy sauce and sugar, you can enjoy plenty of beef, tofu and vegetables. The standard way to eat sukiyaki is to have a beaten raw egg in a separate bowl, and to dip the cooked ingredients into the egg before eating. It is a dish that goes fabulously well with rice.

Garland chrysanthemums are often used in sukiyaki, a vegetable that comes into season in winter. It contains nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, and folic acid. It has been shown to improve immune function, strengthen bones, and prevent anemia. Garland chrysanthemum is a vegetable that often appears in hot pot dishes, but it is also delicious in salads. If you cannot find garland chrysanthemum, you can use Chinese cabbage or bok choy.

Sukiyaki is a dish that is loved all over Japan, although it is said that there are regional differences in seasoning. In Japanese supermarkets, seasonings for sukiyaki are sold in bottles. You can also arrange the ingredients to suit your taste.

Sukiyaki - Japanese Beef Hot Pot

Sukiyaki is a hot pot dish in which meat and vegetables simmer in a salty-sweet sauce. ​It is one of the most recognized Japanese dishes among foreigners, as the name "sukiyaki" has spread...

Warm Up with these Dishes in the Cold Season!

We have introduced a variety of dishes that are perfect for the cold winter months.
In all of them, meat, vegetables and seasonings work together for hearty and satisfying results.
During the cold season, there tends to be a higher likelyhood of catching a cold or cough. Let's stay healthy with nutritious and hot dishes!

Umami Recipe Team

Bringing what's new on Japanese food and culture, from traditional to current trends to your home.

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