Posts tagged Japanese

What the kids eat in… Japan

We love a bit of Japanese food here at VSHQ, whether it’s the okonomiyaki or the sushi slice or a variation on a noodle soup.

For this basic broth recipe, I’ve chosen to include udon noodles since they’re so damn FUN, but soba is also delicious. And just because I recommend tofu or salmon, don’t think for a second that you need listen to me – it would also be great with super thin slices of rump or shredded BBQ chicken. We’ve made it with the pork wontons and they went so well with these flavours that I’m expecting an invitation to the wedding any day now.

And that’s it for this week – I’m keeping it short & sweet, I’ve got a lot on my mind – one of which is the new VS cookbook which has just hit the shop. Check it out here!

Use the basic broth and add whatever suits your family.

Use the basic broth and add whatever suits your family.

Japanese udon soup

4 cups water
4 tbsp miso paste (use any, but at the moment I’m using a tub of organic brown rice miso- read all about the different types here)
2 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed (leave them large enough so that you can fish them out later)
4 medium-sized mushrooms, sliced (again, if your family won’t eat them, leave the pieces large enough to flavour the soup but fish them out before serving).
3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 star anise (optional, but recommended)

Serve with…
Udon noodles (prepare according to packet directions)
Add a protein… choose from either tofu or slices of salmon fillet
And add your choice of vegies… green beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas, carrots, spring onions, brocollini.
Optional extras…. top it off with dried wakame and/or sesame seeds.

Combine all the soup ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes. If you have time, turn off the heat and leave it all to sit for an hour or so to infuse.

When you’re ready to eat, bring the soup back to boiling, remove the garlic and star anise chunks (and mushrooms if your kids won’t tolerate it).

Add in the thicker vegies and the tofu/salmon for a couple of minutes, before adding in the quick cook items like snow peas.

Serve over the noodles and top with wakame and sesame seeds. Eat it with chopsticks and a big, slurpy Asian spoon.



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What the kids eat in…. Japan (part 1)

Let’s trawl the recipes of the world to come up with some new ideas about how to get vegetables into our children. Known as “Japanese pizza”, the basic okonomiyake is a delicious cabbage pancake. It’s a great lunch option – healthier than a toasted ham sandwich and as quick to make.

Okonomiyaki recipe

Sneak cabbage and carrot in with this super-quick dish.


4 tbsp self-raising flour
3 tbsp water
1 egg
¼ cup diced ham (optional)
½ cup grated Chinese cabbage, finely shredded
¼ cup peeled, grated carrot
1 spring onion, finely sliced
Canola oil cooking spray

Mayonnaise, to serve
BBQ sauce, to serve

Put the flour in a bowl, add the water and stir well to remove any lumps. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in the ham (if using), cabbage, carrot and spring onion.

Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add the amount of mixture you want to get the pancake size you desire. Keep pancake 1cm-thick or less (otherwise it will be soggy in the middle).

Cook 3-4 minutes each side until golden. Place on a plate. Cover with a thin layer of mayonnaise and a swirl of BBQ sauce. Serve immediately.


MAKE IT PRETTY by cooking the mixture in silicone egg rings which come in a variety of shapes.

This recipe is from my Kitchen Collection cookbook!

This recipe is from my Kitchen Collection cookbook!

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