Meal Ideas 16 July 2020

Flavorful, Fun Japanese-Inspired Lunches to Cook with Your Kids

(Family Features) Cooking with your kids is a fun way to bond while teaching basic culinary skills. It provides practical lessons like counting ingredients and dividing portions. Plus, meals cooked together offer kids something to look forward to during lunchtime. They can enjoy the food they helped prepare, and you’ll be able to check at least one meal off your to-do list while teaching valuable life lessons.

One way to make cooking more exciting for the family is to prepare food for a bento box using pantry staples. Bento boxes are considered an act of love in Japan and are a fun way to get your family involved in the kitchen. Bento boxes are similar to single-portion lunchboxes except they feature small compartments for each element of your meal, making it easy to encourage kids to eat fresh fruits and veggies. They also offer a whimsy visual appeal that can make mealtime more entertaining.

Next time you plan a meal with loved ones, try incorporating authentic Japanese recipes like a Simple Teriyaki Bowl, a Miso-Glazed Salmon Bento or Garlic Shrimp with Jasmine Rice. These dishes call for simple preparations, short cook times and pantry basics, making it easy to involve your family in the process.

To create a taste-tempting family meal with genuine Japanese flavors, try Mizkan premium sauces and rice vinegars. For more than two centuries, the vinegars have helped chefs and families around the world delight in the flavors of Japan. Now the taste can be at your table, helping you create authentic meals your whole family can enjoy.

Find more tips and ideas for creating flavorful and authentic Japanese recipes at mizkanflavors.com.

Garlic Shrimp with Jasmine Rice

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Ponzu Rice:

  • 1          cup jasmine rice
  • 1/2       cup Mizkan Ponzu Citrus Seasoned Soy Sauce
  • 1 1/2    cups water

Stir Fry:

  • 2          tablespoons Mizkan Organic Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4       cup Mizkan Ponzu Citrus Seasoned Soy Sauce
  • 1/4       cup brown sugar
  • 1          teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2       cup vegetable stock
  • 1          teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2          tablespoons oil
  • 1          pound (about 21-25) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4       cup red onion, large chopped
  • 2          teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1          cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2       cup carrots, shredded
  • 1          cup sugar-snap peas
  • 1          cup broccoli florets
  • 2          scallions, sliced
  • 2          teaspoons sesame seeds
  1. To make ponzu rice: In small saucepan, combine jasmine rice, ponzu and water; cook according to rice directions.
  2. To make stir fry: In bowl, whisk rice vinegar, seasoned soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, vegetable stock and cornstarch to combine. Set aside.
  3. In large saute pan over high heat, heat oil; add shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes until pink.
  4. Add red onion and cook 1 minute. Add garlic, red bell peppers, carrots, snap peas and broccoli; cook 3 minutes until tender.
  5. Add reserved sauce and cook 2 minutes until thickened.
  6. Divide rice among six bowls and top with shrimp stir fry. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds; serve.

Miso-Glazed Salmon Bento

Prep time: 20 minutes, plus marinating
Cook time: 6 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/4       cup miso paste
  • 2          tablespoons Mizkan Mirin Sweet Cooking Seasoning
  • 1          tablespoon sake
  • 2          skinless center-cut salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
  • 1          cup thinly sliced seedless cucumbers
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2          tablespoons Mizkan Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 2          cups cooked short-grain sushi rice, cooled
  • 1          tablespoon thinly sliced green onions
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 6          cherry tomatoes
  • 2          lemon wedges
  1. In medium bowl, whisk miso paste, mirin and sake. Add salmon, turning to coat evenly. Marinate 10-30 minutes. Discard remaining marinade.
  2. Heat large nonstick pan on medium-high heat. Cook fish 2-3 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 145 F. Cut each fillet into four small pieces.
  3. In strainer or colander, toss cucumbers with salt; let stand 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid; toss with rice vinegar.
  4. Pack each bento box evenly with rice, pickled cucumbers and salmon. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds. Garnish with tomatoes and lemons.

Substitutions: If ingredients are unavailable or difficult to find: Use 1/4 cup soy sauce to glaze salmon in place of miso paste; use low-carb rice such as cauliflower or broccoli rice in place of sushi rice.

Tip: To prevent sogginess, separate wet components like cucumber pickles by using aluminum foil or silicone muffin liners inside bento box.

Simple Teriyaki Bowl

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1          large boneless chicken thigh
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3          tablespoons Mizkan Mirin
  • 3          tablespoons Mizkan Natural Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2       scallion
  • 1          tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2          servings hot, cooked rice
  • 1          teaspoon dried seaweed sheet (nori), sliced (optional)
  1. Slice chicken thigh meat into bite-size pieces. In bowl, mix soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar; marinate chicken pieces in seasoning mix 10 minutes.
  2. Cut scallion into 2-inch pieces. In frying pan, saute until soft, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  3. In frying pan, heat oil and cook chicken until browned.
  4. When meat is browned, pour marinade over chicken and continue cooking on low heat until sauce thickens.
  5. Place hot, cooked rice in individual bowls. Spread sliced dried seaweed pieces over rice, if desired, and top with chicken and scallions to serve.


Photo courtesy of NPDstock/Shutterstock (Simple Teriyaki Bowl)

Source:  Mizkan

Meal Ideas 29 June 2020

Flavor Fusion

(Family Features) A distinctive and unexpected ingredient like rice vinegar is an easy way to bring faraway flavors to your favorite summer dishes. This pantry staple adds an Asian-inspired flavor to recipes of all kinds, from marinades to high-end meals.

Explore a new way to enjoy steak this summer with a recipe for zesty, marinated beef paired with crisp broccolini and peppers to give a familiar dish a fresh makeover using flavors from another origin. Give fajitas an Asian makeover with shrimp seared in a decadent hoisin-ginger sauce or try a fresh take on a crunchy salad with this Mexican-meets-Asian layered approach that’s perfect for lunch.

Include seasonal produce like cucumbers, bell peppers and tomatoes to enhance your summer flavor fusions. Pantry staples like black beans and canned corn also offer accessible ways to make elevated summer classics.

Capture Asian flavors with ingredients like NAKANO Rice Vinegar, which has perfected its rice vinegars over eight generations to offer unique and delicious flavors perfect for making mouthwatering Asian-inspired recipes at home.

Pro Flavor-Fusion Tips

  • The key to a successful stir-fry is to use high heat to quickly cook meats and vegetables in stages without overcrowding the pan. This ensures that veggies stay slightly crisp, and meats develop a delicious sear instead of steaming.
  • Avocado oil has one of the highest smoke points, making it a great choice for high-heat cooking like stir-frying.
  • Hoisin sauce, which you can find in the Asian section of most grocery stores, is used frequently in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. It’s a salty, fermented soybean paste often combined with garlic, chiles and five-spice powder, which adds a sweet, umami-rich, aromatic flavor to the dish.
  • Shishito peppers are slender, mild, green Japanese peppers available in the produce section of well-stocked grocery stores or Asian markets. If shishito peppers are unavailable, substitute with multicolored mini peppers.
  • To accommodate those who love a lot of spice and those who prefer less spice, serve mild-to-medium-spicy foods with additional chili sauce on the side.
  • Swap out heavy, high-calorie salad dressings for a splash of additional flavor with NAKANO rice vinegar.

Find more flavorful ways to put an Asian twist on your summer dishes at nakanoflavors.com.

Sizzling Shrimp Fajita Stir-Fry

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 1/2    pounds large, raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (21-25 shrimp total)
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 4          teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1/4       cup NAKANO Roasted Garlic Rice Vinegar
  • 3          tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2          teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3          tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1          red onion, cut into thin slivers
  • 1          red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2       pound shishito peppers, stemmed
  • 6          warmed corn or flour tortillas
  • 1/2       cup finely shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4       cup thinly sliced green onions
  1. In medium bowl, combine shrimp, 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons cornstarch; let stand 5 minutes to marinate.
  2. In separate bowl, whisk remaining soy sauce, remaining cornstarch, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce and ginger until blended.
  3. In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add half of shrimp; cook 1 minute on each side. Transfer to clean bowl; repeat with remaining shrimp. Wipe out skillet with paper towel.
  4. In same pan, heat remaining oil until shimmering. Add red onion, bell pepper and shishito peppers. Cook, stirring, 2-4 minutes until peppers begin to blister. Add vinegar mixture; cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened. Add shrimp to pan. Cook, tossing well until shrimp and vegetables are coated with sauce.
  5. Fill tortillas with shrimp mixture, cabbage and green onions.

Spicy Steak and Broccoli

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          beef tenderloin (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1          tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3          tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 2          cups multicolored, mini sweet peppers, cut into thin rings
  • 1/4       pound broccolini, cut into 3-inch sections
  • 2          large shallots, chopped
  • 1/4       cup NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon sugar
  • 1          teaspoon sambal oelek (Asian-chili garlic sauce) or sriracha
  • 1/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2          teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  1. In medium bowl, combine beef, soy sauce, cornstarch, black pepper and garlic powder.
  2. In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add peppers, broccolini and shallots; cook 3 minutes, or until tender crisp. Transfer to clean bowl.
  3. In same skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add half of beef in single layer. Cook undisturbed 2 minutes, or until bottoms are browned. Stir. Cook 1 minute, or until outer surfaces are no longer pink. Transfer to bowl with vegetables. Repeat with remaining oil and beef. Return beef and vegetables to skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. In small bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, sambal oelek, salt and ginger. Add mixture to pan. Cook 2 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.

Glass Jar Layered Taco Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1/2       avocado
  • 1/4       teaspoon serrano pepper
  • 1          tablespoon cilantro
  • 2          tablespoons NAKANO Organic Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1          teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/3       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       cup corn
  • 1/2       cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2       cup jicama, diced
  • 1/2       cup black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2       cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2       cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2       cup extra-firm tofu, diced
  • 1/2       cup corn chips, crushed
  • 1/2       cup spinach
  • 1          tablespoon queso fresco
  1. In bowl, mash avocado and add serrano pepper, cilantro, rice vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice and salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Build salad in layers of corn, cabbage, jicama, black beans, cabbage, tomatoes, tofu, corn chips, spinach and queso fresco while adding drizzles of dressing between layers.

Source: NAKANO

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