Category Archives: japanese challenge

Japanese Challenge Complete! A Rundown of #MissysMidnightDiner

If my math is right, I ended up making 62 different Japanese dishes. Wow! Here they are:


Noodles, Soups, and Noodle Soups:
Miso Ramen (plus Chashu, Soy-Marinated Eggs, and Ramen Stock)
Kitsune Udon
Stamina Udon
Kare Udon with Katsu
Nabeyaki Udon
Mori Soba
Tempura Udon
Miso Soup

Stews and Curries:
Vegetarian Curry
“Retro” Beef Curry
Chanko Nabe
Matsutake Sukiyaki
Battleship Curry
Pressure Cooker Chicken Curry
Hot Pot for One

Donburi and Rice Dishes:
Yuzu Salmon Donburi
Matsutake Gohan
Pressure Cooker Sushi Rice
Salmon Teriyaki Donburi
Beef Bowl
Green Tea Rice

Meat Dishes:
Baked Tonkatsu
Beef and Eggplant with Miso

Seafood Dishes:
Quick Ponzu Salmon
Miso-Glazed Salmon
Simmered Shrimp
Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura
Tuna Tataki

Izakaya Dishes/Skewers
Agedashi Tofu
Grilled Shitakes
Simmered Daikon
Gyoza-Stuffed Wings
Negamaki (Note, these fell apart terribly so I didn’t actually end up blogging them)

Yoshoku/Other Fusion
Okonomiyaki-style omurice
Pork Hambagu Steak
Japanese Mapo Tofu

Japanese Sweet Potatoes
Japanese Pickles (salt, miso, and miso-rubbed eggplant)
Soy Cucumber Pickles
Pickled Daikon

Japanese Breakfast
Matcha Latte
Ginger Carrot Salad Dressing

Random observations:

-Ramen is kind of a hassle to make (not entirely news to me since I’d done shio before, but still). Definitely spread out the labor over a few days if you can.

-Matsutake mushrooms, lotus root, and tofu rule. Also, Japanese breakfast is my favorite breakfast.

-Not surprising: that noodles and soups were the most frequent dishes to show up in the rotation. Somewhat surprising: that I ended up making five types of Japanese pickles and four types of curry.

-I knew dashi, mirin, soy, etc. were important to Japanese cuisine but perhaps didn’t understand what core building blocks they were to so many dishes.

-Great sources for recipes: Just One Cookbook (probably my #1 resource), my cookbooks “Japanese Soul Cooking” and “Tokyo Cult Recipes” (I have other Japanese cookbooks, but these were the best), and Harumi’s “Japanese Mini Kitchen” series on NHK. I made a handful of Serious Eats and Japanese Cooking 101 recipes, too, and worked in a few other sources as well.

-MVP Dishes: The dishes I actually made multiple times during the challenge: kara-age, nishyoku don, tuna tataki, Japanese salt pickles, grilled shitakes (once by John), Japanese breakfast, ponzu salmon, dashi. My overall favorite recipe, though, was probably the tantanmen. The omurice was also a show-stopper.

-Least successful recipes: Miso-marinated salmon (eh), Green tea rice (we didn’t really eat it, though I bet there’s a better recipe out there), negamaki (fell apart).

-My Japanese pantry and fridge have reached epic, yet ridiculous proportions (“well, of course I need two different colors of sesame paste, OBVI”). I also am now the proud owner of everything from a daikon grater to multiple drop lids, thanks to my husband who encouraged this hobby (especially during the Christmas season).

-Dishes I really wanted to make but didn’t get around to it (yet!): croquettes (though John made them one night), tako yaki (I even bought the pan!), somen, kaki age. I’d hoped to work on my rolled omelet, which I haven’t really mastered yet, but  never got around to it. I didn’t make much in the way of sushi (though I’ve done maki rolls a few times before this year), but I honestly find it a hassle so I’m not shocked that I slacked here.

Such a fun challenge! I definitely discovered that Japanese cooking will remain a hobby long after 2017.



Leave a comment

Filed under japanese challenge, Uncategorized

Japanese Vegetarian Curry

This was curry #2 for potluck, and was a hit among vegetarians and meat eaters alike. I used this chicken curry recipe as a building block, subbing in vegetables (including new-to-me-for-cooking ones like burdock and lotus root) for the protein.


Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under japanese challenge, Uncategorized, vegetarian

Miso Ramen (Plus Ramen Stock, Marinated Eggs and Chashu Recipes)

My third ramen from scratch! This was fairly doable if you spread the workload out into multiple days. I was impressed with this recipe from “Japanese Soul Cooking.” Note a few different building block recipes are included here (I’ve made both marinated eggs and chashu before but think I give a slight edge to this version).


Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under japanese challenge, pork dishes, soup, Uncategorized

Baked Pork Katsu and Katsudon

Katsudon was one of the recipes I made when on a Japanese recipe tear when John was out of town. First I prepared the katsu (I baked it to save a few calories given the texture of this dish). Then I turned it into katsudon, the Japanese rice bowl. I’ll admit I got distracted when making it and my eggs ended up overscrambling. But this is still a good recipe (two, really) to have on hand — remember to make katsu sandos with any remaining katsu!


Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under japanese challenge, poultry, Uncategorized

Retro Curry

I am approximately eleven recipes behind on updating the site, so bear with me. This is one of two (new!) Japanese curry recipes I made for our annual holiday potluck. This beef one was thinner than some we’ve made before, but had a nice depth of flavor. From my “Japanese Soul Cooking” cookbook. I doubled this recipe with no issues.


Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under beef dishes, japanese challenge, Uncategorized

Kitsune Udon

This was a different spin on udon using pre-fried tofu. I did make it while John was out of town because I didn’t see it being his thing. Recipe from “Japanese Soul Cooking”.


Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under japanese challenge, soup, Uncategorized

Yuzu Salmon Donburi

I improvised this recipe and was super happy with it. I made it all with stuff I had on hand besides the salmon.


Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under fish dishes, japanese challenge, Uncategorized