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”Osechi” New Year’s Japanese food


Osechi New Year's Japanese food
”Osechi” is specially prepared New Year’s dishes to be eaten during the first three days of January.

Various kinds of beautifully prepared dishes are set in boxes.

Most dishes are cooked in order to be preserved for at least three days.

So women don’t have to cook during that period.

Each dish and ingredient in ”Osechi” has meanings, such as good health, good harvest, happiness, prosperity, long life, and so on.

I introduce some items of ”Osechi”.

<Osechi introduction>
昆布巻き Kobumaki
simmered konbu rolls. Rolled kelp with fish in it.

黒豆 Kuromame
simmered black soy beans
various beans imply a wish for good health.


栗きんとん Kurikinton
mashed sweet potato with sweet chestnuts
Literally, “Kurikinton” means “chestnut gold mash”,  symbolizing economic fortune and wealth for the new year.
It is not the same with “Kurikinton” of Wagashi(Japanese sweets).


candied dried sardines


数の子 Kazunoko
salted herring roe
It’s said that yellow coloured dishes and ingredients such as kazunoko symbolize prosperity.


伊達巻 Datemaki
sweet omelette with fish paste.
To make it using special bamboo mat.

かまぼこ Kamaboko
fish cake
Try it with a little bit of soy source.
Red/pink and white coloured food, such as pink and white kamaboko slices represent celebration colours.


海老 Ebi
Lobsters are for longevity because their bodies are bent like an old man’s.


なます Namasu
Pickled radish and carrot.
Namasu is made of radish and carrot in thin strips and pickled in sweetened vinegar with Yuzu flavour.

鯛  Tai
Sea bream
Symbolizing an auspicious event.


<Other New Year’s food>
お屠蘇 Otoso
We drink special named Japanese sake for cerebration, “Otoso”.
You can try to drink “Otoso”at shrines or temples during new year 3 days in Japan.

otoso new year  

雑煮 Zouni
Japanese eat New Year special soup “Zouni” at home.
Ingridients are vegetables, mochi(rice cake), meat fish and cake etc.
There are many types of “zouni” depending on local area in Japan.
Mochi is round shape or square shape.
Tastes of soup are different types of stocks, made of dashi(made of seaweed), dashi(made of seaweed or fish flakes) , dashi and miso or red beans etc.


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X’mas bento box

Kids bento event National play day in Singapore 2015
X’mas bento

TSA Singapore jointed Natinal play day on 19th December.

Our program was Kids bento making demonstration.

We are introduce some design Bento box for kids.


For the Santa Claus Bento Box

Step 1: Pull out the 1 ham in the drop type. This is the foundation.

Step 2: Unplug a triangular part of the drop-type by using two cuts. This is the hat.

Step 3: Pull out the cheddar cheese in the drop type. This is the face.

Step 4: Pull out the cheese slices in the round part of the drop type further staggered to create a twice disconnected the beard.

Step 5: Step 1 the ham foundation + Step 3 the Cheddar cheese face + Step 2 the triangular ham hat + Step 4 superimpose the beard.

Step 6: Use a straw to cut the Cheddar cheese to make a nose.

Step 7: Use a smiley face punch to get the eyes and the mouth.

There we have our Santa Claus!

X'mas tree design sushi roll bento

small onigiri bento

Santa Nori bento


What is popular Japanese cuisine?

SUSHI – it is already popular in the world.

Now Japanese food and cuisine has become one of a popular cuisine.

At the Milan Food Expo this year, there were big crowds in front of the Japan pavilion every day.

Japan pavilion milan 2015 Japan pavilion milan 2015-2 Japan pavilion milan 2015-3

Japanese cuisine?  You say, “Sushi!”?

Actually sushi is really a specialty in Japan.

There are some local homemade sushi menus. For example, “Chirashi-sushi” and “Inari sushi”.

Many Japanese cannot make traditional Authentic sushi “Nigiri sushi” and “Roll sushi” that everybody knows and have experiences in eating in Singapore and abroad. Most Japanese, however, know how to make homemade style Japanese cuisine.


I would like to introduce 10 delightful menus with the following advantages:

  • 1   Japanese cuisine with local ingredients you can find easily.
  • 2   Nice menus for beginners eaters of Japanese cuisine.
<What is popular Japanese cuisine?>

No.1 Sushi

Sushi is strongly popular amongst Japanese food.
Making "Roll sushi" is easier than making  "nigiri-sushi" at home. 
(link  Roll sushi and nigiri sushi) 


No.2 Western style Japanese cuisine  
Japanese people arrange many cuisine menus. Some menus are accepted by international people.  

Hamburg(arrangement meatloaf) and Omelette rice(omelette and chicken rice combination) 
are really Japanese original menus. 

hamburg web

No.3 Nikujaga
One popular Japanese cuisine at home.  You can see and eat at Izakayas in Japan sometimes.

nikujaga web


No.4 Okonomi-yaki

The styles and ingredients are different depending on prefecture. 

You can make hotplate at home – there is Okonomi-yaki kit in the big supermarkets.



No.5 Tempura

To make tempura is really troublesome as you must clean kitchen a lot after cooking. 

But hot fried tempura is really tasty and crispy.



No.6  Tonkatsu

Please try to eat a variety of tonkatsu!  We can get some kinds of Japanese pork:Kurobuta pork, Platinum pork etc.

New style of healthy tonkatsu “Mille-feuille tonkatsu” – You can try to find in Japanese restaurants. 
This menu on the outside is thin pork slice, and the inside is vegetables, very healthy.

No.7 Miso-soup

It is most popular among Japanese.
Japanese eat it with seasonal vegetables to keep balance with nourishment every day.
There are many types of Miso in Japan.
Now International people can eat Miso-soup, but they could not accept
“Dashi” smell and taste (Konbu and Katsuo taste), before.
So, we can eat Miso-soup in any other countries’ Japanese restaurants.
miso soup
No.8  Japanese Curry rice(Rice Curry)

Japanese chef arranged from the curry menu of the English during the war period.

Japanese curry rice
No.9  Dashi-maki Tamago(Japanese Omelette)

It is made of eggs and Japanese stock “Dashi” in a special square pan.
Eat Dashi-maki Tamago with shed radish and soy sauce.

Dashimaki Tamago
No.10  Chicken Karaage(Japanese style Fried Chicken)

It is good as a menu for Bento, and is a nice side dish for beers or wines.
You can bring Karaage for home parties.



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Teriyaki Don

Teriyaki Don and Marinaded Salmon cooking class

teriyaki chiciken don

Teriyaki don is boneless chicken thigh pan-seared to perfection and coated with a home-made teriyaki sauce, and on top of a steaming bowl of rice.

It is probably one of many kids’ favourite dishes and on almost every Japanese restaurant as long as rice-bowls are included on the menu.

marinated salmon

Teriyaki is cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine.

Marinaded simply with plum (ume) paste, salt and vinegar, fresh salmon and well-cut vegetables are a delicous combination.

Learn correct cooking techniques from professional Japanese chefs, so that you recreate these dishes at home with simple, fresh ingredients and your usual kitchen equipment.

Tokyo Sushi Academy Japanese cooking class
Teriyaki Don and Marinaded Salmon

Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate

Japanese cooking class

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Mille-Feuille Tonkatsu and Tonjiru

Mille-Feuille Tonkatsu and Tonjiru

Tonkatsu class

A simple way to make tonkatsu (deep fried pork cutlet) is to use layers of pork belly and another way is to layer red cherry tomatoes, yellow cheese, Japanese perilla leaf with pork belly before coating and frying.

Both are delicious because of the layers!

You will learn how to deep fry using the correct technique so that the tonkatsu is crisp and not too oily.

To contrast with the decadence of a deep fried pork cutlet, Tonjiru is a warm, nourishing and healthy soup using pork belly slices and dashi stock for its rich flavour, and as many as 5 or 6 different types of vegetables such as daikon, carrot, burdock and lotus root.

It is a complete meal in itself and can be eaten with white rice for a simple and satisfying meal.

Learn how to do classics recipes like Tonkatsu and Tonjiru with simple ingredients and reliable cooking techniques, so that you can make it when you feel like having comfort food.


Difficulty level: Moderate

Tokyo Sushi Academy Singapore
Cooking class

Mille-Feuille Tonkatsu and Tonjiru class

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How to cook rice, Japanese Rice and Side dishes for breakfast

How to cook rice, Japanese Rice and Side dishes for breakfast

donabe gohan

Japanese rice is a short-grain rice variety, native to Japan but now available worldwide.

The preparation of Japanese rice is different from other types of rice.

The correct method of preparation is essential to create that fluffy, white, shiny, slightly sticky texture that is characteristic of well-
prepared Japanese rice.

It is delicious by itself and is very important in Japanese cuisine, and is the main staple of the diet.

Some common side dishes served with rice in a traditional Japanese-styled breakfast are grilled fish, natto, mentaiko (marinaded fish roe), tsukemono (pickled vegetables) and Tonjiru (pork soup).

You will learn how to cook Japanese rice and Tonjiru, and how to present them with the other side dish ingredients which can be bought at Japanese supermarkets.

*Please note that Japanese rice is more basic than sushi rice (taught in ‘Cooking Sushi Rice’ class) which has sushi vinegar added after cooking.

It is also not the same as glutinous rice.

how to cook rice and Japanese breakfasthow to cook rice

Japanese Rice and Side dishes class

Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate


Oyako Don

Oyako Don

Oyako-don is chicken and eggs in a rice bowl.

In English we say family, and in Japanese we would say Oyako.

The chicken and egg are like a family, hence the dish is called Oyakodon.

“family” in English =”Oyako” in Japanese


If it is made properly, it should have juicy tender bite-sized pieces of chicken simmered with onions and leeks in a dashi soup and soy sauce, with eggs added in a special oyakodon pan at the very end.

It is a very popular and basic rice bowl dish in Japanese cuisine.

chicken and eggs in a rice bowl

chicken and eggs in a rice bowl


Oyako don class

Tokyo Sushi Academy Singapore  TEL: 6444 7828

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Teriyaki Class

crispy teriyaki chicken

crispy teriyaki chicken

Teriyaki is cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine.


The meat is brushed with a sweet savory sauce for several times before grilling.“Teri” means “shine” in Japanese. “Yaki” can mean “grill”, “broil”, “roast”, “bake” or “toast”.The sugar in the sauce gives a lustre after cooking, hence the name “teriyaki”.


The sauce is usually made by combining equal amounts of soy sauce, sake and sugar but the ratio changes according to the type of dish.Mirin is sometimes used in place of sake and honey is used to substitute for sugar.In these instances, the amount of seasoning used is reduced to half and boiled down to a thick consistency.


Teriyaki is often used for cooking chicken and yellow-tail fish. However, it can also be used for cooking hamburg steaks, other types of fishes, tsukune (chicken meatballs), squids, konnyaku and other kinds of meat.Outside of Japan, teriyaki is most commonly used to cook meat, with chicken teriyaki as the most famous dish of all.


The teriyaki method of cooking in other countries maybe different from its country of origin.In many instances, the ingredients could be marinated in teriyaki sauce before grilling or the teriyaki sauce poured on top of the dish.You can easily buy ready-made teriyaki sauce in the market now and there are many modern variations of the sauce.


The demand for soy sauce has been rising in recently worldwide.This is triggered by an increase in the usage of soy sauce-based Japanese sauces.As teriyaki sauce has a savoury sweet taste, it goes well with rice and sake. The sauce must be thick so that it will not cling on to other ingredients on the same plate.


Hence, teriyaki sauce is also suitable for making bentos.

tsukune with teriyaki sauce, Yakitori menu

tsukune with teriyaki sauce, Yakitori menu

Tokyo Sushi Academy Japanese Cooking Class