All of above small dishes are easy to make, but making 5 dishes for 1 dinner seems a lot of work. Yup, it’s the Japanese cooking. I was talking to my Mom the other day, and she told me what she made for dinner on that day. Grilled fish, roasted Japanese eggplant, simmered beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions, boiled spinach, miso soup, and white rice! So, I tried to do the same minus beef and fish. Above dishes are all good warm or room temperature. All dishes above (except rice) are great nibbles if you like to drink.
Sautéed Shishito Peppers
Heat a splash of olive oil on a pan, put shishito peppers in. Turn an few times until they blister, but not to burn. Season with salt.
Pan Grilled Tomatoes
Halve tomatoes. Heat a splash of olive oil on a pan, line tomatoes in. Sprinkle salt. When they are soft, turn them over and grill a few more minutes. This was always a part of my English Breakfast when I traveled there.
Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin)
1/4 large kabocha, soy sauce, sugar, sake, water
Peel the green skins. I use a peeler and it is easier than a knife. Chop it at bite size.
In a medium sauce pan, put kabocha and pour water just enough to cover them. Heat up until boil. Add 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp sake. Turn the heat down to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until kabocha is done. Stick a folk or a chopstick in a kobocha piece and if it was easy to come out, it’s done.
Fire Roasted Eggplant
2 Japanese eggplants per person, 1/2″ fresh ginger (grated), soy sauce
Place eggplants directly over the fire. Yes, keep the pan holder comes with the stove top, but no pan is needed. When one side is charred, turn it to expose the other side to the fire. It will take 5 minutes or longer one side. When all sides are charred and eggplant is collapsed, take them off the fire, place them in a bowl. Cover with a plate to let them steam. Peel and cut it in bite size. To serve, place grated ginger and a dab of soy sauce on top.