Salmon Teriyaki

Salmon is a Japanese staple, but this easy-to-make teriyaki sauce also can be used to marinate beef, chicken, or pork.

Ingredients:

Four salmon fillets (3 to 4 ounces each)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
2 ½ tbsp sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ground ginger

Directions:

Combine the liquids, sugar, and ginger in a bowl. Put salmon fillets in mixture and marinate for about 30 minutes. Transfer the fillets to a baking sheet and the liquid to a small saucepan. Bake fillets at 325°F for about 10 minutes or to desired doneness, while simmering the marinade on the stove to a syrupy consistency (do not boil). When the salmon is cooked, spoon the sauce over the salmon and serve.

Servings: Serves four

Daikon Salad

This traditional Japanese radish salad can be served as a snack with sake or to accompany a main dish, such as salmon teriyaki.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound daikon (Japanese radish)
2 large carrots
1/2 cucumber
5 shiso (aka “beefsteak plant”) leaves
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
Black pepper to taste
About 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
Optional: katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)

Directions:

Julienne the large vegetables, and place them in ice water for 15-20 minutes to crisp them. Thinly slice shiso leaves. Combine the remaining ingredients to create the dressing. Toss the chilled vegetables, sliced shiso leaves, and dressing together. Garnish with katsuobushi.

Servings: Serve family-style

Miso Shiru (Miso Soup)

Soup in Japan is served alongside other dishes, not before. Japanese custom is not to use a spoon but instead to sip the soup directly from the bowl, using your chopsticks to stir it. First timers should try shiro (white) miso paste (actually tan in color).

Ingredients:

4-1/2 cups cold water
2-inch slice of dried konbu (kelp)
1/3 cup katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
4 tablespoons of miso paste
5 ounces tofu
2 green onions
Optional: bean sprouts (about 1/2 cup)

Directions:

Add cold water and konbu to the pot. Let sit for ten minutes. Slice the tofu into dice-size cubes, and finely chop the green onions into rings (scissors work well). Bring the water to a boil for about five minutes. Add the katsuobushi and bring to boil again. Strain the konbu and katsuobushi through cheese cloth and return the broth to the pot. Add miso paste to the broth, stir until it dissolves, then add tofu and (optional) bean sprouts and simmer for a few minutes.

Divide the chopped onions between four bowls and ladle the soup over them.

Servings: Serves four

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