5 Japanese Holiday Food Recipes

The elegance and flavor of Japanese cooking can be easily achieved with these 5 Japanese holiday food recipes. Genuine and delicious, these 5 Japanese holiday food recipes will  bring the Japanese flavor to your table.

1.  Japanese Baked Tofu Loaf (Gisei Dofu)

  • 1 lb. tofu (regular or soft) squeezed,drained, and mashed
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 (2 inch long) carrots, shredded
  • 1 tbs. oil

 Seasoning ingredients

  • 2 tbs. sake
  • 1 ½ tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • 2 tbs. canned peas
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Stir fry the carrots and mushrooms with the oil over medium-high heat, in a small saucepan, for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the seasoning ingredients, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. In a different container, mix the mashed tofu with the eggs, blending well.
  5. Add t his tofu combination to the stir fried mixture, and toss gently.
  6. Grease or spray a baking pan, pour in the tofu, and spread it out evenly.
  7. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the top of the loaf is golden.
  8. Serve hot or cold.

2. Japanese Cauliflower With Chicken Sauce Recipe

Please note that the boiling ingredients are separate from the sauce ingredients.

 Boiling ingredients

  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 1 tbs. soy sauce
  • salt to taste


  • 1/3 pound chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. cornstarch
  1. Put the boiling ingredients, except the cauliflower, into a large saucepan over high heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower florets. and cook until tender.
  3. Remove the florets, and save two cups of this liquid.
  4. Pour the two cups of  the saved liquid in another saucepan.
  5. Add the chicken, sugar and soy sauce. Bring to a boil.
  6. Thicken the mixture by combining the cornstarch with ½ cup water.
  7. Arrange the cauliflower florets on individual plates, and pour the chicken sauce over them.  

3.  Japanese Ginger Rice Recipe

  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 tbs. sake
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbs. ginger, finely sliced
  • 2 cups plus 3 tbs. dashi
  1. Soak the sliced ginger in water for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the rice, sake, salt, ginger and dashi in a large saucepan.
  3. Cook this mixture over medium heat for 15-30 minutes or until tender. 

3. Japanese Tempura Recipe

The secret to making perfect tempura relies on the oil used, temperature, and batter. Use pure vegetable oil; avoid olive oil, it’s too heavy and changes the tempura flavor. Test the right oil’s temperature by splashing a drop of the batter in a skillet with plenty of oil. If it goes to the bottom and rises to the surface, it’s perfect.

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup chilled water
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose-flour, sifted
  1. Combine the tempura ingredients in a medium bowl. Don’t stir too much; the ideal Japanese batter should be thin and lumpy.
  2. Dip a piece of vegetable into the batter, drip, and fry it in a skillet with plenty of oil, moving until golden.
  3. Place finished vegetables on absorbent paper.

4.  Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tbs. mirin
  • 2 tbs. sake
  • 1 cup dashi
  1. Mixt he dipping sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Let it cool, and serve in dipping bowls.

 If you prefer an easier dipping sauce, combine soy sauce, bits of garlic, onion, and a dash of honey.

Note: Some people prefer salted tempura. For this purpose, prepare different small saucers with salt mixed with pepper, salt with curry powder, or salt with any other spices.

 5. Japanese Floating Ice


  • 2 envelopes (2 tbs.) unflavored gelatin
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tbs. crème de menthe
  1. Prepare the unflavored gelatin following the directions on the package.
  2. Let it cool, then set gelatin in the refrigerator.
  3. Boil the 1 ¾ cups water and sugar, and remove from the heat.
  4. Add the lemon juice and the crème de menthe.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator.
  6. Chill 4 glasses.
  7. Break up the unflavored gelatin with a fork and put into glasses.
  8. Pour in the syrup, and serve.
  9. Pour a little vodka into each glass, if desired.
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