Must-try healthy Japanese menus at Ootoya! : 大戸屋の「絶対ヘルシー」メニュ!

Must-try healthy Japanese menus at Ootoya! : 大戸屋の「絶対ヘルシー」メニュ!

Okay, so if you have a chance to visit Ootoya (in case you don’t know where to go for a light and healthy dinner after you have a heavy lunch or sweets earlier in the day), try to find this page on the menu book. (near the back) Now that you’re in Japan, why not try something healthy in the Japanese style! I know some may look daunting to you and might raise your eyebrows about the taste. How are they gonna taste like? Don’t worry, though it might look unfamiliar to you, the way to eat is sooo easy.

Start with the top left: tofu, okra, natto (fermented soy beans), dry seaweed, grated yam and raw egg. To eat this, pour the shoyu (soy sauce) provided at the table into a little vessel that have a drop of wasabi (the green spicy stuff eaten with sashimi or sushi), and use chopsticks to mix just a bit of wasabi with the shoyu. Don’t mix the whole thing if you’re not good with the wasabi taste. Then pour it into the bowl, then mix it together. Don’t be afraid to break the tofu. It’s meant to be soft acting as a glue to hold all the ingredients together. Then use the spoon to scoop the mixture up. Try circling your spoon like a helicopter for a bit to cut the slime of the natto. Believe me, you belly will love you as the whole 247 kcal of that dish has all the glorious healthiest ingredients you want your body to have.

Similarly is the one below it called Bakudan. Basically, it has almost the same ingredients as the one above, except it doesn’t have tofu but instead have a few pieces of raw maguro (sashimi). Eat it the same way as above mentioned.

PS: These menus might be considered as side dishes but I would recommend those of you who really wanna go on a cleansing diet for a while to just pick item by item instead of going for a set. This way, you can cut the rice, and substitute it with sooo many more healthy side dishes. (just if you’re on a diet)

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Let’s talk about TOFU! ② SILKEN 絹ごし豆腐って?

I talked about Momen or Firm tofu last time, which is the most widely known and versatile in general sense. Silken tofu, on the other hand, might not be available in some countries. The package is usually smaller than Momen’s and lighter. The kanji “絹” or “Kinu” which means silk could help you distinguish it a little bit. Its full name is “Kinu goshi tofu”.

絹ごし豆腐

Why do people call it silk?? Obviously, this is tofu and so it has nothing to do with textile…
The very reason lies in the texture of it. Silken tofu is very soft, slippery, almost like chawanmushi or steamed egg. In short, it is very “silky”. 

The way it’s made is a little different from the firm tofu in that it is not drained or pressed, so all of the liquid remains in the tofu as it forms, making it very smooth and light. It has a delicate, silky texture like fine custard. (source: morinu.com) You can use it to make one of the easiest Japanese dish ever – Hiya yakko (冷奴)No cooking required!! Just cut the tofu, and pour something on top of it. The “something” I mean has many variations depending on the recipes; it can be ginger with soy sauce, or sesame oil with spring onion, etc…The list goes endless so search it on Cookpad!

Calorie-wise, it is lighter…56 kcal per 100 grams, also high in protein and all similar to the firm tofu. I would say, though, that if you’re not a big fan of soy products, then you might wanna start with this curdtard tofu. You won’t have to suffer from the smell nor the texture. When mixed with some other toppings (of your choice…but not ketchup or mayonnaise please), you will actually enjoy it! Oh, I forgot to say, Hiya-yakko is a COLD dish, very popular during winter but available all-year round. One of my favorite when I go to the canteen. 😉

Look for it in the supermarket! You can start from a small portion of 80 grams! (usually that’s just about 47 kcal…)

Look here for some inspirations: http://matome.naver.jp/odai/2136232279108931401
or here: http://cookpad.com/search/%E7%B5%B9%E8%B1%86%E8%85%90%E3%80%80%E3%83%87%E3%82%B6%E3%83%BC%E3%83%88?purpose=%E3%83%87%E3%82%B6%E3%83%BC%E3%83%88

Ciao!