Miso Soup Health Ideas

Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning used in sauces and soups. It is also used for pickling vegetables and meat. It is mainly obtained by fermenting soybeans, rice, wheat, or barley. More commonly, it is made from fermented soybeans, though barley, rice, and wheat can also be used at times.

To facilitate the fermentation process, the fungus, Aspergillus oryzae is added to soybeans and the other ingredients. Once the process of fermentation is over, the ingredients are ground to produce a thick paste of buttery texture, which is termed as miso. This fermented product is the basic ingredient of miso soup, which is a very delicious traditional Japanese soup.

Nutritional Information

This nutrient-rich soup contains several essential vitamins and minerals, along with healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats). It is low in saturated fats, but rich in proteins, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

One cup of miso soup can provide about 7.78 g carbohydrates, 6.02 g proteins, 3.36 g fats, 1.9 g dietary fiber, 367 mg potassium, and 998 mg sodium. Apart from these, this soup contains a significant amount of iron, calcium, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin C. One cup of miso soup can contain about 84 calories.

Health Benefits

The following are some of the noteworthy benefits of this traditional Japanese soup:

  • Being a fermented product, miso contains beneficial bacteria that can promote the health of the digestive system. It also contains dietary fiber, which can help improve digestion, and keep digestive ailments at bay.
  • It contains the mineral zinc, which can support the functions of the immune system. Zinc is also required for faster wound healing.
  • Copper and manganese found in miso are required for energy production. These minerals play a crucial role in protecting the body cells and tissues from the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals.
  • It is also rich in antioxidants, which can provide protection against the damaging effects of free radicals, and boost the immune system.
  • Fermented soy products like miso can help lower the risk of breast cancer in women.
  • It contains vitamin K that is required for blood clotting. This vitamin is important for preventing excessive bleeding from a cut or wound.
  • Being a fermented soy product, it can help control the level of the hormone estrogen in women.
  • Wakame seaweed, which is used to make this soup, can help lower blood pressure and the level of cholesterol in the body.

The Basic Recipe

Though this traditional Japanese soup can be prepared in different ways, the basic recipe is quite simple. Apart from miso, the main ingredients of this soup are, wakame seaweed, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, onion, potatoes, and tofu. To prepare the soup, you have to cook the vegetables and all hard ingredients by simmering them in ‘dashi’ soup stock.

First, boil some water in a saucepan, and add the powdered dashi and other ingredients into it, except for the miso paste and wakame seaweed. In the meantime, soak the wakame seaweed in water. Now, take some dashi soup stock from the mixture, and use it to dissolve the miso paste.

If you want to use tofu, then add it to the dashi mixture shortly before removing it from the heat. When the vegetables are cooked, add the wakame seaweed to the mixture and remove it from the heat. Now, you can pour the dissolved miso into the soup, and garnish it with parsley or spring onions.

To sum up, miso soup can be a really healthy addition to your diet. It can boost your health, besides increasing the ability of the immune system to fight diseases and infections. But this soup is high in sodium, and so, it should be consumed in moderation.

Japanese Restaurants Tips

unduhan-19A great nation in all, even during times of recession, you’ll always see a large number of people eating out and what with the number of food-related programs and commercials playing on TV, the Japanese undeniably love their food. While Sushi has become an extremely popular dish in the Western World, a large part of Japanese food still remains unexplored. So, here’s where the Japanese restaurants come into play!

To say that the Japanese absolutely adore their food would be an understatement! Undoubtedly, Japanese restaurants have taken the world by storm and this can definitely be seen in the increasing number of restaurants springing up everywhere, all over the world! Not that I’ve ever visited Japan, but a friend of mine once told me that Japan would be nothing without its culture and its culinary delights! Tell anyone that you are planning on visiting Hokkaido, and the first piece of advice you’ll ever get is to try out the seafood there, or if you are planning on taking a trip to Osaka, then the Okonomiyaki is a must! From Sashimi and Sushi to Tempura or even Sukiyaki, Japan is definitely famous for its cuisine.

With almost 200,000 bars and restaurants that caters to a particular region, Japan has an amazingly delightful variety of drinking and eating establishments for its people. With so many restaurants springing up every second day, a typical restaurant guide would be considered out of date and outmoded even before it gets published! So, here is just a humble introduction to what it is like to eat and drink in the Japanese style. In places like Tokyo, you could visit some of the best fine dining restaurants in the world – ranging from two, three and even four star! And then you would have the other (equally important yet more traditional) Japanese dining experiences!

Japanese Food – The Ultimate Dining Experience!

For all newcomers to the Japanese dining scene, ‘Ryotei’ is the most formal and traditional form of dining you’ll experience in Japan. If you are already in Japan, look for the ‘Izakaya’, which is an informal pub-style of eating but is highly recommended.

What’s more, with the overwhelming, almost staggering amount of fast food joints out there, you’ll find this cuisine at its best! Of course, no trip to Japan is perfect without trying out one of the deluxe-convenience stores, where you’ll find anything and everything! The day-to-day life in the city of Tokyo generally revolves around the subway stations. So, you could probably try out some of the eateries that are located right outside, near or even inside these subway stations. Besides, the ‘Yatai’ or the street-side stalls are an excellent option for hungry travelers.

Lastly, but probably the most exciting option of them all is the ‘Kaiten Sushi’ experience, which is the conveyor belt dining experience! With thousands of vending machines scattered all over Tokyo, some even provide soup and dessert options, you could probably have your very own picnic in a shady street corner.

Japanese Restaurants at your Service!

Years ago, these restaurants solely catered to the locals. However, over the last couple of decades, there has been an incredible explosion in the number of restaurants all over the world! Expensive to say the least, these restaurants are exotic and the cost of eating at one of these joints could range from an entire month’s salary to something that’s more reasonable. Undoubtedly, the restaurants have now become places of immense fascination and you can visit a restaurant even in the States. The only problem is in finding a good restaurant. Finding an original, authentic restaurant in the States is like going in search for peace and harmony in the Middle East!

Yes, finding the right restaurant can be very time-consuming and requires lots of patience and of course – luck. But, if you are lucky enough to find a suitable restaurant, then the Japanese dining experience is like no other you have or will ever experience. Since finding the perfect restaurant is a task unto itself, you need to remember that once found, it is nothing like you have ever experienced before. With so many different types of restaurants out there, most of them specialize in their very own special little dishes. However, there is one major misconception that needs to be addressed right away, as it is very unfair to these great restaurants. Most people mistake Japanese restaurants for Chinese ones, and should be informed that the Japanese and Chinese cuisines are nothing alike.

Not that I’m being discriminatory, but Chinese food doesn’t stand a chance in front of its Japanese counterpart! Japanese food is the real thing, and if you haven’t yet developed a taste for this type of cuisine, you better start doing now!

Ideas to Japanese Diet

It is known all over the world that the Japanese are some of the healthiest people and have a long life expectancy. But not everyone knows that Japanese women are the least obese women in the world, and they owe it to their diet. The essence of Japanese diet is losing weight by eating fresh and seasonal foods in limit, and eating for the body and not for the mind. They include every kind of food that has specific nutrients in the proper amount. They include fresh vegetables, fish, meat, rice, pulses, cereals, and legumes to go with the entire diet, to make it filling as well as delicious.

The Diet Plan
It is perfect for health as it involves the right amount of fat as well as carbohydrates in every meal so as to balance the amounts of nutrient consumption. Rice and fish being the staple food of Japan, it has to be included in the diet, but vegetarians can ignore fish. They can eat any other food which is rich in iodine, e.g. Misco soup is a fermented soy product which is easy to digest and simple to consume.

Upon following this diet strictly without any alterations, a person will not only lose a few pounds but also stay healthy. It is low in cholesterol and fats, so there is no chance of putting on extra pounds. While rice and vegetables provide starch and necessary nutrients, chicken and meat is rich in proteins and vitamins. The diet plan given below provides all the information about foods one could eat as a part of various meals of the day.

Meal Ingredients
Breakfast Miso Soup, 1 cup white rice, 1 egg, Nori seaweed strips, Green tea.
Lunch Teriyaki fish, Rice, Asian greens, Green tea.
Dinner Chicken, Rice, Miso soup, Sea vegetables with tofu.
Snacks Fuji Apple and Tangerine.

Japanese Recipes
These recipes are healthy and easy to cook. They have all the essential vegetables with nutrients, and are the tastiest for a filling lunch or dinner.

Grilled Rice Balls with Vegetable Miso

Ingredients

  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons Warishita stock
  • ¾ oz. Vegetable miso
  • Japanese pickles

Directions

Steam the rice in the microwave or on the gas and mix it with the Warishita stock. Then cool it till it is easy to handle. Wash your hands so the rice won’t stick and pull half of the rice in one palm. Make a triangle out of that rice with both the hands and repeat the same with the second half of the rice. Grill the rice balls till they are brown from one end, and turn them over to brown the other end. Spread the vegetable miso on the brown surface and lightly scorch it with a kitchen torch. Serve it with Japanese pickles while they are hot and steamy.

Chicken Stew (Mizutaki)

Ingredients

  • 1 kg chicken
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 block tofu
  • ½ bunch chrysanthemum leaves
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms
  • ¼ Chinese cabbage
  • 150 g cauliflower
  • Ponzu soy sauce
  • Momiji oroshi
  • 4 rice cakes
  • 100 g grated radish
  • 2 red peppers

Directions

Rinse the chicken in hot water and add cold water to it. Boil it. While the chicken is boiling, take out the bones and grind them, then add them back to the soup to let it thicken. Chop the chicken along with the vegetables and tofu. Put other ingredients in the pot and heat all of them on medium flame. After cooking, serve it with noodles, steamed rice, and some salads.

Tips to Making a Japanese Bento Lunch Box

images-5The Japanese are known for mixing art with their food. Be it the exotic Japanese recipes for sushi or the colorful bento lunch boxes. Made with some extra imagination and bright color combinations, bento lunch boxes are attractive to look at and tempt a person to taste the food. The name ‘bento’ is of a Japanese origin and it actually means convenience. So popular are bento lunches and snacks, that the style has evolved itself into various versions and spread across countries like China, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, etc. Some basic styles include Shokado bento, Kamameshi bento, Shidashi bento, Makunouchi bento and the list is endless. Bento designs have become all the more popular ever since the introduction of bento designing contests in Japan where people compete to make the most eye-pleasing meals.

Contents of Bento Lunch Box
Bento boxes are traditionally known to be black lacquered square boxes. The boxes may have self compartments or food items such as carrots might be used to make compartments within the box. The boxes are not very wide and the meals are expected to be packed creatively in smaller spaces.

Traditionally, bento meals are sectioned as 50% main meal course and 50% side dish with a generous quantity of vegetables and meat making up the side dish. Else, bento meals can be segregated by a ratio of approximately 4:3:2:1, where the main course takes up the largest portion followed by three-quarters of side dish, two quarters of vegetables and a quarter proportion of pickles or desserts. The whole idea is to create a wholesome meal with playful art. Typical ingredients of bento meals include rice, meat, fish, eggs, pickled fish or pickled vegetables, fresh vegetables and fruits, desserts, etc. Nowadays, some European versions of bento lunches include salads, pasta and bakery products as well.

Bento Lunch Box Ideas for Kids
Bento Lunch meals are supposed to look attractive so as to entice kids to eat their meals. The meals might require a little extra efforts to prepare but Japanese women don’t mind going an extra bit further with their creativity to ensure that their children get all the nutrition. Bento lunch boxes for kids might be arranged to look like a popular cartoon character or like an animal or flowering shrub. The former arrangement is called kyaraben while the later is called oekakiben.

A Popular Recipe for Kids
Divide the lunch box into two sections, one for the main course and the other for the side dish.

Ingredients for Main course
Boiled rice, salt, tuna, toasted sesame seeds, cucumber peels

Procedure
Spread the cooked rice evenly at the base of one half of the box. Sprinkle some salt to taste. Chop tuna into 3 small triangular pieces with one curving side. Fry the tuna pieces. Peal a cucumber and use its peals along the curved edge of fried tuna pieces. Now sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on tuna pieces. The tuna pieces are bound to resemble pieces of fresh watermelon. Now lay the pieces of tuna on the rice layer.

Ingredients for Side dish
Boiled egg, one carrot, c-shaped sliced cucumber without the flesh and seeds, toothpicks, salt

Procedure
Slice pieces of carrot minutely to resemble a rooster’s comb, a beak, and small rounded eyes. Insert the pieces in the shelled boiled egg to resemble a rooster. Next you can cut round slices of carrot and cut out small triangles from one side of these carrot pieces to make it look like a flower. Insert a toothpick through cucumber and carrot slices to make them look like a flower. Now place the vegetable flowers and egg rooster in the other half of the box. Your Bento box is sure to be a visual delight to your kids!

A Popular Recipe for Adults
Bento meals for adults naturally differ from those meant for kids. Now let us try a recipe for bento meal that takes influence from Italian pasta and Mediterranean salads. The recipe for the pasta and salads are the same. The change is only in the way of presentation.

Procedure
Create a lining for the bento box with a fresh green spinach leaf. Divide the bento box into two equal sections with freshly chopped carrot and turnip. Now fill one section of the box with steaming hot pasta. Garnish with cheese and parsley if required. Now toss an ample portion of Mediterranean salad in a bowl. Spread the salad in the 2nd half section of the bento box. Add some round slices of fresh tomato to add to the color. You are free to add some fruits like strawberries or cherries as a dessert. And lo…your bento lunch box is ready!

Reasons to Choose a Bento Lunch Box

  • They are easy to make. Majority of the ingredients are easily available in the market.
    Authentic bento lunches are served in boxes made from environment friendly material. This helps protect our natural environment. Also one can be assured that the food is safe for consumption.
  • The meal portions in a bento lunch box are smaller than the western meal portions. So they are a good option for weight reduction along with planned nourishment.
  • The meals are visual delight for adults and kids alike. Bento meal ideas can be adopted to suit not just lunches but also breakfast and supper.

It is said that meals are more nourishing if they are pleasing to the consumer’s eyes, fragrant to his nose, delicious to his taste buds. But the best secret to nourishment is food made out of love. Considering all the efforts that you put to make the meal as pleasing, delicious and colorful as possible, do you know any better meal option?