NISHIME-STYLE DISH (waterless cooking)
Vegetables prepared in this way are cut in large chunks and are
cooked slowly for a long time over low heat. The steam in the pot
allows the ingredients to cook in their own juices, so that little
water is usually needed. Seasoning may be added in the beginning
or toward the end of cooking. The vegetables are very juicy and
may be served together with the cooking liquid. Nishime-style cooking
produces strong and radiant energy.
1. Use a heavy pot with a heavy lid or cookware specifically designed
for waterless cooking.
2. Soak a 1" piece of kombu for two to three cups of vegetables
and cut into 1" square pieces.
3. Place kombu in bottom of pot and cover with water (about one
to two inches of water).
4. Add sliced vegetables. Nishime preparation is usually a combination
of two or three vegetables, but it may include more, or only one
type of vegetable.
5. Layer the vegetables in the pot on top of the kombu or place
them in sections around the pot.
6. Cover the pot with a heavy lid and set the flame on high until
a good steam is generated. Lower the flame and simmer for approximately
15 to 20 minutes. The time can be less, even ten minutes, especially
in the summer, when using vegetables that are cut into smaller pieces.
If the water evaporates too quickly during cooking, add more water
to the bottom of the pot.
7. When the vegetables become soft, add a few drops of shoyu/soy
sauce and toss the pot gently with the lid on. Do nor stir the pot.
8. Cook over a low flame for three to five minutes longer with the
lid still on.
9. Remove the lid, turn off the flame, and let the vegetables sit
for about two minutes. You may serve any
remaining liquid along with the vegetables.
NISHIME COMBINATION SUGGESTIONS:
You may cook one (ex: whole onions or turnip), two, three, or more
vegetables together. Many combinations are possible. The following
are a few examples:
A. Carrot, burdock and kombu
B. Burdock, lotus root and kombu
C. Daikon, lotus root and kombu
D. Carrot, parsnip and kombu
E. Turnip, shiitake mushrooms and kombu
F. Squash, onion and kombu
NOTE: Do not to cook together ONLY carrot and daikon, or carrot
SQUASH (60%), AZUKI BEANS (30%) and KOMBU (10%) DISH
1/2 c. Aduki beans
1" Square piece of kombu (after soaking)
1 c. water
1. Wash and soak 1/2 cup of azuki beans with a 1" piece of
kombu for several hours or overnight.
2. Put the kombu in the bottom of a heavy pot and add chopped hard
winter or autumn squash (acorn, butternut, buttercup or Hokkaido
3. Add azuki beans on top of squash.
4. Add enough water to just cover the layer of squash.
5. Do not place a lid on the pot at the beginning. Bring to a boil
slowly. Cover after 10 to 15 minutes.
6. Cook on a low flame until the beans are 70-80% done, after about
an hour or more. The water will evaporate as the beans expand, so
gently add water along the sides of the pot to keep the water level
constant and to make the beans soft.
7. When the beans are 70-80% done, add 2 pinches of sea salt.
8. Cover and cook for another 15 to 30 minutes or until most of
the liquid has evaporated.
9. Turn off the flame and let the pot sit for several minutes.
10. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.
- It is better not to stir while cooking.
- If winter squash is not available you may substitute onions, carrots
or parsnips. Lentils or chickpeas may also be used occasionally
as substitutes for azuki beans.
DRIED DAIKON W/ KOMBU
1. Soak two 1" pieces of kombu for ten minutes. Slice into
1/2 " pieces and place at the bottom of a pot that can be covered
with a heavy lid.
2. Soak 1/2 cup of dried daikon for about ten minutes or until it
is soft. If the dried daikon is a very dark color and the water
is also dark, discard the water. If the water is a light color,
you may use it in the cooking.
3. Place the dried daikon (chopped if desired) on top of the kombu
and add enough water to cover (you may use the kombu soaking water).
4. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, and lower the flame. Simmer for
30-40 minutes, until the daikon is tender.
5. Add 1 teaspoon of shoyu/soy sauce and cook away the excess liquid.
VARIATION: Dried daikon (50%), onions (20%), carrots (20%) and kombu
(10%). Add sliced vegetables on top of the daikon and proceed as
DAIKON AND DAIKON LEAVES; CARROTS AND CARROT TOPS; TURNIPS AND TURNIP
TOPS; OR DANDELION ROOTS AND DANDELION LEAVES
1. Finely chop one of the combinations above.
2. Place the vegetables in a pot with a small amount of water.
3. Cover and cook in steaming water for about ten minutes.
4. Add a small pinch of sea salt or 5 drops of shoyu/soy sauce,
and simmer for three to four minutes more.
- You may lightly cook the root part first and add the leafy part
- Red radish and radish leaves may be used if daikon is not available.
STEAMED LEAFY GREENS
Use lean greens such as kale, collards, watercress, mustard greens,
dandelion greens, carrot tops, or chinese cabbage.
1. Wash and slice any of the above vegetables.
2. Place vegetables in small amount of boiling water ( 1/2 inch)
or in a stainless steel steamer above about one inch of boiling
3. Cover and steam the stems for 2 minutes, then add the leaves
for 1 minute.
4. Transfer quickly to a serving dish to prevent overcooking.
- The vegetables should be a bright green color and crispy.
- Wait until the water is fully boiling before you put in the vegetables.
- You may lightly sprinkle shoyu/soy sauce over the greens at the
end of the cooking.
- You may serve plain or, occasionally, add a few drops of brown
rice or umeboshi vinegar.
- When boiling, do not cover the pot with a lid or the greens will
lose their bright green color.
QUICK STEAMED GREENS DISH
Quick steamed greens are steamed in a covered pot with a small amount
of spring water. They may be steamed with or without a steamer.
The greens should be bright and crispy, but cooked.
GREENS OPTIONS: Turnip greens, daikon greens, carrot tops, kale,
watercress, chinese cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens.
1. Wash and slice the greens.
2. Steam for 2-3 minutes, depending on the texture of the vegetables.
3. At the end of cooking, lightly sprinkle tamari shoyu/soy sauce
on the greens.
1. Cut equal amounts of burdock and carrots (into matchsticks or
shaved into small pieces).
2. Lightly brush sesame oil in a skillet and heat the oil with a
medium high flame.
3. When the oil is hot, sauté the burdock for two to three
minutes in a skillet or frying pan then layer the carrots on top
of the burdock.
4. Lightly cover the bottom of the skillet with water, just enough
to cover the burdock. Cover and cook until the vegetables are 80%
done. This should take approximately 20 to 30 minutes or a little
5. Add several drops of shoyu/soy sauce to taste. Cover again with
6. Cook until all the water has evaporated.
7. At the very end of cooking, add a few drops of ginger juice (from
grated ginger) if your condition permits it.
- Onions, turnips, or lotus root may be substituted or used together
with carrots and burdock.
- When burdock is not available, you may use carrots only or substitute
- If oil is to be avoided for your condition, you may water-sauté
instead. Use a little bit of water on the bottom of the pan and
heat as you would oil and proceed as above.
- Dried burdock may be soaked and used in place of fresh burdock
if the latter is unavailable.
SAUTÉED BURDOCK AND CARROT KINPIRA
1. Lightly brush sesame oil on a skillet and heat.
2. Wash and cut (into matchsticks or shave) equal amounts of burdock
and carrots. Place the vegetables in the skillet and add a pinch
of sea salt. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add water to lightly cover the bottom of the skillet. Cover and
cook vegetables for about 15 minutes.
4. Add several drops of tamari shoyu/soy sauce, cover and cook until
all water has cooked down.
5. At the very end of cooking, add a few drops of ginger juice from
freshly grated ginger.
1. Finely cut vegetables. Leafy greens and thinly sliced root vegetables
as well as sprouts or corn kernels may all be sautéed by
themselves or in various combinations.
2. When the oil or water is hot, sauté the vegetables quickly
for a few minutes. Gently stir the vegetables with chopsticks or
another wooden utensil. There is no need for vigorous stirring or
3. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt or shoyu/soy sauce.
4. Simmer for a few more minutes, adding a little water if necessary.
NOTE: The vegetables should be crispy and colorful, cooked but not
overcooked. The cooking time may vary somewhat depending on the
size and thickness of the ingredients.
DRY TOFU (OR FRESH TOFU, TEMPEH OR SEITAN) WITH VEGETABLES
1. Soak a 2" piece of kombu in 11/2 cups of water.
2. Use either soaked and sliced dried tofu (rinse it first in cold
water, then soak for 5 minutes in hot water), tempeh cubes, or seitan;
along with sliced daikon, burdock, carrots, lotus roots, or any
other root vegetable.
3. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.
4. Add a pinch of sea salt or shoyu/soy sauce (unless you are using
seitan, which might not require additional seasoning).
5. Add one or a combination of two or three of the following vegetables:
onions, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, squash, or brussel sprouts, and
cook for three to five minutes. These vegetables take less time
to cook than root vegetables and should be lightly crisp.
6. Finely chop two or three scallions and add at the very end of
cooking, for one minute or less.
- If you use fresh tofu, add it toward the end of cooking.
- If you add leafy greens, add them toward the end of cooking. They
should still be crisp and not soggy or overcooked.
- A small amount of ginger may be added at the very end of cooking,
if your condition permits.
NABE STYLE GREEN VEGETABLES
Nabe (pronounced "na-bay") style is a quick light summer
style of boiling that is done on a portable burner at the table,
usually in a large open ceramic or metal nabe pot. If a special
earthenware nabe pot and portable burner are not available, this
dish may be prepared quickly on the stovetop in a large stainless
steel skillet. It differs from Nishime style since it uses more
leafy green than root vegetables. It also features more water, no
lid, no seasoning, a higher flame, and much less cooking time.
Sliced green and upward-growing vegetables: kale, collard greens,
cabbage, Chinese cabbage, red cabbage, leeks, mustard greens, carrot
tops, daikon tops, radish tops, turnip tops, scallions. dandelion
greens, broccoli, fresh or dried shiitake and other mushrooms, string
beans, celery, chives, snap peas, snow peas, sprouts, brussel sprouts,
bamboo shoots, fresh green shiso leaves, onion, etc.
- Daikon, carrot, lotus root, and other roots in smaller amounts
- Fresh or dried tofu, pre-cooked udon noodles, fu, mochi, white
meat fish, etc. (optional)
- Strip of Kombu (about 2"x3" for 4 cups of vegetables)
- Spring or well water
1. Slice as many types of the vegetables as desired, and place in
sections on a large platter. Pour _ cup water into the nabe pot
with a strip of kombu (may sometimes be omitted) and with soaked
and chopped dried shitake mushrooms, if desired. Bring to a rapid
boil on a high flame and cook until the kombu and/or mushrooms soften.
You need not add any other seasonings to this dish.
2. Then begin to add the sliced vegetables of the rapidly boiling
broth. Add them in separate sections, starting with the harder vegetables
that require the longest cooking time. Slowly add all the vegetables
- most should require only 1-2 minutes of boiling. End with those
such as sprouts, scallions, and fresh green shiso leaves that require
only several seconds of cooking. Occasionally for variety, add fresh
or dried tofu. pre-cooked udon noodles, mochi, or white meat fish
may be added. It may be necessary to add more water during cooking
as the broth evaporates.
3. When finished, this dish should yield a large sectioned pot of
bright green, fresh and light vegetables. It should be served immediately.
If cooked on the table, vegetables may be eaten continuously and
new ones added to the pot. Cook only enough that a family can eat
at one meal to get the maximum freshness and lightness. It should
be the main dish at this particular meal, 2/3 or more of the total
meal volume and with grains 1/3 or less of the total volume.
DIPPING BROTH SUGGESTIONS:
- Nabe cooking broth
- Miso or soy sauce or umeboshi paste
- Toasted Nori (optional)
- Chopped scallions
- Grated ginger (optional)
The cooking broth is delicious and refreshing to drink and it may
be used to make a dipping sauce as follows. Heat up a small volume
of the broth and add miso or soy sauce or umeboshi paste. Simmer
for about three minutes. Grill a small amount or ginger and squeeze
in a few drops of juice. Add chopped scallions and a few pieces
of roasted nori. Pour into a small dipping cup and dip in vegetables.
LIGHTLY STEWED VEGETABLES
Cook one of the following with the vegetables:
1. Soak a 2" square kombu in 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil
and cook for 3-5 minutes.
2. Slice 1/3 of a package of seitan or tempeh into 3-5 pieces.
Also slice daikon, burdock and carrots.
3. Add them to boiling water and cook for 5-10 minutes.
4. Add onion, Chinese cabbage, or regular cabbage, thinly sliced,
and cook for 3-5 minutes.
5. Cut green leafy vegetables and 2-3 pieces of scallions (cut
in 1" pieces) and cook 1 minute.
6. The leafy green vegetables should still be crispy. All of the
other vegetables should be boiled and cooked
7. Sometimes you can serve with a dipping sauce.
Dipping sauce suggestions:
- Add a few drops of shoyu/soy sauce and a little bit of grated
ginger to the cooking broth.
- Diluted miso with a little bit of grated ginger.
Suriyaki is cooked in a covered cast iron skillet. Follow the suggestions
listed above for preparing the protein.
Cut root vegetables into thin slices. Root, round, and leafy green
vegetables, noodles, or corn-on-the-cob can be used.
1. Place seitan, tempeh, fresh or dried tofu, and root and leafy
green vegetables in sections around the skillet.
2. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet. Add a few
drops of shoyu/soy sauce.
3. Cover and steam on a medium-high flame for 4-5 minutes.
4. Leafy greens may be added at the end of the cooking.
5. Serve from skillet.