Eating Japanese

Miso with enoki mushrooms

We’ve always loved Japanese food. Visiting Japan a few years ago only confirmed our love and since our return we have found a really good Japanese supermarket (if you are in Sydney, it’s TokyoMart in Northbridge – which is a bit out of our way, but very definitely worth it) and spent some time researching homestyle Japanese recipes, which we now make and eat at home 9 times out of 10. It’s soooo good.

oyakodon (chicken and egg rice bowl)

But the Japanese style of eating also suits John’s special dietary needs as a dialysis patient waiting for a kidney transplant*. He’s on home PD, so he does not have as many dietary restrictions as someone doing hemodialysis, but he still needs to be careful with his nutritional intake. In particular, he needs protein and calcium whilst avoiding phosphorus and potassium. It’s all a bit of a balancing act. This is kind of hard to do in a traditional western diet, since most of our calcium tends to come in dairy products which he needs to limit. Countless websites have been devoted to helping people on dialysis navigate an interesting and balanced renal diet. But for us, eating Japanese food has gone a long way to helping balance John’s dietary needs without either of us (important!) feeling like we are eating in a restrictive or unsatisfying way.


Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of the online resources for Japanese food that we have found after the jump.

66 ways of making miso soup

Well, there’s more than that on the Japanese Food Report, but I like the inspiration for preparing this staple in different ways.

Cooking with Dog youtube channel

A kooky but practical intro to Japanese homestyle cooking. Some of our favourites are gyoza, the oyako-don, gyu-don and Yakibuta Ramen (By the way, you would not believe how good the pork stock is!)

Just Bento and Just Hungry

Maki often focuses on bento (and, unfortunately, weight loss), however these blogs are also a great resource for information on Japanese food basics (what things are, where to get them, how to use them) and easy to follow recipes. In particular, I’ve made her stewed winter vegatables with koya-dofu (koya-dofu or kouya-dofu is a freeze dried tofu that originated with the buddist monks of Koya-San where we stayed for a little while in Japan)

* Incidentally, did you know the average wait in Australia for a kidney transplant is 5+ years? There is a severe shortage of kidneys and other organs for transplant. If you are in Australia, you can register your intent to donate and you could potentially save lives.

More info on kidney transplants.


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