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Hi! I’m Marc Matsumoto, a food blogger(https://norecipes.com), TV host(https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/tv/bento/), and food consultant, and I’ve loved to cook since before I could see over the kitchen counter! I know that not everyone feels the same way about cooking, which is why I founded No Recipes: to elevate everyday meals by making the preparation of delicious wholesome food accessible and interesting to people of all skill levels.
This site has over 1000 easy to follow step-by-step recipes with the dish’s background and photos so that you learn the why behind basic cooking techniques, not just the how. My goal is to give you the confidence and inspiration to have fun in the kitchen!
Through food, we all have common ground, which is why I encourage you to join me on this delicious journey, learning about new techniques and ingredients, and in turn inspiring new kitchen adventures!
They don’t look like much, but the layer of meat on the outside of these rice balls is whisper-thin and glazed in a sweet and savory sauce. As the sauce filters through the meat, it picks up loads of flavor before percolating into the rice underneath. It’s a magical bundle of flavor that’s as satisfying as it is delicious, and it happens to come from near where I was born in Miyazaki, Japan. Click @norecipes for a link to the recipe video in my profile.
I wasn’t a huge fan of eggplant until I had Mabo Nasu for the first time. It’s the Japanese version of a Chinese spicy eggplant dish called Yú Xiāng Qiézi. In my version I flash-fry the eggplant before braising it in a savory and mildly spicy sauce. The eggplant ends up rich and creamy while retaining its vibrant purple hue, absorbing the sauce flavors like a sponge. Served over a steaming bowl of rice, it’s comfort food at its finest. Click @norecipes for a link to the recipe in my profile.
There are few things more gratifying than picking out the perfect gift for loved ones, but it can also be a source of stress. I've put together a list of 9 unique and useful gift ideas at different price points for all the cooks and food lovers in your life. I’ve included items from @bentoandco @musubikiln and @kokorocares . Click @noreicpes for a link to a video where I go into more detail on each item. I also included links in the video description to buy these items.
It's technically my job to have new recipe ideas, but I'm only human, and there are times when inspiration eludes me. For those moments, I keep a note with a list of meals with a high taste-to-effort ratio. This week, I'm sharing one of those recipes with you, and it's a ridiculously simple Chinese stir-fry of tomatoes and eggs (番茄炒蛋). I know... it doesn't sound like much of a meal, but trust me, this ain't your average scrambled eggs. My trick is to coat the tomatoes in starch before stir-frying them, which thickens the juices that come from them into a sauce. Then, the eggs get gently cooked in the thickened tomato juices creating a sublime contrast between the sweet juicy tomatoes and the creamy, flavorful egg. Click @norecipes for a link to the recipe in my profile.
Kabocha no Nimono is one of Japan's most popular ways to prepare Japanese pumpkin. When done well, it's a creamy flavor bomb that makes for the perfect autumn side. The trick is to simmer it in savory dashi broth with a drop lid and then let it cool in the broth. For my version, I also include some atsuage tofu which lends a nice meaty texture and enough protein that you could also serve this as a main. Click @norecipes for a link to the video in my profile.
Soy sauce is an excellent way to add umami to any dish, but did you know you can amp the umami up even more by infusing the soy sauce with ingredients like katsuobushi and konbu? Making dashi-infused soy sauce is as easy as steeping soy sauce with a couple ingredients for a day, and the resulting sauce is like liquid umami. Perfect for “instant” noodle soups like udon or soba, Japanese stews like nimono or nikujaga, and as a table side sauce for tofu or sashimi. Click @norecipes for a link to the recipe in my bio.
I know a lot of people aren’t into tofu, but I like to think of it as a blank canvas you can use to paint on different textures, tastes, and flavors. One way to do this is to deep fry it, which develops a meaty outer layer that turns the tofu into a flavor magnet. There are a bunch of different styles of fried tofu, including aburaage, kyoage, and ganmodoki, but this one is called Atsuage which literally means “thick fried”. It’s made by pressing and draining a whole block of tofu before frying it until it’s golden brown and crisp on the outside but still soft and creamy on the inside. Atsuage makes for a delicious appetizer garnished with scallions and ginger and drizzled with a little soy sauce, but it’s also a fantastic ingredient in stir-fries and stews. The browned skin not only helps the tofu to hold its shape, but it also absorbs flavors like a sponge. Click @norecipes for a link to the video in my profile.
Like ramen, Shumai originated in China but made its way to Japan about 120 years ago. It’s since become one of the most loved dumplings here, second only to Gyoza. I make mine with shrimp and cuttlefish, and my secret ingredient is to add some finely minced pork fat to the mixture. As the fat melts, it bastes the dumpling from the inside, making them super juicy and flavorful. To finish them off, I topped them with some tobiko, which adds a nice texture. Click @norecipes for a link to the video in my profile.
Tangy and aromatic, Ponzu Shoyu (a.k.a. Ponzu Sauce) is one of the most versatile condiments in Japanese cuisine. I like to use it as a dipping sauce for sashimi, dumplings, or noodles, but it also makes for a delicious salad dressing. When used as a sauce for a protein like steamed fish or grilled chicken, it can lighten the whole dish up, and it’s an equally tasty way to quick pickle vegetables. The best ponzu is made from fresh Japanese citruses like yuzu, sudachi, or kabosu, but since these aren’t available in most parts of the world, I’ve come up with a Ponzu sauce recipe using a combination of mandarin oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. I also have a more traditional yuzu ponzu recipe if you’re lucky enough to have access to fresh yuzu. Click @norecipes for a link to the video and recipe in my profile.
In this Taiyaki recipe (たい焼き), I'm going to show you how to make this crispy fish-shaped pastry that doesn't actually contain any fish. I used a mixture of cake flour and mochi rice flour to make a honey and butter-infused batter that's crispy on the outside and tender with a bit of mochi-like chew on the inside. To keep it traditional, I stuffed it with some homemade anko, but the hollow mold opens up a lot of doors, and this could be stuffed with just about anything from Nutella and bananas to curry and cheese. Curious? Check out the video using the link in my profile @norecipes.
If you’ve ever wondered why the chicken thighs here in Japan are so huge, it’s because 鶏もも (“chicken thighs”) are actually deboned legs (thigh + drumstick). It’s the most popular cut of chicken here in Japan, and it’s used to make everything from Chicken Teriyaki to Karaage to Chicken Nanban. Finding boneless skin-on chicken legs outside of Japan can be tricky though, so this week I’m showing you an easy way to debone whole legs yourself. Click @norecipes for a link to the video in my profile.
Croquettes were introduced to Japan in the late 19th century before dairy was widely available. As a result, some clever chefs substituted creamy mashed potatoes and meat for the béchamel traditionally used as a filling. This week, I've hunted down a recipe dating back to 1888, which describes an early version of the dish and improved upon it using a few techniques I've picked up over the years. Biting through the crispy panko crust reveals a velvety potato filling studded with sweet caramelized onions and hand-minced pork, providing a mind-boggling amount of flavor and umami. They're a bit of work to make, but this is one of the best things I've cooked all year. Click @norecipes for a link to the video and recipe.
Sweet and sour was always one of those things I liked more in theory than in practice... until I had it in Japan. With juicy hunks of karaage chicken and a rainbow of veggies glazed with a sweet, sour, and savory black vinegar sauce, it’s brimming with contrasting tastes, textures, and colors that are a feast for all your senses. Click @norecips for a link to the recipe in my profile.
I skip the cream in favor of a briny emulsion of spicy cod roe, olive oil, and butter in my version. By omitting it and making the sauce with mentaiko, olive oil, and starchy pasta water, you get a clean, briny sauce highlighting the simple ingredients’ flavors. The fish it comes from is called the “Alaskan Pollack” in English, but this fish is technically a member of the genus Gadus (cod), not Pollachius (pollock), which is why it’s translated both ways. First, you need to make the sauce by removing the cod roe from the roe sac and whisking it together with olive oil and black pepper.