Flavors and Ingredients of Japan

Flavors and Ingredients of Japan

Double Recipe Post with Two of My All-Time Favorites – Japanoodles and Noritos

When I was a teenager, I had the exquisite opportunity to tour Japan, while performing in a show (I had to memorize Japanese monologues and sing songs to large audiences). While I loved everything about Japan – the beautiful scenery, the welcoming, loving people, the clean, safe environment, and much more, my favorite part was the introduction to this healthful, nutritious, delicious cuisine. The emphasis on beauty in presentation, the plant-based mainstay ingredients, the umami, savory flavors, everything. I often enjoy preparing Japanese meals, and these two recipes were part of my first foray into recipe development, when I first wrote The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. They have been a fan favorite and I hope you will enjoy them, too.


Japanoodles is a simple, yet elegant, noodle dish with a mere five – FIVE – ingredients, that you can whip up in ten minutes from start to finish.

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Servings: approximately 2-4


4 quarts water

1 (8-oz.) package dry rice noodles

1/2 cup low-sodium miso paste

2 or 3 medium cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp gomashio or sesame seeds

4 cups chopped mixed leafy greens (chard, dandelion greens, kale, and/or spinach)


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Add rice noodles and boil for 4 or 5 minutes,
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together miso paste, garlic, and gomashio.
  3. About 30 seconds before noodles are done, add greens to the pan and allow to wilt. Drain noodles and greens in a colander.
  4. Add noodles and greens to miso paste mixture, and stir to combine. Serve warm.
    For the Noritos:

Japanese Noritos

This is a fun hybrid where burritos meet sushi and there is no limit to the types you can make. Here is a video I made demonstrating three different versions of noritos – Mediterranean and Mexican options, too.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Servings: 2 noritos


2 sheets nori

1 tsp low-sodium miso paste

1/4 cup cooked brown rice

1/2 small Persian cucumber, julienned

1 1/2 tbsp shredded carrots

1 tsp low-sodium tamari

1 tsp sesame seeds or gomashio


  1. Place nori sheets on a flat surface. Gently and evenly place miso paste on 1/2 of each nori sheet.
  2. Add brown rice, Persian cucumber, and shredded carrots on top of miso paste. Drizzle with tamari, and lightly sprinkle sesame seeds over top.
  3. Tightly roll like nori like a burrito from ingredient-filled side. Enjoy. You can slice them into pieces to make them easier to eat.

📸 Photo by Hannah Kaminsky

2020-08-30T14:03:32+00:00August 30th, 2020|Featured, Recipes, Uncategorized|