Japanese Potato Salad

Try this Japanese Potato salad as a side for your Holiday meals!

Do you like potato salad? I know I LOVE starchy potato salad in all it’s variations!

This is a very tasty, Japanese style potato salad recipe. The potatoes are steamed to a point that it is soft enough that you can mash them, but you don’t, so you have some smooth mashed potatoes (from mixing) and chunks at the same time. Add in some ham, chopped boiled eggs, sliced cucumbers, and sliced carrots and this is nothing like your average potato salad! 😋

Serve it as a side to your main meals like any other potato salad. I sometimes grab a bowl of this straight from the fridge and eat it while watching TV, or reading. Or try it as a sandwich filling between two super soft and milky Japanese style pullman bread – yum!


3-4 potatoes, peeled, cubed, and steamed until soft

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 cup carrot, thinly sliced

¼ cup sliced onions

1 – 2 cups chopped ham

2 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped 

1/2 – 1 cup Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise

1 tsp white vinegar 

1 tsp hot mustard 

1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt

Paprika, to serve


1. Steam the cubed potatoes until fork tender. Set aside to cool.

2. Thinly slice the cucumbers, onions, and carrots. I use a mandolin or a food processor to do this. I used Persian Cucumbers in this recipe as they are thin skinned and small enough that I just wash and slice them. Makes life easy!

3. Place sliced vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Toss gently and set aside for a few minutes until it weeps. Then grab a handful of veggies, squeeze tightly and place in another bowl. Repeat with the remaining salted vegetables.

4. Chop ham into bite sized pieces. They look nice when the sizes are identical, but if not, that’s okay too! It’ll still be delicious!

5. Now grab a big bowl, and mix everything together. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

6. Refrigerate until cold. Sprinkle with paprika just before serving. Serve and enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox # 66: Mabo Tofu, Korean Style

I wanted to make Japanese style mabo dofu but didn’t have some of the ingredients. No problem, I’ll make it Korean style!

You can definitely up the spice on this one if you want by adjusting the amount if gochugaru (red pepper flakes). I want to taste my food with a little spice but I’m not a fan of tasting ONLY hot and spicy 🌶!

If you prepare rice in the little bowl, you’ve got yourself a delicious meal with just a little time spent preparing it.

Hope you like it!

PS: I will post the Japanese style Mabo Dofu once I get all the ingredients I need!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon minced ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon gochugaru (use less (1/4 tsp) if you don’t want it too spicy)

1 teaspoon minced, dried onion

1/3 cup beef broth

1-2 teaspoons gochujang

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/3 cup ground beef

1/2 cup cubed tofu

Chopped green onions, for serving

3 ELB cups water in the base

1. Mix everything but the beef and tofu in the big or medium sized ELB bowl. mix well to blend all the flavors together and dissolve the cornstarch.

2. Add the beef and tofu and grntly stir to mix.

3. Place the bowl in the ELB base. * you can also prepare rice in the small bowl using 2 ELB cups rice, rinsed and drained with2 ELB cups water.

4. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

5. Carefully open ELB, check food for doneness and adjust seasoning to taste.

6. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #61: Stuffed Bellpeppers

Stuffed bell peppers, with a Japanese twist. This is how I make our stuffed peppers at home to bake in the oven, but I adapted it to be made in the ELB.

Bull-dog sauce is the sweet, salty sauce served with Tonkatsu or Chicken Katsu when you order it from the restaurant. Mix it with the ketchup and you’ve got an extra delicious layer to this dish!

It was a tight squeeze, but I managed to fit 2 filled peppers in the large ELB bowl. Each was a half of a large bell pepper. Depending on your hunger level, it can be a meal for 1 or 2.

If you prep this the night before, please keep it cold until just before steaming, for safety.

I hope you’ll like it!

*Please note that the word “cup” in any of my electric lunchbox recipe refers to the little ELB cup included with the lunchbox. It holds 40ml.*

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You’ll need the following for the stuffed peppers:

1/3 – 1/2 cup ground beef

1 large egg, beaten

2 tablespoons chopped onions

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tablespoon Bull-dog sauce

1/3 – 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch of ground black pepper

1 large green bell pepper, cut in half crosswise, insides removed (or 2 smaller ones, tops and insides removed)

For topping:

1 – 2 tablespoons Bull-dog sauce

1 – 2 tablespoons ketchup

This is a big green bell pepper, cut in half, seeds and insides removed.


1. In a small bowl, combine beef, egg, onion, 1 tablespoon ketchup, 1 tablespoon Bull-dog sauce, panko, salt, and pepper.

2. Stuff mixture evenly between the green bell peppers.

3. Place the stuffed peppers in the big bottom bowl of the ELB, it will be a snug fit. Push, push!

4. Cover bowl with foil and place in the ELB base. Add 3 ELB cups water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

5. Carefully remove the cover and the foil. Check meat for doneness, adding more time if needed.

* I use this thermometer to check if the ground meat is done, 160F according to the handy chart that’s printed on it. Perfect so I don’t misplace it!*

Bull-dog sauce…and I think I need to buy more ketchup!

6. In a small bowl, combine equal amounts of Bull-dog sauce and ketchup. About 1 tablespoon each is good enough unless you want a lot of sauce.

7. Spoon sauce on top of the stuffed bell peppers and serve hot! Enjoy!

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Sourdough Discard: Scallion Pancakes

When you keep a sourdough pet, you tend to have a lot of discards when you need to refresh, or “feed” your sourdough before using. They’re called “discard”, but I do not discard them at all. There are a lot of different kinds of food that you can make using it. I am constantly trying new ways to incorporate them in my cooking and will be posting recipes when the experiments are successful.

This is my easiest recipe for using up those discards. It also uses a lot of it so feel free to collect them in a jar in the fridge to make enough of these pancakes to share. Honestly, I sometimes feed my sourdough a lot to be able to prepare more of this – it’s that good!

This recipe makes about 3 to 5 pancakes, depending on how small or big you make them. Feel free to double the quantities to make more.

Serve as a snack, breakfast, or a side with stir fries or braised dishes.

You’ll only need a few ingredients:


1 cup discard

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Oil for frying

1 bunch scallions, sliced

1/4 cup black and white sesame seeds

Dipping sauce:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp asian chili sauce, optional

1. In a bowl, mix together discard, water, sesame oil, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pepper.

2. Place about a teaspoon of cooking oil in a fry pan and heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter in and sprinkle with sliced scallions and sesame seeds.

3. After about 2 – 3 minutes, turn the pancake over to cook the other side about 2 – 3 minutes more, until cooked through.

4. Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. OR if you don’t want to mess with other ingredients, just plain soy sauce will do as dipping sauce. Serve with pancakes.

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Ono Broiled Sushi

This is yet another recipe I picked up from my time at Brentwood UCLA. I believe we had it at a potluck when I was fairly new, maybe around 2005. I called it “deconstructed sushi” yet it was a lot more than that. It has sushi rice, kani, shiitake mushroom, nori…but it also has sour cream, mayo, and furikake. It is just so good you’ll have to try really hard to stop yourself from eating the contents of the whole pan. Luckily, it makes a lot so there is enough to share…with your closest, most dearest family/friends.

You can definitely add chopped avocados, chopped mangoes, gari, takuan, kimchi…whatever you like in your sushi. Or serve them on the side. I do this a lot, make the recipe my own by adding more of what I like to eat. I hope you’ll try this easy recipe and let me know what you think!

9 shiitake mushrooms, soaked then squeezed of excess water and chopped
8 oz imitation crab meat, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
4 cups rice, freshly cooked and seasoned*
1 bottle (1.7 – 1.9 oz) Nori Fumi Furikake
Korean style nori, to serve

*Sprinkle just cooked rice with about 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and mayo. Add chopped mushrooms and crab meat. Mix well. Set aside.

Spread the hot, seasoned rice in a 13”x9” pan and sprinkle furikake evenly over rice. Drop crab mixture all over the rice and spread evenly. Broil until browned, about 6-8 minutes.

Serve warm with nori. To eat, scoop some (make sure to reach all the way to the bottom of the pan!) onto a piece of nori, fold nori over and eat! Or you can cut big squares of the sushi and serve on individual plates with nori on the side.

Electric Lunchbox #16: Japanese Purin

I have a special place in my heart (and tummy!) for flan. It’s my ultimate favorite treat. When I was little, my aunts on my dad’s side would almost always prepare a feast when we go to Bataan in the Philippines and we always have a whole “llanera” of super rich, milky, eggy spanish style Leche Flan to take home.

Then when we first went to Japan to visit my mother’s side of the family, we were given “purin” and since we arrived at night, we took one bite and went to sleep. When I woke up, I checked the little plastic cups and tasted it once more. I liked it! It tasted like the familiar Leche Flan my aunts in the Philippines make. But it’s lighter, and softer. And I did eat all 4 little cups. When we pass by convenience stores/grocery stores, I would pick up a package of purin. They come in a package of 3 little cups. Even when I moved to the US, every time I go to the Japanese grocery stores I get a pack (or 5!) to take home and enjoy anytime I want.

This recipe is developed to be used in the medium sized bowl of the Itaki Jumbo. It will be too much for the small nesting metal bowl but if you want, you can definitely make it in the bigger bottom bowl of the Itaki Pro.

*Please note that the word “cup” in any of my electric lunchbox recipe refers to the little itaki cup included with the lunchbox. It holds 40ml.*

3o grams sugar

15 ml water

300 ml whole milk

2 large eggs

40 grams sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place 30 grams sugar and water in the medium sized (second tier) bowl and place over low heat. Swirl constantly using a metal tong until it turns golden brown. Be careful as this could be burnt real fast. Set aside on a heat proof surface.

Caramelized sugar…yummmm!

In small bowl, mix together milk, eggs, 40 grams sugar and vanilla. Beat well to incorporate eggs and dissolve sugar. Strain mixture over caramelized sugar in the Itaki bowl.

Cover with a piece of foil and set on the second tier of the Itaki Jumbo.

Pour 2 cups water in the Itaki base and cover. Push the button to start steaming and let it steam until it shuts down, about 40 minutes.

Carefully remove the bowl from the Itaki base and cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate until cold. Run a knife along the edges of the flan and invert onto a serving plate. Enjoy!

*If you are cooking something else at the base of the Itaki Jumbo, you might want to add 3 cups water to the base to make sure everything cooks properly.

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Electric Lunchbox #13: Gyudon (Sweet Soy Beef Rice Bowl)

*Please note that the word “cup” in any of my electric lunchbox recipe refers to the little itaki cup included with the lunchbox. It holds 40ml.*

Gyundon (beef bowl), is a one dish beef, onion, egg, and rice meal that is similar to what Yoshinoya serves. It is a very popular food in Japan and I like to make it as it comes together rather quickly. Preparing it in the electric lunchbox is a plus as it is essentially set it and forget it until it shuts off! And just like that it’s time to eat!

A handful of shaved beef (I used 2 cups ground beef as that is all I have)

1 teaspoon apple, grated

2 tablespoons diced onion

Pinch salt

2 T soysauce

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons sake

1 cup water

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 cups rice

2 cups water

3 cups water in the base

Mitsuba or celery leaves, to serve

Place beef, apple, onion, salt, soy sauce, sugar, sake, and water in the big bottom bowl. Mix and pour beaten egg on top. Do not mix at this point. Place bowl in Itaki base.

Wash and drain rice and place in the smaller top bowl. Add 2 cups water. Place bowl on top of bigger bottom bowl.

Add 3 cups water in the base. Cover with lid and steam until it shuts off, about 50 minutes.

Open lid, carefully remove rice bowl and set on a heat proof surface. Stir the beef and egg mixture and serve with rice. Enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #6: Sukiyaki

Ingredients for sukiyaki. I didn’t realize that the onion rolled away for the photo op!

Sukiyaki in the Itaki lunchbox is a sure winner! I made this using my mom’s recipe so I just scaled everything down to make 1-2 servings in the electric lunchbox.

Most ingredients are probably in your kitchen already save for maybe mirin and dashi, so grocery list is going to be short. I did have to Instacart the beef as they are super thinly sliced specially for sukiyaki if you by them from Asian grocery stores. If you are handy with a knife, you can partially freeze a chunk of beef and slice it very thinly (carefully).

We always serve this with Japanese rice so that is going on the top bowl to cook with my sukiyaki. Serving it with a raw egg is customary but I couldn’t find eggs the last time I went to the stores so I have to do without. The ones I still have in the fridge are doled out sparingly.

Try this and let me know how it went!

If you want to see the full recipe for the stove top version, here is the link to it: https://athomewiththeresa.com/2020/04/10/sukiyaki/

*Please note that the word “cup” in any of my electric lunchbox recipe refers to the little itaki cup included with the lunchbox. It holds 40ml.*

5-8 pcs thinly sliced sukiyaki (ribeye) beef

2 shiitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced

1/6 of a block of tofu, cut into cubes

1/4 – 1/3 cup shirataki noodles (I have used rice noodles and bean thread noodles before, just soak in water prior to using and add more water to the sukiyaki bowl as these are going to absorb some.)

2 leaves Chinese cabbage, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped onions

3/4 – 1 cup soy sauce (adjust to taste, I used 1 cup)

2 cups mushroom soaking liquid

1 cup mirin

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch of dashi powder

2 cups rice, rinsed

2 cups water

2 cups water in the base

1 egg (optional)

Green onions, chopped, for serving

Arrange the beef, mushrooms, tofu, noodles, chinese cabbage, and onions in the big bottom bowl.

In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, mushroom soaking liquid, mirin, sugar and dashi powder. Stir until sugar dissolves. Pour mixture over ingredients in the big bowl.

In the small top bowl, place washed rice and water.

Place 2 cups water in the base of the electric lunchbox. Place the big bowl in then the small bowl on top. Cover and secure, then turn it on. Let it steam until it shuts off, about 40 minutes. (It shut down a little before 40 minutes).

Carefully open lunchbox and remove bowls. Sprinkle green onions over sukiyaki (and rice if desired). Crack the egg in the sukiyaki bowl, if using.


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