Kaiseke Dinner Recipes: A Tasting Menu – Part 3

Honey ginger tofu

Yakimono- Broiled Fish or Tofu

Most people have a reliable roasted fish recipe. You can use any one that you like. The kaiseke meal is designed to exhibit the beauty of the season through dining. It’s somewhere between haute cuisine and farm to table. A miso grilled cod would be perfect. We’ve included 2 different recipes for that in the past. Today we’ll do tofu.

Honey Ginger Tofu

This recipe is delicious. If you are including it in a kaiseke dinner, place one or two small pieces on each dish. Just a couple of bites is enough. The guests have a lot of plates coming their way and they’ll love this one. You can’t allow them to fill up too soon. 

If you want to serve this for dinner as an entree, serve it with rice and steamed broccoli tossed in extra marinade. 

honey ginger tofu


  • 1 pkg firm tofu
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Set tofu on paper towels and flip it occasionally to drain excess water
  3. Cut the tofu into 1 inch pieces for kaiseke, 1/2 inch for an entree
  4. Toss the cubes with cornstarch
  5. Bake till golden about 35- 40 min. Flip them over half way through
  6. Heat honey, soy and garlic until it’s thick and bubbly
  7. Toss with tofu and serve, garnished with thin strips of scallion and sesame seeds

Su- Zakana- palate cleansing salad in vinegar

This is a small taste to allow the taste buds to reset. That way the guests can truly taste and enjoy the next course. This is a great side dish with any Japanese meal. 



  • Lightly Pickled cucumbers
  • 3 Japanese cucumbers
  • 1/4 c rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  1. Peel the cucumbers leaving thin strips of skin for colors
  2. Sprinkle with salt
  3. Set on paper towels to leach the water from them for about 20 min
  4. Rinse and pat dry
  5. Combine all ingredients in a Tupperware container and refrigerate for 48 hrs
  6. Serve cold in small dishes

Hiyahi-bachi-  vegetables (traditionally served only in summer)

Tradition is very important in Japanese culture. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t entitled to make some accommodations. Plus, the chances are pretty good that your guests will be none the wiser if you use a fall vegetable. If you are providing them with a printed explanation of the menu, which by the way, guests really love, just write a seasonal vegetable dish, usually served only during the summer.

Braised Taro with dried shrimp

This is a terrific recipe. It’s almost like a version of mashed potatoes in texture but there’s a uniquely Asian flavor. If you’re going to add a vegetable dish, this one is great.

Braised Taro with dried shrimp


  • 1 lb taro. Peeled and diced
  • 2 1/2 c dried shrimp rinsed, soaked in 2 1/2 c water and drained. Save the water
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 shallots chopped
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 scallion diced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder


  1. Rinse the taro cubes and set them aside
  2. Heat oil and sauté shrimp, garlic and shallots
  3. Add shrimp water and taro and bring to a boil
  4. Stir in sugar and chicken bouillon
  5. Cover and simmer on low for 2 min
  6. Remove lid and stir over low heat until the liquid is completely evaporated
  7. Garnish with scallions and serve in small bowls.

Enjoy your Japanese dishes

Next time

3 more courses

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