*Recipes courtesy of Cynthia Lair @ Cookus Interruptus!!

Mirin Baked Chicken with Shitake Mushrooms
This succulent entrée is crazy simple. The mirin (sweet rice wine) and tamari meld with the chicken to make a dark sweet sauce. The oven does all the magic. Try this chicken dish with Sweet Rice Timbales or Pressure Cooked
Garlic Mashed Potatoes and refreshing Napa Cabbage Slaw with Toasted Almonds.

6-8 shitake mushrooms
½ cup mirin*
2 tablespoons tamari or shoyu
1 pound bone-in skin-on split chicken breasts
1 three-inch sprig of fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp towel or rag and slice in half. Put mirin and tamari in an 8-inch baking dish.
Place chicken breasts, meaty side down, and mushrooms in the dish.
Remove leaves from rosemary sprig, chop them and sprinkle on top of the chicken.
Cover the dish and bake for one hour.

Preparation time: 65-70 minutes
Makes 4 small servings

*sherry or white wine can be substituted

Vegetable Yaki-Soba
Reprinted from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008).

This traditional Japanese dish is one of my favorite dishes. My daughter has loved yaki-soba from kindergarten to college. I like to pan-fry the tofu cubes before adding them but the dish is equally good if the tofu is added raw. Soba is a hearty noodle made from buckwheat and wheat flour. Watch our video about soba.

1 package soba noodles
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
I onion, cut in thin half moons
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
5 shitake mushrooms, cut into bite-size pieces
4 cups water
1/3 cup tamari or shoyu
½ pound firm tofu, cut into ½" cubes or fried tofu cubes
1 tablespoon freshly grated gingerroot
2 cups chopped bok choy
2 scallions, cut into thin slices

Prepare soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a 4-quart soup pot. Add onion and garlic; sauté over medium heat until onion begins to soften. Add carrot and mushroom pieces; sauté a few minutes more. Add water, tamari, tofu and gingerroot. Bring heat up until mixture begins to simmer. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add bok choy and simmer until leaves are bright green. Serve this dish by placing a handful of noodles in each serving dish. Ladle broth and vegetables over the noodles. Garnish with scallions.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Makes 4 servings