Flounder Simmered With Grated Daikon Makes For Healthy Repast

Flounder simmered with grated daikon makes for healthy repastAs part of her long career as a registered dietician, Nobuko Munakata has pondered what constitutes a healthy diet.
While working at hospitals, Munakata met many patients whom she felt would not have become so ill had they been more careful about what they ate.

The 75-year-old wants people to examine their diets so as not to become sick.

“People do care, and there is so much information available, but they tend to be drawn to novel and easy ways,” she says. “Many people seem to understand, but they actually don’t.”

Munakata’s answer is quite simple: “Balanced nutrition, moderate salt intake and a proper amount of energy (calories).”

Although it may sound difficult, “you will be fine if you stick to the basics of menu planning,” she says.

The menu should consist of meat or fish as the main dish with vegetable dishes on the side. The ingredients and the cooking procedure of the main and side dishes should not overlap.

“You will get balanced nutrition naturally and a wide range of flavors that are appealing,” says Munakata, who prepared such a dinner menu.

The main dish is flounder simmered with grated daikon radish. The side dishes are miso-flavored stir-fry of freeze-dried tofu and potato, and Brussels sprouts dressed in wasabi-flavored vinegar.

Those dishes plus vegetable soup and a bowl of rice provide around 630 kilocalories, 30.5 grams of protein, 17.5 grams of fat and 3.3 grams of salt.

The flounder is deep-fried and simmered, while the side dishes using a bean product and vegetables are sauteed and dressed.

As for the seasoning, the main dish is flavored with soy sauce, while one of the vegetable dishes is miso-flavored. The other side dish, seasoned with wasabi and vinegar, adds spice to the menu.

To prepare for two, 120 grams of Brussels sprouts are boiled and cut in half, then mixed with wasabi vinegar (2 teaspoons each of vinegar and dashi stock, 2/3 teaspoon of soy sauce and some wasabi paste).

The vegetable soup requires 60 grams of daikon radish and 30 grams of carrot sliced into quadrants with 20 grams of sliced shiitake mushroom cooked until tender in 1.5 cups of dashi stock. It is seasoned with salt and pepper, and sprinkled with 10 grams of “asatsuki” green onion cut into 2-cm pieces.

Munakata says take your time and savor the dishes.

“Meals are not only meant to replenish nutrients,” she says. “They should also be moments to converse and relax.”

Nobuko Munakata is a registered dietician and dietary consultant born in Tokyo in 1940. After working in hospitals, she became independent in 1988 and now heads Health Planning Munakata. She offers nutritional advice to hospitals and companies and explains about health-sustaining meals on TV and in magazines. Her books include “Issho genki! 50-sai kara no kenko gohan” (In great form lifelong! Healthy meals from 50).


For flounder dish:

Serves two:

2 slices flounder

100 grams daikon radish

20 grams green beans (saya-ingen)

Bit of sliced ginger

Soup A (1/2 cup dashi stock, little more than 1 tsp sugar, 2 tsp soy sauce)

For tofu dish: Serves two:

1 block freeze-dried tofu (koya-dofu)

80 grams potato

30 grams carrot

20 grams fresh shiitake mushroom

1 Tbsp oil


To make main dish, rinse flounder, pat dry and dust with flour. Deep-fry crisply in oil heated to 170 degrees.

Grate radish, drain some water. Boil beans and cut into appropriate size. Bring liquid A to a boil, add ginger and flounder. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, add radish and beans and turn off heat immediately.

To make tofu dish, reconstitute freeze-dried tofu in lukewarm water. Squeeze out water. Cut in half lengthwise. Halve thickness and cut into rectangles.

Slice potato and carrot into rectangles. Immerse potato in water, and then remove on sieve. Remove stem from shiitake and slice thinly.

Mix 2 tsp each of sugar and sake, a little more than 1 Tbsp dashi stock. Dissolve a little more than 2 tsp miso.

Heat oil in frying pan, add potato, carrot, shiitake and fry over medium heat. When tender, add mixed seasoning. Add tofu and stir-fry.