Veggies get creative turn as healthy noodles

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Pasta-like zucchini with meat sauce, front, carrot salad, back right, and kishimen noodle-like daikon

The Yomiuri ShimbunWhen shredded into noodle-like strips, vegetables gain a smooth texture that allows you to eat a lot of them. National registered dietitian Yasuyo Kishimura shared some recipes for what are called “veggie noodles.”

“It’s easy to make them with a peeler and other tools,” Kishimura said. “They are good to serve as late-night snacks or when you lose your appetite.”

Vegetables should be cut into the same lengths as much as possible. After cutting them into thin strips, you can sprinkle with salt or boil in salted water to make them tender and more noodle-like. Salting can also make them tastier.

Pasta-like zucchini with meat sauce

The first recipe features zucchini, which does not have a strong flavor and thus goes well with the sauce.

Slice zucchini into strips about 10 centimeters long and 2 millimeters wide. You can use a slicer instead of a kitchen knife.

Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and leave for 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess moisture.

Chop eggplant and garlic. Pour olive oil into a pan and fry garlic over low heat. When it becomes aromatic, add eggplant and fry over low heat. Add water and meat sauce and cook over medium heat until the liquid is gone. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place zucchini strips on a plate and pour sauce over the top to serve.

Kishimen noodle-like daikon

The next dish uses daikon, which is served like kishimen broad flat noodles in a hot soup. The dish features a mild flavor thanks to dashi made from chicken.

Use a peeler to slice the daikon into long strips about 20 centimeters long and nearly 1 centimeter wide. Peel it in the direction of the fibers so that the strips are not easily torn.

Pour water into a saucepan and add salt as desired. After bringing to a boil, add the strips and cook for 2 minutes.

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and splash with a little sake. Cut naganegi long green onions diagonally. Slice the hard bases off the shimeji mushrooms and break into clusters. Put water, sake, mirin, soy sauce, chicken, naganegi, shimeji and grated ginger into another pot to simmer. After bringing to a boil, turn down to medium heat and add daikon. When the strips become transparent, season the soup with salt. Serve in a bowl with mitsuba leaves.

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  • The Yomiuri Shimbun

    Daikon is peeled into long strips.

Carrot salad

The last recipe is recommended by Kishimura as a side dish.

Use a peeler to slice the carrot into strips 0.8 to 1 centimeter wide and 10 to 15 centimeters long. Do not slice the core of the vegetable.

Place in a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Heat in a 500-watt microwave for 2 minutes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the carrot while still hot.

Mix olive oil, vinegar, grated garlic and a pinch of salt and coarsely ground black pepper to make a dressing. Combine the carrot strips with the dressing and serve on a plate with chopped parsley sprinkled on top.

The salad has a refined flavor thanks to the combination of sweet carrot with black pepper. “You can [replace carrot with] asparagus or other vegetables,” Kishimura said. “[This salad] is appealing even for children who don’t like to eat vegetables.”


(serves 1):

Pasta-like zucchini with meat sauce

1 zucchini


Meat sauce

1 eggplant

1 garlic clove

3 tbsp ready-made meat sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp water

Salt, pepper

Kishimen noodle-like daikon

100 grams daikon



80 grams chicken thigh

⅓ naganegi long green onion

⅓ pack shimeji mushrooms

2 tsp grated ginger

Mitsuba leaves, as desired

400 cc water

1 tbsp sake

1 tbsp mirin

1 tbsp soy sauce


Carrot salad

1 carrot or 120 grams


Chopped parsley, as desired


1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp vinegar


Coarsely ground black pepper

½ tsp grated garlic

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