Monday, June 13, 2011

Zucchini and Ground Turkey Okazu

The other day my dad brought over a big bag of zucchini.

I still had some a week later.

Since the kids were home this weekend, and they prefer to eat at home rather than go out, I was searching for something to throw together for lunch before Karen headed back to Palo Alto.

Zucchini okazu!

Okazu is basically anything that's eaten with rice.

When I was growing up, my mom made okazu a lot.

If you've been following along, you may remember my Okazu post back in January when I first started blogging.

Today I'm making it with ground turkey and zucchini.

Fast and simple.

You can make this in the time it takes to cook rice.


1 lb. ground turkey
2 slices bacon
about 6 cups of thinly sliced zucchini
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 packet (1 teaspoon) dashi powder

salt and pepper to taste

Start by cutting up 2 slices of bacon, and fry.

The bacon will give it a lot of flavor.

Add a package of ground turkey and sauté until cooked through.

Add the sliced onions and cook until the onions are slightly wilted.

Salt and pepper the meat.

I sliced the rest of the whole bag of zucchini, there was about 6 cups in this batch.

I have another 8 cups in the refrigerator that I'm going to give away, I don't know yet if I'll make something first or not.

My mother-in-law would be happy she doesn't have to cut it up.

 Add the zucchini, cover and let it steam over medium heat for about 8 minutes.

That makes it a little easier to mix when it's wilted and the volume has gone down a little.

Best start with a pan that's big enough!

Add a packet of dashi--japanese powdered flavoring.

This is the katsuo dashi made from fish.

If you're not adding meat and using tofu instead, you could add the konbu dashi that's made from kelp.

A little bit about dashi in my misoshiru post.

Mix well, taste and adjust the seasonings.

Serve with hot rice.

You might also like to serve it with a little bit of Fukujinzuke.

That's the brown clump of seasoned vegetables--tsukemono on the side.

More about that later.

With zucchini season gearin' up, this is our stand-by recipe for a fast and simple meal.



Karen was here for a work convention and to attend a wedding on Saturday, what a treat for us!

Rick was here all weekend, too.

It's kimochi-ii (a good feeling) when the kids are home!

If you haven't been following along, that's Rick on the left, then Karen, and her friends Lindsay and Annie.

Lindsay is turning 30 this week.

To commemorate this milestone, we've been working on a slideshow, and Lindsay and her cousin Annie came over on Saturday to view it!

I've heard so much about Lindsay and Annie from Karen, it was fun getting to spend some time with them both.

For lunch, we had mochiko chicken, brown rice with barley and salad.
For dessert, we had manju from Fugetsu-Do.

The last time Lindsay came over, we made Pizza Pot Pies, she tried umeboshi for the first time, and I told her the next time she came over we would have Fugetsu-Do mochigashi.

This is Lindsay's pic of the manju, right when she opened the box.

I also found out that we, as Japanese-Americans, have something else in common.


I think Annie mentioned it over lunch.

I had some in the pantry!

She remembers her family keeping it in a tupperware container--and I have some of the red one in a tupperware container in my fridge!

The main ingredients are radish and eggplant, in a sweet shoyu (soy sauce) marinade.

Tsukemono is Japanese pickles--Fukujinzuke is a type of tsukemono.

In our family, we serve tsukemono with dishes such as this okazu.

Serving it along side okazu, gives you another flavor with your meal.

I was going to try and upload Lindsay's slideshow here, but remembered that her family isn't going to see it until next weekend.

I wouldn't want to spoil their surprise, so I'll try and add it after they've seen it.

Happy Birthday, Lindsay!



1 lb. ground turkey
2 slices bacon
6 cups thinly sliced zucchini
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 packet (1 teaspoon) dashi powder

salt and pepper to taste

Chop 2 slices of bacon and fry it in a large pan. When the bacon is almost done, add the ground turkey and brown. Salt and pepper the meat to taste.

While the meat is cooking, slice one sweet onion and thinly slice the zucchini. Add the onions to the meat and saute over medium heat until the onions are slightly wilted. Then add the zucchini. Cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Season with 1 small packet (about 1 teaspoon) dashi powder and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.


  1. I have everything! I can make for dinner tomorrow!

  2. When I went to make this, I discovered my ground turkey was Italian! Not to worry. I couldn't remember how much bacon so I used 4 slices, drained everything of fat, then added onions & garlic...later mushrooms...then zucchini AND tomatoes (Italian-remember?). Put it over the hot rice I had cooked for okazu. The result???


  3. This looks really good!! I will def. have to try it sometime!

    We just started following you! Excited for new recipes to come!

  4. Found your blog through Pinterest. I am also (half) Japanese. The Okazu recipe caught my eye, as my mother made Okazu at least once a week growing up. Yours looks yummy, Im showing this to her next time she is here. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I found your blog while looking for an online store to purcahse Fukujinzuke. I too am half Japanses and found your posts very familar and comforting. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  6. "Long-time reader, first-time commenter – This recipe is brilliant! I’ve made it 4 times now with a few different variations each time (e.g. substituting the tofu for pork or chicken) and every time it’s turned out beautifully. It’s almost as good as my local ramen place.

    Thanks for this! It’s getting me through the long winter."
    Regards: Eve Hunt