Kakiage Don – Guest post by Nami @ Just One Cookbook

I hope you are enjoying this series of guest posts! I feel blessed to have such lovely friends that are keeping the space warm and festive during this beautiful season.

After the golden swirl bread and colorful keema pulao, a very talented friend of mine is sharing something that I have always enjoyed eating.

Namiko Chen, who we popularly know as Nami, is the author and photographer behind ‘Just One Cookbook‘. She is a busy mom with 2 beautiful kids and through her blog, she tells the world about Japanese cuisine and the varieties it has to offer. I have been visiting Nami’s blog for a while now and we connected pretty quickly. Just like me, she also stays in bay area and very soon, I am going to take some lessons from her on Japanese cuisine.

Today, Nami took some time out to share a little bit about her life, blog and this golden crispy flavorful Kakiage Don. Thanks a lot Nami 🙂


Nami @ Just One Cookbook 

1. Tell us a little about you and your family?  

I came to SF Bay Area from Yokohama Japan when I was 20 years old in order to attend college. It was supposed to be just “studying abroad” experience when I first came here. Who would have guessed I would eventually settle here, get married to a Taiwanese American man, and raise my children in the US. I really enjoy my life in the Bay Area where we have beautiful weather and cultural diversity. My children are lucky to grow up in such an cultured and rich environment. My son is 5 years old and my daughter is 3 years old. I’m a stay-at-home mom and have very active lifestyle on top of keeping a food blog.

 2. Why the name ‘ Just One Cookbook’?

For many years I kept my notes from cookbooks and clippings from magazines, and they were everywhere and not organized. I thought of exactly what I needed and that was just one cookbook. The recipes that my family and I like should be in one area that I can always check. After my children were born, I really wanted to pass down my recipe collections to them, so that’s how I got the name and started my blog.

3. How is the experience of blogging been so far?

First of all I didn’t expect that I would become so occupied with blogging. It’s been a great experience meeting new blogger friends and readers. When I started my blog this past January, I did not expect that my blog will be followed and used by this many people and I met so many amazing people along the way. It was totally unexpected. I’m really hoping to improve my photography and develop many more delicious recipes in the future and that will be my new challenge.


Dear readers of Sunshine and Smile! My name is Nami and I am the author of Just One Cookbook. I’m really excited to be here and share a Japanese home cooked recipe with you today, and thank you Kankana for inviting me! When Kankana asked me to guest post on her blog, I wanted to share a Japanese dish that she would enjoy and I knew exactly what she wanted to eat from our previous conversations. It’s Tempura!

Kakiage is a type of tempura with mixed vegetable strips and sometimes it also contains seafood. Different vegetables, such as onion, carrot, and sweet potato are shredded first and then mixed all together in tempura batter. Any ingredients in the fridge can be used to make this tempura so it’s a very popular home recipe, and it is also economical. The shredded vegetables and seafood are then deep fried into small round fritters.

This particular tempura is often served over a bowl of steamed rice, and we call it Kakiage Don (Don for short of Donburi meaning rice bowl). So let’s get started!

Kakiage Don (Vegetable & Shrimp Tempura Donburi)

Difficulty: Moderate Prep Time: 40 mins |

Cooking Time: 20 mins |

Total Time: 60 mins

Yield: 2-3 servings



  • 1 cup dashi stock
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. mirin
  • 2 Tbsp. sake
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ Onion (or ¼ large onion)
  • 2 inch carrot
  • 2 inch Japanese sweet potato
  • 2 inch gobo (burdock root)
  • 10 Shrimps
  • Mitsuba (Japanese wild parsley)


  • 50 g flour
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100 ml ice water
  • 1 tsp sake
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch to dust
  • Vegetable (canola) oil for deep frying
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Sesame oil
  • 2-3 servings of Japanese premium short grain rice

 Directions :

1. Heat all the ingredients for Sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.


 2. Cut vegetables into thin strips, about 2 inch long. They should all be roughly the same size. Soak sweet potatoes and gobo (burdock root) in water to prevent them from changing color. Also, marinate shrimps in sake for 10 minutes. 3. Heat the oil to 355F (180C). While oil is heating up, start preparing Batter.  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. 4. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolk gently and add iced water and sake.  It’s important to keep the batter icy cold at all time.  The crispiness of Tempura comes from the temperature difference between hot oil and cold batter. 5. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture.  Using chopsticks, mix around the bowl just 10 times in circular motion.  The key here is not to produce gluten in the flour. The batter can be lumpy and should be slightly runnier than regular tempura batter.   

6. Add the shredded vegetables and shrimp in the empty bowl. Sprinkle with corn starch and coat the ingredients with chopsticks.

7. Pour the batter over the ingredients and mix.

8. When oil is 355F (180C), take a scoop of the ingredients with a mesh sieve and let the excess batter drip off.

9. Slowly slip the ingredients into oil. Keep the ingredients from separating and collect all the pieces into one big chunk with chopsticks. Deep fry until golden-brown. Drain excess oil on paper towel.

10. Re-heat Sauce. Prepare rice in Donburi bowl and pour just a little bit of the Sauce over warm rice. Keep the remaining Sauce in a small serving container (such as gravy boat) and pour on top of Kakiage when you are ready to eat.  

comments on this post are currently closed.

Kankana, I hope you are having a wonderful time with your family and friends. Thank you so much for giving me this great opportunity to do a guest post on your blog. When you return, we should schedule a tempura lesson? Hehee. Thanks for the kind words. 🙂

Love it………..
You both gal are my rock star in blogging world…
Beautiful recipe Nami,
Kankana I hope you are having a great time in India, missing you and looking forward for great recipes and pictures from you…

Maja says:

This is amazing girls! Love it Nomi 🙂
Kankana, hope you have a great time with your family!

Rosa says:

A lovely guest post! I love Nami’s blog and this dish looks amazing.



Ava Carolina says:

This looks like my favorite dish! It looks amazing and not hard to make.
Your directions are very detailed-I like that…I think I have to have
your cookbook–if this recipe is any indication. Thanks for a lovely blog.

Kiri W. says:

I love donburi! Ever since spending time in Japan at ages 12 and 15, I’ve been trying to cook Japanese at home, too. I loved the sample from this cookbook on Chef Dennis’ blog, and this looks wonderful, too – I think I’ll have to get this cookbook!

Lizzy says:

Lovedddd this one. So easy to convert over to a vegetarian dish! Actually, you were right as I browsed through your recipes many were very easy to replace! Thinking of trying this one this weekend!! =D

Annapet says:

Nami, I remember you telling me about kakiage when I made an “ukoy” post! This looks so delicious, and I will sure make a batch for my son. Just like your chicken karaage, this will become a menu mainstay! Thank you for sharing this via Kankana’s blog.

Delishhh says:

Love Nami’s blog and awesome guest post

Very Interesting recipe, thank you Nami 🙂
we have quite number of Japanese food restaurant here in the Island
but they have no Kakiage Don in their menu.
The step by step are very helpful, definitely give it a try 😉

Kankana, I hope you have a very great holiday in India
* eerrr, i really missed pani puri :))

Amy Tong says:

I’m visiting over from Nami’s blog! What a wonderful recipe and great pictures, as always. 🙂 I love your blog too. There are so many wonderful Indian cuisine and dishes that I wanted to try.

It is wonderful to see two of my favorite bloggers together
Nami as always..stunning pictures and mouth watering recipes
Thank you for sharing with us

delicious looking guest post looks wonderful

Manju says:

that looks delicious! great job Nami! 🙂

Sukanya says:

I love tempura and these tempura style appetizers are perfect for a winter evening. simply delicious

I love this Nami…fantastic recipe!

Charles says:

Great guest post Nami – looks so delicious! Nice to read a little about you too!

This is a beautiful post by one nicest and one of my favorite food bloggers. Great job, Nami! 🙂

Deepa says:

Fantastic recipe by Nami…
Have a nice weekend Kankana

Asmita says:

I love Nami’s blog and this dish looks awesome!
Kankana hope you are having a wonderful time in India.

Kankana your blog is awesome, great that u teamed up with nami for this kakiage don.

Kankana, you know how much I adore Nami..she is such a great blogger and a friend and I am so glad to see her here on your beautiful site!
Love your interview! Nami your dish look amazing, and so tempting!
Thanks for a wonderful guest post!!

Kankana, have a great time on your vacation!!!

I still get a warm fuzzy feeling every time I read about how you came up with the name for your blog Nami! I’ve finally started making notes in my cookbooks with the ingredients changes I make and notes for my children – like changes to cooking times, or things I add that they really like. My grandmother was an amazing cook, but she never wrote anything down. When she passed away all her recipes went with her, and it breaks my heart. I think the love of food and the shared food experiences are one of the best things we can give our children!

Tiffany says:

I love learning about my favorite bloggers! 🙂

Mary says:

Nami, as always, I love your posts. This sounds delicious!

Kankana, have a wonderful vacation!!

Hyosun Ro says:

Nami’s kaikiage don looks great! She’s awesome! Your blog is beautiful too. I will be visiting often.

Beautiful recipe Nami! Hope you are enjoying your vacation Kankana 🙂

Ameena says:

This looks divine! And I love reading more about your readers Kankana!

Liz says:

Thanks, Kankana and Nami for bringing this fabulous dish to us all! And congrats on the Top 9 today…well deserved~

I’ve never made tempura myself, the step-by-step photos are great! This tempura looks so good!

sally says:

This looks great! I love tempura–especially sweet potato tempura!

firefoodie says:

I’m a sucker for all things Japanese, I love making tempura but of course it’s a rare event reserved for special occasions. I can feel a special occasion coming on… Thanks! 🙂

Ann says:

What a great recipe and SO nice to read more about Nami! I didn’t know you were born and raised in Japan, Nami…you learn something new every day! Thanks and have a GREAT day!

Thank you everyone for your kind comments! 🙂

great guest post NAMI~! You did an excellent job on this one and love hearing your answers to the questions!

Soma says:

This looks so darn good Nami! and comforting over a bowl of white rice. Nice to know about you!

Shabs says:

Beautiful looking dish and good to meet another blogger .

Divya says:

It’s awesome to see two of my favorite bloggers together! Nami’s dish looks amazing as always and I loved the mini-interview. I think every guest post should have that.

Kankana-can’t wait till you’re back. Hope you’re having an awesome time.

This looks so drool-worthy! Nami’s Japanese food makes me drool, all the time 🙂 Glad to see her on your space.

I am sure you are enjoying your well deserved vacation 🙂