A Japanese Shabbat menu


TAMAR GENGER MA, RD, Special To The Jewish Light

This recipe and images first appeared on JamieGeller.com and are republished here with full permission

This week, we move from Mount Sinai to the Mishkan in all its glorious detail. In the Ark there rested the Ten Commandments, protected by two winged cherubim made out of pure gold. On the outside, the seven-branched menorah and the table where the “showbread” was placed.

The showbread was made up of twelve loaves and to symbolize those 12, it is customary to make 2 challahs with 6 braids.  Watch the tutorial video to master making 6 braids, then enjoy our unique Japanese menu with meat sushi.

Allow the challah to shine in the first course by just serving it with a few dips and spreads, like hummusmatbucha and babagnoush.

or go with




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A post shared by Deborah Dickson (@lovelovechallah)

Miso Soup

Printable Version

Miso soup is a staple in the healthy Japanese diet—it’s commonly eaten for breakfast or lunch, together with seasonal vegetables. Do not bring the soup to a boil once the miso has been added. Leave it at a simmer, or the heat will alter its taste and reduce the health benefits.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated; or 2 cubes frozen garlic, such as Gefen Fresh Crushed Garlic
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger or ⅔ teaspoon dried ginger
  • 4 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 pound firm tofu, drained and diced
  • 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced


1. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, and sauté 2 minutes, until fragrant.

2. Add miso paste, vinegar, and water. Whisk until combined. Bring to a simmer, and reduce to low to keep warm.

3. Add tofu, and heat 5 minutes until just warm.

4. Divide into 4 small bowls. Garnish with scallions.

Tricolor BBQ Beef Sushi

Printable Version

BBQ Beef Sushi is a wonderful twist on a classic and using Gold’s Borscht and Gold’s Wasabi Ginger Sauce, you can compliment the flavor of the beef by flavoring, and coloring, the rice.


  • 3 cup sushi rice
  • 1 cup borscht
  • 3 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 3 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup ginger wasabi sauce
  • 3 cup bbq beef
  • Nori for rolling sushi


Start by preparing the rice. You will want to cook one cup of rice with two cups of liquid.

When cooking the red rice, use one cup of water with one cup of borscht. For the green rice use half a cup of wasabi sauce and 1 and 1/2 cups of water. Finally, for the white rice, two cups of water.

Once the rice has cooked, put in a non metallic bowl, add one teaspoon of rice vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Mix, cover and allow to cool.

Using your favorite BBQ beef recipe, make a batch of BBQ beef. Using two forks, pull the soft beef apart.

Lay sushi rice on the nori (seaweed paper) and then thinly spread a layer of BBQ beef.

Roll the sushi rolls tightly and slice each roll into eight pieces.

Serve with pickled ginger, wasabi, soy sauce and teriyaki sauce.

Sweet Potato Tempura Salad

Print Version

Tempura is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried. Lacy and crispy fried sweet potato tempura is a warm contrast to this cool salad. Tempura is best eaten right after frying. If done in advance, keep warm, uncovered in a low oven.



  • 1 large sweet potato or yam, peeled
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup all-purpose or cake flour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Soy-Braised Shiitake Mushrooms 16 oz.
  • Asian greens (like Mizuna) or baby arugula


  • 5 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons water


  • 2 tablespoons red miso
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 table spoons)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha or chili paste
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 1⁄4 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 5 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. Slice sweet potato in thin slices, about 1/8-1/4”thick – an Asian slicer or mandoline makes short work of this. Set aside.

2. Pour enough oil into a large pot to cover the bottom by 2 inches. Place over medium heat until temperature reaches 350 degrees on a fry thermometer.

3. While oil heats, mix ice water and egg yolk together in a bowl until blended. Using a fork or chopsticks, mix in flour until just combined. Mixture should be a bit lumpy – do not overmix.

4. Working in batches, dredge each sweet potato slice in batter and drop into hot oil (do not overcrowd in pot). Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until crust looks golden and puffs slightly. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer to paper towel-lined plates to drain. Repeat with remaining batches of sweet potato slices. Sprinkle sweet potato tempura with sea salt and pepper.

5. Prepare the mushrooms by placing all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and have reduced.

6. Assemble salad immediately prior to serving: Toss greens and a few tablespoons of Sesame-Miso Dressing (recipe below) in a large mixing bowl until leaves are coated with dressing. Divide greens among serving plates. Place 3-4 sweet potato tempura in center of greens. Surround with some mushrooms and a sprinkling of scallions. Drizzle a little dressing over tempura and serve immediately.

Combine all ingredients except peanut oil in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well blended. Add peanut oil in slow stream while whisking constantly until oil is incorporated. Season to taste with salt or pepper.

Matcha Seven Layer Cake

Print Version

Growing up in New York, this Matcha Seven Layer Cake was on every Shabbos and holiday table. This is my trendy version of that traditional cake, but made with green tea powder. Make sure you buy green tea powder and not the leaves. This is an easy one-bowl cake with a lemon cream cheese frosting. You are not wedded to the 7 slices; you can always cut fewer slices and the cake remains tasty and impressive.



  • 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 1 lemon, 2 teaspoons lemon zest and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1⁄2 teaspoons green tea powder
  • 1⁄2 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 8 oz. soy cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plain soymilk


  • 1/4 teaspoon green tea powder
  • 1 tablespoon pearl sugar



1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Trace the bottom of a 12″ loaf pan on parchment paper and cut out. Grease and flour the pan bottom and sides and then press in the parchment rectangle. Grease and flour the top.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and lemon zest together with an electric mixer.

3. Add the lemon juice, eggs, soymilk, and oil, and mix until combined. Add the green tea powder and mix well. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the batter and mix to combine.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool. May be made three days in advance or frozen for up to 3 months.

5. Before slicing the cake, use a long serrated knife to trim off the top bump to even out the cake top. Turn the cake over (bottom-side up) and slice the sides to make them straight. To slice the cake layers, place the cake on top of a piece of waxed paper. Starting from the short end, slice across the cake and cut off about a 1/3-inch slice. Keep checking both sides to make sure your slice is even on both sides. You can also use a cake slicer made with wires that you can adjust to make even slices. Remove the slice and place on a piece of waxed paper. Repeat for five more slices, until you have seven slices total. As best as you can, try to make the slices of equal thickness.

6. In a separate bowl, prepare frosting as described below.

7. To assemble the cake, place the cake on top of a piece of a parchment or waxed paper- covered cookie sheet. Scoop up three to four tablespoons of frosting and spread on the cake all the way to the edges. Place another slice on top and then another layer of cream. As you build the cake, every once in a while look at the cake from the side and see if it is uneven and if yes, gently press down the higher part to even it out. Place the cake in the freezer for 20 minutes.

8. If the cake sides are uneven, slice off as needed to even them out. Eat the trimmings. Ice the top and sides of the cake with a thin coating of frosting. Place into the freezer for another 20 minutes.

9. Before serving, use your fingers to sprinkle the green tea powder on top of the cake. Sprinkle the pearl sugar on top. Serve thin slices.

Store, covered in the fridge for up to four days.


1. Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat until soft with an electric mixer at high speed.

2. Add the lemon juice and mix well.

3. Add the confectioner’s sugar in three parts, mixing in each addition on medium speed or vigorously with a whisk completely before adding the next one.

4. Add the soymilk and beat for 30 seconds until the frosting looks creamy.

5. Place in the fridge until ready to use. May be made one day in advance.