Food Forum
Vol. 31 No. 3  October 2017




A little sugar is often added to many Japanese recipes to sweeten savory dishes; here, amazake’s fermented element imparts a gentle sweetness, while its thickness blends easily into the sauce. Lemon zest injects a refreshing accent. This tomato sauce is ideal served over vegetables for vegans.


Genmai amazake
Serves 3-4

485 kcal Protein 27.2 g Fat 29.1 g (per person)

Tomato sauce
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, 400 g / 14 oz. (approx. 1 lb.)
  • 150 ml / 3/5 C genmai amazake*
  • 2 thin lemon slices
  • Lemon zest, 1/4 the amount from one lemon
  • 1 T Kikkoman Light Color Soy Sauce**

  • 1 1/2 t butter
  • 1/2 onion chopped, 80 g / 2.7 oz.
  • 40-50 g / 1.4-1.7oz. slice of bread or baguette
  • 500 g / 18 oz. ground beef-pork mix***
  • Lemon zest, 1/2 - 3/4 the amount from one lemon
  • 4 t genmai amazake
  • 1 1/2 t Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 1/6 t salt
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil


  1. Place the tomatoes with juice into a saucepan, along with amazake, lemon slices and zest, and light color soy sauce. Lightly mash together, then simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove lemon slices. Puree the sauce and set aside.
  3. Add the butter to a frying pan and sauté the chopped onion. Set aside.
  4. Soak bread in a bowl of water, drain and squeeze out moisture, then tear into small pieces.
  5. In a bowl, mix and knead well all the meatball ingredients, except for the egg. After kneading, add the egg and mix well.
  6. Form balls with a diameter of 4 cm / 1.5 in. each, weighing about 30 g / 1 oz. to make a total of 24-26 meatballs.
  7. Add a small amount of olive oil to a frying pan. On medium-low heat, cook the meatballs until they are nicely browned.
  8. Add meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat. Taste and add a pinch of salt if needed.
  9. Serve the meatballs in a deep dish covered with the sauce.

* If genmai (brown rice) amazake is unavailable, substitute regular amazake.
** Kikkoman Soy Sauce may be substituted.
*** Any ground meat may be used.

Recipe by Michiko Yamamoto

1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml