Soba (buckwheat) noodles with chicken, shiitake mushrooms, snow peas and...

Soba (buckwheat) noodles with chicken, shiitake mushrooms, snow peas and red pepper in broth flavored with ginger, mirin and soy sauce. (February 2013) Credit: Marge Perry

While these dishes all taste very similar to food you may have had at a Japanese restaurant, they are all lower in sodium than the classic versions.

TIP All the ingredients, including mirin and soba, are generally available in grocery stores in the Asian foods section.



4 ounces soba noodles

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips

8 ounces shiitake, stems removed and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips

6 cups no-salt chicken broth

1/2 cup mirin

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 red pepper, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips

6 ounces snow peas

Cilantro for garnish (optional)

1. Cook the noodles according to package directions; drain and toss with the sesame oil.

2. Heat the canola in a soup pot; add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add the chicken and shiitake and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink on the outside. (It will still be raw inside). Add the broth, mirin and soy sauce; bring to a boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Simmer 4 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Add the noodles, red pepper and snow peas; cook 1 minute.

3. Ladle into bowls; top each with a sprig of cilantro, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition for each serving 419 calories, 35 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 9 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 697 mg sodium



1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided

1 teaspoon minced ginger

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 (6-ounce can) unsweetened pineapple juice

1/4 cup orange juice

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

4 (6-ounce) pieces salmon fillet

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the canola in a small saucepan over medium high. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the sugar, pineapple and orange juices and bring to a boil. Boil 5 to 6 minutes, until mixture is reduced by half. Reduce to a simmer.

2. Combine the soy sauce and cornstarch, stirring until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add to sauce and cook, stirring gently, until mixture is thick and glossy, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in orange zest.

3. Season the salmon with the salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the salmon and cook 4 minutes on each side, until golden and cooked to desired degree of doneness. Spoon the sauce over the salmon, turn in the pan to coat the fish in the glaze and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition for each serving 385 calories, 40 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 17 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 671 mg sodium



4 (4-ounce) boneless center- cut pork chops

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

2/3 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon minced ginger

3 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped scallions

1. Working one at a time, dip each pork cutlet first in egg white; dredge thoroughly in panko.

2. Heat oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add pork and cook until it reaches 145 degrees, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate, season with the salt and drape loosely to keep warm.

3. Add ginger to the pan; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in ketchup, Worcestershire and soy sauce. Continue cooking and stirring 1 minute. Spoon sauce over pork. Garnish with scallions. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition for each serving 236 calories, 25 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 714 mg sodium