Editor’s note: The theme of Gohan Lab is to help people make simple, tasty “gohan” (meals).

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This week, we'll teach you how to make an onion salad that's a cut above the rest.

By following our recipe for newly harvested onion salad, you'll find there's more to making the dish than just immersing fine slices of onion in water.

Just by heating the onion briefly, its sting instantly turns mild but remains crisp while the pungency and bitterness are reduced.

For a mild, salty flavor, boil your onion in water with a 1 percent salt concentration.

We'll season the salad with a versatile dressing that goes well with any vegetable.

Though wine vinegar was used in this week’s recipe, rice vinegar or other cereal vinegars also work well. Adjust the amount according to the acidity of the vinegar and create a flavor you prefer.

So that the dressing coats nicely, mix while the onion is still warm, and the dish is ready.

Italian parsley, garlic and pepper bring out the flavor and aroma and accentuate the salad, which may taste somewhat flat without dressing. Top with white onion and green parsley to give it a cheerful appearance.


The commonly available onion known as the yellow onion is sold throughout the year since it keeps well in storage.

But new onions known mainly as white onions are marketed around this season.

They have less of the distinct bitterness or smell, and have a thinner skin and fresh, tender texture. They don't taste pungent even when eaten raw.

Though it depends on each production area, the new onions are shipped from January through June, according to a spokesperson for the Agriculture & Livestock Industries Corp.

They are harvested while the leaves are still fresh and shipped immediately without going through the drying process.

Due to their freshness, they don't keep too long.

“Place them in a plastic bag, store in the fridge and eat within two to three days,” the spokesperson advised.


(Supervised by Kuniaki Arima in the cooking aspect and Midori Kasai in the cookery science aspect)

* Ingredients (Serves two)

1 newly harvested onion (shin-tamanegi), 3 grams Italian parsley, 4 slices garlic, bit of coarsely ground black pepper, 1 tsp wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp soy sauce, 3 tsp salad oil

About 95 kcal and 0.4 gram salt per portion

Cut onion in half, then into wedges about 1 cm thick. Chop Italian parsley (PHOTO A).

Add wine vinegar, soy sauce and salad oil in bowl and mix thoroughly with whisk. The oil content mixes with water and turns thick (PHOTO B).

When 1 liter of water has come to a boil, add 10 grams salt and onion. Wait 1 to 2 minutes until water comes to a boil again. Once edges of onion begin to soften, turn off heat and drain onion in sieve (PHOTO C).

Move onion to bowl while still warm, add garlic and mix with dressing. Add chopped parsley, mix and serve. Sprinkle with pepper as a final touch.

Kuniaki Arima is the owner-chef of Passo a Passo, an Italian restaurant in Tokyo’s Fukagawa. Midori Kasai is a professor at Ochanomizu University and chairwoman of the Japan Society of Cookery Science.


Peel onion, slice into 2-cm-thick rounds at right angle to the fiber.

Sprinkle a bit of sugar on one side. Place frying pan on medium heat and melt a piece of butter.

Add 3 slices of garlic and once aroma rises, lay onion with the sugared side face down. When it starts to soften somewhat, add 1 Tbsp sake and 50 ml water, place lid and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until water evaporates.

Add 1/2 tsp soy sauce and turn sides. Turn off heat and place two slices of cheese on each onion round. Cover with lid and leave for about 1 minute. Serve on a plate, sprinkled with a bit of pepper. Drizzle with some olive oil if preferred.


Emulsifying is a process of mixing water and oil thoroughly to the state of emulsion.

In a dressing, oil and vinegar (equivalent to water) is mixed so that water drops disperse in the oil, while in mayonnaise, oil is mixed with vinegar and egg so that oil drops are dispersed in water.

The protein in the egg yolk plays the role of an emulsifier that is needed to keep the state of emulsion.