We have already introduced many things about tonjiru so far, but did you notice one thing? - Yes, many of the vegetables used in tonjiru are in season in winter. The combination of tonjiru being a soup that warms you up and it uses such winter vegetables makes it perfect to be enjoyed in winter. Here we explain the nutrients of the ingredients and the benefits of cooking process of this soup.
Nutrients in each ingredient:
Rich in vitamin B1, it helps metabolize carbohydrates and is effective in relieving fatigue and stress. Allicin and citric acid together increase energy metabolism. Allicin, which is abundant in garlic, onions, nira chives, and negi leeks, increases the absorption rate of vitamin B1, making it even more effective when combined with pork.
Daikon Radish is rich in enzymes, but unfortunately, it is sensitive to heat. However, when made into tonjiru, it provides plenty of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, and dietary fiber, which regulates the intestinal environment. It is effective in preventing diabetes because it helps to suppress the rise in blood sugar levels after eating. It also absorbs cholesterol and sodium and removes them from the body, so it can be expected to prevent hyperlipidemia and hypertension.
The unique sliminess of taro is a combination of carbohydrate and protein called galactan, which has the effect of lowering blood pressure and removing cholesterol from the blood. The sliminess also contains mucin, which is converted into glucuronic acid when it enters the body, helping to prevent ulcers on the stomach and intestinal walls and strengthening the liver. It is also rich in dietary fiber, which helps prevent constipation.
Vitamin C in carrots boosts the immune system and prevents viruses from entering the body. They are also rich in folic acid, which supports the function of red blood cells and helps prevent anemia. β-carotene is abundant in carrots and is converted into vitamin A in the body, which protects mucous membranes. This is perfect for winter because a lack of vitamin A makes it easier for bacteria and viruses to invade through the mucous membranes.
Gobo burdock is a good source of dietary fiber. It is rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps slow the rise in blood sugar levels and reduce the absorption of sugar. It is also rich in oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides are expected to make good bacteria dominant in the intestines and improve the intestinal environment.
It prevents blood from coagulating, makes blood thinner, and has excellent bactericidal and antioxidant effects. Furthermore, it is believed to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels and preventing arteriosclerosis and heart disease. When chopped or cooked, leeks also cooperate with vitamin B1 to convert carbohydrates into energy and help relieve fatigue. The pungency characteristic of leeks is due to allyl sulfide, and the antioxidant effect of allyl sulfide boosts the immune system. It also enhances the absorption of vitamin B, making it a perfect partner for pork.
Bunashimeji mushroom is rich in B vitamins, which are necessary for energy metabolism, vitamin D, which strengthens bones and teeth, potassium, which prevents high blood pressure, and dietary fiber, which improves bowel movements and also eliminates carcinogens and allergens from the body.
Rich in dietary fiber, which is not digested by the body's digestive enzymes, konnyaku can absorb waste and toxins in the intestines and expel them from the body. It is also low in calories but chewy, which is great as it makes your brain think you are eating more than you really are, while making your jaw stronger.
Fermented foods have been attracting a lot of attention lately, and miso is one of them. Fermented foods contain a lot of bacteria that are good for our intestines and are full of enzymes, so they are effective in improving the intestinal environment and facilitating bowel movements. In addition, since the intestines are responsible for 80% of the body's immunity, an improved intestinal environment also improves immunity. Because enzymes are sensitive to heat, it is recommended that miso be added in two batches when making tonjiru; adding the second batch after turning off the heat will enhance the flavor of the miso. In addition, miso has the ability to remove sugar, fat, and sodium from the body, helping to reduce increases in blood sugar and blood pressure.
Benefits of Cooking Method:
Some nutrients are water-soluble, which dissolves easily in water, and some are fat-soluble, which dissolves easily in oil. Tonjiru is prepared by first frying the ingredients, then boiling them in water and eating the whole soup, so it is an efficient way to consume nutrients from the ingredients, whether water-soluble or fat-soluble. Tonjiru is a soup, but because it contains meat, it provides protein, and the vegetables and konnyaku make it a low-calorie yet highly satisfying dish. It is also easy and good that it can be made in one pot and seasoned easily. It is also rich in ingredients that boost the immune system, so it is highly recommended at this time of the year.
In the next blog post, we will introduce tonjiru from different Japanese regions. Stay tuned!
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