Foods, Keto In Japan, My Kitchen

My Keto Fridge: A Guide to Low Carb Ingredients

Keto Fridge, a guide to keto foods for low carb. keto, keto ingredients, keto foods, keto produce, keto vegetables, keto fruits, keto meats, keto seafood, keto dairy, keto tofu, keto soy, keto milk, ketogenic diet, keto shopping list, low carb, low carb foods, low carb ingredients, lchf, lchf foodsI’m often asked exactly what I eat on my ketogenic diet, so I wanted to write a series about what I actually use in the kitchen! I’m starting off with a peek inside my fridge. This list of items covers most of what’s in my keto fridge on a regular basis and hopefully shares some insights I’ve learned about various ingredients along the way. I find most of these items at local grocers and markets (I prefer to buy products without packaging where possible; à la Zero Waste Home) or at the supermarket when those are not an option.

When I go shopping at the supermarket, I subscribe to the low-carb philosophy of shopping around the outside of the store. The outer aisles are where you find all the fresh produce, meat, seafood and dairy. I find that on a ketogenic diet I go shopping more often (and for longer, it’s fun!) and that my fridge is fuller than ever. There are still many vegetables that are new to me in Japan the Netherlands and I’m enjoying learning about them all. This (rather long!) list is a constant work in progress on my essential items in my keto fridge at home. 

FRESH VEGETABLES

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ASPARAGUS
アスパラガス

Asparagus is a great source of vitamins and tastes especially delicious when wrapped in bacon! I find the crunchy texture a nice contrast and sometimes use it with dips (like aioli) or even as a side with my eggs for breakfast. 

Net carbs: 1.78g per 100g
 Eat regularly 

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BEAN SPROUTS
もやし

Bean sprouts are something I rarely ate before moving to Japan; and then these little guys started cropping up in all my meals. There are two kinds, soy bean sprouts and mung bean sprouts, the later appearing in loads of Japanese cuisine. I love them in salads, stir fries, hotpots and noodle dishes – such as ramen and pad thai.

Net carbs: 4.14g per 100g
Eat regularly 

Keto Bok Choy, a guide to keto foods for low carb. keto, keto ingredients, keto foods, keto produce, keto vegetables, ketogenic diet, keto shopping list, low carb, low carb foods, low carb vegetables, lchf, lchf foods

BOK CHOY
青梗菜

Oh, bok choy! A type of cabbage with a super low carb count, this is an incredibly versatile vegetable that should be part of every diet. I use it regularly in stir fries, fried (cauliflower) rice and especially like it as a side; simply fried with some oil, garlic and chili flakes. 

Net carbs: 1.18g per 100g
Eat regularly 

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BROCCOLI
ブロッコリ

Broccoli is another flexible vegetable that should be a part of every diet. Packed full of vitamins, it can be used whole or in florets and eaten raw, steamed, fried or roasted in all kinds of dishes. I also like transforming it – blending it down into granules to create broccoli rice, or even a puree to create broccoli soup

Net carbs: 4.04g per 100g
Eat regularly 

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS
芽キャベツ

These miniature cabbages are a dream! My favorite way to prepare these little guys is to fry them with generous amounts of butter and bacon and serve them as a side. They also make a fantastic salad base, sliced thinly they add an amazing crunchy texture. 

Net carbs: 5.15g per 100g
Eat regularly 

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CABBAGE
キャベツ

Whether using green, white or red cabbage, it’s flexible and can be both cooked and raw. Sliced thinly, it makes a great salad and stir fry ingredient. In Japan, it’s commonly served raw as an appetizer with salt and sesame oil (shio kyabetsu) at izakayas (local pubs). This simple and crunchy dish is a great snack.

Net carbs: 3g per 100g (green cabbage)
Eat regularly 

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CAPSICUM / BELL PEPPERS
ピーマン

Green, red and yellow capsicum varieties do vary in nutritional values, with green having the lowest carb count. In Japan, bell peppers much smaller than those found in the west. Use these little guys in salads, soups, stir fries and fried rice. Bell peppers are also a vital ingredient in my adored Japanese spice mix shichimi tōgarashi (seven spice powder).

Net carbs: 2.9g per 100g (green bell pepper)
Eat regularly 

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CAULIFLOWER
カリフラワー

Cauliflower might just be my all-time favorite vegetable. It can be pretty much used for anything, and is an incredible replacement for both potatoes and rice making it a keto dream. I use it to make cauli mash, fried rice, rice puddings, casseroles and sushi. It’s also wonderful when simply roasted with spices, or baked into a cheesy casserole. 

Net carbs: 2.97g per 100g 
Eat regularly 

Keto Garlic, a guide to keto foods for low carb. keto, keto ingredients, keto foods, keto produce, keto vegetables, ketogenic diet, keto shopping list, low carb, low carb foods, low carb vegetables, lchf, lchf foods

GARLIC
ニンニク

Garlic is one of the less keto-friendly ingredients out there, however it’s also a flavorful staple in oodles of recipes. Due to it’s high carb count, be sure to be careful with portions (even with garlic powder and garlic salt). While some people choose to eliminate it from their diet all-together, I continue to use it fresh and in moderation, in recipes such as this mushroom pasta and broccoli soup.  

Net carbs: 0.9g per clove
Eat in moderation

 

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MUSHROOMS
キノコ

Mushrooms are relatively low in carbs, come in endless of varieties and have a rich savory flavor. I’ve written extensively about the types available in Japan and like to include them in dishes such as mushroom pasta and pork ramen.  

Net carbs: 2.26g per 100g 
Eat regularly 

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ONION
玉ねぎ

Like garlic, onion is another one of those ingredients you need to be careful with on keto. They are higher in carbohydrates when compared with other vegetables (containing more sugar than others) so should be used with caution. Like garlic, onion is a common foundation ingredient in many recipes so I generally use less than is recommended to consume it in moderation.

Net carbs: 7.64g per 100g 
Eat in moderation

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PUMPKIN
かぼちゃ

Pumpkin was a staple vegetable in our household growing up, and I still use it in moderation on a keto diet. It’s a little higher in carbs than some vegetables, but is a nice treat from time to time. In America pumpkin is often used in desserts, while in Australia it’s more commonly used in savory dishes such as pumpkin soup

Net carbs: 6g per 100g (depending on variety) 
Eat in moderation

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RADISH
大根

With their sharp flavor, the many varieties of radish are a wonderful addition to salads when served raw in thin slices. These thin slices can also be deep fried to create low carb crisps. They lose a lot of their bitterness when cooked, so are also a great addition to stir fries and work well mashed or scalloped. They are another staple of the Japanese diet. 

Net carbs: 1.8g per 100g 
Eat regularly 

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SPINACH 
ほうれん草 (HORENSO)

Spinach is one of the best leafy green vegetables you can eat on a ketogenic diet. Use it generously as a salad base, serve it creamed or bake it into frittatas and quiches. It also makes a great side; just fry it up and serve it with your eggs for breakfast. 

Net carbs: 1.43g per 100g 
Eat regularly 

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SPRING ONION / SCALLION
ねぎ

Spring onions and scallions are similar (though slightly different) and are a staple ingredient in Asian and Mexican cooking. They are a little lower in carbs than regular onions, so sometimes make a good alternative. They make a great garnish on dishes such as pumpkin soup and fried rice.

Net carbs: 4.4g per 100g 
Eat regularly 

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SPROUTS (SUCH AS BROCCOLI)
ブロッコリーアルファ

Loaded with nutrients, various types of sprouts can easily be grown at home and added to dishes. These cute little guys pair well with avocado, egg, soups and salads. They also make a super pretty garnish!

Net carbs: Around .5g per 1/2 cup of sprouts
Eat regularly 

 

FRESH FRUITS

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AVOCADO
アボカド

Full of healthy fats and super low in carbs, avocados are a staple on keto. Great at any time of day, I love these on keto bread to make avocado toast for brekkie, in salads at lunch and most especially in guacamole for Mexican dinners. They also make a great pasta sauce like this

Net carbs: 1.84g per 100g
Eat regularly 

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BLACKBERRIES
ブラックベリー

Most fruits are generally avoided on a keto diet, but there are a few that are good in moderation. Blackberries are one of the better options and are lower in net carbs than blueberries. In Japan, these are both expensive and difficult to find – so frozen blackberries are a nice treat and make a great topping for recipes like this chia pudding

Net carbs: 8g per 100g
Eat in moderation

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RASPBERRIES
ラズベリー

Another great berry option are raspberries, which are also relatively low in net carbs when compared with most fruits. I generally use them as a topping or garnish to limit my intake, such as adding a few to some greek yogurt for a simple dessert. 

Net carbs: 8g per 100g
Eat in moderation

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STRAWBERRIES
いちご

Strawberries can quickly add up in carbs, but can be a refreshing addition to keto sweets when eaten in moderation. I like to add a couple to the top of dishes such as chia pudding and crepe cake

Net carbs: 5.68g per 100g
Eat in moderation

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TOMATOES
トマト

Tomato varieties can differ in carbs and should be eaten in moderation on a keto diet, just don’t indulge in huge amounts too often. I generally add a few to my soups and salads, but do try to keep the majority of my plate green!

Net carbs: 2.69g per 100g
Eat in moderation

MEAT & SEAFOOD

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BEEF
牛肉

When it comes to meat on a keto diet, protein is important and should be balanced well with fats. Choose fattier cuts of beef if possible; such as steaks, roasts and mince. A favorite at home is these Swedish meatballs. Be careful with processed meats such as sausages, they often have additives and hidden carbs – check the labels.

Net carbs: 0g
Eat regularly 

Keto Chicken, a guide to keto foods for low carb. keto, keto ingredients, keto foods, keto meat, ketogenic diet, keto shopping list, low carb, low carb foods, low carb meat, lchf, lchf foods, lchf meat

CHICKEN
鶏肉

Chicken and other poultry such as duck are good staples that can also be used in practically everything. Avoid anything breaded or crumbed. Chicken is rather lean on it’s own, so should be paired with fats whenever possible. I love it in dishes such as chicken pad thai

Net carbs: 0g
Eat regularly 

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PORK
豚肉

Just like beef, try to choose fattier cuts of pork for keto. The options are many; mince, loin, chops, ham, roast, cutlet, rib, shank, butt. I love using bacon too, just be sure to check labels for added sugars. As the most popular meat in Japan, my favorite is pork belly, especially chashu served in ramen

Net carbs: 0g
Eat regularly 

Keto Fish, a guide to keto foods for low carb. keto, keto ingredients, keto foods, keto meat, ketogenic diet, keto shopping list, low carb, low carb foods, low carb meat, lchf, lchf foods, lchf meat

FISH & SEAFOOD
さかな & シーフード

Select fattier seafood where possible such as salmon, herring, mackerel (さば as pictured), tuna and sea bass. I especially like to simply grill fish (no crumbs or batter) and serve it with greens or eat it raw as sashimi. Canned tuna is a great snack and pairs well with avocado. 

Net carbs: 0g
Eat regularly 

DAIRY

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BUTTER
バター

Butter is a great source of saturated fat and I love to incorporate it into most meals; especially for pan frying vegetables like mushrooms. Be careful to avoid margarine spreads. Other good alternatives include lard, ghee and tallow.

Net carbs: 0.1g per 100g
Eat regularly 

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CHEESE
チーズ

Cheese is a much debated food on a keto diet! It does contain only small amounts of carbs (which can add up for a cheese lover like me) but it can also stall weight loss for those who might be sensitive to dairy. There are hundreds of varieties, all with various carb counts. Some good options include brie, mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan. 

Net carbs: 1g per 100g (brie)
Eat regularly 

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CREAM CHEESE
クリームチーズ

Cream cheese is a super versatile ingredient, especially handy in recipes such as pancakes, crepes and pizza crusts. Carb counts can vary from brand to brand, so be sure to read labels.

Net carbs: 1g per 1oz
Eat regularly 

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CREAM
クリーム

Heavy whipping cream is always on my weekly shopping list. I add it to my coffee daily (it’s a great alternative to milk) and if I’m really craving sweets, it can be whipped up to create a simple and filling dessert. It incorporates well into many recipes, such as avocado pasta, mushroom pasta, meatball gravy and pumpkin soup

Net carbs: 1g per 1oz
Eat regularly 

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EGGS
たまご

A keto favorite for many (including me) is eggs! These little guys can be prepared in so many ways; fried, poached, scrambled and boiled (one of my favorite snacks to always have handy). I eat them on a daily basis, not only for breakfast but also incorporated into other dishes such as ramen and fried rice

Net carbs: 0.5g per egg
Eat regularly 

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MAYONNAISE
マヨネーズ

Mayonnaise is another great source of fat and is both a handy topping and ingredient. In an ideal world, this would always be homemade, but store bought alternatives work well too (check labels for additives). Be sure to choose full fat versions as low fat and light versions have more carbs. 

Net carbs: 0.5g per 100g
Eat regularly 

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QUAIL EGGS
ウズラの卵

There’s more than just chicken eggs to consider! Japanese quail eggs are a huge industry and these beautiful, tiny eggs can be found alongside chicken eggs in any regular supermarket in Japan. They are commonly found in bentos and can also be purchased pre-boiled, which is handy considering how delicate they are.  

Net carbs: 2.4g per 100g 
Eat regularly 

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YOGURT (GREEK)
ギリシャヨーグルト

When I was younger I avoided yogurt, but it has become a staple in my keto diet. Choose full-fat plain yogurt for the lowest net carbs. It’s a handy snack to keep in the fridge to eat on its own, or add as a topping to dishes like broccoli soup

Net carbs: 4g per 100g
Eat regularly 

TOFU, SOY, PLANT MILKS & OTHER

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ALMOND MILK
アーモンドミルク

Regular milk is high in lactose (sugar) and therefore carbs, so is generally avoided on a keto diet. Nut milks are an amazing alternative, just be sure to choose varieties that are unsweetened. Almond milk is one of the more readily available varieties, though I personally find the flavor a bit too nutty for my drinks, such as masala chai.

Net carbs: 0.6g per 1 cup (unsweetened)
Eat regularly 

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COCONUT MILK
ココナツミルク

Coconut is a keto staple and I use it in many forms – as oil, flour, flakes, shredded and milk. There are two types of coconut milk, the thinner type found in cartons in the milk section and the thicker type found in cans. Both are great options, just be sure to choose unsweetened versions. Canned coconut milk is my favorite for chia puddings – whether coconut, blueberry or chai flavored. 

Net carbs: 1g per 1 cup (unsweetened)
Eat regularly 

Shirataki Noodles and Keto in Japan, Konnyaku Low Carb Pasta

SHIRATAKI NOODLES
しらたき

Shirataki noodles are made from konjac yams which I’ve written extensively about hereMy favorite brand in Japan is Kibun Ramen Pasta (180g) 紀文糖質0g麺 丸麺. These noodles closely resemble regular spaghetti. They are cut into short pieces and the texture is chewy and a little denser than other brands. I use shirataki in recipes such as mushroom pasta, pad thai, avocado pasta and ramen.

Net carbs: 1g per 100g
Eat regularly 

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SOY MILK
豆乳

There’s quite a bit of debate on the health effects of consuming soy, but soy milk is a staple in any Japanese diet and it’s always in my fridge. Check labels to avoid any added sugars. After thick whipping cream, this is my next favorite alternative to regular milk and it tastes great in coffee and chai

Net carbs: 1g per 1 cup (unsweetened)
Eat regularly 

Keto Tofu, a guide to keto foods for low carb. keto, keto ingredients, keto foods, ketogenic diet, keto shopping list, low carb, low carb foods, lchf, lchf foods

TOFU
豆腐

Another (debated) soybean product, tofu is also an essential ingredient in a Japanese diet. It comes in endless forms and variations, firm, soft, blocks and silken. My favorite tofu product is fresh inari, pre-prepared tofu pockets that are typically filled with rice. It’s often very sweet, but if you can find low-sugar versions (which I’m yet to find outside of Japan) they are incredibly versatile. 

Net carbs: 2-4g per 1 ounce serving
Eat regularly 

 

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