Created for expats living in Japan

Delicious Recipes for Healthy and Glowing Skin

This article is originally posted by Hinatao Energy in Japanese, translated by Japan Living Guide.

If you suffer from skin problems such as rough, dryness, blemishes, wrinkles and acne, why not try improving your skin condition with your daily diet? We asked Sachiko Horie, a cookery researcher and qualified nutritionist, to share recipes that use ingredients which are great for your skin.

Smoothie Recipes for Clean Skin

Start your day with a healthy smoothie. Here are two smoothie recipes that are good for your skin.

Black Sesame and Banana Soy Milk Smoothie

Ingredients for 2 large glasses

200ml soya milk

2 small bananas

2 tsp black sesame

150 ice cubes



Put all ingredients in a blender and stir.

Pro Tip: Adding honey improves skin moisturization.

Soya milk is full of soy isoflavones. Soya isoflavones contain a lot of nutrients that lead to beautiful skin, such as improving wrinkles. Take it together with sesamin from black sesame seeds, which has an anti-ageing effect, for even more beautiful skin.

Also, bananas, rich in dietary fibre, can be expected to improve constipation. Continued constipation can affect skin turnover and cause rough skin. If you need more sweet taste, add some honey, which has a moisturizing effect. Depending on the sweetness of the banana and your preference, you can add about 2 tsp to 1 tbsp.

Komatsuna, Kiwi, Lemon & Ginger Smoothie


100g komatsuna (chopped)

1 kiwi

1/2 piece ginger (grated)

1 tbsp lemon juice

1-2 tbsp honey (optional)

1 cup water



Wash and chop komatsuna, cut the kiwi in pieces, slice ginger.


Add all ingredients in a blender and stir.

Pro Tip: Ginger boosts the metabolism!

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the healthy skin. It is expected to have various effects on the skin, such as improving metabolism, preventing wrinkles and sagging, stimulating collagen production and preventing acne by controlling excessive sebum secretion. In addition to vitamin C, komatsuna contains beta-carotene, which is effective in improving rough skin. It is also rich in minerals and could improve swelling. Kiwi is also rich in nutrients necessary for beautiful skin. As well as vitamin C, it contains plenty of vitamin E and dietary fibre.

Ginger, which is effective in boosting metabolism, could also encourage skin turnover. The amount of honey is optional. If you would like a refreshing drink, use 1 tablespoon and  if you prefer a sweeter taste, use 2 tablespoons. The added sweetness makes it easier to drink.

Avocado and Beef Rolled in Nori - Kimba Style

The next recipe is a nori (seaweed) roll using avocado and beef, two great ingredients for skin. The grilled nori is coated with sesame oil to create an aromatic kimba-style dish.

Ingredients (1 roll)

280g warm Japanese rice

80g sliced beef

1/2 avocado (cut in 5mm slices)

1-2 lettuce leaves

1 sheet nori (seaweed)

1 tbsp yakiniku sauce (commercially available)

2 tsp white sesame seeds

sesame oil



Heat oil in the frying pan with medium heat and grill the beef. When the meat changes the color, add the yakiniku sauce.

Place the nori on a piece of cling film (or a sushi mat you have), spread a thin layer of sesame oil and sprinkle with salt.


Spread rice on top of the step2, sprinkle with white sesame seeds, then cover with another cling film and turn it over. Remove the top cling film, place the lettuce, avocado, and the beef on the half front of the nori and roll up from the edge. Leave to settle for 3-5 minutes, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Pro Tip: The combination of avocado and beef is good for your skin!

Avocados are full of nutrients that are good for the skin. Vitamin E, which improves rough skin and stimulates cell metabolism, helps maintain youthful skin and brings moisture to the skin. It is also rich in vitamin C, which is essential for healthy skin.

Beef is a food for healthy skin, rich in protein, which is essential for building skin, iron, which can have a negative effect on glowing skin if deficient, and vitamin B, known as the 'skin and energy metabolism vitamin'. Iron improves blood flow and is effective in preventing dark circles under the eyes. Protein and various vitamins also help to prevent dry skin.

Glutinous Barley Hamburg Steak

This is a healthy hamburg steak that retains the succulence of the meat, while also being good for your stomach thanks to the glutinous barley effect.

Ingredients (3 pieces)

30g glutinous barley (mochigome), approx.80-90g when boiled

150g ground meat

1/4 onion (chopped)

1 egg

4 tbsp breadcrumbs

salt and pepper

grated daikon


baby leaves (to garnish)

cherry tomatoes (to garnish)


Boil water in a pan, add glutinous barley and boil for 15 minutes. Drain in a colander and leave to cool.

Mix the ground meat, glutinous barley from the step1, egg, onion, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs in a bowl, and knead well. Divide into 3 portions and shape into a ball.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan with medium heat, add the Step2 and cook for 3 minutes. When browned, turn over and cook for 2 more minutes. cover, reduce heat to low and steam for a further 3 minutes on each side until cooked through. When browned, turn over and cook for 2 minutes. Put a lid to cover the pan and reduce the heat to low, steam for another 3 minutes until they are cooked through.

Serve on a plate with baby leaves and cherry tomatoes, top with grated daikon and drizzled with ponzu soy sauce.

Pro Tip: Glutinous barley has 20 times more dietary fibre than white rice!

Glutinous barley is known to contain 20 times more dietary fibre than white rice. It improves the intestinal conditions and relieves constipation, making it effective for healthy skin. It prevents a rapid rise in blood glucose levels, so they are not only good for healthy skin, but also for preventing obesity and lifestyle-related diseases, so it is a good idea to include glutinous barley in our daily diet.

Glutinous barley is also rich in protein, which helps build healthy skin, and potassium, which removes excess sodium from the body and prevents swelling. Glutinous barley also contains minerals such as magnesium and calcium, which are rarely found in white rice. A lack of calcium lowers the water content of the skin, causing wrinkles and dry skin. The glutinous barley can also be served as a salad topping or you can also cook with white rice.

Salmon and Peppers

This recipe has anti-ageing benefits. The use of sparkling water in the batter makes them crispy, even for those who don't like frying. Using carbonated water with batter makes fritters crispy.

Ingredients (for 2-3 people)

3 slices fresh salmon

1 red aprika

Ingredients A:

1 yellow paprika

6 tbsp flour

2 tbsp potato starch (katakuriko)

1/2 cup sparkling water

1/4 tsp salt

salt and pepper

frying oil



Cut the raw salmon into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remove seeds from the peppers and cut into 2cm pieces.

Put the Ingredients A in a bowl and mix with a whisk to make batter.

Fill a frying pan with frying oil (about 2 cm high) and heat up to about 190°C. Then add the battered salmon and paprika and fry until the surfaces become crispy.

Pro Tip: Salmon and paprika are antioxidant ingredients.

The color of salmon is due to astaxanthin, a type of polyphenol. Its antioxidant action, which prevents ageing, is 1000 times higher than that of vitamin E. It is a typical food with anti-ageing. Salmon is also a rich source of high-quality protein. It helps to build not only skin, but also muscles, hair, nails, and reduces damages. It is also rich in other vitamin Bs which could improve skin conditions.

Paprika is also a food for healthy and glowing skin, containing the antioxidant vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C and vitamin E. Vitamin C, which helps skin cells to produce collagen, is a good antioxidant when taken together with vitamin E, which improves blood flow. Vitamin A and vitamin E are absorbed into the body at a higher rate when combined with oil, so fritters are excellent for you to obtain adequate nutrition.

Combining different skin foods to make you healthy!

"My son, a high school student, has become concerned about acne. We have been drinking a smoothie with him in the morning, which contains ingredients that are good for the skin", says Sachiko.

"It is preferable to take a combination of different ingredients for healthy skin rather than a lot of one type of ingredient. I advise a healthy combination for both your skin and overall well-being".

Sachiko Horie

Chef, nutritionist, nutrition education advisor, yoghurt sommelier, lactic acid bacteria sommelier and decorative sushi instructor. A mother of a high school boy, she specializes in simple, tasty and nutritionally balanced cooking, drawing on her child-rearing experience. She also gives lectures and holds events on nutrition education and sports nutrition.

This content's writer HINATAO ENERGY provides gas and electricity services in English in and around Tokyo. If you would like to find out about their services, please contact them.