Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Soy Sauce

March 19th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Soy Sauce_1

Italian food, especially pasta is hugely popular in Japan, and we create large numbers of ‘Wafu-Pasta’ (‘wafu’ means ‘Japanese-style’).

Wafu-Pasta’ is Italian pasta prepared with Japanese ingredients and flavours. And this is one of my favourite Wafu-pasta.

Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Soy Sauce_2


— Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Soy Sauce (serves 2) —

200g mixed exotic mushrooms (shiitake mushrooms, shimeji mushrooms, oyster mushrooms)

180g spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil

120g lardons

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon sake (rice wine)

1 tablespoon soy source

1 tablespoon butter

Some chives, chopped

Black pepper


Trim off the bottom of the mushroom stems. Make the mushrooms into bite sized pieces (slice the shiitake mushrooms, separate the shimeji mushrooms and tear the oyster mushrooms).

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, fry the lardons until golden. Add the garlic, fry for a further 1 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, sauté for 2 minutes, or until softened and pour the sake and cook for a further 1 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of lightly salted boiling water until al dente (follow the package directions).

Add the cooked spaghetti to the frying pan, add the soy sauce and butter, toss everything together.

Garnish with chopped chives and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.





Matcha Green Tea Latte

February 26th, 2014 § 2 comments § permalink

Matcha Green Tea Latte_1

Matcha is a finely milled green tea leaf powder. It’s been drinking in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony for about 500 years.

Matcha’s elegant bitterness goes perfectly well with milk and cream and ‘Matcha Latte’ is very popular in Japan, it’s even on the menu at Starbucks (in the USA and some other countries too).

Served hot or cold it’s delicious either way.

Matcha Green Tea Latte_2


— Matcha Green Tea Latte (serves 2) —

1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder

80ml hot water

400ml milk

2 tablespoons sugar (or adjust to your taste)


Sift the matcha green tea powder in a small bowl, add the hot water (not boiling) and whisk until powder is all dissolved.

Heat the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat (do not boil), add the sugar whisk with a wire whisk until the milk has a velvety milk form.

Fill glasses up to 2/3 with milk form.

Pour hot matcha green tea very slowly into the form.

Dust the green tea powder on the top.




Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Rice Balls

February 17th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Rice balls called ‘onigiri‘ are one of Japan’s favourite comfort snacks.
White rice shaped into balls or triangles, usually stuffed with fish or vegetable fillings and wrapped in nori seaweed.
Portable and easy to eat, much like sandwich in the West.

This is a fusion type of onigiri, and I love them.


— Prosciutto Wrapped Cheese Rice Balls (12 rice balls) —

300g rice (Japanese short grain white rice, or sushi rice)

420ml water

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

40g cheddar cheese

A handful of  wild rocket leaves

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

12 slices prosciutto

Black pepper


Rinse the rice in a clod water, changing the water several times until the water runs almost clear.

Drain the washed rice in a sieve and place in a saucepan.

Pour 420ml water in the pan and cover with tight-fitting rid.

Bring to the boil over high heat and let cook for 2 minute. Reduce the heat to the lowest and simmer (always cover the pan with a rid) 15 minute. Remove from the heat, still covered, and leave the pan for another 10 minutes.

Roast the sesame seeds in a dry frying-pan over medium-low heat until golden.

Cut the cheddar cheese into very small pieces.

Mix the cooked rice, roasted sesame seeds and cheddar cheese.

Once the rice mixture has cooled just enough, form it into 12 log-shaped rice balls.

Wrap each rice ball in a strip of prosciutto.

In a bowl, mix together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss the wild rocket leaves.

Arrange the rocket leaves on top of the wrapped rice balls and sprinkle with black pepper.

Crispy Noodle Wrapped Scallops

October 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

The weather is getting cold. Scallops need scarves.


— Crispy Noodle Wrapped Scallops (6 fried scallops) —

6 scallops

50g cooked thin egg noodles

1 egg york

Salt and pepper

Oil for deep-frying

Some parsley leaves, finely chopped


— for the Sweet Chille Dipping Sauce —

4 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons rice vinegar

A pinch of salt

1 small red chilli, finely chopped


To make the sweet chilli sauce, Place all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, heat gently and stirring until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Beat the egg york in a shallow plate, mix with the cooked noodles.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper, wrap some noodles around them.

Heat the deep-frying oil to 320F/160C. Deep-fry the scallops until the noodles became just golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.

Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve the sweet chilli sauce in a dipping bowl on the side.

Chicken Teriyaki Burger

June 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

“Chicken Teriyaki Burger” is a popular fast-food menu in Japan.

It might be a good idea to sell it in the UK… I was thinking that while I was eating this chicken burger.

Suddenly started pouring down rain. And, the bird window ornament looks like crying. I felt a little bit guilty.


— Chicken Teriyaki Burger (serves 2) —

250g chicken mince meat

30g (about 2 stems) spring onion, finely chopped

1/2 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon ginger, grated

1/2 tablespoon corn flour

1/2 soya sauce

1/2 sake rice wine

A pinch of salt and pepper

Some vegetable oil (for frying)

2 burger buns

Some lettuce

Some tomato

Some mayonnaise


— for Teriyaki sauce —

3 tablespoons soya sauce

1 & 1/2 honey

2 tablespoons sake rice wine


Place the chicken mince and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl, mix thoroughly by hand until quite sticky.

Add the finely chopped spring onion, beaten egg, grated ginger, corn flour, soya sauce and sake in the bowl and mix everything well.

Divided the mixture into 2 and shape them into flattened rounds. Make shallow hollow in the centre of each.

Put some oil into a heated frying-pan, fry on both sides of the hamburgers over medium heat until golden brown and cooked. Transfer the hamburgers to a plate.

Discard the oil from the frying-pan, turn down the heat to low, add all the Teriyaki sauce ingredients and cook for about 2 minutes until the sauce being to bubble. Bring back the hamburgers into the frying-pan and toss well with the Teriyaki sauce.

Serve the burgers in toasted buns with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.

Spicy Miso & Cheese Pizza Bread

May 5th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

This is a crisp savoury snack.

the combination of spicy miso oil and mozzarella cheese is absolutely delicious and addictive.

Easy to make and eat. I found a perfect snack for beer!


— Spicy miso & cheese pizza bread (makes 10 : 16cm x 8cm each size )—

2 tablespoons miso paste (light brown coloured miso is preferred)

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili flakes (adjust to you taste)

1/2 teaspoon honey

1 clove garlic, minced

100g grated mozzarella cheese

Some parsley, chopped


— for pizza dough —

200g plain flour

1/2 tablespoon dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tablespoon olive oil


Place the dry yeast and sugar in a bowl, mix in 120ml lukewarm water. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes, until bubbles appear on the surface.

Place the flour, salt and olive oil in a different bowl, add the yeast mixture and mix together.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface board and knead for about 5 minutes.

Make the dough into a ball, place on a floured tray under a clean, dump cloth and set aside in a warm place for 40 minutes.

To make the spicy miso oil, place the miso, oil, honey, minced garlic and chili flakes in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Divide the pizza dough into 10 balls and roll out on a floured surface board to ovals.

Brush the baking tray with olive oil and lay the oval bases on the tray.

Spread the spicy miso oil and top with grated mozzarella.

Bake in a preheated 220C/425F oven for about 8 minutes until topping is golden and the base is crispy.

Garnish with chopped parsley.

Pasta Salad with Avocado & Wasabi

May 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This is a chilled pasta with very rich and creamy wasabi-hinted avocado sauce.

If you enjoy a little kick of wasabi, then this appetizer is for you.

I love the unique flavor and hotness of Wasabi. But I hated it when I was a child. I don’t remember how and when I started liking it. The same thing happened to black coffee, beer and Marmite.

I want to know where is the ‘hate’ to ‘love’ switch and how to operate it.


— Pasta Salad with Avocado & Wasabi (Appetizer: serves 4) —

200g pasta

2 medium ripe avocados

1 teaspoon (adjust to you taste) wasabi paste

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 table spoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon walnut oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

A pinch of black pepper

Some chives, finely chopped


Cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water until cooked (follow the package directions). Drain and rinse well under cold water.

Peel the avocados, remove the stones and mash with a fork fairly smooth in a bowl. Add the wasabi, minced garlic, lemon juice, mayonnaise, walnut oil, salt and pepper, mix together well.

Drain the cold pasta, toss with the avocado sauce.

Sprinkle with the chopped chives.

Green Tea Pudding

April 18th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Green tea powder – also known as Matcha – is traditionally used in the Japanese tea ceremony and a popular sweets ingredient in Japan now.

This is a chilled dessert custard that has rich and mildly bitter green tea flavour and creamy in texture.

The beautiful natural green colour and the scent of Matcha make me calm.


— Green Tea Crème (serves 4-5)—

1&1/2 tablespoon green tea powder

100ml milk

150ml single cream

50g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 egg york

whipped cream, to serve (optional)

green tea powder, to serve (optional)


Preheat the oven 160C/320F.

Mix the green tea powder with 3 tablespoons of warm water until dissolved. Set aside.

Place the milk, single cream in a small saucepan oven medium heat until just comes to the boil. Add the dissolved green tea and mix.

Place the eggs, egg york and sugar in a bowl and mix until well combined. Gradually add the milk mixture, mix to combine.

Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed strainer and pour into the cups.

Place in a deep baking dish and pour in enough hot water.

Bake for about 30 minutes until set.

Remove from the baking dish and refrigerate until cool.

Serve topped with the whipped cream and green tea powder if desired.

Cherry Blossom and Green Olive Rice

April 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Light up Japan recipe –No.10

One of the main reasons why I like spring is cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossoms have special meanings in Japanese culture, these are seen as a metaphor for life. A noble, beautiful blooming followed by the inevitable fall.

At this time of the year in Japan, we have a lot of ‘cherry blossom viewing party’. Drinking, eating and singing under the cherry blossom trees, appreciate and celebrate the beauty of cherry blossoms.

Japanese people are still having a very sad and hard time, but I believe that cherry blossoms lift their spirits.


— Cherry Blossom and Green Olive Rice (Serves 2) —

8-10 salt-preserved cherry blossoms

8-10 green olives

300g rice (Japanese short grain white rice, or sushi rice)

420ml water


— for salt-preserved cherry blossoms—

100g double-flowered cherry blossoms

50g sea salt

50g sea salt for preserve


— Salt-preserved cherry blossoms —

Cut the flowers (with the short stems), wash them gently in cold water and drain.

Toss the blossoms with the salt, place the salted flowers in a plate, cover with cling film and place a weight on the top of it to force out excess water, then leave it for 2 days.

Drain the water, and pat dry the flowers with kitchen papers.

Place the flowers in a small bowl, sprinkle them with the vinegar, cover with cling film and place a weight on the top of it again, and leave it for 2 more days.

Drain the vinegar, pat dry the flower with kitchen papers, toss the flowers with the sea salt (for preserve) and store them in a small, clean jar.


— Cherry Blossoms and Green Olive Rice —

Place 8-10 salt-preserved cherry blossoms in a bowl with 420ml water, leave the flowers for 10 minutes.

Take out the cherry blossoms from the water, wring water out of the flowers (keep the water in a bowl for cooking rice*).

Rinse the rice in a clod water, changing the water several times until the water runs almost clear.

Drain the washed rice in a sieve and place in a saucepan.

Pour the water in a bowl* in the pan and cover with tight-fitting rid.

Bring to the boil over high heat and let cook for 2 minute. Reduce the heat to the lowest and simmer (always cover the pan with a rid) 15 minute. Remove from the heat, still covered, and leave the pan for another 10 minutes.

Finely cut the cherry blossoms and green olives.

Mix the cooked rice, cherry blossoms and green olives together.

Miso Duck and Mango Bruschetta

March 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This dish is used an unusual technique of marinating meat. Marinate a duck breast in miso paste after it’s cooked.

Sounds a bit strange?  But this is a quite popular duck appetizer in Japan.

Miso and honey give the cooked duck more flavour and to tenderize it at the same time. Marinate the cooked duck over night, and then you can just take it out of the fridge, slice and eat it like a ham next day.

The combination of the savoury miso flavoured duck and the sweet and sour mango is great, and I really enjoyed this new bruschetta.


— Miso Duck and Mango Bruschetta —

1/8 Mango

40g rocket

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Some baguette

Some ground black pepper


— for the miso marinated duck —

1 duck breast

100g miso paste

1 tablespoon honey

Some salt and pepper


To make the miso marinated duck: Mix the miso paste and honey in a small bowl, set aside.

Season the duck breast with salt and pepper.

Heat a little oil in a flying-pan, place the duck breast skin-side down over medium heat and fry for 15-20 minutes until the skin became brown and crispy

Turn the duck breast and fry for 6 minutes until browned,  then turn off the heat, cover with foil and leave the duck in the pan to rest (this will result in meat that is slightly pink in the middle)

Coat all side of the cooked duck with the miso mixture and cover with cling film, refrigerate for over night.


Mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl, add the rocket and toss.

Peel and thinly slice the mango.

Lightly wipe off miso mixture from the marinated duck, and thinly slice.

Slice the baguette and toast them.

Topping the rocket salad, the sliced mango and the sliced duck. Sprinkle with some black pepper.