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.





Vegetable Kakiage Soba Noodle Soup

March 8th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Vegetable Kakiage Soba Noodle Soup_1

Kakiage is a type of tempura fritter made with mixed vegetable strips, and it’s one of the most popular topping for Japanese soba noodle soup.

I used kombu dashi (dried kelp stock) for this noodle soup, so it’s a good vegan recipe :)

Vegetable Kakiage Soba Noodle Soup_2


— Vegetable Kakiage Soba Noodle Soup (serves 4) —

400g soba noodles

Some spring onion, finely chopped

Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Nanami chilli pepper (optional)


— for noodle soup (kombu dashi) —

25g kombu (dried kelp)

1200ml water

80ml soy sauce

80ml mirin  (Japanese sweetened rice wine)


— for vegetable kakiage

90g plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

150ml water

2 ice cubes

1 carrot (medium size), julienned

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

80g green beans, chopped


Cook the soba noodles in a large pot of boiling water until cooked (follow the package directions) and drain.

Place the cooked soba noodles in a deep bowl, pour in the hot noodle soup, arrange the vegetable kakiage on top, garnish with chopped spring onion and sprinkle with nanami chilli pepper (optional).


— to make noodle soup —

Lightly wipe the kombu with a clean damp cloth, Put the kombu in a large saucepan, cover with 1200ml of water and soak for 30 minutes.

Set the saucepan over a medium heat. Just before the water comes to a boil, remove the kombu.

Place the kombu stock, soya sauce and mirin in a pan and bring to the boil, turn down the heat to low and  simmer the noodle soup about 2 minutes.


— to make vegetable kakiage —

Heat the oil in a deep pan to 170C/340F.

Combine the flout and baking powder in a bowl.

Place 150ml water and 2 ice cubes in another bowl, add the flour mixture and mix together very lightly.

Add the carrot, onion and green beans in the batter and mix together.

Take a scoop of the mixture with a large spoon and slip into the oil. Shape the piece, deep-fry until crisp and golden.

Drain excess oil on kitchen paper.





Tomato Cream Crab Pasta

March 31st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Tomato Cream Crab Pasta_1

Waiting for spring too long. I’ve been lazy too long. Eating long noodles.

Life is short. Got to move.

Tomato Cream Crab Pasta 2


— Tomato Cream Crab Pasta (serves 2) —

1 dungeness crab

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 small red chilli, very finely chopped

4 tablespoons white wine

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

180g spaghetti

120 ml single cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Some fresh parsley, finely chopped


Clean and chop the crab into pieces. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a wok over medium heat, sauté the shallots until softened. Add the garlic and chilli, sauté for a further 1 minutes.

Add the crab and fry for 2 minutes. Add the white wine, cover with a kitchen foil or lid and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the canned chopped tomatoes and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half in volume.

Add the spaghetti to lightly salted boiling water, cook until al dente (follow the package directions).

Add the single cream to the tomato sauce, season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Add the cooked spaghetti to the wok, toss with the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.




Pasta with Pistachio Cream Sauce

November 28th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I thought, I spaced out for a little while, and it’s already the end of November. . .

Time flies too fast, please wait for me.


— Pasta with Pistachio Cream Sauce (serves 2) —

2 tablespoons olive oil

40g shelled pistachio nuts, ground in a blender or very finely chopped

2 shallots, finely shopped

1 clove garlic, minced

180ml double cream


160g linguine

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil and sauteé the shallots and garlic in a large frying-pan over a medium heat, until the shallots become translucent.

Add the grounded pistachio and sauteé for about 1 minute.

Pour the cream and keep stirring for another minute, add salt to taste and remove from the heat.

Add the linguine to lightly salted boiling water, cook until al dente (follow the package directions). Drain, reserve some of the cooking water.

Add the linguine to the frying-pan of pistachio sauce,toss well with the sauce and add the cooking water if necessary.

Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and fleshly ground black pepper.

Spaghetti with Sardines & Lemon

May 28th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s been a long time since my last post.
I’ve been too busy lately, well, no, maybe it’s an excuse for being lazy…

I haven’t done much cooking, and I haven’t played much with my cat (sorry, Mika).

I shouldn’t forget what I like to do.


— Spaghetti with Sardines & Lemon (serves 2) — 

160g spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tin sardines in olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1 lemon zest (grated)

1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped


Add the spaghetti to lightly salted boiling water, cook until al dente (keep 2 tablespoons of pasta water).

Heat the olive oil and fry the garlic in a large frying-pan over medium heat, until the garlic becomes lightly golden. Add the sardine, sauté until sardines are golden. Season with salt and black pepper

Add the cooked spaghetti and 2 tablespoons of pasta water in the frying-pan, toss well.  Sprinkle with the grated lemon zest and chopped parsley.

Chilled Soba Noodles with Avocado

March 26th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, they provide vitamin B1 and B2, and are rich in protein, minerals and fibers.

This chilled soba noodle dish is very refreshing, and very good for your health.

Served with traditional Japanese noodle sauce.


— Chilled Soba Noodles with Avocado (Serves 2) —

160g soba noodles

1 avocado

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

150g mooli, grated

2 tablespoons chopped spring onion

1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds

Some wasabi paste (optional)


— for the sauce —

2 tablespoons mirin* (*sweet cooking alcohol; available in oriental grocery shops)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

100ml water

1/4 teaspoon dashi powder (available in oriental grocery shops)


To make the sauce: place the mirin in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Add the soy sauce, 100ml of water and dashi powder to the mirin and then bring back to the boil. Remove from the heat, leave to cool.

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

Cook the soba noodles in large pot of boiling water until cooked (follow the package directions). Drain and rinse well under cold water and drain again.

Cut the avocado into small pieces, toss with the lemon juice.

Transfer the soba noodles to large bowl. Arrange the grated mooli and avocado. Sprinkle with the chopped spring onion and toasted sesame seeds.

Mix a little bit of wasabi paste into the sauce if you want. Drizzle the sauce over the noodles just before you eat.

Penne with Gorgonzola & Walnuts

January 29th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I and my neighborhood squirrels love nuts. munch munch.


— Penne with gorgonzola & walnuts (serves 2) —

200g penne

2 cloves garlic

100g gorgonzola, crumbled

50ml single cream

2 tablespoons olive oil

40g walnuts, roughly chopped

20g wild rocket

Some black pepper


Add the penne to lightly salted boiling water, cook until al dente (follow the package directions). Drain and set aside.

Peel and lightly crush the garlic cloves, place into a large frying-pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Fry the garlic until golden, then remove and discard.

Add the gorgonzola and single cream into the frying-pan and stir over low heat until the gorgonzola is melted. Add the cooked penne and toss well with the sauce.

Turn off the heat, add the chopped walnuts and wild rocket and toss gently.

Transfer to serving plates, sprinkle with black pepper.

Thai Fried Noodles with Prawns

January 24th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

This stir-fried rice noodle dish is called “Pad Thai”. One of the national dishes of Thailand.

There are several regional variations, and this is my favourite version of Pad Thai recipe. It has a light, fresh and full of umami taste.


— Thai Fried Noodles with Prawns (serves 2) —

180g Thai rice noodles (sen lek)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons tamarind juice

1 & 1/2 fish sauce

1 tablespoon palm sugar or sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped  shallot

8 raw king or tiger prawns, peeled and de-veined

1 egg

1 tablespoon pickled white radish, chopped into small pieces

1 tablespoon dried shrimps, ground or pounded

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

2 spring onions, slices

40g fresh bean sprouts

3 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

Some chopped coriander for garnish

Lemon wedges for garnish


Soak the noodles in lukewarm water for about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water, and drain well again. Set aside.

Mix the lemon juice, tamarind juice, fish sauce and palm sugar in a bowl.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or frying-pan, stir-fry the garlic and shallot over medium heat until golden brown. Add the prawns and cook until turn pink. Break in the egg and stir-fry quickly for a couple of seconds.

Add the drained noodles and stir-fry, pour over the sauce mixture, add the pickled white radish, dried shrimps and chilli powder and spring onions. Keep stirring until the noodles a cooked through for 3-4 minutes.

Transfer to serving plates, arrange the fresh bean sprouts over the noodles, sprinkle with chopped peanuts and garnish with chopped coriander and lemon wedges.

Vietnamese Style Turmeric & Dill Fish with Rice Noodles

September 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I was impressed by the beauty of Vietnamese women when I visited Vietnam.

They don’t deck out in expensive outfits or heavy makeup, they just really have amazing natural beauty. I think the beauty is coming from their inner strength.

They are honest and hardworking, always smily.

Also, Vietnamese food is my favourite. If I were to be born again and be a man, I would love to marry a Vietnamese woman :)


— Vietnamese Style Turmeric & Dill Fish with Rice Noodles (serves 2) —

500g white fish fillets

2 tablespoons salted peanuts, roughly chopped

30g spring onion, chopped

Some oil for stir-frying

2 portions of thin rice noodles (vermicelli)

Some coriander leaves for garnish


— for turmeric marinade —

2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce

1 tablespoon  turmeric powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon plain yogurt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped

1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped (without stems)


Cut the white fish into 2 inch pieces.

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the fish and coat well. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Cooke the thin rice noodles in a large pot of boiling water until cooked (follow the package directions). Drain and rinse well under cold water, and drain well again. Set aside

Heat some oil in a frying-pan, add the chopped peanuts and chopped spring onion and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

Remove the fish pieces from marinade, remove the excess marinade.

Cook the fish under a preheated grill for about 3 minutes each side, or until cooked through.

Place a potion of rice noodles into a bowl, sprinkle with the sautéed peanuts and spring onion, top with a portion of fish and garnish with some coriander leaves.

Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli

September 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I got drunk and passed out on the couch last night.

I was waken up by Mika (my cat, 5 month-old boy) pawing my face in the late morning.

I still feel groggy, but started to make ravioli. Because I don’t want Mika to think I’m lazy.

This ravioli is simple comfort food, and I’m sure the spinach does cure this hang over and I’ll be really strong like Popeye soon.


— Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli (Serves 2) —

100g plain flour, plus extra for flouring

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon olive oil

A pinch of salt

1 beaten egg for brushing

Some parmesan cheese for garnish


— for the filling —

120g spinach

100g ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon double cream

A pinch of grated nutmeg

A pinch of salt and pepper


— for the sage butter sauce —

30g butter

4 sage leaves


Place the flour, salt, beaten egg and olive oil in a bowl and mix well. Knead the dough about for 5 minutes until it’s smooth and shiny. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and place into the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.

Cook the spinach in a pot of salted boiling water until tender. Drain the spinach, squeeze out the water and chop finely.

Place the spinach, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, double cream and nutmeg, and mix together. Season with salt and pepper.

Roll out the dough as thinly as possible on a floured board.

Cut the pasta sheet in half, place teaspoonful of the filling on to a pasta sheet, keeping a small bit of distance between each dollop.

Brush the beaten egg between the fillings. Place the other sheet of pasta on top and press down around the filling to seal it.

Cut around the filling with a cutter or knife to make raviolis.

Place the ravioli into a large pan of boiling salted water and cook for about 2-3 minutes until al dente.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the sage leaves and cook for 1-2 minutes over medium heat.

Transfer cooked ravioli on serving plates, sprinkle with the sage butter sauce, garnish with shaved or grated parmesan cheese.