One of the secrets of the Japanese diet is “The Power of Miso Soup”. In the traditional Japanese diet miso soup accompanies every meal. Drinking miso soup will boost digestion after meals and help cleanse the body. It’s low in fat and carbohydrates, and high in protein. In addition to its health benefits miso soup makes you feel full for a longer period which stops snacking between meals. Here’s my simple miso soup to get you started on your food journey to the Japanese way of eating.
For the dashi
– 1 litre water
– Few thin strips of dried Irish kombu (kelp)
– 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
For the miso soup
– 200g savoy cabbage leaves, washed and roughly chopped
– 2–3 tbsp miso paste, depending on your own taste
– shichimi togarashi, to season (japanese seven spice)
1. Put 1 litre of cold water in a large saucepan. Add the kombu and shiitake mushrooms to the water and leave to soak for at least 30 minutes (If you have time leave to soak for a few hours or overnight in the fridge). Heat the water until it comes to the boil and then remove the kombu and mushrooms immediately.
2. Add the cabbage leaves and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Dilute the miso paste in a small cup of dashi taken from the saucepan.
4. Reduce soup to a very low heat and add the miso paste to the saucepan. Gently stir into the soup until mixed through. Taste to check if you need to add more miso paste.
5. Serve in a bowl and season with shichimi togarashi.
Store the miso soup in a flask for a work or on the go healthy lunch option.
Apart from eating them directly from the pods, there are lots of other different ways that you can use edamame, such as tossing the beans into salads and stir-fries. This recipe is one of my favourite ways to use edamame. You’ll need a pestle and mortar and a blender to make this recipe.
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
200g edamame (out of the pod)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ clove of garlic, crushed
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons water
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to season
1. Toss the sesame seeds into a roasting tray and place in a fan oven preheated to 150ºC for about 5 minutes.
2. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the hot sesame seeds until most of them are cracked and ground.
3. Cook the edamame, then drain. If still in the pods, remove by using your fingers to gently squeeze the beans out.
4. Place the cooked edamame beans, ground sesame seeds and the remaining ingredients in a blender and blitz until the texture is nice and creamy.
5. If you think the mixture is too dry, then add a little more olive oil or water.
It’s really worthwhile making burgers from scratch at home as you can add the level of seasoning that you prefer and you know exactly what ingredients have been added to the meat. Above all they are so tasty and you can freeze some for a busier day!
Makes 12 mini burgers
400g good quality beef mince
4 tbsp Fused Clever Classic soy sauce
3 tbsp panko
2 tbsp passata
1-2 tbsp honey (depending on the level of sweetness you prefer)
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Using your hands make 12 small balls with the burger mix (place in the fridge in an airtight container).
When you are ready to fry the burger, flatten them gently but firmly with your hands to form the shape of a burger.
Heat a non stick frying pan on medium to high heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Carefully place the burgers on the frying pan.
Seal on both sides then continue to fry until cooked through.
You can serve the burgers Japanese style with freshly steamed rice and vegetables or in a bun with salad and fries.
The burgers can be stored in the fridge for a few days in an airtight container or frozen. Take the burgers out of the fridge at least 10 minutes before frying.
Making sushi at home is so much fun and has the added benefit of being more economical and super fresh. Once you follow my step by step instructions you’ll master this recipe and impress your friends and family!
2 cups Japanese rice uncooked (using a measured rice cup this weighs 320g)
100ml Japanese rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1. Combine the rice vinegar and sugar in a non-aluminium saucepan and dissolve over a medium heat for a few minutes (avoid boiling). Stir in the salt, take off the heat and allow to cool.
2. To season the rice, transfer the hot cooked rice to a shallow pyrex dish with a flat base. Sprinkle the cooled sushi vinegar evenly over the rice and use a rice spatula to fold and turn the rice covering each grain in the sushi vinegar. Do this gently and take care not to break the rice grains. Use a fan or a piece of cardboard to fan the rice to cool it to room temperature as quickly as possible and absorb the excess sushi vinegar.
3. If you’re not using the sushi rice immediately then cover it with a damp cloth and store in a cool place (avoid putting it in the fridge as this will harden the rice and ideally sushi rice should be served at room temperature).
This is a simple ramen recipe filled with flavour to make at home. You can easily add your own twist and don’t be afraid to slurp while eating it! Most people are surprised that slurping is acceptable in Japan when eating hot noodle dishes like ramen. The Japanese believe it makes the food taste nicer and shows the chef that you are enjoying the food.
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper, to season
1 chicken breast, butterfly cut
1 litre chicken stock
1 tbsp dried seaweed
2 packs of egg or ramen noodles (about 400g)
3 tbsp miso paste
100g beansprouts, washed
Handful of pak choi leaves, washed and roughly chopped
Spring onion, to garnish
Shichimi togarashi or Fused Cheeky Chill soy sauce, to drizzle over to add a little spice
To serve ramen you’ll need
2 large bowls
2 sets of chopsticks
1. To make the marinade for the chicken breast, in a small bowl mix together the sake, vegetable oil, salt and pepper.
2. Using your hands, completely cover the chicken in the marinade and leave to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Once the chicken is ready, heat a heavy-based pan on a medium to high heat and seal the chicken on both sides. Then reduce the heat and continue to fry until the chicken is cooked through and set aside.
4. Bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan and immediately reduce to a simmer.
5. Place the dried seaweed in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Then squeeze out any excess water and set aside.
6. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the pack (some noodles are pre-cooked and others need to be boiled).
7. Toss the noodles into the stock. Bring the stock back to the boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer.
8. In a small bowl, mix the miso paste with a few tablespoons of hot stock from the saucepan, dissolving any lumps. Add the miso paste to the stock and mix well together.
9. Divide the noodles between two large serving bowls. Then divide the seaweed, beansprouts and pak choi evenly between the two bowls, arranging carefully. Slice the cooked chicken breast and place on top of the ingredients as shown in the picture.
10. Finally, fill the bowls about three-quarters full with the miso stock and garnish with spring onion and shichimi togarashi or chilli oil.
There are rarely any leftovers when these additive sticky soy chicken wings are cooked at home. They’re also a great dish to serve when entertaining at home as they can be prepared in advance.
500g chicken wings
For the marinade:
3 tbsp Fused Clever Classic soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
In a large bowl, mix the soy sauce and honey to make the marinade.
Add the chicken wings and evenly coat in the marinade. Put in a sealed bag or container and store in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Cook in a fan oven for about 25 minutes at 180ºC or until the chicken is cooked. (To check if the chicken is cooked cut one wing open and if the meat is white then it is ready.) Turn the chicken wings a few times while in the oven for even cooking.
To make the chicken wings spicy simple replace the Fused Clever Classic soy sauce with Fused Cheeky Chilli soy sauce.