Shichimi Lamb Kofta Kebab

Sheep are a big part of Irish culture and heritage. As a nation, we’re very proud of our lamb meat and it’s exported all over the world. I was brought up on a sheep farm, so needless to say I ate a lot of lamb during my childhood. So for these reasons I had to dedicate at least one recipe to lamb. I season the lamb meat with shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice) and serve it with a natural yoghurt dip, as we have fantastic yoghurt producers in Ireland who make excellent quality yoghurt.

Japanese style lamb kofta stewers Fiona Uyema Fused Japanese recipe cookingMakes 8 skewers

Ingredients:

vegetable oil

1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced

500g good quality lamb, minced

bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon shichimi togarashi

salt and pepper to season

8 skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes

Yoghurt and mint dip

5 tablespoons natural yoghurt

large bunch of mint leaves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons lime juice

zest of ½ a lime

1 teaspoon olive oil

salt and pepper to season

Instructions:

1 Heat the oil on a frying pan on a medium heat and add the diced onion. Slowly cook the onion, allowing it to sweat, and then fry until translucent (do not brown). Remove from the heat and let it cool.

2 In a large bowl mix together the minced lamb, parsley, shichimi togarashi and onion. Season with salt and pepper.

3 With dampened hands take a handful of meat and using a firm hand form a rectangular shape. Push a skewer through the meat.

4 Place under a grill on a high heat for 10 to 20 minutes (or until cooked to your liking). Place a cup of water on the base of the grill to stop the meat drying out.

5 Mix all the ingredients for the dip together in a bowl and serve on the side.

Tuna & Mango Tataki Salad

When making this recipe make sure to lightly sear the tuna as I truly believe tuna tastes better either raw or lightly seared. Once tuna is cooked it becomes tough and loses its flavour. This salad is particularly nice eaten while the tuna is warm, so don’t waste any time once it’s ready and try to eat it straight away.

Tuna and mango tataki Japanese salad Japanese cooking recipe Fiona Uyema FusedIngredients:

Mixed sesame seeds to coat the tuna

Salt and pepper to season the tuna

100g fresh tuna steak/loin

Vegetable oil

A few handfuls of mixed salad leaves

1 ripened mango, peeled and cut into strips

For the dressing:

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

½ teaspoon sesame oil

Instructions:

1 Mix together the sesame seeds, salt and pepper on a flat plate.

2 Place the tuna on the plate and coat each side in sesame seeds.

3 Heat a little vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan on a medium to high heat.

4 Place the tuna on the pan and sear each side lightly (less than 1 minute for each side).

5 Transfer to a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, thinly slice the tuna.

6 Place the mixed salad leaves on a serving dish along with the mango strips.

7 Carefully place the tuna slices on top.

8 Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and, just before serving, pour over the salad.

 

Gyoza (Dumplings)

Gyoza originated in China and is a popular side dish in ramen shops and tapas-style restaurants called ‘izakaya’. It is served with a dipping sauce made of equal amounts of soy sauce and rice vinegar with a few drops of sesame chilli oil. You can make these dumplings using different fillings such as minced pork, prawns or vegetables only. I usually make a large batch and freeze them as they cook well from frozen. Remember to steam cook the dumplings for longer if you’re cooking them from frozen. Makes 25–30 gyoza (dumplings)

You’ll needGyoza dumplings Fiona Uyema Fused Japanese cooking recipe

25–30 gyoza skins

bowl of water for sealing the dumplings

vegetable oil

80ml cold water for steaming

sesame oil to season

Ingredients:

For the filling

200g minced prawn/ chicken or add more vegetables

100g cabbage, finely diced 1 spring onion, finely diced

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated

3 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon sake

1 teaspoon sesame oil salt and pepper to season

2 tablespoons potato starch

Dipping sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

a few drops of la-yu (chilli-infused sesame oil) to taste

Instructions:

A: How to make the dumplings

–       Mix all the ingredients for the gyoza filling in a bowl together and set aside.

–       Place the gyoza skins, a clean water bowl, teaspoon and large serving dish on the counter top before you start making the dumplings.

–       Place a gyoza skin on the palm of your hand, take a heaped teaspoon of the filling and place it in the centre of the gyoza skin.

–       Moisten the edge of the upper half of the gyoza skin by dipping your finger in the bowl of water and sliding it along the edge.

–       Fold the bottom half of the gyoza skin over the filling so that it meets the moistened upper half

–       Start to pleat by folding the edges (make one pleat in the middle and two pleats at either side)

–       Press firmly on all pleats to ensure that the ingredients are secure within the gyoza skin.

B: How to cook the dumplings

  1. Heat oil on a non-stick frying pan on medium to high heat.

 

  1. Place the gyoza on the pan and fry until the base of the gyoza is slightly golden.

 

  1. Pour cold water around the edges of the pan and cover with a lid. Leave cooking for 10 minutes or until almost all of the water has evaporated.

 

  1. Remove the lid and continue to fry until the water is fully absorbed.

 

  1. Finally, drizzle sesame oil over the gyoza and fry until the base of the gyoza is golden brown.

 

  1. Serve with the soy sauce and rice vinegar dipping sauce.

Kombu & Shiitake Dashi

Kombu & Shiitake Dashi (Kelp & Shiitake stock/broth)
Japanese dashi broth stock recipe Fiona Uyema fused

Makes 1 litre

Ingredients:
1 litre water

20g dried kombu (kelp)  – a piece about the size of a postcard

3 dried shiitake mushrooms

Instructions:

1 Put 1 litre of cold water in a large saucepan.

2 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 this case, place in the fridge). This will fill the water with the goodness and umami from both the seaweed and the mushrooms.

3 Heat the water until it comes to the boil and then remove the kombu and mushrooms immediately.

4 This can be stored in the fridge for about 3 days, or you can freeze it.

Tip This is an ideal dashi for vegetarians.

What is Dashi?

Japanese dashi broth stock recipe Fiona Uyema fused 2Dashi is a type of cooking stock used as a base for soups and other dishes in Japanese cuisine. It is surprisingly easy to make compared to stocks here in the West. The secret to a good Japanese stock/broth is to use ingredients filled with umami – ‘the fifth taste’.

Traditionally, dried fish flakes called ‘katsuobushi’ and kelp seaweed are the basis for Japanese stock. Since katsuobushi is quite difficult to get outside Japan and expensive to buy, I tend to use kelp seaweed only or a mix of kelp seaweed and shiitake mushrooms, as these raw ingredients are also filled with umami and are widely available. We have an abundance of kelp seaweed here in Ireland, which can be bought in health stores, large supermarkets and fishmongers, so Ireland really is the ideal place to make dashi!

Dashi no moto: instant stock
Instant stock (also called instant dashi) is a dry ingredient that comes in granules and can be used to replace home-made dashi. Using instant dashi in Japanese cooking is similar to using stock cubes for cooking here in the West. Outside Japan it can be difficult to source so, depending on where you live, it may be easier to make home-made dashi. The most popular type of instant dashi granules available is called ‘hon-dashi’, made by a company called Ajinomoto. To use instant dashi granules for any of the miso soup recipe add 1 teaspoon of instant dashi granules to 1 litre of water. I recommend making dashi from scratch if possible, as nothing compares to the depth of flavour in home-made dashi and you also have the comfort of knowing exactly what’s in the stock. What follows are three recipes for home-made dashi.

 

Udon Noodles & Pork Meatballs

If I’m completely honest, this recipe came about with a little luck using ingredients I had at home to make a last-minute lunch. Generally dumplings would be added to this type of noodle dish, but the meatballs work really well. The light soy broth works well in month summer and winter months.

Serves 4Japanese style pork meatballs and udon noodles ramen recipe

Ingredients:

4 bundles or portions of udon noodles

vegetable oil

1 spring onion to garnish

shichimi togarashi and/or chilli oil to garnish

For the broth

1 litre chicken stock

4 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons sake

salt and pepper to season

For the meatballs

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons sake

1 egg

salt and pepper to season

50g panko

250g good quality pork mince

For the toppings

100g pak choi leaves, washed and roughly chopped

1 medium carrot, peeled and cut julienne style

4 eggs, hard-boiled, deshelled and halved

Instructions:

1 Pour the chicken stock into a large saucepan, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the soy sauce and sake, and season. Mix well and reduce to a very low simmer.

2 Meanwhile, for the meatballs, in a large bowl, mix the soy sauce, sake, egg, salt and pepper together. Then add the panko and pork mince. Using your hands mix well together.

3 To make the meatballs, measure out a heaped teaspoon of minced pork mix. Then, using dampened hands, roll into the shape of a small meatball. This should make about twenty-five meatballs, depending on the size.

4 Heat some oil in a heavy-based pan on a medium heat. Place the meatballs into the hot pan and cook, turning every few minutes until they are browned on all sides.

5 Cook the udon noodles according to the pack instructions. Then toss into the broth, bring back to the boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer again.

6 Divide the udon noodles and broth between four bowls, and add the meatballs, raw vegetables and eggs if using.

7 Finally garnish with finely sliced spring onion and shichimi togarashi or chilli oil.