Homemade Chicken Stock

This recipe is similar to a standard chicken stock recipe but I’ve added a few ingredients to give a Japanese flavour and umami to the stock, including kombu (kelp) seaweed. After cooling the stock you can remove the thin layer of fat sitting on the surface of the liquid. Then it can be stored in the fridge for a few days or it can be frozen.

Makes 1 litre

Ingredients:
1½ litres cold water

dried kombu (kelp), a postcard sized piece

raw whole chicken carcass

1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

1 leek, washed and roughly chopped

1 thumb-size piece of ginger, cut into slices

2 tablespoons sake (optional)

Instructions:
1. Place 1½ litres of cold water and dried kombu in a large saucepan. Set aside for at least 20 minutes to allow the water to absorb the umami from the seaweed.

2. Add the chicken carcass, carrot, leek, ginger and sake to the saucepan.

3. Bring to the boil and immediately reduce to a simmer.

4. Use a ladle to remove any foam from the top of the water and cover with a lid.

5. Continue to simmer for at least 1 hour and for up to 3 hours on a low–medium heat.

6. You should have a little over 1 litre of chicken stock left depending on how long it’s been simmering.

7. Strain the stock through a sieve and allow to cool. 8 Store in the fridge for a few days or freeze.

How to cook Japanese rice

Japanese rice is a type of short-grain rice that has to be washed in a particular way to remove the excess starch. To get the perfect bowl of rice follow the steps below. Most Japanese people leave the rice sitting in the sieve for about 15 minutes before cooking. If you don’t have time you can skip this step.

fiona-uyema-japanese-food-made-easy-fused-japanese-short-grain-rice-sushi-rice-how-to-cookHow to wash:
1. Place the measured rice in a medium-sized bowl, cover with cold water and gently rub the rice grains against each other using your hands.

2. Drain the rice, add more water and repeat two or three times until the water runs almost clear.

3. Finally place the washed rice in a sieve to drain excess water.

How to cook:

Using a rice cooker

If you have a rice cooker at home, please wash the rice as instructed above and then follow the manufacturer’s instructions to cook the rice. Generally the rice cooker will include a rice measuring cup and a measure on the inside of the rice cooker bowl to guide you on the amount of water to add.

Using a saucepan (amount given serves 4 people)

You’ll need:

Heavy-based saucepan with a tight lid 2 cups

Japanese rice  (using a measured rice cup this weighs 320g), uncooked

2½ cups cold water

Instructions:

1. Transfer the washed rice to the saucepan.

2. Add two and a half cups of cold water, cover and slowly bring to the boil over a medium to high heat (this takes about 10 minutes depending on the size of the saucepan and heat source).

3. Once the water is boiling, reduce to a medium to low heat and continue to cook, covered, for a further 6 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed into the rice.

4. Without lifting the lid (if possible – if the lid on the saucepan is not clear you may want to slightly lift it to check if the water is fully absorbed), remove from the heat and set aside for another 10 minutes to allow the rice to continue cooking in its own steam.

5. Use a rice spatula to gently fold the rice, then serve.
using

Simple Miso Soup

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.

fiona-uyema-japanese-food-made-easy-fused-miso-soup-healthy-recipeServes 4

Ingredients:

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)

Instructions:

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.

Tip:

Store the miso soup in a flask for a work or on the go healthy lunch option.

Sushi Rice for Beginners

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!

sushi-meshi-fiona-uyema-easy-japanese-cooking-sushi-rice-1Serves 4

Ingredients:
2 cups Japanese rice uncooked (using a measured rice cup this weighs 320g)

100ml Japanese rice vinegar

2 tbsp sugar

½ tsp salt

Instructions:

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).

Quick Chicken Ramen

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.

chicken-ramen-1Serves 2

Ingredients:

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 spoons
2 sets of chopsticks

Instructions:

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.

Salmon Teriyaki

Everyone loves this salmon teriyaki recipe so it’s perfect for a family meal – it’s one of the most talked about recipes at my cooking classes. The perfect combination of flavours in the salmon and the sweet teriyaki sauce make this an all-time favourite in households across the world and on menus in both Asian and non-Asian restaurants.

salmon-teriyaki-low-resServes 2

Ingredients:

Vegetable oil
2 fillets salmon
Handful of sesame seeds to garnish

For the teriyaki sauce 

4 tbsp Fused Clever Classic soy sauce
2 tbsp honey

Instructions:

1.  Combine the soy sauce and honey in a small bowl, mix well and set aside.
2.  Pour a little vegetable oil into a non-stick frying pan on a medium to high heat.
3.  Place the salmon fillets (skin-side down) on the frying pan and sear both sides of the fish.
4.  When the fish is nearly cooked (place the salmon fillets skin-side down at this point) pour the teriyaki sauce over it.
5.  Use a large spoon to continually pour the sauce over the fish fillets while continuing to fry.
6.  Fry until the teriyaki sauce is reduced to the consistency of a syrup.
7.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

Tip:
Keep a close eye on the teriyaki sauce as it can quickly reduce on a high heat and start to burn.