Vegetable oil, for frying
Half red chilli, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Handful of spinach, roughly chopped
Handful of purple cabbage, finely sliced
Handful of fresh beetroot, peeled and cut julienne
Half sweet potato, peeled and cut julienne
200g tofu, preferably organic, cut into small cubes
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce, to season
1 tsp sesame oil, to season
1 tsp honey, to season (optional)
Freshly steamed rice, to serve
Roasted sesame seeds, to garnish
- Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok over a medium to high heat.
- Toss in the garlic and chilli and fry for a minute.
- Add the mixed purple vegetables and fry for a few minutes. Then add the spinach and tofu. Mix well and fry for a few more minutes (try not to overcook the vegetables so they keep their crunchy texture).
- Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and add into the stir-fry and mix well, continuing to fry for a few minutes.
- Serve on two plates with freshly steamed rice.
- Garnish with roasted sesame seeds
Although sushi is usually not made in Japanese homes (they prefer to leave it to the experts as it takes 10 years in Japan to train as a sushi chef!), this is one exception, most likely because no rolling is required for this type of sushi. It’s served in homes across Japan to celebrate the New Year and other special occasions.
This is a type of sushi where the sushi rice is served in a bowl or on a large serving dish with a variety of ingredients mixed through the rice and also on top of the rice, including beautiful yellow ribbons which are made from egg by simply frying it like a crêpe and then cutting it into thin ribbons.
Japanese Soy sauce to serve
Black sesame seeds to garnish
For the sushi fillings and toppings
2 eggs, beaten
½ yellow pepper and ½ red pepper, cut into small cubes
1 avocado, cut into small cubes
8 large prawns, cut into bitesize pieces
1. To make the egg crêpe for the yellow ribbons to decorate the top of the sushi rice, lightly oil a non-stick frying pan with vegetable oil and place on a medium to high heat. Depending on the size of your pan, place about half the beaten egg on the frying pan so you have a very thin layer of egg like a crêpe. Now adjust the heat to low and leave the egg on the pan until the edges of the egg crêpe start to break away from the pan. Transfer to a large plate and set aside. Continue to do this until all the beaten egg is cooked. Place the egg crêpes on top of each other as they are cooked. When you’re finished, roll the pile of egg crêpes together. Then using a sharp knife cut into thin ribbons.
2. Allow the seasoned sushi rice to cool to room temperature, and then mix half of the peppers, avocado and prawns into the rice. Place in a large serving dish.
3. Scatter the remaining ingredients on top of the rice mix including the egg ribbons.
4. For extra flavour lightly drizzle sesame oil and soy sauce all over and garnish with sesame seeds.
Decorate with whole prawns and caviar to make this dish look even more impressive.
- 250ml buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 180g flour
- 1 tablespoon matcha (green tea powder)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bread soda
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- bacon, smoked salmon, tomato, mushroom, selection of cheese (cream cheese, goats cheese etc)
- figs, mixed berries, banana
- honey/maple syrup, to garnish
- In a large bowl mix the buttermilk and egg together.
- In another large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, matcha, baking powder and bread soda). To ensure that the matcha is evenly dispersed through the flour, pass the mixture through a sieve 2 or 3 times.
- Add the dry ingredient mix to the buttermilk and egg, whisk until the batter is smooth with no lumps.
- Add vegetable oil to a non stick frying pan and set the heat to medium/high.
- Using a large spoon, place one spoon of batter carefully on the frying pan.
- Fry for 1 – 2 minutes until bubbles form on top, then flip and continue to fry on the other side for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Serve on a plate along with the recommended toppings and garnish with honey or maple syrup.
I’m really excited to share my Japanese inspired Barmbrack. Barmbrack is a traditional Irish fruit cake that is the centre of Halloween here in Ireland. The name comes from the Irish words “báirín breac” which translate as “speckled bread”. The recipe is full of flavour with mixed spices and dried fruit. The Japanese “kaki” fruit adds a lovely moisture to the cake also. Traditionally the dried fruit is soaked in tea overnight however in busy households like mine I need to be able to make the cake at the last minute so I’ve removed that step.
Traditionally a ring is placed inside the cake which signifies a wedding in the near future. As a child I remember the excitement around the table to see who would find the ring in their slice of cake!
225g self-raising flour
150g brown sugar
150g kaki (peeled and grated)
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of bread soda
Kaki (peeled and sliced), to decorate top
Ring, optional if you want to add a little Irish mystic!
- Preheat the oven to 170˚C/327°/Gas Mark 3
- Place all ingredients (apart from the kaki slices for decorating) in a large bowl and mix well together.
- Grease a loaf tin and pour the mixture into it.
- Optional, if you want to add a little Irish mystic wrap a ring in greaseproof paper and add to the middle of the batter.
- Place the kaki slices on top to decorate.
- Put in the oven for up to 1 hour or until it’s baked. To check if it’s baked through insert a skewer or knife in the middle and if it comes out clean it’s ready.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before placing on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled wrap in grease proof paper and tin foil to keep fresh.
- Serve in slices with a fresh cup of tea or coffee.
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.
Makes 8 skewers
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
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.
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.
Mixed sesame seeds to coat the tuna
Salt and pepper to season the tuna
100g fresh tuna steak/loin
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
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.