Japanese Style Tofu & Mixed Purple Veg Stir-Fry

Serves 2

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok over a medium to high heat.
  2. Toss in the garlic and chilli and fry for a minute.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Serve on two plates with freshly steamed rice.
  6. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds

 

Matcha Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 180g flour
  • 1 tablespoon matcha (green tea powder)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bread soda
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Toppings

Savory

  • bacon, smoked salmon, tomato, mushroom, selection of cheese (cream cheese, goats cheese etc)

Sweet

  • figs, mixed berries, banana
  • honey/maple syrup, to garnish

Method

  1. In a large bowl mix the buttermilk and egg together.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the dry ingredient mix to the buttermilk and egg, whisk until the batter is smooth with no lumps.
  4. Add vegetable oil to a non stick frying pan and set the heat to medium/high.
  5. Using a large spoon, place one spoon of batter carefully on the frying pan.
  6. Fry for 1 – 2 minutes until bubbles form on top, then flip and continue to fry on the other side for 1 – 2 minutes.
  7. Serve on a plate along with the recommended toppings and garnish with honey or maple syrup.

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.

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.

Japanese Rice

Japanese rice wash cook Fiona Uyema recipe FusedThe first thing to learn before you start cooking Japanese food at home is how to wash and cook Japanese rice properly. Click here to see my post on washing and cooking Japanese rice.

To understand the importance of rice in the Japanese diet you only need to look at the word ‘gohan’, which means both meal and rice. A typical Japanese home-cooked meal always includes a bowl of rice accompanied by soup and several other communal dishes, including vegetables, fish and meat, to give a nutritionally balanced meal.

I lived in a rural village called Nishiyama on the western coast of Japan for two years. It was surrounded by endless rice fields and mountains. There I got to truly experience the importance of rice in Japanese society. I remember one neighbour who warmly welcomed me to Nishiyama village with gifts of his own harvested rice and seasonal vegetables. I became good friends with him and his wife, and learned so much from them about Japanese food and culture. One day they brought me along to their rice field to watch their son plant rice seeds. After witnessing the hard work involved in planting, cultivating and harvesting rice, I gained a deeper appreciation for this sacred grain.

At home I prefer to serve rice in small Japanese-style bowls rather than on plates, as it’s easier to control portion sizes this way. The concept of communal eating and the use of chopsticks during eating also help control the amount of food eaten during a Japanese meal, without people having to make a conscious effort to do so.

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.