Super quick and simple to make this Japanese Tori Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken) really hits the spot! You can add garlic and ginger to the marinade if you like for a little extra flavour but I don’t usually. For authenticity make sure you’re eating it with Kewpie mayonnaise!
Chicken breast (or thigh) chopped into bite size chunks
1 tbsp cooking sake
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp corn flour
Large pinch of salt
– Marinate the chicken in the sake and soy sauce (optional: garlic and ginger pastes) for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight in the fridge.
– Heat a pan of oil to 180°
– Drain any excess liquid from the chicken.
– Add the corn flour and salt and mix so the chicken is well coated.
– Drop into the hot oil a piece at a time, cook in batches if necessary so it’s not crowded.
– Cook for 3 minutes until golden brown.
– Remove from the oil with chopsticks (or tongs) and place on a sheet of kitchen paper to drain.
– Serve hot or cold with mayonnaise and a lemon wedge squeezed over.
From time to time I find myself craving the food I had in Japan. Sometimes it’s the simplest of things, like this Japanese egg salad sandwich. Because even though you’d think there isn’t much wiggle room in how to make egg salad you’d be amazed what a difference a few little tweaks make. I think the biggest difference is that the egg is mashed, not chopped and the mayonnaise must by kewpie for a truly authentic taste. The pinch of salt adds that little je ne sais quoi that makes this run of the mill sandwich spectacularly moreish!
For one sandwich:
2 hard boiled eggs
2tbsp kewpie Japanese mayonnaise
Pinch of salt
Soft salted butter
Two slices white bread
– Put the eggs, mayonnaise and salt in a bowl and mash with a fork until there are no large chunks. You could even use a food processor to get it even smoother (some conbini do) but I prefer a little texture.
– Spread the bread with butter and add the egg mix. This should be a well filled sandwich! (Though factors such as egg size and bread size will affect it, you may find this makes two less well filed sandwiches if using smaller bread.)
You will need Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise for this to taste right but it’s easy to get hold of, either a local Asian supermarket or Amazon will sort you out! I would also advise the chunkiest ham you can get, either go for trimmings or bake a ham joint and use some in this.
2 large floury potatoes
1/2 small tin Sweetcorn, drained
100g ham, chopped
1/2 medium carrot, julienned
1” cucumber, very finely sliced
6 tbsp kewpie mayonnaise
Pinch of salt
– Peel and chop up your potatoes and boil in a large pan of salted water for 20 minutes. Drain and return to the pan, let them air dry for 5 minutes.
– Mash the potatoes until smooth.
– Add your other ingredients and give a good stir through. Eyeball it, if you feel you want different proportions go for it! Alter it to your taste.
One of my favourite Japanese meals is Chicken Katsu Kare. A breaded chicken (or sometimes eve pork) cutlet with a lovely thick, mild curry sauce and sticky rice, topped with lightly pickled red pepper.
Its absolute rainy day comfort food for me. I had a real craving for it the other week but didn’t have any of my usual short cuts in stock. (In Japan I’d always make the curry with shop bought roux cubes as would everyone else!) So I set to and made it all from scratch. I didn’t even have any curry powder!
Its actually not hard at all, it just takes a bit of organisation in a small kitchen like mine as there are a lot of little stages you need to pull together. I’m very happy I took the time and did a big batch though, this recipe will serve 4 so for singletons like myself I suggest you freeze ready prepped portions for the next rainy day craving!
For the curry roux:
4 tbsp flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1tbsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp five spice
1/4 tap cayenne pepper
For the curry:
1 clove garlic
1 carrot, diced
1 medium floury potato,diced
500ml chicken stock
For the cutlets:
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp flour + salt and pepper
1 beaten egg
4 tbsp bread crumbs
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
Sticky Japanese rice and chopped pickled pepper* to serve (*I love Lidl’s jars of roasted peppers!)
First things first, make up your curry powder if you’re making that from scratch, just give it all a good mix. There will be some spare so pop it in a small jar for later use.
Then prep your roux. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and once it is all bubbly add the flour and spices. Give it a good stir for 30 seconds or so and it will turn a golden brown. Set aside off the heat.
In a larger saucepan heat a splash of oil and sautee the onion and garlic until soft.
Add the carrot, potato and chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the curry roux to the saucepan gradually, stirring well to avoid lumps.
Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as it thickens to avoid sticking.
Take your chicken breasts and lay them on a large chopping board, with plenty of room between them. Cover them with cling wrap.
Take a rolling pin and whack the chicken breasts to flatten them. You will find you can slightly direct how the meat spreads, you want to get it all to a thickness of ~1cm.
Remove the cling wrap. Cut each chicken breast in half to make approximately equal portions.
Place the flour on one plate, the egg in a shallow dish and the breadcrumbs on a final plate.
Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the egg and finally cover with breadcrumbs. Then set aside and continue with the remaining pieces.
Heat 3 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large frying pan (you may have to do this in 2 batches, or with 2 pans depending on size).
Place the cutlets in the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes, until you can see them cooked halfway up, then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes until cooked through.
Serve the cutlet sliced into strips, with a heap of sticky rice, curry sauce and pickled red pepper on top.
A recipe with a bit of a Japanese twist today! This Grilled Salon with Miso Soba Noodles is quick (about 10 minutes to cook), simple and delicious! What’s not to love about that? Oh and it’s super healthy for you too!
You marinate the salmon the night before (or even for a few days, it won’t spoil it!) and then simply pop it on the grill while you cook your noodles. 10 minutes, done and dusted!
I actually made this for my lunches during what I knew was going to be a hectic week. I needed good quality food, full of nutrients that would tempt me to actually stop and eat rather than grabbing something worthless on the fly. This dish is delicious either hot or cold. If you haven’t had cold noodles during a heat wave I urge you to give it a go, they’re divine!
– Place your salmon in a sealable watertight bag and add the soy sauce and mirin.
– Leave in the fridge to marinate overnight or longer.
– When ready to cook simply place the salmon on a health grill or in a frying pan. If cooking in a pan remember to flip over then the colour has changed half way up. Pour the marinating liquid over the top (being careful of run off for the health grill!)
– Prepare the soba according to packet instructions (usually cook for about 4 minutes in boiling water).
– Drain the noodles (don’t be too thorough) and then add the miso paste and dried wakame and tofu bits. Add a little splash of hot water to slacken.
– Stir well to coat the noodles in miso.
– Serve with edamame if you fancy them!
I LOVE Yakitori! But I often forget about how easy it is to prepare and how delicious it is to eat! It’s a mainstay of Japanese food found on street stalls and izakaya menus across the country. I have some absolutely perfect memories of eating Yakitori across Japan on my travels.
It’s usually served as a snack, side dish or a dish amongst many but you can make it as a main in its own right. I had it with a bowl of rice and some gyoza here. It’s a brilliant option for BBQs as something a little different and makes a great canape option too.
One of the great things about Yakitori is that you don’t need to marinate the meat. You just make the sauce and brush it on as you cook it. You could even make the sauce in advance (and soak your skewers) then it’s simply a matter of 10 minutes on the grill!
Makes 6 skewers (serves 2 as a main)
2 chicken breasts, sliced lengthways into strips (or chunks, whatever you prefer!)
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar
– Place your mirin, soy sauce and sugar in a small pan and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes on a low head but don’t let it get too hot or you will end up with salty toffee!
– Once the sauce is reduced and thickened (about the consistency of double cream) remove it from the heat.
– Reserve a little of your sauce for dipping once cooked
– Thread your chicken onto presoaked bamboo skewers.
– I like to give the chicken a quick coating of sauce before placing on the grill.
– Then put them on the grill and brush every minute or two with sauce.
– Give one final coating just before you serve for a glossy, sticky finish.
– Serve however you wish!
When the weather is dull and wet as it has been recently, I get serious cravings for Japanese food. We English may think we know rain, and to an extent we do. We certainly have a lot of different rains. Japan simply has RAIN. As in, buckets and buckets, step outside without an umbrella and be drenched to the skin within 5 meters RAIN. And when the heavens open, and keep opening, there is absolutely nothing better than finding some tiny little out of the way eatery, thick with a fug of steam and soy sauce and mirin, and hunkering down until the warmth seeps back in and you are ready to face the day once more.
Now, by all rights, what follows should be a recipe for Ramen… but I can never make ramen that is anything other than a poor, pale immitation of proper ramen. And I know why this is. It’s all about the stock. One day I will spend an entire weekend carefully crafting the perfect bowl of ramen but until then I content myself with being able to whip up a number of easy, quick, filling, and delightfully warming Japanese dishes, such as this one.
Oyakodon translates as Parent and Child Bowl, which tickles me rather. The combination of chicken and egg is a brilliantly satisfying one. This dish really hits every single one of my savoury cravings and is always a winner in my kitchen.
150ml dashi stock
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp mirin
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 chicken breasts, in chunks (or you could use 2 large chicken thighs, skinned and boned)
1 onion, sliced /1 leed, sliced diagonally*
1 egg, beaten
sticky rice to serve
– In a deep frying pan combine the dashi, sugar, mirin and soy sauce and bring to the boil.
– Add the chicken and onion / leek and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the chichen is cooked through.
– Pour the beaten egg over the top of the sauce. Do not stir!
– When the egg has set serve over a bowl of sticky rice.
*Sometimes I use an onion, sometimes I use a leek. I think the onion is more traditional but I was given it with leek in too. I like squeaky leek but if you don’t then just go with onion!
When I was living in Japan the first time I begged one of the teachers at the school I was teaching in to teach me how to cook Japanese food. She dutifully came round to my apartment and under her supervision I crafted a beautiful Japanese meal, so precisely served and garnished, and presented like a masterpiece… Suffice to say I’ve never hit that level of perfection since!
However, Mida-sensei gave me a wonderful introduction to cooking my own Japanese food and the recipes she taught me are ones I turn to again and again. This one is quick and convenient and I always turn to it when I find I have a random leek left in the fridge or am just feeling nostalgic for Japan.
– Put the dashi, sake, mirin, soy sauce and sugar in a sauce pan and bring to the boil.
– Pat the chicken thighs with corn flour, coating well, and discard the excess.
– Put the chicken in the sauce and simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
– Add the leek and cook for a further 4 minutes.
– Serve with sticky rice.
Hi, I'm Anna and this is what's going on in my kitchen and growing in my garden.
Everything you see here is how it looked as I cooked and ate it. I don't like to make things too fussy. I want you to know that if you try one of my recipes what you see is what you'll get.
Don't forget to leave a comment, I love to know what you're thinking and if you do try out a recipe then let me know how it worked for you. Happy cooking!