Monday, 21 February 2011

Vanilla ice cream with sweet azuki beans

Azuki beans are widely used in Japanese confections.
Now you could find a tin of cooked azuki beans in most supermarkets, which is very easy to use.

ngredients (serve 4)
1 can of cooked azuki beans (400g)
200g caster sugar
A pinch of salt
1 tab of good quality vanilla ice cream
1.       In heavy thick sauce pan, empty all the content of the tin of azuki beans including the liquids then turn the heat on low
2.       Add all the sugar into the pan, place the lid on and simmer on very low heat, keep stirring,  until almost all the liquids evaporated
3.       Add a pinch of salt just before turning  the heat off then leave it to cool completely (once cooled you can freeze it at this stage)
4.       Serve a spoonful of the sweet azuki beans with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Avocado and prawns with wasabi mayonnaise on an asparagus boat

 If you’ve got a tube of wasabi in your fridge and don’t know what to do with it, try this.Mayonnaise and wasabi make a great combination. 

Ingredients (serves 4)
2 bunches of asparagus (about 22 sticks); cut off the hard bits
100g cooked and peeled prawns
1 avocado
1 cherry tomato (cut into ¼ ) to garnish
Salt for boiling the asparagus
4tbls mayonnaise
1tsp wasabi
1tbls lemon juice

1.       Boil plenty of water in a large saucepan with a pinch of salt and cook the asparagus until just cooked, drain and place on a plate (save 2 sticks for decoration)
2.       In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, wasabi, and lemon juice
3.       Put the cooked prawns and finely chopped avocado in a bowl and then stir well
4.       Put the cooked prawns and finely chopped avocado onto the asparagus and arrange the tomatoes and the asparagus for decoration on the top

Be careful not to cook the asparagus for too long or they’ll lose their flavour!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Healthy Japanese pancake with British spring greens

Savoury pancakes are very popular in western Japan.  Using a seasonal whole spring green makes it a very healthy dish. It is hard to find in the UK the paper thin sliced pork belly that is used in Japan for this dish, but bacon is a good substitute.  For a vegetarian version, just omit the bacon or use mixed seafood.
Try this quick and easy dish to make a change from lemon and sugar pancakes!

Ingredients (serves 4)
1 bunch (220g) British spring greens (or a pointed cabbage)
1 bunch (110g) of spring onions
4 slices of bacon
4 tbls vegetable oil

1 tin (about 200g) sweet corn
1 egg
200g self-raising flour
100ml water
For the sauce
Brown sauce and mayonnaise to taste

1.       Cut the spring green and spring onion thinly and the bacon into 1cm wide strips
2.       In a large bowl, mix the sweetcorn, egg, flour, water, spring green, spring onion, and bacon
3.       Heat 1tbls of the vegetable oil in a frying pan then drop ¼ of the mixture to make a circular pancake about 2cm thick
4.       Cook the pancake on both sides on a medium heat for about 3 minutes; repeat this to make 4 pancakes
5.       Serve hot with brown sauce and mayonnaise

Monday, 7 February 2011

Creamy soy sauce chicken and mushrooms

Soy sauce goes very well with cream.
 This could be a gentle introduction to Japanese tastes for those who are not familiar with them.
 Serve with boiled rice or mashed potatoes.

Ingredients (serves 2)
2 chicken breasts fillets (360g)
2 large flat mushrooms or 130g of any other mushroom
1tbls butter
100ml single cream
2tbls soy sauce
4 spring onions
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper

1.       Cut the chicken and mushrooms into 1cm thick strips and chop the spring onions finely
2.       Melt the butter in a frying pan then add the chicken
3.       Add the mushrooms and keep stirring until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through
4.       Pour the single cream, soy sauce and most of the spring onions into the frying pan, mix together
5.       Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste
6.       Serve hot with a sprinkle of the spring onions on top

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Avocado with Crab Wasabi Dressing

Avocados are popular and they go well with seafood. Try them with crab meat to make this rich and creamy Japanese-fusion dish: perfect as a starter. Delicious!

Serves 4

2 avocados
1 tin of crab meat
Juice of ½ a lemon
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon wasabi paste

1.  Peel the avocados and cut into quarters, allowing half an avocado per person.
2. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and spoon over each serving of avocado.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Smoked Salmon Sashimi Salad

Here is a tasty starter for dinner or a simple lunch salad.
For ultimate entertainment value, heat the oil and pour over the
salmon platter at the table to ‘wow’ dinner guests!

Serves 4

300g smoked salmon
1 package baby leaf salad
2 spring onions or chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ cup sesame or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1.      Cut the salmon into slices about 3cm long.
2.      Arrange the salad leaves on a large platter. Scatter the salmon slices over the salad. Sprinkle the salad with the sesame seeds, spring onions or chives, garlic and ginger.
3.      Drizzle over the lemon juice and soy sauce and season with salt and pepper.
4.      Heat the oil in a small saucepan until smoking, then trickle over the salmon.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Ginger Pork Steak with Fresh Herbs

A combination of herbs and a good dose of peppery ginger bring a light, fresh taste to British pork, which has a much richer flavour than pork in Japan. Serve with rice.
Serves 4
4 pork shoulder steaks
Salt and pepper
5cm piece of fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion
Small handful each of coriander, parsley, basil and chives
2 teaspoons thyme
1 small red chilli
1 small green chilli
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
½ cup sake or white wine
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Using a rolling pin, flatten the pork steaks between two sheets of cling film. Season well on both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Slice four thin rounds of the red onion to use as garnish; finely dice the remaining onion. Save a few chives for garnish; finely chop all of the herbs together. Dice the chillies and set aside.

3. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the sesame oil, then the ginger, garlic and onion, and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add the pork to the pan and fry until golden and cooked through, turning half way, about 4 minutes each side. Add all the chopped herbs to the pan and stir.

5. Add the sake or white wine, soy sauce, honey, chillies and lemon juice and bring to boil. Transfer the pork steaks to a serving platter and pour over the sauce. Garnish with the onion rings and whole chives and serve.