When I’m pushed for time and need an extra vegetable dish, this rangiri cucumber yuzu salad is the recipe I turn to most often. Essentially a cucumber sunomono (vinegared salad), it provides a nice splash of acidity and colour alongside fish, chicken, rice or miso soup. Rangiri or ‘random-cut’ refers to the chopping technique, or rather the visual effect it creates. It’s actually not random – or complicated – in the slightest. Read on for all the info and a few ideas for variations!
Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) or ‘fried/grilled-as-you-like-it’ is such an iconic dish that it is sometimes referred to as a ‘Japanese pizza’ or ‘Japanese pancake’. These nicknames disguise the fact that okonomiyaki is packed with vegetables and therefore, I think, relatively healthy. After playing around a lot with the ratios, I’ve settled on an easy okonomiyaki recipe, adapted for what I usually find in my fridge. Read on to find out more!
View this post on Instagram
The two Chinese characters notionally contained in the word furikake, 振 and 掛, mean ‘shake’ and pour’ respectively. That makes furikake as close a Japanese translation of the word ‘sprinkles’ as I can imagine. No chocolate sprinkles here, however; instead we’re talking about savoury sprinkles for rice.
Imagining plates of cool sashimi and delicate confectionery, we Brits don’t often associate traditional Japanese cuisine (washoku) with comfort food. With the exception of ramen, most of the winter warmers well known in Japan are not yet familiar here. In fact, with winter temperatures rarely rising above freezing in some regions, Japan is home to many hearty meals and steamy hotpot-style recipes. Shabu-shabu, oden and yudōfu are just three Japanese winter dishes that I’d love to see more of in the UK.
It’s fair to say, however, that we have plenty of our own traditional comfort food. We certainly need it; this week it was revealed that the optimal outdoor temperature for growing well-adjusted humans is 22°C, a level of warmth which no British city reaches on average. Particularly now that Christmas is drawing near and the cold is starting to bite, it seems everybody is gravitating towards the heavy, familiar recipes of tradition. Even I am following suit. As a result, we have recently enjoyed some interesting fusion dinners such as this one.
View this post on Instagram
On my table today:
- miso soup with shiitake, sweet potato and chives
- soy simmered squash (follow link for the full recipe)
- asparagus karashizu
- cottage pie
Notes after the jump!
If you’ve ever been shopping for sushi night and puzzled over which soy sauce Japanese people would choose for the occasion, you’re not alone. My quick soy sauce comparison guide is here to help you choose (based on UK supermarkets). Read on to find out more!