Cooking fusion food is an excellent way to experiment with different flavours and influences from other cultures. And I’m back with another recipe that brings together my two favourite types of food: Japanese and Italian. I wanted to create a dish that celebrated my Calabrian heritage, while maintaining a Japanese aesthetic.
The result was a spicy bowl of udon noodles coated with Calabrian nduja sausage and mixed with bacon, polenta and a nori garnish. It’s an easy, delicious meal to make for when you want a quick lunch or dinner.
Serves 2 as a main course
Cooking time: 15 minutes
1 bag of udon noodles
2 tbsp of mirin
1 satchel of bonito-flake powder
1 tub of pre-mixed nduja
A pre-cooked block of polenta
1 container of bacon cubes
- Pour 2 tbsp of mirin into a frying pan and add in the bonito-flake powder. Slice the polenta into small chunks and coat in the seasoning.
- Leave to fry on a low heat for 2 – 3 minutes and then add the bacon cubes. Fry for another 5 minutes.
- Fill a pan with water and add the udon noodles. Boil the water for 5 – 7 minutes.
- Transfer the noodles to a colander, drain the water and then return to the pan. Add in the nduja, polenta and bacon and mix well.
- Transfer the udon to a bowl and tear the nori sheets into small pieces. Lightly dust the top.
- Polenta has a mellow flavour and by frying it in mirin it absorbs the sweetness, while the bonito flakes provide some saltiness.
- The nduja is very spicy and turns the noodles dark red. You’ll get a great contrast of spice, sweet and salt from all the ingredients working together in the dish.
Want to make another Japanese and Italian fusion meal? Check out Yamato Magazine’s recipe for wafu shiitake mushroom fusilli with tomato and nihonshu sauce.