When it comes to food recipes, I love mixing and matching ingredients from different cultures to experiment with flavours and indulge my own creativity. Many of my recipes are influenced by Japanese ingredients and one of the most recent dishes I’ve experimented with is beef and sake kasu pie with green beans.
Read on to learn how to make this crunchy and delicious pastry meal in your own kitchen.
Japanese food is among the most diverse and multi-layered cuisine on the planet, with flavour profiles that spark the imagination. A large volume of regional Japanese food doesn’t get to be experienced outside of the country, so it’s wonderful to see businesses like Kokoro Care Packages changing that by offering bespoke Japanese food hampers from regions all over Japan.
Run by Lillian Hanako Rowlatt and Aki Sugiyama, Kokoro Care Packages is built on a foundation of bringing people closer together with new foods and tastes. I had the opportunity to see what was in Kokoro’s Community Favourites of 2020 package, which really opened my eyes to the huge range of regional Japanese products that are out there.
Natto. The marmite of Japanese food. Either you love it or you hate it and it’s definitely one of the most unique Japanese meals you’ll come across. This fermented soybean dish can be recognised by its slimy texture, pungent smell and cheesy qualities. It’s also recognised for its health benefits, helping to improve digestion, potentially lowering blood pressure and promoting a healthier heart.
After trying it for the first time recently, I’ve fallen into the ‘I love Natto’ camp and see it as an extremely versatile ingredient. It was one of the main attractions in my natto breakfast bowl and here is the recipe.
The Kokoro Files shares the stories of people who’re connected to Japan through heritage, food, culture and travel experience. The word ‘Kokoro’ is Japanese for heart, but it’s more than the physical organ. Kokoro is passion, love and connection all at once and Lillian Hanako Rowlatt channels that sentiment with Kokoro Care Packages.
Yamato Magazine caught up with Lillian about the story of her brand, her love of Japanese cuisine and her desire to help local farmers share their produce with a worldwide audience.
Across the world, there’s been an explosion of interest in Japanese ingredients, with chefs and bartenders infusing things like sake, dashi, miso and shochu into their culinary creations. Fresh wasabi is another ingredient that’s become highly prized, especially when you consider that much of the stuff that comes in mass-produced paste form is probably horseradish or mustard.
Pound for pound, wasabi is arguably the most expensive vegetable on the planet because of how it’s produced and the demand for getting hands on the genuine article. Down in the South-East of England, The Wasabi Company has made a name for itself by growing fresh wasabi and championing it across the globe.
Incorporating Japanese ingredients into your cooking is a sure-fire way to elevate a dish, adding a whole new world of flavours. In particular, sake is an exceptional ingredient, working as a liquid to thicken up a sauce, braise food and include some oomph in a Japan-inspired meal.
Have you ever considered using sake kasu in a recipe? During the pressing stage in sake production, solid lees are separated from the mash and work as their own unique product. This sake kasu embodies the Japanese philosophy of not leaving behind any waste and can be put to good use in your cooking.
With that in mind, here is my sake kasu cheese scone recipe that’s super easy and really brings on some delicious flavours!
Bringing together food from different cultures can be a fun way to experiment with new dishes and develop unexpected flavour combinations. That’s why I enjoy creating wafu meals that combine European aesthetics with Japanese ingredients and cooking techniques.
Pasta is one of the easiest ingredients to mix into a wafu meal, especially when using leftovers. With that in mind, here is my wafu pasta jumble recipe that includes tofu and cannellini beans soaked in a homemade shochu roux.
Beautiful food is an integral part of Japanese culture and perhaps the best kind of food to emphasise this fact is Japanese confectionary. Known as wagashi, Japanese sweets are traditionally served alongside coffee and green tea to heighten the drinking experience.
But what really stands out about wagashi is the depth of creativity and storytelling that goes into such a tiny object. Each style of wagashi is different, telling the story of a season or representing a certain mood or region. There are so many to appreciate and here are six types of wagashi that will make you appreciate the beauty of Japanese sweets.