Japanese food such as sushi, sashimi, yakitori, tempura etc are the 'hip' meals now adays.. It has lots of varieties, and fun to make. Practical and easy to pack for lunch or outing or even party. I know that sometimes it's not easy to put it together into the right shape and taste, but don't worry.. you can get some help to create your personilize dishes.
Well.. these are some recipes that I've been trying for my family meals and specially for my daughter's lunch pack and also for bbq gathering.
So, I hope it's worth trying it and starting to love this easy, healthy and fun meals.......

Monday, February 25, 2008


Serve 4-6

This is a pretty modern variation of chirashi-zushi decorated with ‘petals’made of radish and egg – ideal for the Girls’ Day Festival, which falls on 3rd March in Japan, or any spring gathering.

1 quantity vinegared rice

Radish petals:
4-5 radishes, trimmed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoon sugar

Egg petals:
1 egg, beaten
¼ teaspoon cornflour mixed with a little water
Sunflower oil, for frying

Your choice of:
5 dried shiitake mushrooms
5 tablespoons sugar
2 ½ tablespoons
mirin (rice wine)
1 teaspoon Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
50 ml chicken stock
carrot, sliced into 2-3 cm matcsticks
25 g mangetut (snow peas), trimmed
75 g cod fillet
1 tablespoon sake
Red vegetable food coloring (optional)
3 tablespoons white
sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan
200 g small prawns, peeled and lightly cooked

Flower cutter or a small sharp knife

1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi).
2. Cut a wedge out of each radish, then slice each radish crossways to form 5-6 petal shapes. Put the rice vinegar and sugar in a bowl and stir well until sugar has dissolved. Add the radish slices and marinate for a few hours or overnight. The red color dissolves into the vinegar, making the slices cherry pink.
3. Mix the egg in a bowl with a pinch of salt and the blended cornflour. Heat a small frying pan, brush with sunflower oil, add the egg mixture and cook until set. Using moulds or a small knife, cut out small shapes from the egg pancake such as hearts or petals.
4. Soak the shiitake in warm water for 30 minutes, then drain, retaining the soaking liquid. Discard the stems and thinly sliced the caps crossways. Put the shiitake slice, 100 ml from the soaking liquid and 2 tablespoons of the sugar, then simmer until the liquid disappears.
5. Put the chicken stock in a saucepan, add ½ teaspoon of the sugar, a pinch of salt, and the carrot. Bring to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes until just soft. Let cool in the juice.
6. Blanch the mangetout in lightly salted water. Slice diagonally into diamonds.
7. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the cod, simmer for 3-4 minutes, then drain. Carefully remove the skin and all the bones. Return to a dry saucepan, add 1 tablespoon sake, the remaining sugar and a pinch of a salt. Finely flake over a low heat, using a fork. If using red coloring, dilute it in a little water, then quickly stir to make a light pink soboro (fish flakes).
8. While the rice is still warm, fold in the shiitake, carrot matchsticks, flaked fish, prawns and sesame seeds. Top with the radish and egg ‘petals’and serve.


Serve 4

You may take some time to get used to the idea of eating completely raw fish, but lightly blanched or seared fillet with salad is a good starting point. You can use other fish such as turbot, salmon or swordfish.

200 g fresh tuna or swordfish, skinned
Green salad leaves
A small clump of enoki mushrooms, trimmed and separated

Wasabi dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons wasabi paste
1 ½ tablespoons Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)

1. Grill the tuna or swordfish at a high heat for about 1 minute on each side until the surface are seared, but the inside is still raw. Plunge into ice water. Drain and pat dry with kitchen paper. Slice into 5 mm thick pieces.
2. Mix the lemon juice, wasabi and soy sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Arrange the salad leaves and enoki mushrooms in the centre of a large serving plate and arrange the seared fish over the leaves. Just before serving, pour the wasabi dressing over the top.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Makes 12

As an alternative, serve the nigiri in lettuce ‘boats’. They look very pretty and are also easier to pick up and eat – important at a party.


½ quantity vinegared rice

Hand vinegar:
4 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
250 ml water

100 g beef fillet, about 7 cm thick
Vegetable oil, for rubbing
1-2 rollmops (marinated Bismarck herring)
8 asparagus tips
2 teaspoons wasabi paste or powder
4 Little Gem lettuce leaves
8 small chicory (witloof) leaves

To serve:
Sprigs of cress or shredded spring onions
A small strip of nori seaweed
1 spring onion, finely chopped
2.5 cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons white wine
1 ½ tablespoons Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
Juice of ½ lemon

1. Make the vinegared rice (sumeshi). Mix the hand vinegar ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Rub the beef all over with vegetable oil. Grill at a high heat until golden brown on all sides, but rare in the middle. Plunge nto iced water to stop the cooking. Remove from the water, pat dry with kitchen paper and cut 4 thin slices, about 7x4 cm. All the slices should be red inside and brown around the edges.
3. Cut the rollmops into 4 and make a little lengthways slit in the skin of each piece.
4. Cook the asparagus in lightly salted water for 5 minutes until soft. Drain and place under running water to arrest cooking and bring out the color. Pat dry with kitchen paper.
5. If using wasabi powder, mix with 2 teaspoons water in an egg cup, stir to make a claylike consistency, then turn upside down to stop it drying out.
6. Dip your hands in the hand vinegar and take a handful of the cooked rice in one hand (about 1-2 tablespoons). Mould it into a rectangular shape about 5x2x2 cm. Repeat with the remaining rice, making 12 portions. Put a tiny dab of wasabi on top of 4 portions.
7. Arrange a slice of beef on 1 portion of wasabi-and –rice, with the two short sides hanging over the end. Top with a few sprigs of cress. Repeat with the other 3 slices of beef and set them in 4 Little Gem lettuce leaves.
8. Arrange 2 asparagus tips on another rice portion and tie with a nori ribbon. Repeat to make 3 more. Arrange a piece of rollmop on each of the remaining 4 rice portions and insert chopped spring onion and grated ginger into the slits. Arrange all the leaf boats on a serving platter. Mix the white wine, soy sauce and the lemon juice in a small bowl. Serve the lettuce boats with a small bowl of lemon sauce and another of plain soy sauce.


Makes 10-12 pieces

Meat is rarely used in sushi but this sweet, dry-cooked minced meat goes well with vinegared rice. It can be eaten as it is, or use it as a stuffing for squid and serve as an unusual party canapĂ©. If you don’t like to use meat, just use the squid flaps and tentacles in the sumeshi mixture, but reduce the cooking juice accordingly.

2 medium squid, cleaned
3 tablespoons sake
2-3 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon mirin or sweet sherry
2 tablespoons
Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
50 g minced chicken or beef
2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2/3 quantity
vinegared rice (sumeshi)
Pickled ginger, to serve

1. Peel the outer skin off the squid. It comes off easily if you hold the two flaps together and peel down the body. Put the 2 main bodies in a saucepan, add 1 tablespoon sake, cover with boiling water an simmer for 1-2 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain, rub the surface with a damp cloth to remove any marks, then sprinkle with the rice vinegar all over to retain the whiteness. Chop the flaps and tentacles.
2. Put the remaining sake, the sugar, mirin and soy sauce in a saucepan, mix and bring to the boil over moderate heat. Add the minced chicken of beef, the chopped squid flaps and tentacles and the chopped ginger, then stir vigorously with a fork until the meat turns white. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked meat to another bowl, leaving the juice in the saucepan. Boil the juice over high heat for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Stir the meat back into saucepan to absorb the juice and remove from heat.
3. Make the
vinegared rice (sumeshi) and while still warm fold in the dry-cooked meat. Tightly stuff each squid body with half the rice mixture and, using a sharp knife, slice crossways into 5-6 pieces.
4. Arrange on plates and serve with
pickled ginger.