Starter

Chicken Breast Salad with Spring Onion

Chicken breast contains high levels of protein and is low in calories and fat, so it’s inarguably the healthiest meat to eat. However, it can become a bit dry when overcooked. In this recipe, I’ll show you how to cook succulent breast fillet. What’s more, it’s probably the easiest way to cook it: you don’t need any technique, only a kitchen timer. You can use the cooked breast fillet, not only for salad, but also many other dishes including sandwiches and pasta dishes. The cooking time for this recipe is 50 minutes, but 30 minutes of it is waiting time! Learn how to cook breast fillet from this recipe. It’s so handy to know and you’ll definitely use it again.

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Key: You can find how to make toasted sesame seed in THIS RECIPE. Please refer at ‘Preparation 3’ section.

Topic 1: Are you a breast person, or thigh person?

The breast fillet is the most popular part of chicken in the West. However, do you know that the succulent thigh is the most popular part of the chicken in Japan? It’s much more expensive than breast too.

It’s one of those interesting things about how food culture differs in each country. I’d like to know if you have any interesting differences in food culture in your country. Please let me know in the comments below.

Topic 2: Combat fatigue with chicken breast

A group of Japanese scientists studied the secret of stamina in migratory birds: the reason why they can fly long distances for long durations. They found a substance called ‘Imidazole dipeptides’ which have strong anti-fatigue and anti-oxidative effects, in their breast muscles. Most creatures have this substance in their most used therefore fatigued areas of their body, for instance, the root of the caudal fin of a bonito fish and the brain of a human. Although we all know chickens can’t fly, its breast is rich in Imidazole dipeptides, interestingly.

Research carried out in 2009 in Japan showed the continuous intake of Imidazole dipeptides for over 8 weeks showed signs of reduced fatigue. Dr Keiichi Shimizu, who led the research, said that eating 100g chicken breast per day for at least 2 weeks will make a difference. Let me know if it works for you!

References:

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jcam/6/3/6_3_123/_article

https://yomidr.yomiuri.co.jp/article/20150906-OYTEW57436/ (Japanese)

Butter and Soy Sauce Flavoured Cod

Cod is unarguably everyone’s favourite fish, because of its delicate taste and soft texture. It’s also adaptable to varieties of cooking methods and flavourings.

We all know fish dishes are good for us, though ways of cook them tends to become monotonous. This recipe uses a sauce made from butter and soy sauce, which gives an interesting Japanese-ish twist to crispy pan-fried cod. I serve with sautéed leek, which adds sweetness to the dish.

The flavour of the soy sauce, the richness of butter, and the sweetness of the leek make the difference to ordinary pan-fried cod.

You could also try my other Japanese influenced flavour, miso and butter sauce for fish recipe here. This sauce is also fantastic with cod.

 

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Key

Adjust cooking time for cod depending on the thickness of the fillet. For instance, if your fillet is thinner than the cod in the picture, reduce the cooking time.

If your fillets don’t brown, quickly pan-fry them over a high heat until browned at the end of cooking.

Serve the cod with rice or mashed potato as a main. It’s also nice on salad leaves to serve as a starter.

 

Topic 1: Butter and Soy Sauce Flavour

Butter and soy sauce flavour is one of the most popular flavourings in Japan. We even have butter and say sauce flavoured snacks, including crisps and popcorn. Everyone loves the charred aroma of the soy sauce and rich butter taste.

Butter and soy sauce are great with light and delicate ingredients, such as white fish and chicken breast, as they accentuate their tastes. Adding soy sauce to butter sautéed vegetables is equally tasty.

 

Topic 2: Cod

Cod is an excellent source of protein and, as it’s much lower in calories and saturated fat, a healthier substitution for meat. It’s also rich in health beneficial properties, such as omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

Unfortunately, cod is currently classified as ‘at risk’ due to overfishing in the UK, Canada and most other Atlantic countries. You can use haddock, hake, coley, or pollock instead of cod.

In Japan, cod is called tara and its Kanji character is ‘鱈‘. It’s a Japanese-made Kanji, and the left side signifies fish, and the right side signifies snow. The character was created because of its snow-white meat. Cod is said to taste nicer during winter because they keep more fat against coldness. Salted cod roe is called tarako, literally meaning ‘cod’s children’, and is one of the most widely available side dishes in Japan. Shirako, meaning ‘white children’, is milt of male cod and prized as a seasonal delicacy by many Japanese. I must warn you that shirako is not for everyone, but only for those people who are adventurous enough with food.

 

References

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/cod/

https://www.sustainweb.org/sustainablefishcity/top_ten_swaps/#cod

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=133

 

vegetable okonomiyaki

Vegetable Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese style savoury pancake and one of the most popular street food. It’s unpretentious Japanese food and inexpensive to make.

Okonomiyaki literally means ‘grill what you like’ in Japanese, and as its name suggests, you can add a variety of ingredients of your choice to the same base: batter and shredded cabbages. For this particular recipe, I chose sweetcorn to add some sweetness, and spring onions to give an accent. It’s packed with vegetables and kids love it, even ones who hate vegetables. It’s also vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Authentically, dashi fish stock is used for the batter and there are a set of conventional garnishes for it: Okonomiyaki sauce, bonito flakes, and seaweed flakes, which are quite difficult to find at your local supermarket. This recipe doesn’t require those ingredients, as I created this recipe for anyone who wants to have a go at cooking okonomiyaki outside of Japan. It’s seasoned already, so you can eat as it is, or garnish with mayonnaise and soy sauce if you like.

It’s light and fluffy. Try cooking Okonomiyaki for a light lunch or a healthy snack.

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Level: Easy

 

Ingredients for 2

100g Sweetheart Cabbage Leaves (shredded)

50g Spring Onion or Salad Onion (finely chopped)

100g Tin of Sweetcorn (drained)

100g Plain Flour

100ml Water

1 Vegetable Stock Cube (dissolve in 50ml hot water)

2 tbs Cooking Oil

Mayonnaise (optional)

Soy Sauce (optional)

Method

  1. Place the shredded cabbage, chopped onion, sweetcorn, plain flour, water, and the dissolved stock cube in a bowl. Mix well.DSC_9818
  2. Place 1 tbs cooking oil in a frying-pan, and heat over a medium-strong heat. Place half of the mixture into the frying-pan, and spread to make a circle with about a 16cm diameter using the back of a spoon. Panfry the mixture for two and a half minutes.DSC_9819
  3. Flip it over, and panfry for a further two minutes. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Place the pancakes on serving plates. Garnish with mayonnaise and soy sauce to your preference.DSC_9834

 

Key

  1. You can replace the stock cube with any cube of your choice.
  2. Alternatively, make bite-sized pancakes to serve as a canapé to your guest.

Prawns Stir-fry with Wasabi Flavoured Buttery Soy Sauce

This recipe is quick and easy to cook, yet really tasty. A great starter to impress your guest!

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: for two

150g King Prawns (raw)

2 tbs Plain Flour

30g Butter

30g Spring Onion (sliced diagonally)

2 tsp Soy Sauce

½ tsp Wasabi Paste

1 tbs Water

Method

  1. Place the prawns in a bowl and sprinkle the plain flour. Coat the prawns with the plain flour evenly.DSC_8887
  2. Heat the butter in a frying-pan. When the butter has melted, fly the prawns over a medium strong heat on both side until they are cooked.DSC_8891
  3. Mix the soy sauce, wasabi paste, and water, then add to the frying-pan. Coat the prawns with the sauce. Add the sliced spring onion and mix. Serve immediately.DSC_8892

Key

  • Mix the soy sauce, wasabi paste, and water well until the wasabi is completely dissolved.  DSC_8894

Prawns with Wasabi Flavoured Buttery Soy Sauce

This recipe is quick and easy to cook, yet really tasty. A great starter to impress your guest!

Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: for two

150g King Prawns (raw)

2 tbs Plain Flour

30g Butter

30g Spring Onion (sliced diagonally)

2 tsp Soy Sauce

½ tsp Wasabi Paste

1 tbs Water

Method

  1. Place the prawns in a bowl and sprinkle the plain flour. Coat the prawns with the plain flour evenly.DSC_8887
  2. Heat the butter in a frying-pan. When the butter has melted, fly the prawns over a medium strong heat on both side until they are cooked.DSC_8891
  3. Mix the soy sauce, wasabi paste, and water, then add to the frying-pan. Coat the prawns with the sauce. Add the sliced spring onion and mix. Serve immediately.DSC_8892

Key

  • Mix the soy sauce, wasabi paste, and water well until the wasabi is completely dissolved.  DSC_8894