Taste of Japan

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Taste of Japan

Japanese sauces and flavourings are very distinct to their cuisine. So, here are four great dishes, crafted for the international palate with an Oriental twist - plus one bonus Japanese recipe with a Middle Eastern spin!

By Recipes by: Gerard Ruvira, Executive Chef at Katsuya by Starck, Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel, Dubai

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Published: Thu 14 Dec 2017, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Dec 2017, 1:00 AM

Grilled Lamb Chops
Serves: 1
Prep time: 35 mins
Cook time: 30 mins

250 gm lamb chops (about 4 pieces)
Salt and pepper, enough to heavily season the chops
3 tbsp clarified butter
½ bell pepper, julienned
½ white onion, julienned
50 gm broccolini
1 tbsp umami soy sauce
2 tbsp onion ginger pesto
2 tbsp miso reduction

For the onion ginger pesto:
1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped
3 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1 clove garlic
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 bunch coriander
Salt to taste

For the miso reduction:
100 ml mirin
300 ml sake
75 gm sugar
300 gm miso paste

Blend all ingredients for the pesto together until smooth.
For the miso reduction, combine mirin, sake, and sugar in a saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in the miso paste before it comes to a boil. Bring mixture to a boil; let simmer and reduce until you have a sauce (about 15 minutes).
Season the lamb chops generously with salt and pepper.
In a heavy skillet, bring 2 tbsp clarified butter to high heat. Sear and cook the lamb chops about for an equal amount of time each side, until desired doneness is attained (about 3 minutes for medium rare, and 3 ½ minutes for medium).
Separately sauté the bell peppers, onion and broccolini in a pan with 1 tbsp of clarified butter. Deglaze the sautéed vegetables with umami soy sauce.
To serve, layer the lamb chops over the sautéed vegetables and drizzle over with the pesto and miso reduction.

Chicken Karaage
Makes: 2
Prep time: 2 hrs
Cook time: 17 mins

1 cup amazu sauce
½ cup ponzu sauce
300 gm chicken thighs, cut into large chunks, about 1 ¼ inch each
½ cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the amazu sauce:
1 cup water
1 cup distilled rice vinegar
¾ cup sugar

For the amazu sauce, combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer and cook until it forms a syrupy sauce, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before using.
Make the Karaage sauce by whisking the amazu and ponzu together. Reserve ½ cup of sauce for dipping, and use the rest to marinate the chicken. Let chicken marinate for at least 2 hours.
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Coat the marinated chicken with it.
In a heavy pot, add enough vegetable oil to deep-fry the chicken. Fry the coated chicken until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
Drain excess oil and serve the crispy fried chicken with the remaining Karaage sauce as a dip.

Tuna Tacos
Serves: 1
Prep time: 40 mins
Cook time: 4 mins

1 tuna fillet, about 80 gm
Salt and pepper to taste
Clarified butter, as needed
3 wonton taco shells
Japanese salsa to garnish
1 ripe hass avocado
Juice of 1 lime, plus extra  lime wedges for garnish

For the Japanese salsa:
1 small tomato, diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp ponzu sauce
1 tsp chilli oil

For the salsa, simply mix all the ingredients together. Store in the fridge until ready to use.
Season the tuna fillet with salt and pepper.
Bring the clarified butter in a pan to a high heat.
Sear the tuna fillet quickly on each of the 4 sides, less than a minute on each side. Set aside to cool.
Using a sharp knife, carefully dice the tuna fillet.
To make the avocado purée, add avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper to a blender and combine until smooth.
On a serving plate, lay out enough avocado purée to hold/ balance the wonton taco shells.
Fill each shell with seared tuna and garnish with Japanese salsa and more avocado purée.
Serve with lime wedges.

Braised Short Ribs
Serves: 4
Prep time: 90 mins
Cook time: 4 hrs

5 cloves garlic
2 onions, peeled, roughly chopped
1 cup soy sauce
½ cup sugar
½ cup mirin
½ cup sake
1 tsp ichimi or ground red chilli powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 kg bone-in short ribs
Salt and fresh black pepper, enough to heavily season the beef
4 medium potatoes, peeled
1 tbsp salt, for boiling water
1 tbsp wasabi powder
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup butter
1 bunch small carrots, cut into half lengthwise
¼ cup honey
¼ cup carrot-ginger juice (or add 1 tsp ginger purée to carrot juice)

Preheat oven to 175°C.
Prepare the braising marinade by combining garlic, onions, soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sake and ichimi in a pan and bringing it to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and set aside.
Place a heavy, oven-safe pot on the stove over medium-high heat.
Add the vegetable oil and allow to reach high heat. Heavily season the ribs with salt and pepper, then add them to the pan; allow to brown all over, about 3 minutes each side.
Remove from the heat and cover in braising marinade. Make sure the ribs are fully covered in the liquid. If necessary, add more water to cover.
Cover the pan and cook in the oven for about 3 hours. Once finished, the meat should easily fall off the bone. Set aside and allow to cool.
For the wasabi-mashed potato and honey-glazed carrots, bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tbsp salt. Add the potatoes, cover and cook until soft (about 20 minutes).
Once ready, drain the potatoes and transfer to a bowl. Mash the potatoes together with the wasabi powder, cream and butter, until you have a perfectly creamy and fluffy mash.
For the carrots, boil them in a pot of water for 15 minutes until tender. Sauté the cooked carrots in a pan with honey and carrot-ginger juice. Remove carrots and reserve the remaining glaze.
To finish the meat, add the remaining carrot-ginger juice and honey glaze to a skillet and bring to a boil. Cook the boneless ribs in the liquid until the liquid becomes thick and syrupy.
Smooth the wasabi-mashed potato out on a large serving dish. Place the ribs on top and arrange the glazed carrots around. Serve.

Edamame Hummus
Makes: 1, good for sharing
Prep time: 20 minutes

For the hummus:
1 tbsp salt for the boiling water, plus more to taste
1 ½ cups edamame, shelled
¼ cup tahini
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
1 clove of garlic, grated
¼ cup lemon juice

For the cilantro mint pesto:
¼ cup roasted almonds
½ serrano chili, chopped (can add more or less, as desired)
1 ½ cups cilantro
½ cup mint
2 cloves garlic, peeled
½ tsp salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Optional, for salad to garnish:
½ shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup black olives, pitted, chopped
¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup whole edamame beans
½ tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp olive oil

For the edamame purée, add salt to a medium pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the edamame and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain and deshell, reserving the salted water.
Using a blender, purée the beans while still hot. Add some of the water to ensure you have a smooth, lump-free paste.
Mix in the tahini, coriander, cumin, garlic and lemon juice to taste. Check flavour/ seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice to taste.
For the cilantro mint pesto, blend the roasted almonds, serrano chili, cilantro, mint and garlic until you have a rough paste. Add salt and olive oil and blend until you have a semi-smooth consistency, similar to a traditional pesto.  
To serve, plate the edamame hummus in a bowl. Drizzle in some of the pesto, and top off with a salad of shallots, parsley, black olives, cherry tomatoes, edamame beans and sesame seeds, mixed with some extra virgin olive oil.
Serve with grilled traditional pita bread.

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