Delicious Japanese recipes to try while you're watching the rugby
With all eyes on Japan for the Rugby World Cup - COME ON IRELAND!!! - what better time to try some of the country's cuisine? Here, Irish cook and author Fiona Ueyma shares two of her favourite Japanese recipes...
Chicken gyoza (chicken dumplings)
Gyoza originated in China and is a popular side dish in ramen shops and tapas-style restaurants called ‘izakaya’. It is served with a dipping sauce made of equal amounts of soy sauce and rice vinegar with a few drops of sesame chilli oil. You can make these dumplings using different fillings such as minced pork, prawns or vegetables only. I usually make a large batch and freeze them as they cook well from frozen. Remember to steam cook the dumplings for longer if you’re cooking them from frozen.
Makes 25–30 gyoza (dumplings)
25–30 gyoza skins
bowl of water for sealing the dumplings
80ml cold water for steaming
sesame oil to season
For the filling
200g good-quality minced chicken breast
100g cabbage, finely diced
1 spring onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
3 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sake
1 teaspoon sesame oil
salt and pepper to season
2 tablespoons potato starch
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
a few drops of la-yu (chilli-infused sesame oil) to taste
How to make the dumplings
1. Mix together all the ingredients for the gyoza filling in a large bowl and set aside.
2 Before you start making the dumplings, place the gyoza skins, a clean bowl of water, a teaspoon and a large serving dish on the countertop.
3 Place a gyoza skin on the palm of your hand, take a heaped teaspoon of the filling and place it in the centre of the gyoza skin.
4 Moisten the edge of the upper half of the gyoza skin by dipping your finger in the bowl of water and sliding it along the edge.
5 Fold the bottom half of the gyoza skin over the filling so that it meets the moistened upper half.
6 Start to pleat by folding the edges (make one pleat in the middle and two pleats at either side).
7 Press firmly on all pleats to ensure that the ingredients are secure within the gyoza skin.
How to cook the dumplings
1 Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat.
2 Place the gyoza in the pan and fry until the base is slightly golden.
3 Pour 80ml of cold water around the edges of the pan and cover with a lid. Leave steaming for 10 minutes or until almost all of the water has evaporated.
4 Remove the lid and continue to fry until the water is fully absorbed.
5 Finally, drizzle the sesame oil over the gyoza and fry until the base of the gyoza is golden brown. Transfer to a serving dish.
6 Mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl and serve with the gyoza.
I’ve added a Japanese twist to a regular pan-fried steak by adding one of my favourite Japanese sauces, teriyaki. This is a really quick recipe to cook at home in the evening after work. When you’re finished cooking the steak you can continue to cook the remaining sauce on the pan until its consistency resembles that of syrup and then pour this over the steak when serving.
2 steaks, ribeye or striploin
spring onion to garnish
sesame seeds to garnish
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon honey/sugar
1 Take the steaks out of the fridge and leave to rest for about 10 minutes.
2 Mix all the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce in a bowl and set aside.
3 Using your hands, rub a little vegetable oil all over the steaks.
4 Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan over a high heat and place the steaks on the pan, searing both sides.
5 Pour the teriyaki sauce over the steaks and continue to fry for a few minutes on each side or until the steak is cooked to your liking. (While cooking the steaks use a spoon to continuously cover them with the teriyaki sauce sitting in the pan.)
6 Serve on a plate and drizzle the remaining teriyaki sauce in the frying pan over the steaks.
7 Garnish with finely sliced spring onion and sesame seeds.
Extracted from Japanese Made Easy by Fiona Uyema, published by Mercier Press at €24.99