Destination Flavour Japan

Subtle, light and delicate. Known for its extremely high quality of local produce, it’s no wonder that Japanese dishes from all over this island country can amaze your senses with just a few key ingredients. Follow MasterChef Adam Liaw as he leads you through the exquisitely pretty landscapes of Japan with a trail of mouth-watering classic dishes. From the melt-in-your-mouth Hiyayakko -Dressed tofu to the crispy sweet “Nanbanzuke” Smelts, add a touch of culinary elegance and refined flavors to your dine-inoptionswith ease.

Recipe

Japanese Smelts Nanbanzuke

The Nanbanzuke or “southern barbarian-style” of marinating actually originated with the Portuguese sailors that came to the south of Japan back in the 15th century. These sailors brought dishes like tempura and Castella, and this Nanbanzuke style of cooking is reminiscent of the Portuguese escabeche that the sailors would have had on their long sea voyages to Japan. This beautiful dish is light and crispy, with a hint of sweetness from the carrots and onions. According to Adam, the “simple but incredibly important Japanese stock” really brings out the flavors of this dish –get it right and you and your family can enjoy the umami taste of the sea.
Recipe

Miso Soup and Charcoal Grilled Rice Balls

We often think of Japanese cuisine as being elaborate and refined, but it’s not all delicate sushi and kaiseki banquets. A simple bowl of miso soup and a grilled rice ball are the types of food that have served Japan for centuries. In many ways, the basic foods of Japan are just as charming as its fine dining. By going back to the basics, you can enjoy the complex textures of koshihikari rice (a premium short-grain rice) in this delightful snack. The aroma reminds Adam of the “nutty smell of popcorn” and we couldn’t agree more! Pair it with a warm miso soup on rainy, cold days to warm yourselves up.
Recipe

Miso Grilled Eggplant

In Japanese cooking, this style of grilling with sweetened miso is called ‘dengaku’. Although perfect with roasted eggplant, this dengaku miso also works well with tofu, rice cakes and other vegetables. The light roasting brings out the toasty caramel flavours of the miso for a wonderfully fragrant dish.
Recipe

Miso Soup and Charcoal Grilled Rice Balls

We often think of Japanese cuisine as being elaborate and refined, but it’s not all delicate sushi and kaiseki banquets. A simple bowl of miso soup and a grilled rice ball are the types of food that have served Japan for centuries. In many ways, the basic foods of Japan are just as charming as its fine dining. By going back to the basics, you can enjoy the complex textures of koshihikari rice (a premium short-grain rice) in this delightful snack. The aroma reminds Adam of the “nutty smell of popcorn” and we couldn’t agree more! Pair it with a warm miso soup on rainy, cold days to warm yourselves up.
Recipe

Sakura Mochi

The cherry blossom season in Japan is one of the most spectacular and beautiful times of the year. This traditional sweet from around the Tokyo area uses the new-season cherry leaves to encapsulate the visual effect of the season in something edible. The balance of the salty pickled leaves and the sweet bean paste, and the chewiness of the pancake are the secrets to this sweet dish.
Recipe

Hiyayako Dressed Tofu

This simple dressed tofu dish is perfect for the warmer weather. Its simple preparation is great for appreciating the subtle, soy flavours and silky texture of a good tofu.
Recipe

Salmon Ochazuke with Asazuke

Ochazuke is a Japanese dish of cooked rice and flavourings, poured over with hot green tea. This salmon and salmon roe version is a delicious and simple meal in itself. Whether you make them yourself or buy them pre-made, Japanese pickles are a perfect accompaniment.
Recipe

Okonomiyaki Style Pork And Shiso Gyoza

Originally adapted from Chinese jiaozi dumplings, gyoza have become one of Japan’s favourite foods.The main difference between the Japanese version and its Chinese predecessorsis that where the Chinese favour a springy filling, the emphasis of the Japanese dish is on a fine, crispy skin. While usually served with a dipping sauce of soy sauce, chili oil and rice vinegar, this version throws tradition out the window by dressing the dumplings in the style of the Osakan favourite, okonomiyaki(pancakes).
Recipe

Japanese Prawn Fritters with Shiso & Salted Plum

Deliciously juice with a bouncy texture that's perfect as a side or midday snack.
Recipe

Goya Champuru

This simple stir-fry that has its roots in over a thousand years of trade history between Okinawa and South East Asia, Japan, China and most recently America. It is THE iconic dish of Okinawa and tells its whole story in just one plate. Although you can substitute pork belly for the Spamif you really have an aversion, just know that I asked one 90-year old Okinawan lady what they had used on the island for their goya champuru before Spam. Her response, “I don’t even remember.”
Share Recipe
Close

We use cookies to enhance your experience, for analytics and to show you offers tailored to your interests on our site and third party sites. For more information, please refer to our Cookie Policy.

By clicking "Accept", you agree to our use of cookies and similar technologies.