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Blog Words : Food & Drink | 18 October

3 authentic Tokyo recipes

Tuck into a tasty Japanese dinner with these recipes by Tokyo-born chef Maori Murota

Butashabu salad

Sliced pork salad

Serves 4

300 g (10½ oz) pork, thinly sliced
½ bunch shungiku* (or you can use spinach instead)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted     sesame seeds
3 cm (1¼ in) leek (white part), cut into very thin matchsticks

Dressing:
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons raw (demerara) sugar
2 tablespoons  toasted sesame oil
2 cm (¾ in) leek (white part), finely chopped
2 cm (¾ in) ginger,  finely chopped
½ garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon tobanjan



1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and reduce the heat to as low as possible (you should barely see any movement on the surface of the water). Add the sliced pork, making sure the slices don’t stick together.
2. When the meat is cooked (pale all over), remove from the heat and drain. Mix together all the dressing ingredients. Pluck the leaves from the shungiku stems, then wash and drain them well.
3. Mix together the shungiku, sesame oil and sesame seeds in a bowl. Arrange on a plate. Place the pork on top and then the leek. Pour over the dressing just before serving.

Niku Udon

Udon with sweet and savoury beef

Serves 4

320 g (11¼ oz) dried udon noodles, or 4 packets pre-cooked udon
1 spring onion (scallion), finely chopped
Amani beef (beef simmered in a sweet sauce): 400 g (14 oz) beef, ideally a well-marbled cut, sliced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon raw (demerara) sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
200 ml (7 fl oz) dashi (see recipe below)

Soup:
1.2 litres (42 fl oz) dashi (see recipe below)
3 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sake



1. For the beef, cut the beef slices into 3 cm (1¼ in) strips. Place the beef, soy sauce, sugar and mirin in a saucepan. Sauté, stirring regularly, over a low to medium heat. Add the dashi and let it simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes.
2. To make the soup, put all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
3. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain the noodles and divide between four bowls. Pour the soup over the noodles. Top with the beef, garnish with the spring onion and serve immediately.

Dashi

1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) water
10 g (¼ oz) kombu seaweed
10 g (¼ oz) katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)


1. Place the water in a saucepan. Cut the kombu into 2 pieces and add to the water, then leave to soak for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. You can do this the night before or a few hours ahead of time.
2. Heat the water on a low heat until it just comes to a simmer, about 15 minutes. Don’t let it boil, or the seaweed flavour will be too strong. Take out the kombu just before the stock comes to the boil and add the katsuobushi all at once. Bring to the boil on a medium heat, then turn off the heat immediately. Let it infuse for 10 minutes.
3. Strain the dashi into a bowl. Let the dashi drip through, pressing lightly.

Matcha and white chocolate cake

Makes 1 loaf

3 eggs
Softened butter – the same weight as the eggs
Caster (superfine) sugar – the same weight as the eggs
Plain (all-purpose) flour – the same weight as the eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon matcha (green tea powder)
70 g (2½ oz) white chocolate chips



1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F), and butter and flour a 19  x 19 x 8 cm (7½ x 7½ x 3¼ in) loaf tin.
2. Weigh the eggs, then weigh out the same amount of butter, sugar and flour. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter together for 5 minutes, or until light and creamy.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each one in well before adding the next. Sift in the flour, baking powder and matcha. Combine using a spatula.
4. Stir through the white chocolate chips, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes. The cake is cooked when a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Recipes taken from Tokyo Cult Recipes by Maori Murota (Murdoch Books, £20.00). Photography by Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle. Buy your copy now.