We love a themed Friday night in the Proper Scrumptious household, and this week was the turn of a quick and easy Japanese recipe. With a little help from an old favourite of mine…
I’ve become a huge advocate of Flavour Magic spice blends and rock salts. An impressive range of fragrant and authentic seasonings for speedy, simple recipes and world flavours, they’re one of my kitchen cupboard staples.
I recently ordered the Japanese Togarashi spice blend, but hadn’t really thought too much about what I’d do with it. Togarashi Spice, also known as Shichimi and Japanese Seven Spice is a classic blend of ingredients including chilli, black sesame seed, white sesame seeds, orange peel, ginger root, sichuan pepper and seaweed. One of the greatest things about Flavour Magic produce, is a little goes a very long way.
The deep and potent flavours within the blend made me want to keep it simple. With fish being a pivotal part of Japanese cuisine, I thought it’d be the perfect match. To accompany the fish, I made a traditional Japanese side dish, spinach goma-ae on a bed of udon noodles.
Teamed with an ice cold bottle of Asahi, we had a winning quick and easy Japanese recipe.
To knock it up yourself, here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 fillets of white fish (I chose haddock)
- Flavour Magic’s Togarashi spice blend
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- Pinch of salt
- Pestle and Mortar
- 3 tbsp white sesame seeds
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 0.5 tsp sake
- 0.5 tsp of Japanese rice vinegar
Noodles and Garnish
- Packet of udon noodles
- Handful of Bonito flakes
Let’s get started!
So, preheat your oven to 175 degrees whilst you prepare your fish. Take two sheets of tin foil and lay one fish fillet in each. Sprinkle over two teaspoons of the Togarashi spice blend and rub into the fish. It’s optional, but I always like to drizzle a tiny amount of lemon juice over the fish before wrapping the tin foil into a parcel and popping it in the oven.
The fish takes around 20 minutes. In the meantime, you can make your sesame sauce for the Goma-ae. In a pan, toast your white sesame seeds. You don’t need any oil for this, just heat for around 2-3 minutes until golden. Toasting the seeds releases their aroma, you’ll smell it as soon as they begin to pop!
Once toasted, you’ll need to add them to a pestle and mortar to grind up. The seeds don’t have to be finely ground. Leaving some seeds whole will add texture.
To your sesame seeds, add the sugar, soy sauce, sake and rice vinegar. Sake is a Japanese wine made by fermenting rice. This sauce is also traditionally made using mirin instead of rice vinegar, but if you can’t get your hands on mirin, the vinegar is a fine substitute.
Once mixed, you can set the sauce aside until five minutes before your fish is due to be removed from the oven.
When the time arrives, you can begin boiling your noodles and your spinach. I use packet Udon noodles that take around 2-3 minutes to boil. You can buy Japanese branded noodles from the World Food aisle in most supermarkets or very easily online.
Your spinach will take around a minute to boil and soften, so this part of the process gets rather speedy! I’d kick the noodles off first, and plate them up whilst your spinach is bubbling away. Once soft, drain and mix in your sesame sauce to the spinach leaves. Lay a good portion on your bed of noodles and remove the fish from the oven.
You’ll smell the incredible nutty fragrance from the Flavour Magic blend as soon as you unravel the tin foil. Place the fish fillet on top of the spinach and noodles and sprinkle with Bonito flakes for presentation, garnish and added texture.
Bonito flakes are dried, fermented and smoked tuna flakes also known as Katsuobushi, it’s an intense flavour and one of the most recognisable in Japanese food.
Et voila! A quick and easy Japanese recipe that is light and incredibly tasty! Perfect for a weekend meal that is still home-cooked loveliness but feels very much indulgent.
Have you got an idea for my next themed evening? I love to mix it up and try new things – give me your suggestion over on Twitter, @ProperScrummy.
Lots of love, LB x
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