So I’m back from Japan and have spent the last week in a jet lagged haze barely able to put two words together let alone cook a decent meal.
And I’ve been slightly demoralised in the kitchen having been spoilt by Japanese cuisine which for me is absolute food heaven.
The high end of Japanese dining is not really accessible to clueless westerners who can only speak two words of Japanese (arigatou gozaimasu/thank you very much) especially ones with two young children in tow, but fast food in Japan is often very good quality and not at all expensive. There are plenty of Japanese food outlets where you can get a decent bowl of udon noodles or beef over rice and feed a family of four for around £10.
And even when you come across Japanese versions of international dishes they just seem to do it so much better – the fast food chain Mos Burger is a good example. I hate McDonald’s and Burger King but the burgers and chips in Mos Burger are absolute perfection. We also tried some unusual combinations that just shouldn’t work but were delicious, such as deep fried shrimps with beef curry sauce (first with rice, and then bizarrely inside a doughnut!!!).
Anyway, this week in an attempt to inject some Japanese flavours in my lazy (what time is it?) cooking I’ve attempted to recreate a sesame salad dressing that often came with set menu side salads in Japan. My next step is to get a bit more adventurous and so I have just ordered a couple of Japanese cookbooks from Amazon. My dream is to learn to make my own udon noodles and authentic yakitori but in the meantime here’s my simple Japanese style salad dressing recipe.
Japanese style salad dressing with sesame
Enough for a large simple lunchtime salad for one person made with lettuce, cucumber and carrot
- 2 teaspoons of mirin
- 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1 heaped teaspoon mayonnaise
Put all of the above ingredients into a jam jar and shake vigorously. Pour over your salad.