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The Japanese twist on foreign food

by Hazuki

You may think people in Japan always eat traditional Japanese food such as Sushi, Tofu, Miso soup.. so you may be surprised to find that in fact Japanese have adopted many foreign dishes as a regular part of their diet. Japanese culture has always freely incorporated ideas and aspects of other cultures, often adopting it to an extent that it somehow becomes uniquely Japanese, and food is no exception. 

Many European style dishes have been incorporated to Japanese cuisine. In Japanese, these foods are called yoshoku which translates as European/western food. Wafu-Yoshoku, is a Japanese style European food, based on foreign cuisine with a Japanese twist on flavour and ingredients. They are normally eaten using a fork and knife instead of chopsticks.

One of the popular Wafu-yoshoku: "Wafu-Spaghetti", is made with Japanese ingredients and it has become extremely popular. 'Mentaiko-Spaghetti' is one of the main menu for spaghetti restaurants, and it's cooked with spicy cod roe in a cream sauce with shiso. Ume (Japanese plum) is also used for Wafu-Spaghetti quite often. Wafu-Pizza is also popular in Japan, but it’s confusing for foreigners in Japan as there is a mochi in pizza and seaweed topping on teriyaki chicken pizza.

Wafu-Hamburg Steak is ground beef mixed with diced onion, carrots, and breadcrumbs (Panko). It comes with grated daikon radish and soy sauce flavoured sauce with Simeji mushrooms. There are some interesting foreign twists on Japanese food too, such as Curry-Udon and Carbonara-Udon.

If you are hungry and interested, here is the recipe of Wafu-Yoshoku!!

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Mentaiko spaghetti for 2

·180g of spaghetti 

·2 Mentaiko-cod roe (about 60g)

·30g of butter 

·60ml of milk or fresh cream (single, double both fine)

·15ml of Soy sauce 

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and add the boiled spaghetti in the same bowl and mix together. You can add Noriseaweed and shiso (perilla) as toppings.

 

Curry udon noodles for 2

· 2 packs of Udon noodles 

· 100g of sliced beef or pork

· 1/2 of onion

· 450ml of water 

· 150ml of Tsuyu (depends on how thick it is, add more if you like the flavour of dashi)

· 2-3 blocks of Japanese curry roux

· 15ml of potato (or corn) starch and 15ml of water for thickness.(mix them together before you put it in the curry)

Boil 450ml of water and tsuyu and add sliced onions and meat. Once the onion and meat are cooked, add the curry blocks. When all the curry is melted, add the potato starch and water (The potato starch and water needs to be mixed well before putting them in the curry).Put the boiled Udon in a bowl and add the curry sauce in. Garnish with spring onion.

 

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