Takashi Yagihashi (an F&W Best New Chef 2000) pairs Asian flavors with French technique at Chicago’s Takashi. F&W makes his recipes healthier and easier.


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Rice Noodle Salad with Chicken
Credit: © John Kernick
Japanese Dishes
Shrimp and Noodle Salad with Ginger Dressing
Credit: © Kana Okada


Tofu Casserole

Tofu Casserole

Chef Way Takashi Yagihashi serves a pot of broth with tofu and vegetables, including kombu (a seaweed). Diners pluck out the ingredient they want and dip it in flavorings, including soy, mirin and yuzu.

Healthier Way This dish is already supernutritious; to simplify it, use supermarket ingredients and combine everything in the pot—no dipping required.

Shrimp–and–Bok Choy Stir-Fry with Crispy Noodles

Shrimp-and-Bok Choy Stir-Fry with Crispy Noodles

Chef Way Yagihashi cooks scallops, squid and shrimp in stock, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil and mirin, then tops the dish with crispy deep-fried noodles.

Healthier Way Stir-fry shrimp in a small amount of oil and top with a light sprinkling of crunchy instant ramen noodles.

Mustard-Glazed Chicken with Arugula and Bok Choy

Mustard-Glazed Chicken with Arugula and Bok Choy
Credit: © Tina Rupp

Chef Way Yagihashi glazes chicken legs in a mustard sauce; on the side are buttery bok choy and a generously dressed salad.

Healthier Way Opt for breasts instead of legs, cook the bok choy in a minimal amount of oil (no butter) and dress the salad lightly with oil, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.

Wasabi Flank Steak and Miso-Glazed Potatoes

Wasabi flank steak and miso–glazed potatoes
Credit: © Tina Rupp

Chef Way Yagihashi crusts strip steak with a spicy wasabi-horseradish cream, then serves it with miso-glazed potatoes and deep-fried salsify (a root vegetable).

Healthier Way Coat lean but tasty flank steak with bottled horseradish and wasabi—no cream. Skip the salsify.

Seared Tuna with Spinach and Root Vegetables

Chef Way Yagihashi roasts hamachi (yellowtail) until crisp, then combines it with buttery root vegetables, spinach and a lush sauce of mirin, soy sauce, butter and Szechuan peppercorns.

Healthier Way To simplify the recipe, skip the hamachi in favor of easy-to-find tuna and cook it in a touch of oil. Don’t make the sauce; instead, use the key ingredients to flavor the root vegetables.

Mixed Green Salad with Beets and Daikon

Chef Way As these recipes prove, even Japanese chefs love butter; Yagihashi cooks beets in it.

Healthier Way Roast the beets without any fat.

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