In Japan, tonkatsu—fried, breaded pork cutlets—are hugely popular. For her version, Grace Parisi uses low-fat pork tenderloins.
Cold Soba Salad with Dried Shiitake Dressing
This sweet and savory Japanese-style cold noodle salad is an easy dish to serve to a crowd, since it's delicious chilled or at room temperature. Use preshredded carrots in place of julienned to make it even more quickly.
This recipe comes from Nobuo Fukuda of Sea Saw in Scottsdale, Arizona (an F&W Best New Chef 2003). He suggests using a cooking sake, or ryori. One brand he likes is Shochikubai.
Japanese-Style Trout with Dashi
Grace Parisi learned to make unagi Kabayaki—grilled eel—by watching YouTube's adorable Cooking with Dog. Since eel is fairly hard to find, she often substitutes trout, which is a bit leaner than eel but similar in flavor.
Black Cod with Miso
This sweet and silky fish dish, which has been cloned at restaurants all over the country, is fairly simple to make, though it's somewhat time-consuming: Nobu Matsuhisa recommends marinating the black cod in a good deal of the sake-miso marinade for 2 to 3 days.
David Chang's Momofuku reveals the wildly creative New York City chef's obsession with Asian flavors, as in this steamed Japanese egg custard with mushrooms and crabmeat.
Spicy Grilled Shrimp with Yuzu Kosho Pesto
Yuzu kosho is a hot, spicy and aromatic Japanese condiment made from hot chiles and ultra-citrusy yuzu zest. It's the key to this supersimple and utterly delicious recipe from chef Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica in Los Angeles.
Miso Soup with Shrimp and Tofu
No soup is quicker to prepare than miso; just whisk miso paste into water. By adding shrimp, tofu and greens, it can double as a complete and light meal. Feel free to use leftover chicken or roast pork (or whatever else is at hand) in place of the shrimp.
Fish Teriyaki with Sweet-and-Sour Cucumbers
This is a fairly classic take on teriyaki—broiled or grilled slices of marinated meat or fish. The small amount of sugar in the soy-based sauce caramelizes in the heat, creating a deliciously sticky glaze.
Soy-Glazed Chicken Yakitori
Walking into a yakitori bar in Tokyo, chef Dean Fearing was startled by the thick grill smoke filling the room, then delighted by the delicious flavor of the skewered meats.
Masaharu Morimoto recommends using a rice cooker and seasoning the rice to taste. Start with 1/2 cup of sweetened vinegar for every 5 cups of cooked rice, adding more by the tablespoon if desired.
Soba Noodles with Dashi, Poached Egg and Scallions
Chef Douglas Keane, an F&W Best New Chef 2006, creates a quick but flavorful broth using kombu (a type of seaweed) and dashi powder (an instant Japanese stock made from shaved bonito—tuna flakes). He poaches eggs in the broth and serves them for a protein-rich lunch or even breakfast.
This supercrispy tempura from chef Michael Schlow is one of his favorites. "I love anything fried, and it's the perfect cocktail party dish since no knife or fork is necessary," he says. Try serving the tempura with different sauces, like a high-quality soy sauce or curried mayonnaise.
Nori Hand Rolls with Kale and Green Beans
Brown rice replaces the usual white in these fun-to-eat vegetable hand rolls.
Wasabi Flank Steak and Miso-Glazed Potatoes
At his Chicago restaurant, Takashi Yagihashi crusts strip steak with a spicy wasabi-horseradish cream, then serves it with miso-glazed potatoes and deep-fried salsify (a root vegetable). A healthier way is to coat lean but tasty flank steak with bottled horseradish and wasabi—no cream. Skip the salsify.
Dashi-Poached Scallop Salad with Wasabi Dressing
David Myers serves raw diver scallops with yuzu, fresh wasabi and dashi gelée. Home cooks can poach thinly sliced scallops in an easy dashi broth, a Japanese stock made with bonito (tuna) flakes and seaweed. Dressed with lemon juice and wasabi and topped with greens, the poached scallops become a satisfying first course.
Warm Soba with Pork, Shrimp and Cabbage
This soup is packed with pork, mushrooms, noodles, and cabbage, so it's a terrific one-bowl meal. Grace Parisi delicately seasons the broth with store-bought dashi, a Japanese stock made from dried bonito (tuna) flakes.
Fresh Tuna and Butter Lettuce Wraps with Yuzu Ponzu
Using butter lettuce leaves as a makeshift plate, this recipe is the creation of Emeril Lagasse.
Japanese-Inspired Pot Roast
This Asian-flavored roast can be served with rice or udon noodles.
After visiting New York City's top ramen spots (including Ippudo NY, Sapporo and Momofuku Noodle Bar), Grace Parisi created her dream ramen with a pork-and-chicken-based broth that gets extra depth of flavor from kombu (seaweed) and shoyu (Japanese soy sauce).
Cooking in a water bath, just like crème brûlée, makes these Japanese custards set yet incredibly silky. These chawanmushi from Eric Wolfinger are infused with umami-rich dashi and soy. They make a beautiful first course with a drizzle of Yuzu Ponzu and a garnish of fresh crab or uni.
Dashi—a light, umami-rich seaweed broth—is the cornerstone for so many Japanese dishes, including miso soup. Rather than bones or shrimp shells, this dashi broth from Eric Wolfinger gets its body from kombu (a type of seaweed) and katsuobushi (dried, smoked bonito flakes).
Japanese ponzu sauce balances umami-rich soy sauce with sweet sake and mirin, as well as tart and fragrant fresh yuzu juice. We steep the sauce with kombu and katsuobushi for even more depth. Use this ponzu from Eric Wolfinger as a marinade or dipping sauce, or drizzle over Chawanmushi.
Fried, savory, and with a touch of fattiness from sliced pork belly, these Japanese-style cabbage pancakes are destined to be enjoyed with a crisp beer or chilled sake. This traditional version doubles the umami with dashi broth in the batter and bonito flakes on top.