Sunday, 31 March 2013


I love this salad because the ingredients are very filling so you won't be hungry an hour after eating it! The salad ingredient measurements are just a guide, you can add more or less or whatever you like!

Salad ingredients: 
100g mixed salad leaves
130g tin of steak tuna, drained
150g cherry tomotoes, halved
Handful of sweetcorn
Few handfuls of chickpea

Japanese dressing ingredients:
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp brown sugar
Roasted sesame seeds (optional) 

Serves 2

1. Toss the salad ingredients in a large bowl and mix together. 

2. Mix the Japanese dressing ingredients in a small jug.

3. Pour the dressing over the salad just before eating.

4. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds over the salad.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


I came across this recipe listening to Rachel Allen on the radio a few weeks ago. During her interview she recommended this straightforward chocolate mousse recipe to one of the listeners who was looking for a simple dessert recipe. It took me less than 10 minutes to prepare this and remember that it needs to be chilled for 1-2 hours before eating!

I didn't add any alcohol and instead added half a teaspoon of matcha powder (see step 1 in the method below). I sprinkled matcha over the chocolate mousse and served with strawberries and cream lightly dusted with icing sugar. I got the shot glasses in the photo below in IKEA. 

In general portion sizes in Japan are much smaller than here in the West and desserts are no exception. Japanese people enjoy modern desserts however they have adapted them by adding ingredients such as matcha and beans. Traditional Japanese desserts are quite limited and are generally made from rice and beans so they tend to be healthier than modern desserts.

125ml (4½fl oz) double or regular cream
125g (4½oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped, or dark chocolate drops
1 tbsp brandy (optional)
2 eggs, separated

To decorate
Raspberries (optional)
Icing sugar (optional)

4–6 little bowls, glasses or cups 

Serves 8
Preparation Time - 10 minutes 
Cooking Time - 5 minutes, plus chilling 

1. Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir just until it melts. Add the brandy or matcha powder (if using) and whisk in the egg yolks.
2. In a spotlessly clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until just forming stiff peaks. Spoon a small amount of whisked egg whites into the chocolate and cream mixture, then carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites, just until combined.
3. Spoon into the bowls, glasses or cups and chill in the fridge for 1–2 hours or until set. Decorate with raspberries (if using) and a hint of icing sugar.

Saturday, 23 March 2013


Wagamama's Japanese casual dining experience has definitely proven a success with restaurants dotted around the world including four restaurants in Ireland. They have their own cookbook and a selection of merchandise including t-shirts
Their restaurants are laid out in a fuss-free style with long wooden benches and a spotless open kitchen so customers can watch while their dishes are being freshly prepared and cooked. 

There is always a great buzz in their restaurants with customers clearly enjoying the food they've been served by their well trained staff. 

During my recent visit to Wagamama in Dundrum Shopping Centre, Co Dublin I was thrilled to hear that their miso ramen which was taken off the menu a while ago is making a comeback and will be on their new menu which starts on Monday March 25th 2013

Wagamama offer a very reasonable Monday to Friday (12-3) lunch deal for €9.95 which includes a drink. You can also order one of three starters for an additional €3. 

I ordered the spicy pork ramen because it's the closest substitute to the miso ramen on the current menu. It's was very tasty and I'd order it again.

Wagamama provides baby seats for the little ones and also have crayons and colouring sheets which is always a nice distraction for the kids! They usually have an area in the restaurant where you can park your buggy while you eat. They also provide free wi-fi and a take out service.  
Don't be put off by the queue in the Dublin city centre restaurant on South King St as it moves quickly and I can't remember waiting longer than 5-10 minutes. I've seen Brian O'Driscoll eating there a few times and believe it's very popular among the Irish rugby team players!

NOTES: All restaurant reviews posted on this blog are written by me without the prior knowledge of the restaurant. I visit the restaurant as an average customer and always pay for the food!

Friday, 22 March 2013


Now that my little boy eats bread almost every day I decided to start making my own at home as I can't help thinking about the amount of salt and preservatives in bread that I buy in supermarkets.  I wanted a recipe that was quick and easy to follow so I used Nessa Robin's brown bread recipe. I made the bread mix within 5 minutes and then just put it in the oven. Nessa has a blog called Nessa's family Kitchen ( and it's one of my favourite blogs. Next month she will release her first cookbook called Apron Strings which I'm looking forward to buying.

Here's my recipe for garlic prawns which go really well with brown bread and a wedge of lemon. 
4 large garlic cloves (peeled and finely diced)
10 king prawns

Soya sauce
Vegetable oil for frying
Few lemon wedges

1. Heat vegetable oil on a non-stick frying pan on medium/ high heat.

2. Add the garlic and fry until you start to get a nice smell from the garlic (do not fry until the garlic turns brown).
3. Toss the prawns onto the frying pan and lightly season with pepper.

4. Once the prawns are cooked drizzle a little soya sauce over the prawns and then take the frying pan off the heat and stir.

5. Place on a serving dish with a wedge of lemon and some brown bread. 

If you are lucky enough to have large king prawns for this recipe then you may need to add a little more garlic as I used medium sized prawns for this recipe. It really depends on how much you love garlic!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


Omu-raisu is a Japanese omlette with fried rice in the middle served with tomato ketchup. It is one of the many modern Japanese dishes brought into Japan from abroad. This is my version of the Japanese omlette with mixed vegetables instead of rice.

3 eggs (free range/ organic)
Half tsp soya sauce
1 tsp caster sugar
Few handfuls of spinach leaves
3 shitake mushrooms lightly fried 
Boiled edamame (soya beans) optional
Tomato ketchup to garnish 
Vegetable oil for frying 

  1. Lightly mix 3 eggs, soya sauce and caster sugar in a bowl using a fork or chopsticks. 
  2. Put on a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
  3. Add the egg mixture to the frying pan and move around so the egg is evenly spread on the pan (cook the omlette slowly). 
  4. When the egg starts to cook around the edges use the side of a spatula or chopsticks to draw the edge of the egg into the centre allowing the uncooked egg sitting on top to cook. 
  5. Continue to do this a few times until there is a little liquid left sitting on top. 
  6. Take the omlette off the heat. 
  7. Place all the ingredients including the spinach leaves, mushrooms and edamame in a line down the centre of the omlette.
  8. Fold the omlette like a wrap. 
  9. Carefully put the wrapped omlette on a plate as shown in the picture. 
  10. Drizzle tomato ketchup over the omlette.

1. Remember that the egg will continue to cook when it is folded so leave a little liquid on top before taking off the heat. 

2. You can eat this omlette without fillings or use another type of filling.

Friday, 8 March 2013


You can easily add flavour to a chicken or salmon dish by simply adding terikyaki sauce. Bottled teriyaki sauce is available in most supermarkets but you should really try making your own. It requires just one ingredient that you may not have in your kitchen cupboard called sake (Japanese rice wine). Sake can be bought in most Asian markets and if you invest in a bottle of sake there are loads of other recipes that you can use it for so it won't be wasted!

This recipe is a mild teriyaki sauce as I find some of the teriyaki sauces can be too strong. However you can add more/ less sugar or soya sauce to adjust the flavour if necessary. I'd love to hear back from you, let me know how you find it.

2 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely grated)
Thumbsize piece of ginger (peeled and finely grated)
100g sugersnap peas
100g baby sweetcorn
Packet of udon noodles (can use other types of noodles)
Fillet of Salmon
Vegetable oil for frying 

Teriyaki Sauce (mix all the ingredients below in a small bowl)
3 tbsp sake (Japanese rice wine)
2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar

1. Place the packet of noodles in a bowl of boiling water and set aside for a few minutes. Gently separate the noodles while in the water and then drain.

2. Pour a little vegetable oil on medium/high heat on a non-stick frying pan. 

3. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for about 30 seconds.

4. Toss the sugarsnap peas and baby sweetcorn into the frying pan and fry for a few minutes leaving the vegetables nice and crunchy. Set aside in a bowl.

6. Add more oil to the frying pan and set the heat to medium/high again.  

7. Place the salmon fillet (skin side down) on the frying pan and seal both sides of the fish. 
8. When the fish is nearly cooked (place the salmon fillet skin side down at this point) pour the teriyaki sauce over the fish.
9. Use a large spoon to pour the sauce over the fish fillet while continuing to fry.

10. When the sauce is starting to get thick (but not as thick as syrup) add the noodles and veg. Continue to stir until the noodles and veg are completed coated in the teriyaki sauce. 

11. Garnish with sesame seeds. 

Keep a close eye on the teriyaki sauce when it is reducing as it can quickly reduce on high heat.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Japanese Twist on classic recipe: Matcha Simple Apple Tart

This is my St. Patrick's Day inspired recipe taken from chef Paul Flynn. It's a simple apple tart recipe that I love making this because it takes about 5 minutes to prepare and then another 15 minutes to cook in the oven. It's goes perfect with a cup of tea!

I sprinkled the apple tart with matcha just before serving and garnished with pecans and maple syrup instead of making the sweet sauce in Paul Flynn's recipe. 

shop bought pre-rolled puff pastry
red apples (half an apple per portion)
icing sugar

50g chopped pecans

For the sweet sauce
40g castor sugar
100 ml water
200 ml cream
drizzle of maple syrup 

    1. Unwrap the pastry and roll out on a chopping board. Cut into 10cm x 5cm rectangles. Prick the centre of the pastry, leaving a 1cm border around the edges unpricked.

    2. Cut the apple in half and remove the core. Thinly slice the apple and spread out over the surface of the pastry. Dust liberally with icing sugar

    3.. Bake at 200°C for 10-15 minutes until the pastry is crisp and caramelised.  

    4. Toast the pecans in a dry non-stick pan and transfer to a bowl. 

    5. Place a thin layer of caster sugar in the pan and allow caramelising on a medium heat. Add a little water and dissolve the caramel. Return the pecans to the pan with the caramel syrup. Add cream and maple syrup. Bring to the boil then allow to cool slightly before serving.

    For information on how to make matcha and where to buy it click here.
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