Japanese food to celebrate the Olympics

August 18, 2021

After a year’s delay – and a lot of ‘will they, won’t they’ speculation, the 2020 Olympics finally got its time to shine. Tokyo 2020 has not been without controversy, both in and out of the sporting arena. And while this particular Olympiad has been unlike any other, thanks to the unique challenges of COVID-19, it has definitely been a fabulous

showcase for Japan and all things Japanese. Foreign tourists may not have been able to visit but one of the best ways to experience a country vicariously is through its cuisine. So, if you’re not ready to let go and would like to bring the taste of Japan into your kitchen with some easy Japanese food, read on to discover some of national trainer Jo’s favourite dishes:

Tempura shrimp

Tempura shrimp

Most people associate Japanese food with sushi. But there’s far more to enjoy if you’re keen to expand your Japanese palette. I’m a huge fan of this Tempura Shrimp recipe, courtesy of chef James Martin. It’s served with stir-fried rice and an orange chilli sauce. And I can only describe this as a delicious taste explosion. I absolutely adore the combination of orange, chilli and ginger! There’s nothing too taxing involved in terms of processes either. But you’ll need to think ahead and cook your rice well before it needs to be stir-fried.

All of the elements are prepared on the hob, so I’d recommend our C901i induction model. This sleek, frameless appliance incorporates five zones. In fact, it’s perfect for recipes that require space for several pans and it offers versatile, controllable heat. Our chef mode allows you to mix different power levels (low, medium and high) across all the zones. So, you can fry on an intense heat then simply slide your pan to a lower temperature zone to keep it warm.

Meanwhile, you can work on other dishes so everything will be ready at the same time. I find our pan move option the best of all. This feature is so intuitive! Simply move your pan from one zone to another and it will pick up selected the selected settings on the hob where the pan originated from.

Enjoy intelligent cooking with our C901i induction hob, which offers exceptional functionality, plenty of pan space – and looks amazing!


Often confused with sushi, sashimi is also a raw fish dish. However, this Japanese food is usually served thinly sliced, without rice. It’s usually eaten with daikon, a type of winter radish.


I regularly choose this dish when I’m after something fresh and flavoursome. This recipe for sashimi-style salmon with shallot, chilli crunch and pickled cucumber is one of my favourites. And if you want to spend your time training for the next Olympics rather than cooking, this dish really is the perfect pick. The secret to a successful sashimi is to buy the best-quality ingredients you can afford then store them properly. After all, it’s vital that your salmon is properly chilled and cured.

I think our RIL1796 In-Column Larder Fridge would be absolutely ideal. With a total net capacity of 294 litres, this roomy model has plenty of storage space. This show-stopping fridge features our Caple Fresh technology, too.

In fact, this helps fresh food last longer by eliminating ethylene gas (a by-product of fresh foods) inside the vegetable drawer. It also incorporates our cool airflow system to ensure cold air covers every level for even chilling. The RIL1796 is big, clever – but still discreet. You hide it behind cabinet doors for an ultra-neat finish. And its maximum sound level of just 39dB makes it ideal for open-plan living.

Cooking for a crowd? Our RiL1796 in-column larder fridge incorporates masses of storage space and will keep all your food fabulously fresh for longer.

Yaki Soba

Yaki Soba

I like to think of yaki soba as the Japanese food version of comfort eating. This dish usually combines fried noodles, vegetables and meat, served with a thick, sweetish sauce. If you’re looking for something fast, easy and tasty this Wagamama recipe is a winner. You’ll need a powerful hob to make sure your shrimp is nice and crispy, however.

Our C789G Gas-On-Glass model incorporates a central 4.2kW triple ring burner, which is perfect for this type of wok cooking. It also includes sturdy, practical cast-iron pan supports, which allow you to slide heavy cooking vessels across burners with ease.

This hob also features Caple’s signature DirectHeat+, which sends heat upwards directly towards the base of the pan via a 45° inclined flame. So, more hits the base of the pan instead of escaping around the sides, for faster, more efficient cooking.

Rock your wok with our C789G gas-on-glass five-burner hob – perfect for both everyday use and fast, precision cooking.


Hands up if you’ve heard of okonomiyaki? It’s probably not the most well-known example of Japanese food, but it’s speedy and substantial. I’m a big fan!


Okonomiyaki isn’t a precise dish. This frittata-cum-pancake features a simple savoury batter, flavoured with fish stock and enlivened with the filling of your choice. Cabbage, spring onions, bacon and pork are popular choices, although pretty much anything goes. I suggest you use up anything that’s lurking in your fridge! Simply top with Japanese mayonnaise before serving.

Okonomiyaki is cooked on the hob and, depending on your ingredients, it can be quite pungent. An extractor such as our new VEL410GD island hood will make short work of unpleasant cooking smells. It offers three speeds, and an adjustable height to allow for both standard and tall ceilings. It’s available in three on-trend finishes: copper, gold and matt black.

If you’re looking for an induction option that combines style and substance, feast your eyes on our new VEL410GD Vela Island Hood, available in three stunning finishes.


Not all Japanese food involves raw fish or noodles. If you’re looking for a dish that will entice the less adventurous members of your family and friends, try this recipe for Tonkatsu pork. This easy, un-intimidating meal features breaded pork, a sauce made from tomato ketchup, and a dash of ginger and mustard. I like to serve it with rice and perhaps some shredded cabbage. Both the sauce and the pork steaks are cooked on the hob, so once again you’ll need an efficient extractor to keep odours under control.

Our DD780BK Induction Downdraft offers two appliances in one, making it a highly cost-effective option. The frameless induction hob incorporates ten power levels, a bridging function for extra versatility, and a timer function per zone.

The downdraft extractor element offers a choice of four speeds, a maximum extraction of 648m3/h, plus an automatic timer that switches off 15 minutes after cooking has finished. It’s ultra-easy to install and replace the charcoal filter too. You’ll find a magnetic feature keeps the grille in place in the plinth and this can be removed and replaced for easy access.

Twice as nice: Our DD780BK Induction Downdraft is a two-in-one hob and extractor that will give you the best of both worlds.

Enjoying hosting family and friends again now that lockdown is over? Click below to discover more of national trainer Jo’s top entertaining ideas.