Spring is finally in the air, and we can’t wait to update our recipe collection. Longer, lighter days call for fresher yet flavoursome food. So, that’s why we think Asian dishes can be perfect for this time of year. In fact, at the recent kbb Birmingham show, our Japandi-style (Japanese and Scandinavian) stand showcased a Japanese and British-inspired menu created by our brand ambassador, Michelin-star chef Josh Eggleton.
Visitors simply couldn’t get enough of Josh’s fusion recipes – and we can still taste his amazing Japanese-style soufflé! But don’t despair if you weren’t there. Josh’s culinary creations have inspired our national trainer Jo Underhay to source her own selection of Japanese recipes which you can follow in her latest post below. And, you’ll be pleased to hear, all of them can be cooked at home easily, using your Caple appliances.
For many people, sushi is synonymous with Japanese cuisine and I think it’s delicious. Interestingly, the term refers to the rice – and not the raw fish that usually accompanies it. In its original form, sushi consists of just four components: cooked rice, rice vinegar, seaweed and raw fish or vegetables. However, the skill lies within how you blend them together! Luckily, you don’t have to be a sushi master to enjoy these sushi rolls (sometimes known as maki sushi). In fact, this easy recipe I’ve found from Just One Cookbook demystifies the process.
I am a BIG fan of cooking rice in a steam oven. So, if you’ve never done it before, I urge you to try it asap. It’s such a simple process, which will deliver perfectly cooked rice every time. In fact, you’ll never have to stress about scrutinising your hob heating levels. And there will be no nasty stuck-on layer of rice to scrape away afterwards. Come on, we’ve all been there and done that at some point in our lives, haven’t we?!
Now, if you’ve never cooked rice in your steam oven before, I think the Steam & Bake blog has an excellent beginners’ guide. Although most people associate steam cooking with fish and vegetables, I find it’s a method that works well for almost anything. In addition, steam cooks food faster and at lower temperatures than other methods. So, it’s energy-efficient, delicious and healthy.
Our SO110SS Built-in Combination Steam Oven will serve perfect sushi rice for your Japanese recipes every time. You’ll find this model offers ten different functions, including steam, fan heat with steam, boost (for rapid preheat) and descale. It has a generous 36-litre capacity if you’re cooking for a crowd, and a variable steam cooking temperature from 40-100°C. It even has an A rating for energy efficiency.
Top tip: Make sure you buy specialist sushi rice for this recipe. These are usually short, round grains, which are easy to roll when cooked.
Simple one-pot chicken udon soup
If, like me, you’re nuts about noodles, then you’ll adore this chicken udon soup recipe, courtesy of the Omnivorescookbook. It’s the perfect Japanese recipe for those spring days that are still a bit damp and dreary. In fact, chicken udon soup is my go-to dish when I need a simple, but satisfying, one-pot supper – perfect comfort food.
The combination of seared chicken, thick noodles and tender vegetables in a rich soup really is delicious.
Best of all, everything is prepared on the hob resulting in speedy, stress-free sustenance. Our new C772G gas hob incorporates a versatile five-burner format that’s ideal for this type of cooking. After all, it features our signature DirectHeat+ technology, which produces a 45° inclined flame. This sends heat upwards, directly
towards the base of the pan. In other words, you’ll find your cooking is quicker and more energy-efficient. This model can be flush-mounted or inset, and features sturdy cast-iron pan supports.
If you’re watching your waistline in a bid to slim down by summer, a Poké bowl is perfect. Pronounced POKE-AY (not POKE-EE), it’s a Hawaiian staple that borrows heavily from Japanese and other Asian cuisines. Typical ingredients include raw fish, avocado, pickled vegetables, soy sauce, rice and seaweed. However, Poké is a super versatile concept that’s nutritious, convenient and filling. Steam your rice, then layer up with whatever raw ingredients you have to hand.
Top tip: Eat the rainbow! Poké bowls should be colourful and full of flavour, so don’t skimp on the veggies – or the seasoning.
Japanese ramen soup
‘Waste not, want not’ is a mantra I grew up with at home. If you’re looking for a Japanese meal that uses up those fridge leftovers, I recommend this ramen dish from Damn Delicious. It takes just 30 minutes from start to finish, using store-cupboard stapes and whatever vegetables you have to hand. You can include a boiled egg for extra protein, if preferred.
As you’d expect, this Japanese ramen recipe involves lots of boiling, simmering and cooking odours. None of which is a problem for our new A+ energy-rated DD70BK induction downdraft hob. This multi-tasking model is basically two appliances in one. It incorporates a frameless induction hob with 10 power levels, plus a downdraft extractor which captures every odour. There’s even a bridging function for added versatility when cooking larger dishes.
One of my all-time favourite Japanese recipes is for dumplings, often known as gyoza or gedza. These moreish, moon-shaped parcels of pork and vegetables make a fabulous starter or side dish. They
do require some prep time, primarily to make the dough. However, the actual cooking time is fast: simply steam in your oven for just 6-7 minutes. This recipe from MakfaHealth is a flavour-packed favourite of mine.
Keen to add some Asian inspiration to your mid-week recipe repertoire? Try this version of chicken yakitori, courtesy of Jessica Gavin. It works as a quick starter if you’re feeding a crowd, or a main meal if you add some sides. Chicken yakitori might sound intimidating, but it’s basically a simple grilled recipe served on skewers. All you have to do is baste your meat in the sticky, savoury-sweet sauce, then fire up the grill!
Our C2402SS electric pyrolytic single oven incorporates full, eco and turbo grill functions, for perfect yakitori every time. It even comes with a free Meater+ wireless smart meat thermometer! And if you make a mess with your marinade, it really doesn’t matter. The pyrolytic self-cleaning function heats the oven to 475°C so even baked-on grime will carbonise into fine ash. Simply wipe the ash away with a damp cloth afterwards. No extensive elbow grease required.
Top tip: Serve your chicken yakitori with steamed broccoli and brown rice/rice noodles for a more substantial meal.
No collection of Japanese recipes would be complete without a recipe for Mochi ice cream. This gorgeous, jewel-coloured dessert features
home-made ice cream cocooned within a thin layer of sweet dough. The melt-in-the-mouth mochi dough is made from a glutinous rice flour.
One of the best things about this recipe is the speed – mere minutes to cook the dough if you use a microwave. Our CM110SS combination microwave would be perfect for the job. It has eleven functions, including eight auto-cooking programmes, plus a sensor that automatically maintains the correct power levels and cooking times. Its roomy 40-litre capacity has a turntable-free design and full touch controls.
Top tip: If you’re not allergic, wear thin latex gloves to insulate warm hands from the ice cream. This helps to prevent them sticking to the mochi.
Want to know what you can expect to see on our stand at KBB? Our marketing manager Alex Fuidge tells all…
Josh Eggleton's humble beginnings started in a fish and chip shop in Bristol
Follow our product manager Luke Shipway’s expert advice on how you can successfully add gold to your kitchen.