Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to an intimate cookery Master class hosted by Valentine Warner at the Panasonic Test Kitchen which is where their latest and tech and gadgets are born and tested. Valentine himself, spent time growing up in Japan, where his father was the British Ambassador in the 70’s – giving him first hand, authentic knowledge of the cuisine and culture. Valentine’s appreciation and respect for the the Japanese way of life is very evident and his passion for maintaining authenticity. The emphasis in ‘Washoku’ (Japanese) cooking is on simplicity and appreciating the beauty in the natural flavours of the freshest of produce.
Valentine Warner walked us through 3 simple and and absolutely delicious recipes which we then had the opportunity to try to recreate for ourselves under his expert guidance!
We made a Mackerel Tataki (Which traditionally is a pounded raw mackerel dish) Ours was an adapted version with the fish chopped into small cubes with a sharp knife which resulted in it being a little more rustic (which I actually prefer) The flavours were so fresh and it was so moreish – I could happily eat this everyday!
• 2 teaspoons black or regular sesame seeds
• 4 very fresh mackerel fillets, pin boned and skinned (or 100g fresh tuna or salmon)
• 1 thumb sized piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and very, very, very finely chopped
• 2 small teaspoon of fresh Dijon mustard – optional
• 3 teaspoons good Japanese soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• Juice from 1 small lemon
• Sheet of toasted Nori seaweed, cut in 4 strips and stacked then snipped in thin ribbons.
• 1 large spring onions, trimmed and very finely diced
1. Remove all the peel and pith from the lemon and juice in the Panasonic Slow Juicer
2. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan until light golden brown, remove and leave to cool
3. Finely chop your fish with a very sharp knife into small cubes and place in a mixing bowl
4. Gently stir through the sesame seeds, ginger, Dijon mustard, lemon juice soya sauce
5. Divide on four small plates (on a bed of crushed ice for extra freshness!)
6. Deposit a nice little pile of chopped spring onion on each
7. Scatter over a small handful of the Nori seaweed
8. Dive in immediately
Another was the Crab Chawan Mushi (Savoury fish custard) I promise this is absolutely delicious and not as strange as it sounds! I was amazed at how how well it cooked in Panasonic’s steam combination microwave (This was one awesome piece of kit – perfect for steaming cakes too – I was reliably informed!)
• 4 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked
• 4 medium eggs
• 350ml Waitrose Dashi Stock or other powdered fish dashi diluted in the given amount of water
• 2 tsp cooking sake
• 2 tsp fresh Japanese soya sauce
• 150g white crab meat
• 2 Spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced into rounds
• Furikake Japanese sesame, sugar and seaweed seasoning optional or toasted sesame seeds
1. Turn Panasonic Steam Combination Microwave steamer onto full steam
2. Very gently beat the eggs, avoid frothing as this will lead to unwanted air bubbles
3. Slowly pour in the stock making sure the eggs and stock are well combined
4. Add the sake and soya sauce and stir in
5. Take the white crab meat (gently pressed in kitchen roll to remove excess liquid)
6. In the bottom of the four ramekins divide up the crab meat
7. Pour over the egg and dashi mix
8. Take the 4 soaked shitake mushrooms and press in paper as you did the crab meat
9. Slice in 4 and lay the mushrooms in the top of the chawan mushi mix
10. Cover each ramekin with a little cling film and poke some holes in the top
11. Steam for approximately 15 minutes or until set with a faint wobble in the top
12. Test how set by poking with a chopstick
13. Peel off cling film and set ramekins on plates with a teaspoon
14. Scatter over a few finely chopped spring onions pieces and the sesame and seaweed
15. Serve immediately
And… what you’re all waiting for…
The Umeshu Cocktail which is absolutely perfect for summer! Asia’s answer to a Pimm’s cocktail! Give it a Whirl and let me know what you think?
p.s. Don’t worry, its healthy – there’s a leaf in it.
• 125ml Umeshu sweet plum wine (Plum juice for a mocktail!)
• 1/2 tsp yuzu (Japanese orange) juice Available in Waitrose
• Ice cubes
• Soda water
• Fresh mint
1. Blitz the ice cubes in the Panasonic Blender to a crushed ice consistency
2. Give a large sprig of fresh mint a good clap between your hands (to release the minty goodness!)
3. Hold the mint to the side of a tall glass while ½ filling with the crushed ice
4. Add ½ tsp of yuzu juice
5. Top up with the Umeshu plum wine and soda water (ratio is up to you!)
6. Enjoy! (responsibly… )
Panasonic Slow Juicer MJ-L500 | RRP £199.99 | Available to buy now.
Panasonic Steam Combination Microwave NN-CS894 | RRP £499.99 | Available to buy now.
Panasonic Food Blender MX-ZX1800 | RRP £399.99 | Available to buy from August 2016.