Yoshoku: A Western Twist on Japanese Food
July 11, 2016
Classic Yoshoku Recipes
While there are countless delicious dishes that belong to the yoshoku category, these are a few of the originals. Warning: you might become hungry after reading!
Japanese cabbage rolls
This dish consists of cabbage leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings, such as a mixture of ground chicken, green onions and a beaten egg. After boiling the cabbage leaves and trimming the thick parts to make them easier to roll, place the filling mixture into the cabbage leaves. You can use a toothpick to help them stay closed. Finally, boil the rolls into hot water seasoned with chicken bouillon, and serve them with whole grain mustard.
A favorite of kids, omu-rice is a thin omelette wrapped around stir fried rice flavored with tomato. This comfort food is usually enjoyed at home, but it's also a popular menu item in family restaurants. Start with frying some rice with pieces of chicken, green peas (you can use a mix of frozen vegetables), ketchup and a bit of soy sauce. In a separate pan, whisk an egg with a dash of milk, and cook the mixture into a thin omelette. Carefully put some of the filling mixture in the middle of the omelette, flip both sides to close it, then shape into a football. You can drizzle ketchup on top to decorate it, or to write a sweet message!
Japanese deep fried pork cutlet is a well-liked dish found in various forms: served on its own with a side of shredded cabbage, as a sandwich filling, and in bento lunch boxes. Tonkatsu may seem a bit complicated to make, but it's actually rather simple. All you need are pork chops dusted with salt and pepper, then covered with a thin layer of flour. Dip the meat in a beaten egg mixture, then cover with panko (fresh bread crumbs). Deep fry in hot oil for about 3 minutes on each side, at 170-180 degrees Celcius. Let it cool, then cut into bite-sized pieces. You can even bake it instead of deep-frying, for a healthier (yet just as tasty) version.
Neapolitan refers to cooked spaghetti stir-fried with vegetables in ketchup. This dish is widely available in cafes across Japan, and it's also rather easy to make and child-friendly. The cooked pasta is usually stir-fried with green bell peppers, mushroom, onions and chunks of sausage. Add some tomato ketchup and a bit of Worcestershire sauce to give it a little kick. Toss everything until the meat and vegetables are cooked, then served sprinkled with parmesan cheese.