JapanEasy - Tim Anderson - Recipe and Giveaway

JapanEasy: Classic and Modern Japanese Recipes to (Actually) Cook at Home by Tim Anderson offers an introduction to the world of Japanese cooking via some of its most accessible dishes. Anderson's first book Nanban is killer, you can find more information on that title on my Friday Flashback.

In his new title, Anderson shares everything we need to know to make authentic Japanese food at home which, in turn, eliminates all the reasons ("excuses") that we come up with for not doing so. The photos are killer, the instructions spot on and the recipes and diagrams will have us all whipping out gyoza (including making our own wrappers) in no time.

Fried prawns with shichimi mayo, Japanese fried chicken, the Best miso soup, and Crab cream croquettes are a few examples of what you will find here. Also included are Sushi, Sukiyaki, Hot Pots and more with tips, tricks and Anderson's expertise to guide us.

Thanks to Hardie Grant for sharing the Curry udon recipe with our members and for providing three copies of this book in our contest below.

Curry udon (Kare udon)
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Serves 4

Difficulty: Supremely not difficult

Japanese curry and udon: a comfort food power couple. The addition of curry to hot udon doubles down on its warming, satisfying qualities - I love all kinds of udon, but this may be my favourite.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green chilli, very finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, diced
  • 60 g (2 oz / 1/2 stick) butter
  • 6 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 45 g (1 3/4 oz) Madras curry powder (you can use hot or mild, or a combination of both)
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1.2 litres (41 fl oz / 5 cups) chicken or beef stock, dashi, or any combination of the three
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup or Tonkatsu Sauce (see below)
  • salt
  • 1 sweetcorn cob, or 150 g (5 oz) tinned sweetcorn
  • 4 portions of udon noodles
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
  • 4 eggs, poached or soft-boiled
  • pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 40-50 g (1 1/2 -2 oz) red pickled ginger (optional)
  • 50 g (2 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated (optional - but it's DELICIOUS)
  • toasted sesame seeds

Method

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook until lightly browned, then add the chilli, garlic and red pepper. Continue to cook until the garlic has softened and the pepper has started to brown.

Remove the veg from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the butter to the pan and let it melt, then whisk in the flour. Cook until the roux turns a light golden brown, stirring constantly. Add the curry powder and garam masala, reduce the heat to low and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the stock or dashi in a thin stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and bring to the boil. Add the soy sauce and ketchup or tonkatsu sauce and reduce to a simmer.

If using a sweetcorn cob, blanch in boiling water then cut off the kernels, or heat up the tinned sweetcorn in a saucepan or the microwave.

Cook the udon according to the package instructions, then drain and portion into deep bowls. Pour over the curry broth and top with the sweetcorn kernels, sautéed onion and pepper mixture, spring onions, eggs, chilli flakes, pickled ginger, cheese, if using, and sesame seeds.

Tonkatsu sauce 
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Makes about 600ml (20 FL OZ / 2 1/2 Cups)

Variations on this tangy-sweet, fruity-savoury, Worcestershire-like brown sauce - an essential flavour in dishes like okonomiyaki, takoyaki, tonkatsu and yakisoba - are incredibly common in casual modern Japanese cooking. I was running a cooking class a while ago in which I taught the students how to make this, and one of them said, upon tasting it, 'Oh! You taught us how to make brown sauce.' And so I did - tonkatsu sauce's flavour is remarkably British, sitting somewhere on the flavour spectrum between HP and Branston Pickle, but it has a few Japanese flourishes to enhance umami and sweetness. It also has a delightful affinity with mayonnaise.

By the way, there's no need to get too nerdy about this, but generally speaking this sauce should be made a little sweeter for okonomiyaki (more sugar), more acidic for tonkatsu (more vinegar/Worcestershire sauce), and thinner and more savoury for yakisoba (more soy sauce/Worcestershire sauce).

  • 200 ml (7 fl oz / scant 1 cup) Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar (malt or rice, or a mixture)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 8 dates or about 3 tablespoons raisins, chopped
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon hot mustard (English, Chinese or Japanese)
  • big pinch of garlic powder
  • big pinch of white pepper
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz / scant 1 cup) tomato ketchup

Method

Combine the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, vinegar, onion, dates or raisins, and apple in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the onion and dates or raisins are very soft. Add the mustard, garlic powder, white pepper and ketchup, transfer to a blender, and purée until smooth (then pass through a sieve if you want it really smooth).

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge indefinitely. PRO TIP: This is the best possible condiment for a sausage or bacon bap.

Recipe excerpted with permission from JapanEasy by Tim Anderson, published by Hardie Grant Books September 2017, RRP $29.99 hardcover.

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US.  One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won't be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on November 23rd, 2017.

74 Comments

  • sarahawker  on  10/16/2017 at 10:45 AM

    Sweet potato and sesame croquettes (Satsuma-imo kurogoma korokke)

  • patioweather  on  10/16/2017 at 10:56 AM

    I agree - sweet potato croquettes

  • laffersk  on  10/16/2017 at 10:58 AM

    How to cook Japanese rice

  • lpatterson412  on  10/16/2017 at 12:29 PM

    "The Best Miso Soup"!

  • ravensfan  on  10/16/2017 at 12:56 PM

    The best miso soup

  • annmartina  on  10/16/2017 at 1:18 PM

    Japanese beef and potato stew. There's a similar recipe in Keepers and it's delicious!

  • alemily  on  10/16/2017 at 2:34 PM

    Chicken thigh and spring onion yakitori

  • sgump  on  10/16/2017 at 2:59 PM

    I'm happy to see Japanese beef and potato stew (nikujaga)--that's real comfort food (I used to live in Japan). Of course, I'm curious if Anderson is going to say that a drop lid (otoshibuta) is essential for making this dish . . . that's one of many kitchen implements that didn't travel back to the States with me (alas). (In Japan, you most likely wouldn't attempt to make nikujaga without a drop lid; of course, you can use aluminum foil--but it's just not the same.)

  • kmn4  on  10/16/2017 at 3:16 PM

    Soy-marinated eggs (Ajitsuke tamago)

  • skipeterson  on  10/16/2017 at 4:29 PM

    Sweet soy and stout-braised pork belly (Buta kakuni)

  • aminning  on  10/16/2017 at 4:34 PM

    spicy tuna roll

  • robynsanyal  on  10/16/2017 at 6:59 PM

    Griddled squid (Ika-yaki) yum!!!!

  • LaurenE  on  10/16/2017 at 10:23 PM

    Japanese beef and potato stew

  • cheftina888  on  10/16/2017 at 10:36 PM

    I plan to have matcha mascarpone pots for dessert after a asian family style dinner of pan roasted duck breast, a salmon terayaki, some sushi, a salad or veggie dish and tempura fritters.

  • ladybrooke  on  10/16/2017 at 11:24 PM

    I can't choose between spicy tuna rolls, tempura, and tempura fritters - all three are right up my alley.

  • Lesliehauser  on  10/17/2017 at 7:01 AM

    Gyoza for my daughter, pickles for me!

  • vickster  on  10/17/2017 at 8:14 AM

    Gyoza

  • sipa  on  10/17/2017 at 12:21 PM

    Sweet miso-glazed aubergine

  • stulled  on  10/17/2017 at 6:18 PM

    Chicken thigh and spring onion yakitori

  • rchesser  on  10/17/2017 at 7:57 PM

    Chicken thigh and spring onion yakitori.

  • Siegal  on  10/18/2017 at 9:31 AM

    I always wanted to make my own gyoza

  • kitchenclimbers  on  10/18/2017 at 12:48 PM

    Kare udon

  • JulesLP  on  10/18/2017 at 2:34 PM

    Japanese pork cutlet (Tonkatsu)

  • Karla123  on  10/20/2017 at 5:38 AM

    The best miso soup...healthful goodness that I would happily make anytime.

  • Scotsman61  on  10/20/2017 at 10:54 PM

    Sweet potato and sesame croquettes (Satsuma-imo kurogoma korokke)

  • contest718  on  10/22/2017 at 9:38 AM

    I would love to try the Tonkatsu sauce . I would actually love to do more Japanese cooking and actually have it be more authentic.

  • Jenamarie  on  10/22/2017 at 2:59 PM

    Japanese beef and potato stew (Nikujaga)

  • rglo820  on  10/23/2017 at 11:58 AM

    Fried prawns with shichimi mayo!

  • lhudson  on  10/24/2017 at 4:01 PM

    Chicken patty yakitori

  • ccav  on  10/25/2017 at 10:56 AM

    Chilled tofu with soy sauce, ginger and katsuobushi

  • rachael_mc  on  10/25/2017 at 9:49 PM

    Katsu curry

  • t.t  on  10/25/2017 at 11:07 PM

    Japanese fried chicken (Chicken karaage)

  • Lafauvette  on  10/26/2017 at 9:09 AM

    candied sweet potato wedges

  • motherofpearl81  on  10/27/2017 at 9:29 AM

    Simmered turnips with sweet miso sauce

  • PennyBarr  on  10/27/2017 at 10:53 AM

    They all sound great but I would like to try Curry udon (Kare udon)

  • elisabethferg9  on  10/27/2017 at 10:07 PM

    I love Japanese Fried Chicken and would love to recreate it at home!

  • rejcooks  on  10/28/2017 at 9:30 AM

    Yakisoba or the pan fried duck breast

  • PennyG  on  10/28/2017 at 4:30 PM

    Sweet Miso-Grilled Cod sounds great!

  • annieski  on  10/30/2017 at 4:52 AM

    The Sweet Miso-Grilled Cod sounds great, but i may make the Curried Udon for lunch!

  • lauriesk  on  10/30/2017 at 1:21 PM

    The first recipe I would make is the Curry Udon.

  • bibliophile02  on  10/31/2017 at 8:57 AM

    Pan roasted mushrooms with soy-garlic butter

  • fbrunetti  on  10/31/2017 at 9:22 AM

    Grilled mackerel, kabayaki style

  • Rooks  on  10/31/2017 at 1:41 PM

    Surprisingly awesome one hour spicy miso ramen!

  • fiarose  on  10/31/2017 at 9:05 PM

    sweet miso-grilled cod!

  • VeryVigario  on  11/1/2017 at 7:02 PM

    Katsu Curry!

  • hirsheys  on  11/1/2017 at 9:55 PM

    Gyudon - I've been dying to learn how to make it ever since coming back from Japan.

  • Shelley.b  on  11/2/2017 at 4:48 AM

    Chicken thigh and spring yakitori

  • puddlemere  on  11/2/2017 at 9:15 AM

    Surprisingly awesome one-hour spicy miso ramen

  • ltsuk  on  11/2/2017 at 11:15 PM

    sweet miso cod

  • jezpurr  on  11/3/2017 at 5:23 PM

    Not sure which first. Alot sound good!!!^_^

  • herby  on  11/3/2017 at 6:26 PM

    Sweet miso-glazed aubergine

  • lxb260  on  11/3/2017 at 7:44 PM

    Chicken karaage!! So natsukashii. :)

  • Fallonb  on  11/3/2017 at 7:54 PM

    I would make griddled squid!

  • lgroom  on  11/3/2017 at 8:19 PM

    The best miso soup

  • tararr  on  11/4/2017 at 9:26 AM

    Best Miso soup

  • RickPearson54  on  11/4/2017 at 9:36 AM

    Sweet miso cod

  • hillsboroks  on  11/4/2017 at 11:17 AM

    I would try the Gyoza.

  • gravesgoetz  on  11/4/2017 at 11:47 AM

    Japanese fried chicken

  • RoseMGenuine  on  11/5/2017 at 10:01 PM

    Gyoza

  • dna  on  11/6/2017 at 7:04 AM

    the best miso soup

  • jim.windle  on  11/6/2017 at 11:07 AM

    Griddled squid!

  • Senkimekia  on  11/8/2017 at 8:27 PM

    Spicy tuna rolls

  • BMeyer  on  11/11/2017 at 6:42 PM

    terriyaki

  • Dulcey  on  11/12/2017 at 8:36 AM

    Pan roasted mushrooms with soy garlic butter

  • ZhoraAutumn  on  11/12/2017 at 12:59 PM

    Bacon-wrapped asparagus skewers (page 74)

  • cezovski  on  11/13/2017 at 2:53 AM

    I would try the Miso butterscotch banana split

  • JenJoLa  on  11/13/2017 at 1:15 PM

    Okinawa-style doughnuts with brown sugar syrup (Sata andagi)

  • AnnaZed  on  11/13/2017 at 9:53 PM

    The best miso soup

  • Amandaspamanda  on  11/14/2017 at 9:16 PM

    I would try The best miso soup, because miso soup is my go-to comfort food when I'm sick, but since we moved, we're no longer close to Japanese takeout!

  • madelainelc  on  11/15/2017 at 10:21 PM

    Chicken thigh and spring onion yakitori sounds delicious.

  • thewoobdog  on  11/16/2017 at 9:19 AM

    I'd want to try the "Surprisingly awesome one-hour spicy miso ramen"

  • Katiefayhutson  on  11/17/2017 at 10:13 PM

    Sweet Miso Cod

  • bonita7878  on  11/17/2017 at 10:13 PM

    I would flip immediately to Miso Soups ~ my kids and I love miso soup!

  • bstewart  on  11/18/2017 at 6:00 PM

    Japanese carbonara!

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