Extracted from Tokyo Stories: A Japanese Cookbook by Tim Anderson (Hardie Grant, £26) Photography Ó Nassima Rothacker
FUKAGAWA MESHI RICE WITH CLAMS AND MISO BROTH
100 ml (3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup) sake
½ leek (white part), thinly sliced
10 g (½ oz) ginger root, peeled and finely shredded
200 g (7 oz) shimeji mushrooms, roughly chopped
300 g (10½ oz) fresh small clams such as littleneck, carpetshell, asari or cockles, cleaned
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) dashi
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon soy sauce
20 g (¾ oz) miso
200 g (7 oz/1 cup) rice
2 egg yolks (optional)
½ sheet of nori, cut into fine shreds (or a couple of pinches of kizami-nori)
1. Bring the sake to a simmer in a pan with a lid. Add the leek, ginger and mushrooms and simmer for a few minutes, then add the clams and place a lid on the pan.
2. Steam for 3 minutes until the clams open. Drain and reserve the liquid, then pick all the meat from the shells along with the bits of veg, and reserve.
3. Add the dashi, mirin and soy sauce to the liquid and measure out 260 ml (9 fl oz/generous 1 cup). Stir the miso into the remaining broth.
4. Cook the rice according to the instructions on page 26, using the measured broth instead of water. When the rice is done, fold in half of the clam meat and veg.
5. Scoop the rice into deep bowls and top with the remaining clams and veg. Top with the egg yolks, if using, and the shredded nori, and serve the miso broth in separate bowls on the side. Serve with a side of Tsukudani and various pickles.
TERIYAKI CHICKEN AND BOILED EGG SANDO
MAKES 4 SANDOS
100 ml (3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup) soy sauce
100 ml (3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup) mirin
4 tablespoons sake
50 g (2 oz/¼ cup) light soft brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
8 slices of white bread
4 tablespoons Kewpie mayo
a few lettuce leaves
1. Boil the eggs perfectly. Easier said than done, right? What you want are eggs that are medium boiled – they need to be firm enough to slice, and the yolks should be mostly set, but still ever so slightly gooey in the centre. There are many variables at play in egg boiling, but as long as you control as many of them as possible, you should achieve egg nirvana. Here is what works for
me: I keep my eggs in the fridge, I use medium eggs, and always start with water at a rolling boil. I lower the eggs into the water carefully with a slotted spoon, and cook them for 7½ minutes (this will be more like 7 minutes for small eggs or 8 minutes for large eggs).
2. As soon as the time’s up, I drain the eggs and chill them in cold water. Let them chill thoroughly, as this will make them easier to peel (old eggs, rather than fresh ones, are also easier to peel, by the way).
3. Combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, brown sugar and garlic in a deep frying pan (skillet) and bring to the boil. Stir in the cornflour slurry to thicken, then add the chicken thighs. Cook in the sauce for about 10 minutes, basting continuously, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has reduced slightly and glazed the chicken nicely (keep the heat moderate so the sauce doesn’t over-reduce).
4. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Slice the chicken and the eggs. To assemble the sandwiches, spread one slice of bread with the mayo, then add the lettuce, then the sliced chicken, then a little more sauce, and finally the eggs and the other slice of bread. Like all conbini sandwiches, this will be good fresh but also equally good after a day in the fridge.
HARUKIYA-STYLE OLD-SCHOOL TOKYO SHOYU RAMEN
For the broth -
1.8 litres (60 fl oz/7½ cups) water
100 g (3½ oz) chicken feet
1 chicken back
6 chicken wings (whole wings, not segments)
1 pig’s trotter, chopped up (ask your butcher)
20 g (¾ oz) iriko (dried sardines), guts andheads removed
1 onion, quartered
50 g (2 oz) piece of ginger root, sliced (no need to peel)
10 g (½ oz) kombu (about a 10-cm (4-in) square), rinsed
10 g (½ oz) katsuobushi
For the chashu -
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soft brown sugar
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) pork loin
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (koikuchi or tamari)
3 tablespoons light soy sauce (usukuchi)
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon sea salt flakes, or more to taste
4 portions medium-thick, wavy ramen noodles (fresh is best)
80 g (3 oz) menma
2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1 sheet of nori, cut into 4 squares
1. To make the broth, preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F/ gas ¼). Combine the water, chicken feet, chicken back, wings, trotter, iriko, onion and ginger in a large stock pot or casserole. Gradually bring to a low boil over a medium heat, skimming the scum off the surface as it begins to bubble. Simmer for about half an hour, or until no new scum rises to the top, skimming constantly. Top up the water to cover the bones, if needed, cover with a lid or kitchen foil, then transfer to the oven. Leave to simmer in the oven for 5 hours.
2. Remove the bones (you can eat the meat from the wings, if you like) and pass the broth through a fine sieve. Add the kombu and the katsuobushi and leave to infuse for 1 hour. Pass through a sieve again and measure – you will need 1.4 litres (50 fl oz/6 cups) of broth in total, so simply top up with water as needed.
3. Chill completely, then remove the solidified fat from the surface of the broth and reserve. Use a ladle to scoop out the broth and transfer to a separate container, leaving behind any debris on the bottom.
4. (The broth should be very clear.) To make the chashu, preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F/ gas 1/2). Stir together the soy sauce and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Score the surface of the pork and rub the sweet soy mixture all over, then transfer to the oven and roast just until the internal temperature reaches 57°C (134°F) – this should take no more than 30 minutes. (If you don’t have a probe thermometer, prod the pork – it should still feel fairly supple. And remember, if the pork is undercooked, you can always cook it more, but if if’s overcooked, there’s no going back. So err on the side of rare and take it out as soon as you think it might be done!) Chill the pork completely.
5. To serve, bring the broth to a simmer and add the soy sauces, mirin and salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you like. Prepare a large saucepan full of boiling water. Thinly slice the chashu. Melt the reserved fat from the broth in a small saucepan or in the microwave.
6. Cook the noodles in the boiling water according to the package instructions, ensuring that they have a good bite to them. Drain well. Divide the broth
evenly among the 4 bowls, then place the noodles in the broth. Top each bowl with a slice of chashu, the menma, some
7. spring onions and a spoonful or two of the melted fat. Place the nori squares on the side of each bowl, slightly submerged in the broth. Enjoy piping hot and don’t forget to slurp!
CHOUX CREAM AND CHOUX PASTRY
MAKES 8 PUFFS
For the crème pâtissière
3 egg yolks
45 g (1¾ oz/scant 1/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
25 g (1 oz/scant 1/4 cup) sponge flour or plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
250 ml (81/2 fl oz/1 cup) milk
200 ml (7 fl oz/scant 1 cup) whipping cream
For the choux pastry
50 g (2 oz) butter
pinch of salt
120 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) water
75 g (21/2 oz/scant ? cup) sponge flour or plain (all-purpose) flour
1. To make the crème pâtissière, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar dissolves, then mix in the flour and whisk until smooth. Place the vanilla
2. seeds and pod in a saucepan with the milk and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and gradually stir into the egg yolk mixture and mix until smooth. Return to the pan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until the mixture thickens to a batter consistency. Cover and transfer to the fridge to chill completely.
3. Whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold in the cooled crème pâtissière and mix until completely smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a wide metal nozzle and refrigerate until needed.
4. To make the choux pastry, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the salt and water. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat, add the flour and whisk to combine. Place the pan back on the heat and beat the mixture
with a spatula until it dries out slightly and reaches a consistency like mashed potato. Remove from the heat and tip the dough into a bowl. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then mix in the eggs with a spatula, one at a time, until fully incorporated into the dough. Transfer to a piping bag, and cut the ti