Japanese Cooking

Japanese recipes

Recetas Japonesas y Sushi para Navidady maridaje con Cava
Cava de Guarda sirviendo.png
Light, fruity and citric, its crisp, fast bubbles are typical of a young wine. On the palate, notes of white flowers and fruits like green apple and pear. Ideal for pairing with all types of aperitivos, salads, light canapés or seafood.
1 Hour
Difficulty
4 people
Seafood

Japanese cuisine may not be the first to spring to mind when you’re thinking about Christmas recipes. However, these are great dishes for sharing, prepared with fresh, top-quality produce that will surprise your friends. We also have some recipes with that extra twist that will add an impressive touch to your celebrations. Chicken and vegetable gyozas, avocado makis, California rolls with avocado, tuna sashimi, langoustines and caviar, and salmon tataki with sesame, chia seeds and soy sauce. Recipes with a festive sparkle that combine to perfection with very young Cavas, and that will add more than a touch of cheer to your Christmas table.

Pairing: All these recipes have the subtle flavours of raw fish. This is why they need to be paired with a Cava de Guarda, a young wine that’s light and lively, and that won’t overpower the fish, complementing to perfection the taste of its natural oils. Furthermore, every sip will refresh and cleanse the palate, making it an ideal partner for different types of sushi and starters without mixing flavours.

Ingredients

CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE GYOZAS
1 packet ready-made gyoza skins
350g finely minced chicken
140g Chinese cabbage
3-4 shitake mushrooms
2 spring onions
1 garlic clove
A 2-3 cm piece of ginger, grated
1 tsp saké (optional)
Neutral tasting oil for frying (sunflower, rape seed, etc.)
Sesame oil
Soy sauce
Rice vinegar
Black pepper
AVOCADO MAKIS
200g of raw sushi rice
1 avocado
2 sheets nori seaweed
80ml rice vinegar
60ml water
30g sugar
5g salt
Soy sauce
Juice of half a lemon
Wasabi (optional)
Slices of pickled ginger (optional)
CALIFORNIA ROLLS, WITH AVOCADO, TUNA SASHIMI, LANGOUSTINES AND CAVIARE
450g raw sushi rice
170g sashimi quality bluefin tuna
85g langoustines
8 sheets nori seaweed
2-3 avocados
1 lemon
Half a cucumber (optional)
3 tbsp rice vinegar
Japanese mayonnaise (optional)
Caviar or Tobiko (flying fish roe, optional)
60g sesame seeds
80ml rice vinegar
60ml water
30g sugar
5g salt
SALMON TATAKI WITH SESAME, CHIA SEEDS AND SOY SAUCE
400g fresh salmon
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1/2 tsp chia seeds
A thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
Green onion
Neutral tasting oil for frying (sunflower, rape seed)
Soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp ponzu sauce (optional)
For the homemade version of ponzu sauce, if needed
Soy sauce
Juice of one lemon or lime
Juice of half an orange
Mirin (sweet Japanese wine)
Katsuobushi (bonito flakes, optional)

Instructions

1
CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE GYOZAS Blanch the cabbage by immersing in boiling water for a couple of minutes (remove the hard stem first).
2
Finely chop the cabbage, spring onions and shitake mushrooms.
3
Chop the garlic and grate the ginger.
4
Mix everything together in a large bowl, and season with 1 tsp each of soy sauce, sesame oil and saké, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Stir well.
5
Put some water and a few drops of vinegar in a bowl so that you can wet your hands to make it easier to handle the filling. Take a spoonful of filling and place it in the centre of one of the skins. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the edges of the skin. Fold in half over the filling.
6
Using your fingers, pinch a pleat on the edge in the centre. Press the pleat (only the pleat) against the back of the skin. Repeat on each side until you have about eight pleats in all, pressing down firmly on each to seal the gyoza. Give your gyoza a slight crescent shape. Repeat with the rest of the skins. If you’ve taken the skins out of the packaging, cover a damp cloth or with cling film until needed to stop them from drying out.
7
Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a pan, and fry the gyozas in batches, flat side down, until golden (2-3 minutes).
8
When nicely golden, add a little water (around 60 ml) to the pan, cover, and steam for another 2-3 minutes to finish cooking.
9
Prepare a dipping sauce using equal quantities of soy sauce and rice vinegar and serve alongside the gyozas.
10
Any leftover gyozas can be placed on a flat surface and frozen.
11
AVOCADO MAKIS Cook the sushi rice and season with the rice vinegar and sugar. You’ll find step by step instructions for this recipe here: https://www.cava.wine/es/descubre/recetas-del-mundo-cava/sushi/ Place the rice in a large bowl and cover with a damp cloth to stop it from becoming dry.
12
Cut the sheets of nori seaweed in half.
13
If you have a makisu (makisu are the woven bamboo mats used for food preparation in Japan), get it ready. If not, cut a piece of cling film slightly longer than the sheets of nori. Place it on your work surface.
14
Put some water and a few drops of rice vinegar in a bowl so that you can wet your hands as you work with the rice - this way it won’t stick to your fingers.
15
Place a sheet of nori carefully on the cling film or makisu, carefully aligning it with the bottom edge, then cover with a layer of rice, pressing down gently either with your fingers or using the back of a wooden spoon. Wet your hands at each stage of the process. Leave about 1 cm uncovered at the top.
16
Thinly slice the avocado, and sprinkle with lemon juice to stop it from going brown.
17
Place the avocado slices lengthwise in the centre of the rice, and start to roll up the makisu from the bottom so that you have a nice firm roll, holding the filling with your free fingers to stop it from falling out. The result should be a compact cylinder. Wet a finger and moisten the uncovered edge of the nori to help it to stick and to close better.
18
Next, lift the top edge of your makisu or cling film and knead the roll of sushi with its avocado filling gently to finish firming it up, and to ensure that it has a nice even shape.
19
Take a sharp knife and cut the sushi roll into bite-sized pieces. Wipe the knife with a damp cloth now and then to stop the rice from sticking.
20
Serve the sushi with a small bowl of soy sauce. Add a small quantity of wasabi paste for a touch of heat if you feel like it.
21
CALIFORNIA ROLLS, WITH AVOCADO, TUNA SASHIMI, LANGOUSTINES AND CAVIARE Cook the sushi rice and season with the rice vinegar and sugar. You’ll find step by step instructions for this recipe here: https://www.cava.wine/es/descubre/recetas-del-mundo-cava/sushi/ Set aside the rice in a large bowl and cover with a damp cloth to stop it from becoming dry.
22
Slice the tuna and langoustines, and do the same with the avocado, trying to keep the slices roughly the same size. Season the avocado with lemon juice to stop it from going brown. If you want to add cucumber to give it some crunch, cut into thin, lengthwise strips.
23
Cut away one third of a sheet of nori seaweed and set aside the smaller piece.
24
If you have a makisu, prepare it now by covering it with cling film. If not, simply place a piece of cling film that’s slightly larger than the sheet of nori on your work surface.
25
Put some water and a few drops of rice vinegar in a bowl so that you can wet your hands as you work with the rice - this way it won’t stick to your fingers.
26
Place the sheet of nori on the cling film, then cover with a layer of rice, pressing it down lightly onto the nori, frequently wetting your hands as you work. Leave about 1 cm uncovered at the top.
27
Carefully turn over the sheet of nori so that the layer of rice is at the bottom. Place it on the cling film once again, lining it up with the lower part of the makisu. The uncovered edge of the nori should be facing upwards once again. Place the slices of avocado and tuna lengthwise in the lower part. If you like, add a few teaspoons of Japanese mayonnaise, and thinly slice strips of cucumber.
28
When you’re done, take firm hold of the lower edge of the makisu or cling film, and start to roll everything up holding the filling with your free fingers to stop it from falling out. The result should be a nice firm cylinder. If you see that it’s not holding together very well, dip a finger in water and wet the rice-free edge to make sure that it sticks.
29
Next, lift the top edge of your makisu or cling film and knead the roll of sushi inside it. Repeat the process, making more rolls until you’ve used all your ingredients. When you’ve finished, spread the sesame seeds and caviar on a flat surface, and roll the sushi cylinders over the top to coat them in the mix.
30
Using a sharp knife, cut the roll in half, and then cut each half into approximately 3 pieces. Wipe the knife from time to time so that it doesn’t stick. Place the sushi pieces on a serving dish or plate, arranged in the original cylinder shape.
31
Serve your sushi with bowls of soy sauce for dipping. Add a small quantity of wasabi paste if desired.
32
SALMON TATAKI WITH SESAME, CHIA SEEDS AND SOY SAUCE If you don’t have ponzu sauce, prepare the homemade version using half a cup of soy sauce, a mix of citrus juices (lemon or lime and orange), a splash of mirin, and if you have some, a few bonito flakes and a splash of dashi. You could also add some kombu seaweed. Ideally make this a few hours in advance so that the flavours have time to blend.
33
Grate the ginger, and finely chop the green onion. Place in a bowl with the ponzu sauce and mix well.
34
Dry the salmon with kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture, and roll it in the sesame and chia seeds, ensuring that they stick to the fish. Leave to rest for a few minutes.
35
Heat the oil in a pan, and sear the salmon - about 1 minute each side. The inside of the fish should still be raw, and the outside nicely golden. Remove from the pan, and leave to rest for a couple of minutes.
36
Place on a cutting board and cut into slices about half a centimetre thick.
37
Plate the salmon and cover it with the ponzu or homemade sauce.

CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE GYOZAS

Crispy and soft at the same time, crisp and golden on the outside, and juicy on the inside, gyozas are the perfect snack or light starter for a lunch with friends, or the star of the show as part of a buffet supper.

These little Japanese dumplings are just as popular as ramen in their country of origin and are often served as an accompaniment to these noodles in specialist restaurants, and in izakayas (Japanese taverns). Based on traditional Chinese jiaozi, they consist of a fine dough filled with vegetables to which meat or prawns can be added, and are sealed by making almost artistic looking pleats. The Japanese version combines two cooking techniques: lightly pan frying, and then finishing by steaming. The result is a combination of textures, soft and delicate yet crispy, and as you bite into your gyozas you’ll find that the ingredients used for the filling have lost none of their wonderful freshness.

AVOCADO MAKIS

Maki sushi is the best-known form of sushi preparation. The traditional nori seaweed is wrapped around the rice, which in turn enfolds the other ingredients. This version is ideal as a light snack or as a starter for a lunch or dinner with friends, since as the filling is no more than deliciously creamy avocado, it’s a dish that everyone can enjoy. Furthermore, as it has just one single ingredient that’s easy to handle, it’s one of the easiest types of sushi for those starting out on their Japanese cooking journey to prepare. But don’t be deceived by this apparent simplicity; combining with nori seaweed and soy sauce makes for a delicate, complex set of flavours.

CALIFORNIA ROLLS, WITH AVOCADO, TUNA SASHIMI, LANGOUSTINES AND CAVIARE

The deliciously tasty California Roll wasn’t born in Japan. In fact, it’s the product of a new take on Japanese maki sushi by California sushi chefs looking to adapt to US tastes. This is why California Rolls are normally Urumakis: nori seaweed isn’t wrapped around the outside of the rice as is more usual in Japan (nori is perceived as rather strange and alien by Americans), but is used inside the roll to hold the fish and other filling ingredients together, with the rice forming the outside layer.

This recipe combines the creaminess of avocado with the delicate flavours of prawns and sashimi-grade tuna, a top-quality bluefin tuna (the best wild tuna caught using the traditional almadraba method) designed to be served raw in sashimi. The sophisticated caviar topping makes this recipe an ideal dish for holidays or special occasions.

SALMON TATAKI WITH SESAME, CHIA SEEDS AND SOY SAUCE

Tataki is a great dish for those who love the flavours of lightly seared fish, and is one of the simplest of Japanese recipes to prepare. It preserves all the flavours of the fish, and so needs to be made using very fresh top-quality produce. Traditionally the fish is marinated in ponzu, a traditional citrussy Japanese sauce that combines soy sauce with the citrus flavours of yuzu, and sometimes other more complex flavours as well by adding dashi, mirin (sweet rice wine with a low alcohol content), or rice vinegar. If you can’t find it in your local supermarket, it can be replaced with a homemade version by mixing soy sauce with the juice of various citrus fruits.

The finishing touch is a crunchy sesame seed coating. For extra texture, you can add chia seeds to the sesame. It’s so simple to prepare we’re sure it’ll become one of your favourite recipes!

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