Shichimi Togarashi Blend
Makes 3/4 cup
Good For/Complements: grilled pork and chicken, oily fish, tempura, udon and soba noodles, as a table condiment
This blend is a popular Japanese mixture sometimes called seven-spice powder. The blend’s uniqueness is that the ingredients provide a layer of flavors as opposed to heat being the primary protagonist. It’s a fun mix because it isn’t pulverized into a fine powder, giving a textural element.
2 tablespoons sancho peppercorns
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes or 2 dried japonés chiles, if available
1 tablespoon dried orange peel
1 teaspoon grated black lime (optional)
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds, divided
2 teaspoons white sesame seeds, divided
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 sheet nori seaweed, flaked or shredded
2 teaspoons hemp seeds or poppy seeds
Recipe Tip: Check at your local Asian market for Sancho peppercorns or order them online. Citrus peel can be made by cutting the peel into thin slices and leaving them out in a dry, dark place for several days or by baking on low heat (150°F to 200°F) for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Wasabi Mayonnaise Sauce
Makes 1/2 cup
Good For/Complements: burgers, dipping sauce for fries, chips, and wings, fatty fish, pork
Wasabi is a piquant addition to sauces and marinades. This mayonnaise sauce, courtesy of the incomparable actress Alfre Woodard, works as a fish marinade and adds a flavor punch to pork, steak, or tuna. Alfre’s note: “Wasabi in mayo and a squeeze of lemon changes the life of the spread.”
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon wasabi powder
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Shichimi Togarashi Blend
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Recipe Tip: Swap out the mayonnaise for 2 tablespoons rice vinegar to make a saucy steak marinade. Wasabi paste doesn’t keep very long before it starts to lose flavor, so don’t hold on to it for too long. You can also add more wasabi for a stronger kick.
Wasabi Steak Sauce
Makes 1 cup
Good for/Complements: beef steak, chicken teriyaki, grilled fish
As Chef Kaz Ishikawa told me about how he orders wasabi and horseradish from Japan, where it grow along the cold mountain streams, all I could think about was eating his food. My mouth watering, he went on to describe the wasabi steak sauce he was thinking about contributing to this book. I’m so glad he did!
2 tablespoons red wine
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 consommé cube dissolved in 2 ounces water
2 teaspoons mirin
2 teaspoons Wasabi Mayonnaise Sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Whisk together the wine, soy sauce, consommé, mirin, and wasabi paste in a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over low heat and continue stirring while it heats. Right before the mixture boils, whisk in the cornstarch. You can adjust the sauce thickness according to your preference by continuing to cook the sauce until it reaches your desired consistency. The sauce is best used right away, but it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Recipe Tip: I’ve wanted to learn how to better use wasabi and use it more often. As an experiential learner, sometimes it takes knowing a trusted ally to teach you a recipe. This is a good one to open that door.