Friday, 28 June 2013


Hello Everyone,

Nominations for the Irish Blog Awards 2013 are now open. If you think my blog is worthy of a nomination I'd really appreciate if you'd take a few minutes to click on the badge below and fill in a few details to nominate my blog.

The categories that my blog can be nominated for include "Best Food & Drink Blog", "Best Personal Blog"or "Best Post".

The details you'll need to nominate my blog are written below:
- Email of the blog you are nominating:
- Name of the blog you are nominating: Fiona's Japanese Cooking
- Web Address of the blog you are nominating:

blog awards ireland

Thanks so much for all your support and comments throughout the year. 

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


My husband’s grandparents came from a beautiful chain of islands off the south of mainland Japan called Okinawa. Okinawa is best known outside of Japan for enjoying one of the highest life expectancies in the world. This is mainly attributed to their healthy diet which includes tofu, seaweed and sweet potato.

Although Ireland has always had an abundant supply of seaweed it's only recently that we've started to take advantage of this wonderful natural resource. Nowadays, we have a collection of Irish seaweed companies including the Wild Irish Sea Veg, Cleggan Seaweed Company, Carraig Fhada Seaweed and VOYA). 

If you'd like to learn about seaweed and how to cook with it an Irish lady called Prannie Rhatigan wrote a fantastic book called "Irish Seaweed Kitchen".

Here's a very basic recipe of mine using seaweed and tofu.

3 medium size tomatoes (cut into bite size pieces)
1 tbsp dried wakame seaweed (soak in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes)
280g tofu/ small block of tofu (preferably organic GM free)

Salad dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp wasabi
Half tsp brown sugar

  1. Put all the salad dressing ingredients into an empty jam jar, put the lid on and shake well until the sugar is dissolved. 
  2. Cut the block of tofu into small bite size cubes.
  3. Take the wakame out of the water and place on kitchen paper to remove excess water.
  4. Place the tofu, wakame and tomato pieces in a salad bowl.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad when ready to eat.
Where can I buy seaweed?
Seaweed is available in Asian markets and health stores and more recently it's available in supermarkets. My local fish shop has a great selection of seaweed.

Depending on your own taste add more or less wasabi and sugar.

See my miso soup recipe with wakame and tofu.
For more info on seaweed see

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


Here's the second barbeque recipe that I promised to post. We've made it a few times this summer and there's never any leftovers!

1kg chicken wings
For the marinade
4 tbsp soya sauce
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp Japanese seven spice called nanami togarashi

  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients for the marinade together until the maple syrup is dissolved.
  2. Then add the chicken wings and make sure to coat the marinade evenly on the chicken wings.
  3. Put in a sealed bag or lunchbox and store in the fridge for a few hours or over night. 
  4. Cook on the barbecue or in the oven for about 25 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
  5. To check if the chicken is cooked cut one open and if the meat is white then it is ready.
  • If you don't have Japanese seven spice then replace with cayenne pepper. 
  • Use the remaining marinade to pour over the cooked chicken wings by placing it in a saucepan and bringing to the boil. Then simmer for about 5 minutes. 

Click here to see my first barbecue recipe - Japanese style burger
These barbecue recipes go really well with my homemade lemonade

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Fiona's Japanese Cooking - cookbook giveaway

Every summer I look forward to all the wonderful food festivals we have around Ireland. Yesterday, I went to my favourite one - the Taste of Dublin. It takes place in the Iveagh Gardens every June to showcase Dublin's best restaurants. There's also a great selection of artisan food stalls, live music and cooking demonstrations by well known celebrity chefs. 

This year I was delighted to meet one of my favourite Irish celebrity chefs, Clodagh McKenna. At the end of June Clodagh will open a new restaurant in Blackrock, Co. Dublin called Clodagh's Kitchen. I had a sneak preview of the restaurant's menu and tasted the crab cakes. I'll definitely order these again at the restaurant they were so fresh and tasty!

For this competition I have a copy of "Fresh from the Sea" by Clodagh McKenna to give away. I love this book as it teaches all the basics about shopping for fish and preparing it at home. It's also an interesting read as Clodagh travels around Ireland and introduces people in the Irish fishing industry.

To enter the competition:

1. Please LIKE Fiona's Japanese Cooking on Facebook or FOLLOW me on Twitter (@fionasjapancook)


2. Share your favourite recipe from Fiona's Japanese Cooking blog on Facebook or Twitter

Here's a pic of me with Clodagh Mckenna at the Taste of Dublin

Terms and conditions:
  • The competition will end at midnight on June 30th 2013
  • The winner will be announced on my blog on July 1st 2013
  • Since I have followers from around the world the competition is open to people outside of Ireland also.
  • The prize will be sent by post. 
  • The winner will be randomly picked
  • There is no cash alternative to this prize



Wednesday, 12 June 2013


Edamame is one of my favourite Japanese snacks. You can buy them frozen in some supermarkets and most Asian markets. They're full of nutrition and relatively cheap to buy.

To cook:
Put them in a saucepan of boiling water for only a few minutes, then remove from the water and season with salt. 

How to eat:
Using your fingers or teeth pop the soya beans out of the pod and eat. Do not eat the outer pod. 

They are a healthy substitute for crisps and go really well with beer/wine. 

Sunday, 9 June 2013


The first time I made homemade lemonade was in Ballymaloe with Darina Allen. I worked in the cafĂ© next to Ballymaloe Cookery School during my college summer holidays. At the time I didn't completely appreciate the experience but I clearly remember how passionate Darina was about food.

Here's my homemade lemonade recipe with a Japanese twist with added matcha. If you don't have matcha at home don't worry the recipe still works without it.
200g sugar
200ml cold water
4 large fresh lemons
1 litre of cold water
Ice cubes
Lemon slices (to garnish)
  1. Heat the 200g of sugar and 200ml of water in a saucepan on medium heat until the sugar dissolves (stir to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved into the water).Then, take it off the heat and let cool.
  2. Squeeze the juice from 4 lemons into a bowl and then pass through a sieve.
  3. When ready to serve pour the sugar water and lemon juice into a large jug. 
  4. Add 1 litre of cold water, ice cubes and lemon slices. Use a spoon with a long handle to stir well.
  5. Now the homemade lemonade is ready. If you want to add matcha follow point 6.
  6. Put 1 tsp of matcha powder is a small cup and add a few tablespoons of cold water. Use a whisk to remove any lumps. Add to the lemonade and mix well.
Taste the lemonade to check if you need to add more or less water.
Goes really well with sake or vodka

Friday, 7 June 2013


Recent research carried out by Bord Bia shows that Irish people like eating fish when dining out however as an island nation we are surprisingly not confident cooking fresh fish at home. Bord Bia has launched a campaign to encourage Irish people to buy more fresh fish and as part of this campaign they posted simple fish recipes and advice from celebrity chef Martin Shanahan on their website.

Here are some of my tips for buying fresh fish: 
  • Try to buy fish from your local fishmonger
  • Don't be afraid to ask your fishmonger to fillet, debone or skin your fish
  • Fresh fish should have a nice fresh sea smell and not a foul smell. It should look shiny, have bright eyes, red gills and any liquid on the fish should be clear
  • Ask your fishmonger lots of questions to educate yourself about fish (e.g. when was the fish caught, where does it come from, is it wild or farmed fish etc)

When cooking fresh fish it can easily become dry and overcooked. By cooking fish in a sauce it will become tender and moist.

2 x salmon fillet
Few large handfuls of spinach salad leaves
Few handfuls of cherry tomatoes
Roasted sesame seeds (to garnish)

For the miso sauce
120ml cold water
2 tbsp miso
2tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
3 tbsp sake (Japanese rice wine) 

Serves 2

  1. Place all ingredients for the miso sauce in a medium sized saucepan, then using a whisk/fork mix until there's no lumps. 
  2. Put on medium heat and after a few minutes it will start to simmer. Let it simmer for a few minutes. 
  3. Gently place the salmon fillets in the saucepan side by side with the skin facing up.
  4. Cut out a circle of  grease proof paper the size of the saucepan and use this to cover the salmon fillets. You can use a lid to cover the saucepan if you don't have grease proof paper. 
  5. Continue to simmer for another 15 minutes and then set aside.
  6. Place the spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes and salmon fillets in a large salad bowl. 
  7. Using your hand or a large spoon break up the salmon fillets into chunks.
  8. Just before serving pour the miso sauce over the salad ingredients and mix well.
  9. Sprinkle roasted sesame seeds over the salad.
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