Japanese fusion, or Wafuu pasta is a concept new to me, first introduced by MiMi of Meemalee's Kitchen. I was fascinated by it; it seemed wrong, but right. Italian style pasta was popular in post-war Japan and some time in the 70s, people started to experiment with Japanese flavours. Anything that usually went on top of rice was mixed into spaghetti and other pasta shapes.
I decided on pretty specialist ingredients. Enoki mushrooms, ikura (salmon roe) and shiso leaf were to be the main flavours. Shiso's citrussy metallic tang is a flavour I haven't found anywhere else; I suppose a peppery herb like rocket could be a substitute, but not a very accurate one.
When combined, the savoury notes of the toasted nori complemented the fishy, salty bubbles of roe. Shiso, spring onion and lemon worked together in bringing the dish lightness, while a lump of butter did the opposite, balancing it well.
Ikura, Enoki & Shiso Spaghetti
2 handfuls / clumps of enoki mushrooms
2 spring onions
2 shiso leaves
1 tsp wasabi paste
1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 knob of butter
A little ginger
Put the spaghetti on to cook. Combine the lemon juice, wasabi paste, soy sauce and mirin in a bowl. Slice the spring onions and the shiso finely. When the pasta is nearly done, heat a non-stick pan and add the enoki mushrooms, frying on a high heat until they release their juices. Add the sauce mixture along with 3 tbsp of the pasta water, add the butter, stir to combine and take off the heat. Drain the pasta and add to the mushroom sauce. To serve, top with spring onion and shiso and scatter the ikura in generously. Garnish with strips of toasted nori and a little grating of ginger.