Tuesday 8 March 2011

Wafuu Pasta

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

Serves 2

250gr spaghetti
2 handfuls / clumps of enoki mushrooms
2 spring onions
170gr ikura
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
Toasted nori
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.


Helen said...

Mmmm salty bubbles of roe. Pop!

Kavey said...

I tried the dish MiMi made for the Green & Black's 15:15 challenge last November and it was delicious...

She used buna-shimeji mushrooms, dashi, mirin wine, soy, ikura, shiso leaves and negi onion...

I keep meaning to make my own but never getting round to it!

PDH said...

Sounds interesting... I think my lady would love this to be honest so I might have to give it a go!

Anonymous said...

why do I always read your blog in the morning when I am absolutely starviiiiing...sigh

Anonymous said...

I LOVE wafu pasta! My favourite is karashi mentaiko (spicy cod roe) with a little oil or Japanese mayo mixed in with spaghetti with a little sprinkling of nori. So delicious.

Chris Pople said...

Today I learned a new word - Wafuu! I am going to use it more, in conversation.

meemalee said...

Thank you for spreading the wafu pasta love \(^_^)/

Gin and Crumpets said...

My sister lived in japan for a year and whenever she went to someone's house for dinner, she was offered some Japanese dishes and what I now know is waafu pasta. Some successes, some not so much. Her pleasure at coming back to the UK and getting pasta without dried tuna shavings sprinkled liberally over the top was immense.

Karen Christian said...

I love Japanese food and this sounds amazing, gonna have to track down the ingredients.

Hollow Legs said...

Helen - POP! Like a blister.

Kavey - yep, mine is similar.

Pavel - It's definitely different, get cracking.

Anon - I have the same problem with my favourite blogs...!

Chasingbwa = oooh that sounds delicious, I saw some at the Japan Centre but it was £8 for a small amount. Ouch.

Chris - WAFUU!

Meemalee - no worries >_<

G&C - Oooh now all the time would drive me batty...

Karen - The Japan Centre on Picadilly, if you're London based!

Jonathan said...

Is this the leaf that Jeffrey Steingarten talks about which almost killed someone on a long haul flight?

Hanna @ Swedish Meatball said...

Never seen anything like this - seems absurd but can totally imagine it being awesome!