Japanese katei ryōri can be as easy or as difficult as you choose to make it. Cooking Japanese food outside of Japan means either substituting for many items, or limiting what you cook. And, if like me, you don’t live near one of the big Japanese markets, you’re out of luck, though I do have a small Japanese grocer an hour or so down the highway, so it’s not all bad. And in the summer there’s a Japanese farmer who sells at my local Japanese farmer’s market. Rakkī !
Today I have aspara. Coincidentally it is aspara season in Japan as well. How do I know this? Because I’m a long time reader of Japanese cooking magazines like Orenji Pēji and Retasu Kurabu. And there are always seasonal themes.
The easiest thing I’m going to do with aspara is to grill it in the air fryer with shio/kosho and maybe a bit of remon. The second easiest is to grill it and then put katsuobushi on top with a little shōyu. Katsubushi keeps in the pantry and can be used in so many ways. The next easiest thing I’m going to do with grilled asparagus is to cut it prettily into inch-long pieces and pour a mixture of 1 tablespoon of dashi and 1/2 tablespoon of shōyu + 1/2 a teaspoon of mirin over it. And garnish with some ground sesame.
There are plenty of Japanese cooking sites out there that can do recipes better than I can. And if you have shōyu, sake, mirin, satō and rice vinegar, you’re pretty much set!
- katei ryōri – 家庭料理 home cooking
- Rakkī – ラッキー Lucky!!
- aspara – アスパラ asparagus
- Orenji Pēji – オレンジぺーじ Orange Page. The name of a popular women’s magazine that comes out twice a month. It’s fairly cheap and geared towards housewives and mothers.
- Retasu Kurabu – レタスクラブ Lettuce Club. The name of a popular women’s magazine that comes out twice a month. It’s fairly cheap and geared towards housewives and mothers.
- shio/kosho – 塩・胡椒 salt/pepper
- remon – レモン lemon
- katsuobushi – 鰹節 bonito flakes. Used in so many dishes and also to make dashi.
- shōyu – 醤油 soy sauce. You need to memorize this term if you haven’t already. It’s a must know!
- dashi – だし a Japanese broth used for miso soup and other cooking. You can buy instant or make your own.
- mirin – みりん Is there English for mirin? I don’t think there is. It’s a kind of sweet sake used for cooking.
- satō – 砂糖 sugar