Japan is known for its delicious traditional cuisine, but did you know that the Japanese have also created their unique version of Western food? Yoshoku, or Western-style Japanese cuisine, is a fusion of Western and Japanese ingredients and cooking techniques. It has become a staple in Japanese kitchens and can be found in restaurants nationwide. Here's how our favorite golden liquid has infiltrated the kitchens of Japan.
A Little Bit Of Texas In The Heart Of Japan
One ingredient that has become particularly popular in yoshoku dishes is olive oil. While it may seem like an unlikely ingredient in Japanese cuisine, EVOO has been embraced by Japanese chefs and home cooks alike. Its versatility and health benefits make it an excellent choice for cooking various dishes, from savory pancakes to breaded pork cutlet sandwiches.
Trying Yoshoku At Home
If you're interested in trying yoshoku dishes that use Texas olive oil, here are some popular options to experiment with:
- Okonomiyaki - This savory pancake is popular street food in Japan and can be found in many restaurants as well. It's made with a batter of flour, eggs, and grated yam, then filled with various ingredients such as cabbage, pork, shrimp, or cheese. It's typically topped with a savory sauce and mayonnaise and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil (or EVOO).
- Omurice - A popular dish in Japanese cafes and family restaurants, omurice is a delicious combination of fried rice and a thin omelet. The rice can be filled with various ingredients, such as chicken, vegetables, or spaghetti. Olive oil is often used for frying rice and vegetables before wrapping them in the omelet.
- Katsu sando - A breaded pork cutlet sandwich, katsu sando is a popular lunchtime meal in Japan. The pork is breaded with panko breadcrumbs and fried until crispy in EVOO, then sandwiched between two slices of bread with a variety of toppings such as cabbage, tonkatsu sauce, and mayonnaise.
- Hamburg steak - Similar to a hamburger patty, hamburg steak is a popular yoshoku dish made with ground beef and served with various sauces such as olive oil and toppings. It's often served with rice, vegetables, and a fried egg.
- Spaghetti Napolitan - A Japanese version of spaghetti, spaghetti Napolitan is made with a tomato-based sauce that includes ketchup, onions, and green peppers fried in EVOO. It's often served with grated cheese on top and can include a variety of toppings, such as sausage or seafood.
Finding the Right Kind of Texas Olive Oil
When cooking with Texas olive oil in yoshoku dishes, choosing the right type of oil is essential. Arbequina varieties have a buttery and nutty flavor that pairs well with dishes like omurice or korokke. Koroneiki varieties have a slightly bitter and peppery flavor that can add depth to dishes like hayashi rice or curry rice.
When using Texas olive oil in yoshoku dishes, it's also important to consider the cooking method. Olive oil has a low smoke point, so it's best used for low to medium-heat cooking methods such as sautéing or grilling. It can also be used as a finishing oil, drizzled over dishes like hamburg steak or spaghetti Napolitan for added flavor and richness.