Why not give these great Japanese recipes a whirl, with the beers and wines to match.
Pork & cabbage gyoza
250g minced pork
½ cup (25g) finely shredded
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
Pinch each of salt and white pepper
28 gow gee or gyoza wrappers*
1 tbs sunflower oil
Soy sesame dressing, to serve
Combine pork, cabbage, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Sit a gow gee wrapper in the palm of your hand. Place 2 teaspoons of pork mixture in the centre of the wrapper. Use a finger to rub water around the edge of the wrapper and press sides together to seal. Rub a little more water along the rim of the seam and pleat together. Gently tap the bottom of the gyoza on a work surface to flatten. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and pork mixture.
Heat half of the oil in a large frypan over high heat. Add half of the gyoza and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook the gyoza for 2 minutes, without moving them, or until the bases are golden. Add ½ cup water and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the gyoza are cooked and the water evaporated. Transfer to a serving plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining oil, gyoza and another ½ cup water.
Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.
* From the chilled section in supermarkets or Asian food shops.
MATCH WITH: Hitachino Nest White Ale, $8.50
With notes of orange and coriander, this Japanese wheat beer is up to the task presented by pork, sesame and ginger.
Caramelised miso beef
800g fillet wagyu beef,
2 tbs crisp fried shallots,
Shizu cress, to garnish
250g red miso paste
⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar
To make the marinade, combine ingredients in a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Leave to simmer for 1 hour, or until the caster sugar has completely dissolved. Cool.
Coat the meat well with the marinade, then cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Line the grill tray with foil and preheat the grill to high. Spoon over any marinade that’s drizzled from the beef. Grill the beef for 2-3 minutes on each side until the marinade starts to caramelise. Cool beef to room temperature.
To serve, thinly slice the beef and arrange on a platter. Garnish with crispy shallots and shizu cress, then serve on a bed of avocado salad.
MATCH WITH: 2013 Schwarz Wine Co. GSM, $28
This succulent red blend from the Barossa is mouth-watering in itself; it’d be a treat with this beef, and would stand the rim of sweetness.
Avocado & sesame salad
200g baby spinach
1 ripe avocado, sliced
2 eschalots, thinly sliced
1 tbs sesame seeds, toasted
⅓ cup (80ml) rice wine vinegar
⅓ cup (80ml) mirin*
2 tbs lime juice
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted, ground
1 tbs soy sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
⅔ cup sunflower oil
To make dressing, place ingredients in a blender and mix until combined.
Wash and drain spinach well. Toss the spinach with half of the dressing and arrange on a platter. Scatter avocado and French shallots over the top.
Pour over the remaining dressing and garnish with the sesame seeds.
* From Asian food shops.
12-16 raw prawns, peeled,
deveined (tails intact)
500g skinless, boneless
firm white fish fillets
350g frozen lotus root*,
peeled, thinly sliced
1 eggplant, halved, sliced 5mm thick
1 sweet potato, peeled, sliced 5mm thick
100g baby spinach leaves
250g shiitake mushrooms, halved
4 tbs grated daikon (white radish)
1 knob ginger, peeled, finely grated
3 cups (750ml) sunflower oil
½ cup (125ml) sesame oil
¼ cup (60ml) mirin*
2 tbs light soy sauce
1 cup (250ml) dashi*
1 cup (250ml) ice-cold water
Pinch of bicarbonate of soda
110g tempura flour* or plain flour
Prepare the prawns, fish and all of the vegetables in advance. Arrange on a tray, cover, and refrigerate until serving time.
To make the sauce, heat the mirin in a small saucepan, remove from the heat and ignite with a match. Shake the pan gently until the flame dies, then add all of the other ingredients and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Set aside.
No more than 10 minutes before serving, make the tempura batter and stand the bowl in a larger bowl containing ice. Break the egg into a bowl with the iced water and beat until frothy. Add the bicarbonate of soda and flour and beat just until the flour is mixed in — do not overmix. The batter should be thin; if it seems too thick, add a few drops of iced water.
Heat the oils in a large heavy-based frypan or deep-fryer to 180°C.
One at a time, dip fish, prawns and vegetables into batter, then gently lower into the oil. Don’t fry more than 6 pieces at a time. As each piece turns golden (this should take 1 minute), lift it from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain for a few seconds on paper towel, then serve immediately with the tempura sauce and grated daikon and ginger, which can be mixed into the sauce to taste.
* From Asian food shops.
MATCH WITH: 2015 Billy Button Vermentino, $25
Just enough weight, just enough zing and just enough wildness to stand up and be counted here; without threatening to overpower
Miso crème brulee
5 large egg yolks
50g caster sugar, plus extra
2 tsp vanilla extract
420ml thickened cream
½ cup (125ml) milk
2 tsp miso paste
Preheat the oven to 120ºC.
Whisk egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl until combined but not airy.
Heat cream, milk and miso paste in a saucepan over a medium–high heat until it just comes to the boil. Remove from the heat. Keep whisking the egg mixture as you slowly pour in the hot milk a little bit at a time, until well combined. Then strain the liquid into four 170ml ramekins. Tap the ramekins on the work surface to let all the bubbles out, and scoop off the froth on top with a spoon if necessary. Place the ramekins in a deep roasting tin.
Pour hot water into the tin to come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 50–60 minutes until the custard is almost completely set but still a little wobbly in the centre.
Remove the tin from the oven, take the ramekins out and place them on a wire rack to cool. Then place in the refrigerator to set overnight.
When ready to serve, sprinkle a heaped tablespoon of sugar over the top of each crème brûlée, then use a blowtorch or hot grill to caramelise the sugar.
MATCH WITH: 2014 Scorpo Pinot Gris, $35
Beauty on beauty. The wine’s pear drop/barley sugar characters, combined with a touch of bottle age, would make it sing alongside this delicious brulee.
For more culinary inspiration, check out our partner site, Cooked, home to more than 23,000 tried and tested recipes.
Gyoza recipe taken from Izakaya by Alison Adams and Ross Dobson; photography by Chris Chen
Beef recipe taken from At Home With Ben by Ben O'Donoghue; photography by Mark Roper
Tempura recipe taken from The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon; photography by Alan Benson
Creme brulee recipe taken from Man Food by Billy Law