Special edition

Jan. 16, Sat. 2016 23:10 (UTC) Jan. 17, Sun. 2016 5:10/10:10/17:10 (UTC)

Rika's TOKYO COUSINE in Bhutan

In our Tokyo Cuisine Specials, our chef Rika Yukimasa travels outside Japan to various countries in search of inspiration for unique new recipes that incorporate both the essence of Japanese home cooking, and the unmistakable influence of her destination’s cuisine. Rika’s destination this time is Bhutan, famous for the country’s efforts to lead the world in Gross National Happiness. Bhutan’s unique culture draws visitors worldwide to this small nation located within the Himalaya Mountains. Bhutanese cuisine is similarly distinct, with a focus on chili peppers and rice. Rika is a fan of spicy foods, so she set out to find the world’s spiciest food culture — one that treats hot chili peppers as vegetables, rather than spices — and got a taste of Bhutan’s culture and spirituality as well. Through all of this, Rika developed her own new Washoku recipes combining Japanese cooking with organic ingredients grown naturally in Bhutan.

Special Menu

Japanese Curry Rice with Bhutanese Vegetables

Curry, served with sticky medium-grain rice, is what comes to mind for Japanese people when they think of spicy foods. This recipe uses ingredients grown naturally in Bhutan, like sticky potatoes, sweet carrots, seasonal radishes, and the red onions popular in Bhutanese cooking.

Rika’s Fried Chicken

Fried chicken Rika-style, easy to make and even tasty when cold. Made with ginger, a very common ingredient in Bhutan.

Japanese Coleslaw with Bhutanese Cabbage

Japanese-style coleslaw made with Bhutanese cabbage. The dressing is made with the Bhutanese favorite sansho pepper, Japanese-style mayonnaise, vinegar, and sesame oil, for a tingly hint of spiciness.

Japanese Curry Rice with Bhutanese Vegetables

Japanese Curry Rice with Bhutanese Vegetables

Ingredients

potatoes
onions
instant curry roux
carrots
turnips
cooked rice
water

Directions

  1. 1. Peel the vegetables and cut into large pieces.
  2. 2. Put the vegetables into a pot, add enough water to cover the ingredients, and then bring to a boil.
  3. 3.When the vegetables have cooked enough to be tender enough to easily insert a skewer, add the curry roux and mix in to dissolve.
  4. 4. Continue to simmer over low heat for an additional 10 minutes, then serve with the cooked rice.

Rika’s Fried Chicken

Rika’s Fried Chicken

Ingredients

chicken thighs
grated ginger
garlic powder
Nam pla (fish sauce)
potato starch 
salt
vegetable oil for frying

Directions

  1. 1. Cut the chicken thighs into pieces.
  2. 2. In a bowl, combine the chicken, nam pla, grated ginger and garlic powder, and salt, and massage in to flavor the chicken.
  3. 3. Shortly before frying, dredge the chicken in potato starch.
  4. 4. Place the dredged chicken into 170°C oil to deep fry for 7 minutes.
  5. 5. When the frying chicken stops making noise, it’s ready to be removed from the oil.

Japanese Coleslaw with Bhutanese Cabbage

Japanese Coleslaw with Bhutanese Cabbage

Ingredients

cabbage
thingay pepper (also known as sansho peppercorns)
salt
mayonnaise
sesame oil
sugar
vinegar

Directions

  1. 1. Shred the cabbage.
  2. 2. Place the shredded cabbage in a bowl and mix in small amounts of salt and sugar. Remove any liquid water that comes out of the cabbage.
  3. 3. Crush the thingay pepper finely and mix with mayonnaise, vinegar, and sesame oil to make the coleslaw dressing.
  4. 4. Allow the cabbage to marinate in the coleslaw dressing, then serve.

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