Monday 18 December 2017

A rice 'n' easy taste of the orient

Myles McWeeney

YO! SUSHI is a popular international chain of restaurants that has revolutionised the concept of eating out Japanese-style.

Like our own Aya restaurants in Dublin, Yo! Sushi's unique selling point is the conveyor belts that emerge from the kitchen filled with a rainbow of coloured plates, each containing a helping of something wonderfully tasty and equally pleasing to the eye.

I've just been sent a cookbook, Yo! Sushi: The Japanese Cookbook, written by Kimiko Barber (Collins €23), which is packed with sushi dishes that can be easily made at home.

This one in particular caught my eye, because it is just the sort of dish that can be easily made in just a few minutes -- a boon for working mums.

It would make a perfect, quick family supper, either on its own or paired with a stir-fried chicken in a soy and honey sauce.

Fried rice is a speedy and delicious way to use up leftover cooked rice and whatever vegetables you find in your refrigerator.

Do rem-ember that it works much better with cold rice, so if you are making this dish fresh, be sure to let the rice cool down before you fry it.

Firecracker Rice

Serves 4


3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 red pepper, deseeded and diced

1 yellow pepper, deseeded and diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

4 tablespoons frozen edamame (details at end of article), cooked for 5 minutes and shelled (you can substitute 4 tablespoons cooked green peas)

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

600g cold, cooked rice

4 tablespoons light soy sauce

½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

½ teaspoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice

chilli powder available in oriental stores)

4 teaspoons spring onions, finely chopped, to garnish


Heat a large wok or non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

Allow the oil to heat up before adding the chopped onion. Stir-fry for two to three minutes, then add the carrot, red and yellow peppers, garlic and edamame (or peas if you have substituted them). Cook for three minutes, then remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the remaining vegetable oil, if required, together with the sesame oil. Add the rice, separating the grains with a wooden spatula so that there are no large lumps, and stir-fry for two to three minutes.

Return the vegetables to the pan, tossing and stirring to mix them thoroughly with the rice. Pour the soy sauce along the edge of the wok or pan, season with the white pepper and shichimi togarashi and stir to mix well.

Remove from the heat, divide the rice into four equal portions, garnish with the chopped spring onion and serve.

YO! Sushi tip

It's best to use light soy sauce so as not to discolour the vegetables and rice. If you only have the dark variety, you may need to add a pinch of salt.

l Endamame are actually green soya beans and are available here from Birdseye. They can be found in most leading supermarkets.

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