Friday 15 December 2017

Barbecue treats with a Japanese twist

There's more to outdoor cooking than burgers and buns, as these easy-to-make recipes prove

The Japanese diet is well known for its health benefits and unique flavours. Here Fiona Uyema, food writer and author of cookbook Japanese Food Made Easy introduces us to her favourite barbecue recipes with a Japanese twist, using some of Japan's most powerful ingredients such as Japanese seven spice and naturally brewed Japanese soy sauce.

"I love summer barbecues as they are a great way to bring family and friends together. I love adding a Japanese twist to my barbecue recipes," says Fiona.

Shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice), is a wonderful collection of seven spices that adds an interesting dimension to the taste of a dish and also adds a nutritional explosion, with each spice boasting different health benefits. In summary, these seven spices possess strong anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory properties; contain high levels of fibre, iron, calcium and protein; help to lower cholesterol; and aid digestion.

A good quality naturally brewed soy sauce contains no preservatives, additives or added sugar. It's filled with umami (a term often used in Japanese cooking) and also helps to bring out the flavour of other foods when eaten together.

* Fiona Uyema's next hands-on cooking class takes place on Saturday June 11 from 10.30am to 1.30pm (including a sit down lunch and drinks) in Miele Gallery Citywest. For enquiries email or for bookings go

Irish goat's cheese, fig & apple salad

Serves 1-2


100g mixed salad leaves

1 fresh fig, cut into bite-size pieces (if fresh figs are not available use dried fig or add more apple instead)

½ pink lady apple, cut into matchsticks

80g soft goat's cheese, rolled into small balls using a teaspoon

handful of chopped walnuts to serve

For the dressing :

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons brown sugar


1. Pour all the ingredients for the salad dressing into an empty jam jar, put the lid on and shake well until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Toss all the salad ingredients (except the walnuts) into a salad bowl.

3. Just before serving pour the salad dressing over the salad and mix well using your hands.

4. Place a handful of walnuts on top.

Prawn skewers with soy sauce & ginger

BBQ prawns

Serves 4


16 prawns

Mixed peppers, cut into squares

Sesame oil

4 bamboo skewers For the dip:

3 tbsp soy sauce

Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and grated

Lemon wedges, to serve


1. Soak bamboo skewers in water for 10 minutes.

2. Thread the prawn and peppers alternatively onto the skewers.

3. Brush the skewers with sesame oil before placing on the barbeque.

4. Grill for a minute or so on each side until cooked (try not to overcook).

5. In a small bowl mix the freshly grated ginger and soy sauce.

6. Once cooked serve with the dipping sauce and lemon wedges.

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