I did not get a picture of my favourite dish from the restaurant in my previous post. But that does not mean that I did not vow to recreate the mix of flavours at my earliest convenience!
The original dish was with fish roe, but I decided to replace it with eggplant for a more vegetarian twist on it. It worked pretty well, although I might try pureeing the eggplant next time instead of frying it up. (I know there’s vegetarian roe… er… but no. There’s no point in even buying that.)
“Japanese Carbonara” with eggplant
Spaghetti enough for 2 people (depending on your preferred portion size)
2 egg yolks
1/3-1/2 eggplant (depending on the size of your eggplant)
A small piece of leek or a spring onion, very thinly sliced
Nori, cut into thin strips (I used egg furikake with nori)
(optional) Parsley for decoration
Slice the eggplant and salt it, set to drain for at least 15 minutes.
Pat dry and cut into small pieces, fry with a little salt in neutral oil. (You could use smoked salt to add a little smokyness, I used a few crumbs of smoked chili instead for some extra zing!)
At this point you can also start boiling the pasta al dente in a big pot of salted water.
When the pasta and the eggplant are done (this should ideally coincide in time), drain the pasta, toss it with the cream and arrange on two plates. Arrange the eggplant, leek/spring onion, parsley and egg yolks on top. Sprinkle over the nori and done!
Eat with chopsticks if you can, stirring in the yolk at the table.
I’m submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week on The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honey Bunch.
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On a recent visit to Shanghai we got to try a strange combination of flavours – a Japanese spaghetti restaurant in China.
This chain, originally from Japan, has spread to China and Singapore, serving spaghetti in both Japanese, Chinese and original Italian style.
The idea is “spaghetti with chopsticks” and even though we tried it at random we were quite positively surprised by the quality and taste of the food.
The spaghetti are served on beautiful blue-patterned plates and the portion size is Eastern style – about one and a half portions are enough for a Western stomach. We bought three dishes and shared the last, which also gave us the possibility to sample both a Western, Japanese and Shanghainese flavour pasta dish.
My favourite was the Japanese “Carbonara” with fish eggs, nori and egg. There was a little much cream in it but the flavour was fantastic! This is definitely one to recreate at home.
The picture shows a similar dish with added clams (Spaghetti Vongole being another of my all-time Italian favourites) and the Italian dish, spaghetti with eggplants. Hardcore Vegetarians beware though, as I suspect even the vegetarian dishes to be made on a meat broth basis in China’s cavalier attitude to Vegetarianism in general.
Eating pasta with chopsticks is fun! The Chinese bolognese is not vegetarian but I was assured it tasted great (and it did smell great!).
One little problem is that the menu is in Chinese and Japanese only, though there are pictures and the dishes are on display outside the restaurant as well. I still got to practice my katakana skills as the personnel was very nice but not extremely good at English.
169 Wujiang Lu
Jingan district, Shanghai
(near Metro station Nanjing Road West)
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