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Having fun with family or friends at the table baking what you like best, that's what they know in Japan! Yakiniku is such a feast, it literally means fried meat, and you prepare your favorite ingredients at the table on an iron plate or on a rack. Don't you eat meat? Don't worry, because you can also make good use of vegetables, mushrooms, fish and seafood.

So if you are still looking for inspiration for Christmas, this is it  is a festive meal that you can enjoy with friends or family, gourmet Japanese style.

First this

In Japan, meat was not on the menu from the year 675 until about 1,200 years later. It was banned by Emperor Tenmu, a devout Buddhist. In the late Edo period (1603-1868) the Tokugawa shogun was not very strict with this rule, but it was not until around 1868 that the imperial decree was permanently abolished. For example, thanks to Korean immigrants, Yakiniku entered the country via Tsuruhashi, Korea-town in Osaka, before the Second World War. The Japanese refined the concept considerably and in the 1950s Yakiniku restaurants sprang up like mushrooms. In these restaurants you can usually choose an a la carte or an all-you-can-eat menu.


My Yakiniku recipe for you

Yakiniku sauce

Get your gourmet set out of the cupboard, because I am sharing one of my favorite Japanese recipes with you. As you can see, I served everything in one pan, but instead of preparing everything at once, you can fry the meat, vegetables or mushrooms one by one. Once cooked, take the food out of the pan and dip it in a delicious sauce, based on sesame oil, soy sauce, lots of garlic and home-made apple sauce. And believe me, that sauce is so delicious, you really need to make a large amount of it, then multiply everything by two (or three!).


Number of servings: 4 people

For the sauce you will need:

  • 1 sweet apple (I used a pink lady this time), peeled into cubes, take 2 apples if you make more sauce
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Preparation method:

  1. Boil the apple cubes into a puree in a small amount of water, make it extra fine with a hand blender. Let it cool down for a while.
  2. Roast the sesame seeds in a frying pan over low heat until golden brown, being careful not to burn them.
  3. Mix all ingredients well in a measuring cup and pour into a nice bottle.

For the rest you need:

  • 4 nice steaks cut into slices
  • an onion cut into half rings
  • a green pepper cut into strips
  • 100gr mushroom mix
  • some butter for frying
Preparation method:
    1. Place all these ingredients on a nice plate, so that everyone can easily take some.
    2. Heat the gourmet set, heat some butter in your pan and fry what you like. Dip everything in the sauce before you put it in your mouth!

    Above are the ingredients I used. You can of course vary endlessly with vegetables such as pak choi and bimi and pieces of salmon or shrimp. Use your imagination!

    Bonto box

    Leftover bento box

    Did you make too much? No problem, cook some extra rice and take the leftovers, together with some fruit, in a bento box. Maybe you have planned a nice walk with some acquaintances or family for one of the Christmas holidays. You can surprise them along the way with a delicious Christmas lunch!

    1 - Tokyo stories: a Japanese cookbook

    Have you got a taste for it? Then check out this beautiful cookbook full of recipes from Japan: Tokyo story: a Japanese cookbook. Tim Anderson takes you on a culinary trip through Tokyo. The book is filled with 80 classics such as gyouza and ramen, but it also lets you cook special recipes, such as creamy corn soup from the vending machines and cheesy fried chicken from the konbini (convenience store). Available at Roppongi - €34.95

    2 - More Japanese food

    And if you, like me, are completely happy with Japanese cuisine, then take a look at it food blog Taste Japan . Together with Joyce I share Japanese recipes that make us very happy and that we want to inspire you with.

    3 - Real Japanese chopsticks with flowers

    Complete your Japanese dinner with chopsticks, which often have a rougher, pointed tip that makes eating just that little bit easier! These chopsticks also have ridges, so your food doesn't slide off your chopsticks so easily. These beautiful o-hashi, the Japanese name for chopsticks, are made of bamboo and have a beautiful, natural look. The top of the sticks is printed with beautiful flowers, which often represent a specific season, and stately birds. Available at Roppongi - €8.50


    (merry christmas)

    💬 Tell me, are you going to try this too?

    Ingrid Beijer - Roppongi

    The author: Ingrid Beyer

    Ingrid from Happlify crew member Roppongi is a far too modest Japan expert who can tell you all the ins and outs. Roppongi is the webshop for lovers of Japan, design, good food, tea and DIY. Visit Roppongi and the blog regularly for the quickest trip to Japan. Ingrid's blog posts >

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