2) What do you always have in your pantry for knocking up a quick meal?
Dried Japanese noodles – I love good quality Japanese noodles so much. My home town is very famous for soba noodles. For a quick day-to-day lunch or if I need a quick meal for my daughter, noodles are perfect to cook quickly and add leftover veg and meat, whatever you have in. I never get bored of them, as there are just so many variations and styles of cooking.
3) Do you have a favourite secret ingredient or cooking tip that you could share with us?
Koji – it is a type of mould very important for Japanese cuisine. Without Koji, you can’t make most of the major, core Japanese ingredients such as sake, mirin, rice vinegar, soy sauce and of course miso.
All of these vital ingredients are fermented with Koji and it is this that gives them their distinctive depth of flavour, a.k.a. umami.
I keep a mixture of koji and soy sauce, “Shoyu koji” which I use for everyday cooking. The blend is my own secret Umami sauce.