How Extra Virgin Olive Oil In Japanese Cooking Can Work Well
With this year’s 2022 Golf Masters Champions Dinner taking a Japanese theme in celebration of reigning champion Hideki Matsuyama, did you know that extra virgin olive oil is growing in popularity with Asian Cuisine?
Inspired by this year’s menu of assorted sushi and chicken skewers, followed by miso glazed black cod and wagyu beef ribeye (yes, we are salivating too!), here are some facts about Olive Oil and Japanese Cooking.
Is Extra Virgin Olive Oil Popular in Japanese Cooking?
Although extra virgin olive oil has been a staple in Western countries and kitchens for some time, it is also, according to Aboutoliveoil.org, surging in popularity in the East, including Japan. In 2019, the country hit a decade-high rate of consumption at 70,000 metric tons – an increase of over 1250% in the past 25 years.
As the report from Aboutoliveoil.org explains, this drastic increase in demand has spurred incredible growth in the olive oil market, although olive oil has been produced in Japan for over a century. There is even an Olive Research Institute in the prefecture of Kagawa which funds research and supports olive farmers in Shōdoshima, also known as Olive Island. Olive oils produced in Japan have won awards in international competitions.
How To Cook Japanese Food With Olive Oil
So, where do you start? As ever, the team at Morocco Gold have handpicked some pleasing recipes which will bring out the best in your Japanese cooking thanks to the inclusion of the best olive oil, starting with this recipe for traditional Japanese Fried Chicken (Karaage).
Japanese Fried Chicken (Karaage) with Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons grated or smashed garlic (from about 3 cloves)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (for gluten free, use tamari)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 cup potato starch (katakuriko). If you can't find it, you can substitute 1 cup flour and 1 cup corn starch.
- Salt and pepper
- Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying
- Skillet or pot for frying
- Frying thermometer
- Combine the ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl or zip-top bag and mix.
- Add the chicken and massage the sauce into the meat. Marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour or overnight.
- Prepare a wire rack over a pan
- When ready to fry, combine potato starch, salt and pepper in a bowl.
- One at a time, roll the chicken pieces in the potato starch mixture and place on a wire rack. You don't want the coating to be too thick.
- Heat the oil to 325 degrees and fry the pieces in small batches for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Drain the chicken on a rack or on a dish lined with paper towels.
- When all the chicken has been fried, increase the temperature to 375 degrees and fry the chicken a second time for 1 minute. The second fry makes the skin crispier!
- Serve karaage with a wedge of lemon and a side salad.
Sashimi With Olive Oil And Soy Sauce
- Sashimi-quality Fish - 1/2 pound, fresh
- Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 4 tablespoons
- Shirodashi or Regular Japanese soy sauce - 4 tablespoons
- White Sesame Seeds - 1-1/2 tablespoons, not toasted
- Fresh Chives - 1/2 ounce, finely cut
- Slice the fish, fresh from the refrigerator, very thinly with a very sharp, thin-bladed knife. Arrange the slices of fish evenly on four chilled plates. You should be able to see through the slices of fish.
- Drizzle first with olive oil, then soy sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chives. Serve immediately.
Yuzu Olive Oil Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar + some extra
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 3 large eggs
- 4 tbsp yuzu juice
- 1 tbsp yuzu or lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract powdered sugar to dust the top
- There’s still a place for the sweet tooth when cooking Japanese food with extra virgin olive oil, as shown in this mouth-watering Yuzu Olive Oil Cake from Sylvia Wakana.
- Coat a 9-inch springform pan with olive oil (you can also add a round-cut parchment paper at the bottom of the pan). Sprinkle enough sugar to coat the olive oil on the sides and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour and whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda).
- In a separate large bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients well (olive oil, milk, eggs, yuzu juice, zest, and vanilla extract).
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan into the oven for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick or stick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven when done and let rest for 10 minutes. Using a thin knife, cut around the edge of the cake to separate any stuck edges from the pan, and then release the springform pan. Remove the cake from the pan and put the cake on a cooling rack until it cools down to just about room temperature. Then enjoy!