March 19, 2016

Asian-ifying Pasta: Ume Shiso Pasta ( 梅紫蘇パスタ)


In yet another departure from the original focus of my series, “Asian-ifying Fall Vegetables in the U.S.,” I thought I’d share with you a recipe for a Japanese type of dish that isn’t commonly found in Japanese restaurants in the States: wafū, or Japanese-style pasta (和風パスタ).

I particularly like this one, which I found on Namiko Chen’s website, Just One Cookbook. Although I altered the recipe slightly, I kept the main ingredients, which I love: umeboshi (pickled plums), shiso leaves, and buna shimeji mushrooms. You can also add other Japanese mushrooms if you happen to have them on hand, or some renkon (lotus root) chopped length-ways, which adds a nice texture.

Ume Shiso Pasta ( 梅紫蘇パスタ)

*Recipe modified from Just One Cookbook (see here)

Prep time: 5 mins// cook time: 15 mins// serves: 2

    • 7 oz (200 g) dried spaghetti
    • 10-20 shiso leaves
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 2 bunches of buna shimeji mushrooms
    • 2 or 3 umeboshi (Japanese pickled plums)
    • ¼ tsp. salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (1 Tbsp. for non stick pan)
    • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
    • ¼ cup shredded nori (kizami nori)

1.) Cook spaghetti according to the package instructions in lightly salted boiling water. However, as we will be further cooking spaghetti with the sauce, cook for about 1 minute less than indicated in the instructions. Make sure to reserve about ½ cup of pasta cooking water before you drain the spaghetti in a colander.

2.) Roll up shiso leaves and julienne into thin strips.

3.) Slice garlic and discard the bottom part of buna shimeji mushrooms.

4.) Remove seeds from umeboshi and discard. Then mince into small pieces.

5.) Heat the olive oil on medium high heat and cook garlic until fragrant.

6.) Lightly cook the shimeji mushrooms until they are coated with oil.

7.) Add ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water, soy sauce, and umeboshi.

8.) Add the spaghetti into the pan.

9.) Using tongs, coat the spaghetti well with the sauce. If you need more sauce, add the pasta cooking water and soy sauce to adjust the flavor. Season with salt and ground black pepper, according to your taste.

10.) Garnish with shiso leaves and shredded nori on top.

As this dish doesn’t take much time to prepare at all, I highly suggest it as a weeknight go-to meal!



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