More Izakaya dishes

As I’ve previously mentioned, I love Izakaya culture.    So here are some more izakaya-inspired dishes to accompany a martini.    This is very simple: grill sweet potato in oil with a sprinkling of salt until ready. I was drinking a martini when I made this so I can’t remember how long it was in the oven for. 20 minutes? Who knows. There’s a reason … Continue reading More Izakaya dishes

Martini Izakaya Dishes

An Izakaya is essentially a type of Japanese pub that specialises in food to accompany drinks. It’s basically my favourite type of drinks setting. I love the post-work, instantly friendly and relaxed atmosphere, completely free of pretension. Comparable to Spanish tapas or Turkish meze, the Izakaya-way is healthier than simply guzzling down a bucket of booze before staggering off for some fish and chips or … Continue reading Martini Izakaya Dishes

Shime Saba (pickled mackerel sushi)

I love mackerel.   You’ve got to eat it fresh, it looks beautiful, it tastes really strong and it reminds me of fun times trying to catch them in the summer from a very young age.     I also love sashimi, or meat and seafood that is lightly cured, smoked or marinaded rather than cooked outright. So here is a simple recipe for preparing mackerel to … Continue reading Shime Saba (pickled mackerel sushi)

Beef yakitori snacks

   I had a couple of people round for a catch up (over drinks of course). I was trying to think of something quick and I easy I could feed them between martini drinking when I came across some beef mince on special offer at the supermarket. I bought a kilogram and decided to make yakitori, a type of Japanese skewer kebab, inspired by izakaya/yakitori-bar … Continue reading Beef yakitori snacks

A Sho-Chu Martini

   We had a family get-together but we ran out of gin mid-way through the night. I know.     Luckily I found a bottle of Japanese sho-chu which I thought I could use as an experimental substitute in a martini. Sho-chu is a spirit distilled from things like barley, rice, sweet potato or one or two other ingredients. It’s normally between 25-35% strength so is … Continue reading A Sho-Chu Martini

This post is self-indulgent

Nibbles I don’t actually like the word ‘nibbles’. It sounds frightfully bourgeois. Nonetheless, it’s nice to have something to eat to accompany a martini, especially if it’s been a long day and you’re waiting for dinner. Here are some past examples. The root of all evil: carbs, fat and cheese flavouring, deep-fried. Langoustine with roe. Olives, of course. Nuts. You can’t go wrong with nuts. … Continue reading This post is self-indulgent

Japanese spring onion skewers

Inspired by Japanese bar food, I made some very simple spring onion skewers to accompany martinis. I chopped the spring onions into short lengths, stuck two on a cocktail stick then fried them, first in a little oil, then with an added soy sauce and mirin mixture. Slightly fiddly to make, but I will try and perfect the technique to make it easier and, of … Continue reading Japanese spring onion skewers

The perfect martini setting

As I have already implied, the act of drinking a martini is almost sacred. If you’re going to consume such a large amount of alcohol in one drink you’ve got to make it count. As such, in addition to the drink itself, the temperature, the accompanying nibbles, etc, you should also consider the location. Unless your temperament suggests otherwise, you wouldn’t want to have one … Continue reading The perfect martini setting