If a person has never been to Japan, it’s probably hard for him/her to imagine that the Japanese cook and eat Italian food quite often. In fact, Italian restaurants are everywhere, I mean everywhere. At home we cook all kinds of pasta, and the younger generation definitely eat more Italian food than my parents’ generation.
Last year I saw an article in San Francisco Chronicle about the growing Japanese influence on San Francisco food. It’s an interesting article to read if you have time. But here I’m still talking about Italian food in Japan. In this article, the editor Michael Bauer mentioned that chef David Kinch at Manresa said, “the best French and Italian restaurants in the world outside of France and Italy are in Japan. It is that amazing.” Personally I’ve only been in Japan, some other Asian countries, and the US so I can’t make the same statement. But I have to agree that even Italian restaurants in my local Yokohama neighborhood serves superb Italian food, compared to the Italian restaurants in my neighborhood in the US. Not just restaurants, Japanese housewives cook pretty tasty pasta as well and they even create their version with Japanese ingredients.
Today, I will share one spaghetti recipe with a Japanese twist. I add a little bit of soy sauce to the cream sauce as a secret ingredient. I hope you will give this mushroom bacon spaghetti a try and let me know what you think. Lastly, when you visit Japan, don’t be surprised to see many Italian restaurants!
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- 2 servings spaghetti
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
- 4 slices bacon (cut into ½” pieces)
- 3 mushrooms (sliced)
- 2 shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 pkg shimeji mushrooms (cut off the base part of shimeji mushrooms)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cube vegetable bouillon (optional)
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Parsley (to garnish)
- Start cooking spaghetti according to package instructions. Meanwhile, prepare the rest of ingredients. You can combine heavy whipping cream and milk in the same measuring cup.
- In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium heat and cook garlic until fragrant.
- Add bacon and sauté.
- Add the three kinds of mushrooms and mix all together. Sprinkle pepper if you like.
- Stir in flour and keep mixing with wooden spoon. Constantly scrape off the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in whipping cream and milk and continue scraping off the bottom of the pan.
- Add a bouillon cube and break it with the wooden spoon (optional). Bring the sauce to a boil.
- When boiling, add soy sauce and mix all together.
- When the sauce gets thicken, add black pepper (and salt) to taste. Bacon is salty so I usually don’t put salt here.
- You can add spaghetti in the skillet to mix with the sauce, or you can pour the sauce over the spaghetti on a serving plate. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.