Japanese-style Pasta with Shrimp and Broccolini is an easy recipe that everyone will love. Seasoned with crunchy garlic chili oil, dashi soy sauce, and butter, this wafu pasta dish is incredibly flavorful and satisfying. Ready in just 15 minutes!
My friends and readers often ask what I usually cook when I am too busy or when I’m too lazy to shop for fresh ingredients. Can you guess?
It’s Japanese-style pasta! I’ve been making various Japanese-style pasta recipes since my college days. I always keep abundant spaghetti in my pantry for a quick meal. I’m excited to show you how to make my family’s latest favorite, Japanese-style Pasta with Shrimp and Broccolini (海老とブロッコリーニの和風パスタ)!
Wait, What’s Japanese-Style Pasta?
Is this your first time hearing about Japanese-style pasta? I’m glad that you discovered it today. We call Japanese-style pasta Wafu Pasta (和風パスタ). Basically, a pasta dish that has Japanese seasonings and/or Japanese ingredients. While wafu pasta may sound like a recent fusion creation, it has been around for a long time in the history of Japanese cuisine.
A typical wafu pasta is seasoned with soy sauce, miso, and dashi, or cooked together with Japanese ingredients such as umeboshi Japanese plums, nori seaweed, spicy cod roe (mentaiko), and so on.
In Japan, we even have Japanese-style pasta restaurants serving up a delicious variety of pasta dishes!
Why You Should Make This Recipe
Now that I got your interest, I have to tell you why you MUST make this Japanese-style pasta!
- Super easy!
- Did I mention the 15-minute cooking time already?
- Pantry ingredients, flexible/adaptable ingredients.
- Delicious, flavorful, and incredibly hearty!
8 Ingredients You Will Need
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Shrimp – They must be defrosted if frozen, shelled, and deveined. Or any other protein you like.
- Broccolini – Alternatively, use regular broccoli, asparagus, green peas, or spinach. Endless choice!
- Garlic chili oil – Read below for more info and substitute.
- Dashi soy sauce – Read below for more info and substitute.
What makes this dish Japanese-style? It’s the use of Dashi Soy Sauce (the mix of dashi and soy sauce) and garlic chili oil. This unique combination delivers the umami punch that Japanese food is known for. With all the flavors, you’ll be proud to serve this delicious and easy recipe at home.
This S&B Chili Oil with Crunchy Garlic has been quite popular in Japan for a while. Have you seen or used it before? It’s pretty addicting!
Substitutions: You can use any garlic chili oil of your choice, or use chili oil and add more fresh garlic (double the recipe at least) in the recipe.
Another popular brand from Japan! I love this Kamada Soy Sauce Dashi Shoyu so much and keep it in my refrigerator all the time. No time to make dashi? Use this! It’s super convenient.
Substitutions: You can substitute with just soy sauce in this recipe (if you have dashi powder or dashi broth, you can mix with soy sauce).
The video shows you how EASY and QUICK this pasta recipe is. To summarize, here are the 3 simple steps:
- Start cooking spaghetti – Cook pasta for 10 minutes (I usually take out pasta 1 minute earlier than package instructions if I need to cook it in the frying pan afterward).
- Cook shrimp and veggie – Both ingredients cook in a flash in a pan. Remember not to overcook!
- Combine spaghetti with shrimp, veggie, and seasonings – Don’t worry about draining pasta in the sink. You just need to pick up spaghetti with a pair of tongs and add right into the frying pan and toss it all together.
Enjoy Japanese-Style Pasta with Green Tea!
Did you know Japanese-style pasta goes really well with green tea?
Instead of wine, I served the pasta with Maeda-En Genmai-Brown Rice Tea to refresh the palate from the garlicky, spicy punch. Genmaicha (玄米茶) has a milder taste, and the toasty rice aroma makes it a delightful drink to enjoy with more than just Japanese food. I must say it’s my favorite type of green tea. What’s yours?
Let’s make the pasta tonight, and dig in!
Other Japanese-Style Pasta Recipes
Japanese-style Pasta with Shrimp and Broccolini
- 1 Tbsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt (for boiling the pasta)
- 7 oz spaghetti
- 3.5 oz broccolini (or asparagus or similar vegetables)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 10 shrimp (145 g, 5 oz; shelled and deveined)
- Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1–1½ Tbsp chili oil with crunchy garlic (adjust for your preferred spice level; I used S&B Chili Oil with Crunchy Garlic; you can make homemade Crunchy Garlic Chili Oil; or substitute chili oil and add fresh garlic)
- 2 Tbsp dashi soy sauce (I used Kamada Soy Sauce Dashi Shoyu; you can substitute 1½ Tbsp soy sauce + ¼ tsp dashi powder or dashi + ½ Tbsp water/mirin; or use plain soy sauce)
- Gather all the ingredients.
To Boil the Spaghetti
- Start boiling 4 quarts (16 cups, 3.8 L) water in a large pot (I used a 4.5 QT Dutch oven). Once boiling, add 1 Tbsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt and 7 oz spaghetti.
- Stir to make sure the spaghetti doesn’t stick to each other. Tip: I usually reduce the cooking time by 1 minute if I will continue cooking the pasta in the sauce. Drain if you finish boiling the spaghetti first, but you should be able to cook the rest of the ingredients in 10 minutes while the pasta is boiling.
To Prepare the Ingredients
- While boiling the pasta, prepare the ingredients. Cut and discard the ends of 3.5 oz broccolini and cut the stalks in half or 2-inch pieces.
- Peel 1 clove garlic and thinly slice it.
To Cook the Ingredients and Pasta
- Heat 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is warm, add 10 shrimp.
- Season the shrimp with Diamond Crystal kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Fry both sides of the shrimp until they are almost cooked through. Then, transfer them to a plate.
- In the same frying pan over medium heat, add the sliced garlic and 1 Tbsp unsalted butter.
- While the butter is melting, add the broccolini.
- Season the broccolini with Diamond Crystal kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Stir and cook until the broccolini stems are tender. Add the shrimp back into the pan.
- Add 1–1½ Tbsp chili oil with crunchy garlic.
- Stir and toss the ingredients to coat with the seasoning. Add the boiled spaghetti to the pan (I use a pair of tongs to pick up the spaghetti from the pot and add it directly).
- Mix the spaghetti and ingredients well to combine.
- Lastly, add 2 Tbsp dashi soy sauce and mix it all together.
- Divide the pasta into individual plates. Enjoy!