Several weeks ago, Jen from Taste of Home asked me if I have Japanese style pasta recipes (the girl knows what she’s talking about!).
What is Japanese pasta?? You might ask. Yes, not Ramen, no Udon, not Soba, but pasta. Japanese pasta is simply Italian pasta prepared with Japanese ingredients and flavors. Italian food is very popular in Japan, and as I had mentioned in my Creamy Mushroom & Bacon Spaghetti post before, some people do think Japan has the best Italian food outside of Italy. What’s interesting is one of the Italian bloggers that I met recently also said the same thing.
When Italian food was introduced to Japan around the post war period, only Italian style pasta was served. Then around the ’70s, people started experimenting with Japanese flavors and ingredients. Now Japanese style pasta (also known as Wafuu Pasta) are very popular in Japan and there are many kinds of Wafuu pasta that we eat at home or at restaurants. Today I’m sharing one recipe that my family loves and I will share more Japanese style pasta in the future.
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- 2-3 servings Spaghetti
- 1 shimeji mushrooms (brown beech mushroom) (rinsed and the bottom discarded)
- 2 Shiitake mushrooms (rinsed and sliced)
- 4 Mushrooms (rinsed and sliced)
- 1 pkg enoki mushrooms (I didn’t have this today) (rinsed and the bottom discarded)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp sake
- 1 can tuna in oil/water (1 can = 5 oz) (drained)
- 1 tsp Konbucha (or substitute with salt, see Notes)
- 4 Tbsp mentsuyu (noodle soup base) (After diluted according to the bottle instruction: See Notes)
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 Shiso leaves (Ooba) (chiffonaded, optional)
- shredded nori seaweed (kizami nori)
Gather all the ingredients.
In a large pot, bring water to a boil and start cooking spaghetti according to the package instruction but minus 1 minute because you will cook spaghetti again later.
- In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high and cook mushrooms.
- After a few minutes, add sake and let it evaporate while you sauté with wooden spoon.
- Add tuna from the can and mix.
- Add Konbucha, Mentsuyu, and butter and mix all together. Scoop one ladle of pasta’s cooking water and add as needed.
- Add drained pasta in the pan and mix well by shaking the pan. Serve immediately with shiso leaves and Kizami Nori.
Konbucha: This is not Kombucha, a fermented drink. Konbucha/Kobucha is made from Konbu seaweed. It is full of konbu glutamine and asparagine umami deliciousness. Konbucha is a salty seasoning so if you can’t find this, you can substitute with kosher salt instead. But Konbu gives nice umami… I hope you can find this seasoning. At Japanese supermarkets, you can find it in the tea section as we drink it as a tea.
Mentsuyu: If you use a store-bought mentsuyu, each brand is different concentrate. Sometimes it's required to dilute 2 x water or 3 x water. Follow the bottle's instruction.
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 in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.