It’s exactly one week since I went to Bloom festival for the very first time. I wasn’t entire sure what to expect but I ended up having such a wonderful day there in sunny Phoenix Park! I discovered a lot of fantastic products like nettle syrup and wild garlic oil, I also met some really fantastic Irish producers who have inspired me in such a huge way but I also got to watch some cooking demo’s by some chefs I already knew like Gary O’Hanlon from The Restaurant tv show and Culinary Director at BaxterStory but also someone I had not had the pleasure of knowing like Fiona Uyema.
Fiona was up in the Bord Bia Quality Kitchen stage showing us some tasty Irish lamb recipes like lamb kofta kebabs with a yoghurt and mint dip. Her demo got me so inspired that I decided to look her up a bit more and follow her on social media. I had heard her mention her cookbook up on the stage so it didn’t take me too long to decide to pick it as my book tip of the month, even though it was released a while ago in 2015.
A lot of the inspiration behind the book is completely in-line with how I look at food: with a focus on eating seasonal and local, fresh ingredients. Now of course it’s not always possible to cook like that as not every ingredient is made here in Ireland, but I’m already seeing more and more local producers venturing into providing some of these ingredients here, including some Japanese ingredients like kelp and dillisk seaweed. That being said, for some herbs and spices you will have to rely on your closest Asian store as they might not be available otherwise.
Japanese food itself then is considered to be very healthy as it is low in fat with little use of butter or other dairy products. Common ingredients like tofu, seaweed and dark-green veggies are the main source of calcium. Their food is also high in protein (fish, soya-based products) and often high in antioxidants too (green tea, miso).
I started putting a label in each page that I wanted to cook next week.. until I realised I had marked pretty much every page, which rarely happens in my case. The recipes are easy to follow and beautifully photographed (it’s making me want to reshoot all my recipes) and Fiona herself is a true inspiration! Although I didn’t get to meet her unfortunately, she had such a bright & lovely personality on stage and is after becoming a big inspiration in terms of her career. She herself moved from the corporate world to the foodie world, which is something i’m dreaming of doing one day too!
In ‘Japanese Food Made Easy’ Fiona Uyema shares her love of Japanese cooking, known for its health benefits and carefully balanced flavours. Using local ingredients where possible, she demonstrates how easy it is to cook Japanese food at home without spending hours preparing complicated dishes. Fiona has simplified Japanese favourites, such as yakisoba, ramen, tempura, okonomiyaki and miso soup, to make them achievable for cooks of all abilities.
Her passion for Japanese cooking shines through in her simple and authentic recipes, each a fusion of mouth-watering flavours. Contains dishes such as Fiona’s homemade Japanese curry, Japanese one pot stews, fusion salads, gyoza and sushi – all perfect for a week-night family meal or impressive entertaining.
About the author
Fiona Uyema spent three years living in Japan where she learned about Japanese food. She is also influenced by her husband, whose Japanese grandparents were involved in the food industry. Fiona has appeared on TV3 and her recipes have featured in ‘Easy Food’, ‘Food & Wine’, ‘Irish Independent’, ‘The Irish Times’ and the ‘RTE Guide’.
Fiona is an Award winning Japanese cook and has appeared at Ireland’s largest food festivals & events, such as Bloom and Taste of Dublin, as the authority on Japanese food alongside well known chefs Neven Maguire, Catherine Fulvio, and Michel Roux Jr to name but a few. She lives with her husband and two sons in Co. Kildare.
In 2016 Fiona founded her own company “Fused by Fiona Uyema Ltd” to share her passion for Japanese cooking and flavours and to inspire people across Ireland and further afield.
- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: The Mercier Press Ltd; UK ed. edition (11 Sept. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1781173346
- ISBN-13: 978-1781173343
- Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 1.9 x 24.8 cm
Photography by A Fox in the Kitchen
Food Styling by Orla Neligan of Cornershop Productions, assisted by Aga Wypych
Want to win a copy of this book? Participating is easy: Leave a comment below! For an extra chance to win you can also comment on my Facebook post (you must like my page too) and your name will then be added to the draw twice.
Competition ends on June 24th, one random winner will be chosen on June 25th.