Japan Eats

Tuna cutlet

This year-round dish is delicious accompanied by tartar sauce and a salad of fresh lettuce and sliced onion.  It’s worth pointing out that when buying the tuna, there’s no need to select the most expensive as it is going to be cooked before being eaten.

Serve with salad and tartar sauce

Serve with salad and tartar sauce



  • 150 to 200g sashimi tuna (ie raw).
  • 1 egg
  • 1 to 2 cups of breadcrumbs

Tartar sauce

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tea spoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/6 of an onion
  • 6 to 8 pickled shallots
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 1 to 2 pinches of chopped parsley


Prepare the tartar sauce first.  Mince the boiled egg, the pickled shallots and the onion. Blanch the onion for 3 minutes. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix them together.

Next, sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on the block of tuna. Prepare three dishes with flour, the beaten egg and one in which to shake off excess flour.

Dip the tuna in the beaten egg, and place the cutlet onto the bed of breadcrumbs. Cover the other side of the tuna with breadcrumbs, pressing down gently with your hands. Shake off any excess breadcrumbs.

Preheat the oil (170 degrees centigrade) and let the tuna slide gently into the oil. When the surface of the tuna turns brown, turn the cutlet around so that it cooks evenly.

As the tuna would normally be eaten raw, it can be cooked quickly on a medium heat.

Once both sides are evenly brown, take the tuna from the oil and drain it on a tray.

Finally, cut the tuna into bite size strips and pour a dash of the tartar sauce over it. Serve together with a salad of fresh lettuce and sliced onion.

Japan Booze Blind: Third type beer

Guests Joe Nakamura and Rachael White join host Christopher Pellegrini in deciding which beers aren’t beers at all…

Boozehound: Shimo-Igusa Ni-chome

I may be stealing Marcus Lovitt’s thunder by reviewing this little gem, which he recommended to me, but he’s busy with Japan Booze, Blind and all that food porn, so I got dibs on the aptly and simply-named Shimo-Igusa Ni-chome. Read more

Skewerless yakitori

Yakitori (grilled chicken) is of course one of the most popular Japanese dishes, both within Japan and overseas. Here in Tokyo, grilled chicken is most often cooked on skewers in front of an audience of appreciative patrons, often salarymen on their way home from work. Customers usually have the option of having their chicken with salt, or with tare sauce. For this recipe we’re going to be making tare.

We’re also going to be using a kind of Japanese griddle called a yakiami. They are relatively easy to find in Japan – try any supermarket or online at kakaku.com. Readers overseas might be able to pick one up here. Those unable to get their hands on one can use any kind of barbecue.

Skewerless yakitori

Skewerless yakitori

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 300g chicken (momo)
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 negi
  • 10 shishito
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red paprika

Tare sauce

  • 1/2 cup mirin (or just a little more-the re should be slightly more mirin than soy)
  • 1/2 cup soy


Cut the chicken and peppers into bite-sized pieces. Cut the negi into 3 to 4 cm lengths and the shiitake into halves. Use a toothpick and stab the shishito 2 or 3 times.

Next, wipe the yakiami down with a paper towel and a little oil to prevent the chicken from sticking to it. Place the yakiami onto the gas table and allow it to heat. Once it has begun to heat up, place the chicken on the tray. Allow this to cook before adding the negi and then other ingredients. The key thing is that you want each item on the grill to be finished cooking at the same time.

To prepare the sauce, pour the mirin into a frying pan and warm it. After talking the alcohol out, pour in the soy and cook until the mixture becomes starchy.

When everything on the grill is cooked, dip them into the tare sauce, covering them completely. Use chopsticks, not fingers! Place the ingredients on a dish and serve with kona sanscho (similar to Szechuan pepper).

All very easy. A few final tips:

Be careful not to overcook the vegetables. Other vegetables that will go well with the sauce include zucchini, okura and eringi mushrooms.

Japan Booze Blind: Chu-hi

Guests James Steele and David Watkins join host Christopher Pellegrini in testing three types of lemon chu-hi.

Japan Booze Blind

It seemed simple enough: make few short videos introducing Japanese drinks to the widest possible audience. We’d give it a funky title and film ourselves bar hopping around Tokyo.

That was the plan, anyway. Several months and countless ‘tastings’ later, the fruits of our labor are finally online for all to see. And of course, it all took a little more work than we had originally anticipated.

Hosted by Christopher ‘I’m a lover, not a fighter’ Pellegrini and filmed on location in some of Tokyo’s best bars, Japan Booze Blind is the product of a dedicated cast and crew.

Producer Garrett ‘I wrote the Wikipedia’ DeOrio not only did the research, he paid for most of the drinks as well.

Alastair ‘I took these in Burma’ Slade and Kayo ‘I don’t have time for sleep’ Shimizu shot the show, finding the best angles in cramped kitchens and on Tokyo’s crowded streets.

Brian ‘The Boom’ Parker battled nearby construction and an overweight bag of sound gear to provide sound on those episodes in which you can’t hear the Director shouting at the cast.

Editor Takeshi ‘The Adjuster’ Fumimota cut the show, as well as provided much-needed Karmic advice.

We were lucky enough to convince many great bars to let us shoot in their establishments. Thanks to Hide (Kadozakura), Traci (The Pink Cow), Johnny (Las Meninas), Take (Garuda) Duncan and Hana (The Lighthouse) for waking up early to open up for us.

Then there’s the guests. To James, Tony, The Daves, Melinda, Simon, Duncan, Alby, Dusty, Naima and Mieko we say thank you. You’re welcome back on the show anytime.

As always we at JBB remind you to drink responsibly – take the blindfold off before pouring for a friend.

Marcus Lovitt