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Events - 01.04.2021

Japanese Food Lab |
Dress Up Your Dinner Series
Part 1: Classic Dressings

chef Kuniko Yagi at Japan House Los Angeles  

12.04.2020 (Fri.)


JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles YouTube Channel



As the seasons change, many people are seeking to recharge their home cooking with new flavors while maintaining healthy habits. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles is continuing its popular Japanese Food Lab program online with a new series by Los Angeles-based chef Kuniko Yagi introducing easy, adaptable ways to bring a Japanese twist to a typical meal: dressings and sauces! Chef Yagi will share recipes for several dressings, sauces, and vinaigrettes beloved in Japan, along with suggestions on salads, proteins, and other dishes as ideal pairings. This three-part Dress Up Your Dinner video series is suitable for cooks of any experience level, and can be viewed at any time.

Japanese Food Lab series is filmed at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles, Level 5.

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Wafū Dressing (Japanese-Style Vinaigrette)

Two of the most popular salad dressings used in Japanese home cooking are “Wafū” – translated as ‘Japanese-style’ – and Grated Carrot Dressing. Wafū dressing delivers a refreshing, delicate balance of soy and citrus notes, which can be a foil for aromatic variations such as wasabi, ginger, and shiso. In grated carrot dressing, the vibrant color, body and texture of the vegetable make for a healthy and delicious complement to any salad.

Ingredients & Recipe

Yield: 2½ cups

¾ cup soy sauce
½ cup rice wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
3-inch square piece kombu seaweed
¼ cup lemon juice (reserve half the squeezed lemon)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar and mirin in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Pour the vinegar mixture into a glass jar, and add the kombu, lemon juice and the squeezed half lemon (in order to transfer the lemon oil from the skin into the dressing). Rest the jar in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove the kombu and lemon half and discard. Add the olive oil and shake well before use.

Store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Wafū Vinaigrette Variations

Ingredients & Recipe

Yield: ½ cup

½ cup wafū dressing (from above)
½ tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
½ tablespoon prepared wasabi paste
10 shiso leaves, stems removed and thinly sliced

For the ginger and wasabi variations, simply add to the prepared wafū dressing and shake before serving.

For the shiso variation, soak the sliced shiso in cold water for 10 minutes to remove any bitterness. Pat the leaves dry then mix into the wafū dressing.

Store refrigerated for up to three days.

Grated Carrot Dressing

grated carrot dressing  

Ingredients & Recipe

Yield:1½ cups

½ cup grated carrot
2 tablespoons grated yellow onion
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
Pinch of salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl, stir together all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil, with a rubber spatula.

Drizzle the olive oil slowly into the mixture, stirring to combine the dressing. Serve immediately.

Store refrigerated for up to three days.

Chef Profile

Kuniko Yagi
Born in Gunma, Japan and an active chef in the US for over 15 years, Chef Kuniko Yagi began her career as a line cook at a fine dining French restaurant where she was quickly promoted through the ranks to Chef du Cuisine and received a Rising Star Chef award.

Read more.

Following an appointment as Executive Chef at a popular French brasserie in Los Angeles, Chef Yagi was a contestant and audience favorite on Season 10 of the cooking competition TV show Top Chef. As a founding Executive Chef of the popular Hinoki & The Bird, she merged Californian and Japanese cuisines to high acclaim. Throughout her tenure as chef she has interned in a number of notable kitchens around the world including Tapas Molecular Bar (Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Tokyo), Kinobu (Kaiseki restaurant, Kyoto), Shin (Sushi restaurant, Tokyo), Ryugin (Japanese restaurant, Tokyo), Yachiyo (Japanese restaurant, Tokyo), Pierre Gagnaire Rue Balsac (French restaurant, Paris), Daniel (French restaurant, New York). Currently, Chef Yagi is the owner / operator of Japanese-inspired fried chicken restaurant Pikuniko and consults in the areas of restaurant concept development, recipe development, and catering.


Related Programs

Dress Up Your Dinner Part 2 | Sesame Based Dressings and Sauces

Dress Up Your Dinner Part 3 | Savory Dressings

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