With the heat intensifying outdoors, it’s the perfect time to have some friends over. Here are some easy meals and snacks you can make for your group to enjoy in the comfort of your home.
Marinated Katsuo with Curry Ponzu Marinade
The hint of curry is the secret to making this hearty appetizer pair perfectly with cold beer or sparkling wine. Be careful not to overcook the katsuo in step two; fry only the surface, leaving the inside raw.
Cooking time : 90 min (active 30 min)
Servings: 4, as appetizers
- 300g katsuo (bonito) sashimi
- 1 small onion
- 1/4 small carrot
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1 pinch garam masala
- 1 pinch coriander powder
- 100cc ponzu soy sauce
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Peel and thinly slice onion and carrot.
- On heated frying pan, fry katsuo. Let the color of all sides change within 30 seconds. Take fish out and let it cool. Make 1-cm-thick slices once cooled.
- Mix all marinade ingredients in flat container. Add sliced carrot, onion, and katsuo. Marinate longer than one hour in the fridge.
Spinach Cheese Dip
This vegetarian-friendly healthy spinach dip goes great with vegetable sticks and bread slices. Any type of shredded cheese can be used for this recipe, so try out different ones to find your favorite!
Cooking time: 30 min
- 1 batch spinach
- 1 pack (120-150g) unsweetened Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 salt
- 1 tbsp okara powder
- Wash spinach and then boil for one minute. Drain, chill in cold water, and squeeze firmly to remove excess water.
- Combine all ingredients except for okara powder in a deep container. Blend to puree with hand blender.
- Add okara powder to the puree and mix well. Chill in fridge for a while before serving.
Creamy Ham Dip
Because the saltiness of commercial ham varies, I recommend adding salt and pepper at the very end. Okara powder is dried soy pulp powder that you can get at local grocery stores or online sites.
Cooking time: 15 min
- 100g ham
- 50g cream cheese
- 100g unsweetened greek yogurt
- 1/2 small onion
- 2 tbsp okara powder
- Generous amount of black pepper
- Chop onion and ham.
- In deep container, combine cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and black pepper with onion and ham. With hand blender, blend to puree.
- Add okara powder and mix well. If not salty enough, add more salt. Chill in fridge for a while before serving.
Yuzu Koshō Honey Lemon Chicken
This easy main dish with a hint of refreshing yuzu koshō (pepper) not only makes your party table more glamorous, but also invites people to get seconds! Use any summer vegetables available.
Cooking time: 1 h (active for 30 min)
- 4 chicken wing tips
- 4 chicken wing sticks
- 3 small zucchinis
- 2 packs shimeji mushrooms
- 1/2 tbsp shio-kōji (salted rice malt) paste
♦ 1 1/2 tbsp honey
♦ 4 tbsp lemon juice
♦ 1 tsp yuzu koshō
- Slather shio-kōji paste on chicken and leave for 30 minutes. Slice zucchini. Cut shimeji mushrooms.
- Combine honey, lemon juice, and yuzu koshō into small cup and mix well.
- Heat frying pan, then put on chicken with skin facing down. Cook for five minutes on medium heat. When skin is crispy brown, turn and cook the other side for another five minutes.
- Shift cooked chicken onto plate. Cook sliced zucchini and mushroom in the same pan on medium heat.
- When vegetables are cooked, bring chicken back to the frying pan. Add the honey, juice, and yuzu koshō concoction, and mix all the ingredients evenly.
- Cook on medium heat for one minute.
Frozen Banana Cake
Frozen cake bites can be easy. To save time, you can just freeze the cake in a flat container instead of making small balls. Just pour melted chocolate, chill, and slice when you serve.
Cooking time: 90 min (active 30 min)
- 2 medium bananas
- 1 mushi cake (steamed cake)
- 45-50g dark chocolate
- 45-50g white chocolate
- 1 tbsp rum
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- Crushed nuts, cookie bits, or sugar sprinkles
- Peel and mash up banana. Break steamed cake into small pieces. In a bowl, combine mashed banana and steamed cake and mix well. Add rum or cinnamon at this point, if you’d like.
- Take portions of the mixture and make them into small balls. Stick picks in and freeze them for one hour.
- Coat frozen cake balls with melted chocolate, or simply pour on top. Optionally, decorate with sprinkles.
- Put back in freezer. Serve frozen.