As I’ve previously mentioned, I love Izakaya culture.
So here are some more izakaya-inspired dishes to accompany a martini.
This is very simple: grill sweet potato in oil with a sprinkling of salt until ready. I was drinking a martini when I made this so I can’t remember how long it was in the oven for. 20 minutes? Who knows. There’s a reason I blog about martinis and not food recipes.
Salmon ceviche is Izakaya-esque and goes very well with a martini. Prepared in advance and it’s very easy to assemble during drink o’clock.
Comparable to ceviche is the Japanese dish shime saba (lightly pickled mackerel) here served with some very rustic but tasty ritz crackers and guacamole (I mashed an avocado with coriander/cilantro, salt, pepper, tomato purée, garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice). All of the above went very well with the martini.
Skewers are easy. Chop the ingredients (tofu and spring onions above), thread onto wooden skewers, brush with oil and maybe some salt, pepper or a sauce/glaze of your choice. Chuck them in the oven for a few minutes while you pour the martinis then whip them out when they’re ready.
As well as potentially making unusual garnishes, the hot skewers contrast nicely with an ice cold martini.
The tofu skewers involved a little extra batter to get them nice and crunchy on the outside, and goey on the middle – instructions here.
Thin spinach omelette (tamago), folded then sliced.
Grilled shiitake mushrooms make a nice umami nibble.
This is a whole meal. Salmon onigiri, grilled squash noodles, nori, sigeumchi-namul, salad, miso and err… Twiglets.
When I grilled the salmon to put in the onigiri, I grilled the skin separately with a light sprinkling of salt, cut it into squares and served it as a martini nibble as you see here.
Here is some shime saba (pickled mackerel) nigiri served in Yo!Sushi (a British-born Japanese conveyor belt sushi restaurant). If only they served martinis as well! Oh wait, I’m glad they don’t. I would never leave.
Here is some tuna chirashi-zushi I made at home with tamago, cucumber and pickles.
Flash fried scallops, then chilled in a garlic and ginger marinade, served with boiled and salted samphire. These went well with the martini.
Tuna maki and crab futomaki rolls. Probably better to be eaten after a martini as an actual meal but they were an okay accompaniment nonetheless. I need to work on my makisu rolling skills…
And finally, the traditional izakaya dish, the croquette potato – korokke. Hot, crunchy and savoury, they go very well in an izakaya meal and with a martini.