The Japanese Grand Prix is always a favorite, for so many reasons. Here are my top 5:
1. The Fans are fantastic, fanatical, and know how to have fun
2. The track is a figure 8 and has some great corners
3. The drivers love it and you can see the excitement free practice all the way through the race weekend
4. Unpredictable weather, always a game-changer
5. At this point in the championship things can start to be decided, so every point, and mistake, and unreliability, and battle, seem so much more important
I gathered a small collection of examples of the awesome fandom in Japan:
Who can resist such spirit and love of racing??
For this race we made Japanese stir fry noodles (Yakisoba) and started the meal with Blistered Shishito Peppers which we serendipitously got from our Imperfect Produce delivery this week! I love all things noodles, and this dish is no exception. With a nice umami-savory sauce and lots of veggies it hits all the right buttons. Served with two excellent Japanese micro-brews (Thank you Luiz!), the tiniest most adorable bottle of Suntory Whiskey hand-delivered from Japan (Thanks Chris and Natalie!) and an exciting race (Thank you Max Verstappen adn Fernando Alonso)!
We finished off the meal with Fluffy Japanese style Cheesecake and some of that whiskey.
Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fry Noodles)
Adapted from: Just One Cookbook
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
4 tsp oyster sauce
4 tsp ketchup
4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
¾ lb sliced pork belly (or chicken thigh or shrimp)
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, julienned
10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 green onions/scallions, chopped into 2 inch pieces, plus more for topping (optional)
½ cabbage head, leaves peeled and cut into bite size pieces
½ lb fried tofu cubes (optional)
Pickled red ginger (optional for topping)
Yakisoba Noodles (1 package - 16 oz)
1. Make Yakisoba sauce: Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a skillet or large wok, heat oil on medium high heat. Cook meat until just browned.
3. Add onion and carrots and cook for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add the cabbage and cook until almost tender.
5. Add green onions, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu and cook for 1 minute or until tofu is just heated through.
6. Rinse yakisoba noodles in hot water to warm and aid in separating noodles. Use tongs to separate the noodles (pour over more hot water if they are sticking).
7. Add the noodles to the wok, and lower the heat to medium. Stir all ingredients over medium heat, being careful not to let the noodles stay too long on the pan to prevent sticking.
8. Add Yakisoba Sauce, mix all ingredients together and warm up sauce. Serve topped with more chopped green onions, pickled red ginger (optional).
Note: my medium sized wok barely fit all of these ingredients, as a matter of fact when I added the noodles I couldn’t even stir to combine them, I had to transfer half to a bowl, etc. etc. So I recommend if you have a large wok to use that, or alternatively a large skillet or even a dutch over could work well. Alternatively you could halve the recipe for 2 generous servings, or 4 small servings to go alongside something else delicious!
Blistered Shishito Peppers
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Flaky salt (sea salt or kosher salt)
1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until the pan is hot. Add the peppers to the hot skillet and cook the peppers, turning occasionally, until blistered on multiple sides and hot.
2. Transfer to serving plate and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with generous pinch of salt.
And last but not least, Ferrari's Japanese GP Poster for 2017