If you want to get to the heart of Japanese home cooking, you will appreciate Phaidon’s most recent Country Cookbook, Japan: The Cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu. This hefty collection of over 400 recipes showcases the breadth of Japanese home-cooking today, and is a great reference book for any cook keen on the cuisine.
Read my full review of Japan: The Cookbook here, and enjoy the third and final extracted recipe, below. I’ve also shared Stir-Fried Japanese Leeks with Miso and Asparagus with Sesame-Vinegar Dressing.
Okinawan-Style Sesame Doughnuts | サーターアンダギー
- 200 g (11⁄3 cups / 7 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 100 g (1⁄2 cup / 3 1⁄2 oz) sugar
- 1 large pinch fine sea salt
- 1 medium egg at room temperature
- 100 ml (3 1⁄3 fl oz) milk
- 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- Neutral oil, such as rapeseed [canola], peanut or safflower for deep-frying
Variation: Omit the sesame seeds and add chopped walnuts or raisins to the batter.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the flour mixture and crack the egg into the well.
Stir the milk and vanilla extract in slowly with a fork, while breaking up the egg, until the dry and wet ingredients are blended.
Warm the sesame seeds in a small dry pan and crush slightly in a suribachi [Japanese grinding bowl] or nut grinder. Stir the sesame seeds into the batter — it will be fairly sticky.
Pour 15 cm (6 inches) oil into a heavy medium pot and heat over medium-low heat until hot but not smoking.
Working in batches of 6 (do not crowd the pot), drop rounded spoonfuls of the batter, using 2 spoons, and fry until the donuts are bobbing on the surface and most of the tiny bubbles have subsided, at least 3 minutes. (Adjust the heat if they are browning too quickly.)