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Wafuu Pasuta

Wheat and rice-based noodles were introduced long ago by China and evolved into the much beloved Japanese somen, udon and chukkamen/ramen (egg) noodles. Italian pasta, with tomato or cheese-based sauces, is relatively new to Japan, and like many other Western foods, has been adopted into Japanese cuisine.

“Pasuta” dishes feature Italian wheat and egg noodles with somewhat familiar-looking sauces. Based on Italian sauces, wafuu (Japanese-style) pasta sauces usually incorporate Japanese ingredients like Shiitake mushrooms, fish roe or octopus although some are curious combinations of American ingredients like hot dogs and ketchup as in Supageti Napolitan (neopolitan spaghetti).

Both angel hair pasta and spaghetti noodles are used in wafuu pasta recipes. You can make your own wafuu pasta dishes by including your favorite Japanese ingredients into a light butter soy sauce. Here is one basic sauce:

Butter Soy Sauce
½ cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. mirin

Blend together and toss with hot pasta and your choice of Japanese ingredients. Keep it simple and add only two or three in any one dish:

*masago, tobiko or other types of fish roe
*shredded seaweeds like hijiki, nori kelp
*natto (fermented soy beans)
*kamaboko (fish cake)
*mushrooms (Shiitake, enoki, oyster) soaked and simmered first in dashinomoto, soy sauce and sugar
*daikon (Japanese radish)
*shiso leaves, shredded
*green onions, sliced
*egg omelet, shredded
*togarashii (7-spice powder)

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