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Your Home Izakaya by Tim Anderson

Posted by Nigella on the 28th October 2021
Image of Tim Anderson's Pepper Steak with Garlic Soy Sauce
Photo by Laura Edwards

I don’t actually know Tim Anderson, but every time he brings out a new book, I feel that it is a present from a friend: he just seems to know exactly what I want to be eating. And there is something about his I-can’t-wait-for-you-to-make-this enthusiasm about his recipes that make me as excited as a child at Christmas. While I loved, and still love, his Vegan JapanEasy, I have developed a particular passion for Your Home Izakaya. And I say that as someone who, I must admit, had never heard the actual word “izakaya" before getting this book. Though once I’d read it, I realised had actually eaten in such a place in Sydney. An izakaya is - and I hope my description passes muster - a busy, buzzing but workaday drinking den, where small, informal plates of flavourful food are served to pick at while you drink.

I’m rather the opposite of the I’m-only-here-for-the-beer brigade, so am all too happy to forgo the booze and focus on the food in my own home, so of course I feel that the book is written for me! (Although I should add that there is indeed a section on drinks in the book.) There are so many recipes I’m falling over myself to make, but let me just mention a few of them: Addictive Cabbage, a salty zingy, crunchy salad-cum-relish; the pink-and-green beauty that is his Radish and Watercress Salad; Chilled Tofu with Egg Yolk, Chilli and Spring Onion; Korean-Style Beef Tartare; the fabulous fusion dish (as many recipes in this divine book are) of Cheese and Onion Gyoza; ditto, Japanese Fish and Chips; Cheese Dakgalbi, which Anderson describes as “chicken and vegetables sautéed in an intoxicatingly tasty Korean chilli sauce, then pushed to the sides of the pan to make for a lake of liquified cheese”; Fish Finger Hand Rolls, which I obviously couldn’t resist; and the Udon Carbonara with Bacon Tempura. But the recipe I just had to share with you today is the Pepper Steak with Garlic Soy Sauce Butter. And let me say, before I leave you to drool over the recipe, that most of the recipes are written for two people (as, indeed, this one is) which makes this a book that is really wonderful for those who, like me, live alone. I say that as I know I will happily make these recipes for two to eat greedily alone!

Your Home Izakaya by Tim Anderson (Hardie Grant, £25).
Photography © Laura Edwards

Book cover of Your Home Izakaya by Tim Anderson

Try this recipe from the book

Image of Tim Anderson's Pepper Steak with Garlic Soy Sauce
Photo by Laura Edwards
Pepper Steak with Garlic Soy Sauce Butter
By Tim Anderson
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