Updated: Oct 1, 2021
It seems difficult to believe now, but time was when butter was almost unknown in Japan.
I admit I'm going back a few years but even in my childhood in the 1960s, butter was regarded as something of an out of reach luxury. Like many Western things, butter (known as "bata" in Japanese) began to be assimilated into Japanese cooking during the post-war years of the US military occupation. At that time, butter was still so rare in Japanese food culture that some Japanese people declared that Westerners actually smelt of butter ("bata kusai" - probably not something you want to be called!)
Today however, there's probably a pack of butter in every fridge in Japan and it's found it's way into quite a few Japanese dishes - such as this one. I've always found that combining butter and soy sauce creates a unique umami-like flavour. Even better, this dish is ready in minutes - the key to making things happen quickly is to cut the asparagus diagonally - that way you expose more of the flesh to heat and it cooks more quickly in the pan. I serve this as both a side dish and now and again piled on a plate of rice for lunch.
Come to think of it - I could serve it on a plate of noodles as well for a satisfying and nutricious meal.....
If you'd like to try something quick and tasty, you can find the written recipe for this dish below. For the youtube tutorial click on Soy Butter Vegetable stir fry or scroll to the bottom of this page.
Happy cooking! Kurumi XXXX.
Soy Butter Vegetable stir fry.
(makes 2 servings)
100g frozen sweetcorn
100g button mushrooms
4 tsp soy sauce
thinly slice the asparagus diagonally (this reduces the cooking time)
remove the bottom of the mushroom stems, then halve the mushrooms
melt the butter in a pan, add the vegetables, sprinkle over the pepper and stir fry for 4-5 mins
add the soy sauce and stir for 30 seconds
(check the asparagus is cooked before serving, if not fry for another 1 -2 mins)