My mother is an excellent cook. I mostly got my love of cooking and food from her, especially when it comes to Japanese cuisine. I was lucky enough to grow up in New York, where there is an abundance of Japanese supermarkets, making sourcing ingredients like dashi (stock), tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) and nori (dried seaweed) really simple. When I went to Manchester for university, I found myself really stuck in terms of finding the basics I was so used to at home. Luckily, there are a few more options in London, like the Japan Centre in Piccadilly Circus or Atariya. They both have great selections, but they’re either completely rammed (Piccadilly is always horrendously crowded due to all the tourists) or quite far out (the end of the Northern line, for both Atariya locations), and getting home can be a massive hassle when you bulk buy rice and other basics, like I do.
So I was completely thrilled when I was contacted by the lovely team from the Japan Food Hall, a Japanese online supermarket based in the UK. They have a great selection of products – everything from Japanese candies and snacks to sauces and mixes for dishes like sushi or hotpot. The website is clear, easy to use, and has great customer service (they even sent along a few snacks and treats with my first order!) It’s perfect for getting all the essentials, without the expense of lugging it all across town.
One of the first items in my order was a bag of kinako, or roasted soybean flour. I love kinako, which is usually eaten with a little bit of brown sugar with roasted mochi, a Japanese rice cake. Kinako flour is gluten free, and has a rich, nutty flavour, which makes it great for incorporating it into Western-style desserts in new and interesting ways. I really like topping vanilla ice cream with it, or having it with some Greek yoghurt, honey and blueberries. For this recipe, I combined some of that nuttiness with some rich white chocolate, in a gluten-free and egg-free biscuit recipe that goes perfectly with a steaming cup of matcha tea.
- 80g Kinako (roasted soybean) flour
- 200g Crushed white chocolate
- 200g Gluten-free flour
- 125g Butter
- 50ml Maple Syrup
- 200ml Agave Syrup
- Maldon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Matcha tea powder and hot water (optional, to serve)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix the flours until fully incorporated.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, fold the remaining ingredients with the exception of the chocolate.
- Stir in the remaining chocolate pieces with a spatula until evenly distributed.
- Using a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spoon out the dough.
- Leave space between each biscuit as these will spread!
- Top each biscuit with a pinch of sea salt, and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.
- These are crumbly when hot, so take care when placing these on a cooling rack.
- Let them cool – they should be quite chewy, with a creamy flavour.
- Serve with some matcha or Darjeeling tea.
Japan Food Hall have a great selection sure to get your creative juices flowing – and until May 31st you can get free UK delivery when you use the code ErinFreeDelivery3105. Japan Food Hall deliver throughout Europe, so if you’re outside the British Isles you can use the code to get £6 off your total order. To find their site, simply click on the link below, or find links to their social media site at the end of this post!
Let me know what you end up getting – I’d love to hear your ideas!
This post was in collaboration with the Japan Food Hall – all opinions are fully my own, and I wouldn’t blog it if I didn’t love the service! What recipes and ingredients will you try? Comment below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!