How to cook easy french food in Japan

How to cook easy french food in Japan

I’m gonna tell you something that may be surprising :

It’s not complicated or even expensive to cook french food in Japan. 

It may take time, of course, depending on the dish you choose to make, and you may need an oven for many recipes (which isn’t something so current in Japan, right?) but, that’s it.
Most of the ingredients can be found everywhere!

Before entering the subject, I noticed that, speaking with my Japanese friends, most of them don’t have any idea of what is french food.
I think that is totally normal considering they only know the expensive fancy food serve in the luxurious french restaurants in Japan.

What is french food

That might disappoint you but, what we eat there isn’t something we eat normally in France.
Those fancy gourmet dishes such as escargots, foie gras, mousse… are, even for french people, some delicacies we eat on unique moments such as celebrations or events such as New year, etc.

Actually we are huge pasta lovers, many of us cook pasta at home almost daily.  If it’s not pasta, it is simply vegetables or rice, or any cereals, with some meat or fish aside.
And we do like to start our meal with a salad or soup as entree.
When we have time we like to bake tartes, quiches, mijotés, or cook more elaborated meals but I reckon that’s not a daily habit for most of us.

Easy to cook?

You could actually cook french food just like you cook some Japanese dishes, changing simply the condiments, which are the fundamental trickers making a difference in the flavour.
For example if you plan to cook salmon with rice, just season your salmon with some Aneth, salt, or make a sauce hollandaise, or a sauce oseille to accompany it. And there you have a classic french food you can find in any bistrot in France!

Everything lies in the seasoning.

Obviously, there are some vegetables and fruits you can only find in France, like artichoke, but they don’t represent the base of french dishes.
I guess the most difficult thing to find in Japan is french cheese, since we have a very, very wide variety of cheese.
So you might want to avoid choosing a recipe containing very hard to get ingredients.

Some examples of french meals easy to make in Japan

Let’s see what I consider as classic french food and that you can easily make at home:

  • Gratin dauphinois
  • Quiche lorraine
  • Boeuf bourguignon (My favorite, this one can be expensive since you’ll need a good wine and a good piece of beef, but everything can be found in your local supermarket)
  • Tarte aux poireaux
  • Pot au feu
  • Ratatouille
  • Cake salé…

I’m going to share with you 2 recipes, you’ll notice that ingredients are all easily accessible.
Please just note that you need an oven for both of the recipes.

Let’s impress your friends with delicious and super easy to make french food!

Quiche lorraine

This is one the most easy and quick recipes you can do, moreover it’s cheap too!
Whatever how you do it, unless you spit the salt jug in your plate, I’m sure you can’t fail it.

What you need :

1 tart crust
you can buy it in store or make it yourself, but if you never made tarts or pizzas let’s just buy it.
– 4 eggs
– 300ml of heavy cream (thickened cream)
– 150gr of grated gruyere cheese (or cheddar, parmiggiano, mozarella..)
We generally make it with gruyere but whatever you find should be good. Parmiggiano is more salty and will give a more cheesy taste to it, and the contrary for Mozzarella which will make it very soft!)
– 200 gr of bacon, cut in small strips
– 1/2 onion, finely chopped
– Butter or oil
– Salt, pepper

And, that’s it !!
There are many variations, you can also add garlic or other spices, but I’m sharing with you my lazy easy recipe.

The preparation is the simplest thing in the world:

1. Melt butter in a pan at over medium high heat. Add onion and bacon. Cook until bacon is light golden.
2. Mix the eggs, cream, cheese, onion and bacon together in a bowl.
3. Pour it in your tart
4. Sprinkle some cheese below the surface.
5. Bake in the oven for about 30-40min until the top is golden.

Et voilà !

This quiche is still excellent when you reheat it, so it’s something you can also prepare in advance and make for any occasion.

Cake salé

This is one of my all favorite too, and I love  to prepare it especially when we go picnic! You can eat it heated or cold, and eat it with your hands so it’s perfect to eat outside.
so many variations exist, I’m gonna share with you the most traditional one.
This is also a very simple recipe with only a few ingredients!

What you need:

– 250 g cake flour
baking powder incorporated; if not just add a spoon of baking powder
– 4 eggs
– 80 ml of milk
You can use any milk such as soy milk if you want
– 80 ml of olive oil
– 50 gr of olives

black or green, up to your choice
– 170 gr of ham, cut into little dices (about 0,5cm)
– 170 gr of grated gruyere cheese
– Salt, pepper
– thym

So out of the base, we use here ham, gruyere and olives, but you could replace it with tomatoes, feta, zucchini, salmon… You can invent and try many ingredients that would seem good together.

The preparation in 5 steps:

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour with baking powder, salt, and pepper.
2. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then mix in the milk and olive oil
3. Add the liquid in the large bowl. Then add in the ham, cheese, and olives, and softly mix all together.
4. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and flatten the top. Sprinkle some thym on the top.
5. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden.
Check if it’s well cooked by picking it with a knife: it must comes out clean, just a few scrubs on it, no humid batter on it.

What do you think? Does it seem difficult to make?

Let me know your opinion in the comment section, and if you tried to make it I would be glad to know how it went!

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