Name: Jamie Ryder
Scran: Wafu Adzuki Spaghetti with Sake Sauce
Mother Language: English
“The recipe is a nod to my Italian heritage through being cooked for and to cook with my nona, who instilled a sense of strong flavours and rich food in me from a young age, and to my appreciation of Japanese culture, which developed in my teen years and extended into Japanese cooking.
Japanese craftsmanship is amazing, especially in the food world with how much skill is put into every dish from chefs, to the great deal of work that goes into sake production. All this inspired my appreciation of Japanese sake and my desire to become a sake sommelier. Nihonshu as it’s known is a key ingredient of the dish.
In Japan, there’s a saying that sake can be made in ten thousand different ways and a lot of the end flavour comes down to the individual steps of a brewery. The nihonshu that I chose for the dish, Akashi-Tai Shiraume Umeshu, is a sweeter style of sake which added some extra acidity to the tomato sauce and gave it a faint plum taste, due to how the sake was produced.
I’d even recommend pairing the wafu spaghetti with a bottle of sake because pasta and nihonshu makes for a great pairing. The style of sake that would go well with this is honjozo, a premium type of sake that can have savoury, earthy flavours and would elevate the taste of the adzuki beans and tomato sauce.
So, in summary the recipe is a culmination of my childhood and a way to bring together two cultures that I have a deep affinity and respect for.”