The togarashi affair

My husband is having an affair. He’s not even trying to hide it any more. Last week he cooked me this fantastic stirfry and while I was complimenting him on it he dropped a bombshell. Just like that.

What’s even worse is that I know the third party. He introduced us a couple of months ago when we were having a rare lunch together at a little Japanese joint down from work. I thought she was great too, but now I can’t escape her, the fiery little minx.

Dear reader, my husband has become obsessed with togarashi, a spicy, zesty Japanese seasoning comprised of chilli, sesame seeds, ginger, orange zest, seaweed and other sundry ingredients. It’s a bit like the Colonel’s 11 secret herbs and spices, only better. It’s traditionally used in noodle soups (the lovely guy who runs the little Japanese joint we occasionally escape to says it is “only for udon” but I can vouch for the following recipe (as long as it doesn’t end my marriage).

Togarashi chicken
I dragged as much information about the making of this dish as I could from the guilty party, plus watched him make it the other day. This serves two generously with rice.

350-400g boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice (lemon zest also good here)
2 Tbsp togarashi (or more, if you are really keen on it)
black pepper
splash of oil
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
bok choy or similar vegetables suited to stir-frying

Mix the chicken, garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, lemon juice and zest, togarashi and black pepper together and leave to marinate for 30 minutes out of the fridge or a couple of hours in the fridge.
Heat a splash of oil in a heavy pan, then stir-fry the chicken and spring onions until nearly cooked. Toss in the vegetables until they are just cooked. Serve with hot steamed rice and a cold beer.