BBQ weather is nearly here. Why not try these Japanese style barbecue recipes to add a different flavour to your grill?

Recently the weather has been much warmer. It’s been nice enough to put the deckchairs into the garden and enjoy the sunshine. When the weather is warm it is always an incentive to get out the barbecue. Nothing says summer more than enjoying your food outside in the sunshine.

A barbecue is also a great way to get out of cooking. There is something primal about cooking food over hot coals that makes the men want to take over. My husband and son have fun watching the meat cook and I can sit and relax until it is ready. As long as the salads and sauces are ready then my job is done.

Japanese Style BBQ Recipes from Yutaka

Recently Yutaka got in touch to see if I would like to try out their Japanese style BBQ recipes. I am always happy to try new recipes so tried them out at the weekend. Yutaka provide a range of Japanese food products that help you create delicious and tasty Japanese recipes. I first tried their products when making sushi which was really tasty. There are two different recipes, Sushi kebabs and Panko burgers. Both of these would add an interesting twist to your barbecue.

Yutaka BBQ recipes

Sushi kebabs

Take some chicken, salmon or vegetables and leave them to soak in the Japanese BBQ marinade. After they have been left overnight thread the meat onto some skewers with other vegetables. The original recipe calls for courgettes, peppers and salmon for an mix of Japanese flavours. I chose to use chicken, peppers and mushrooms. Cook the kebabs on the barbecue until they are done. When they are ready add them to a bed of sushi rice and wrap in a sheet of nori. This is a nice easy way to serve the kebabs and also adds a lot of flavour. Any leftover sushi rice can be made into a side salad with the addition of some spring onions, peppers and cucumber.

BBQ Marinade

BBQ Marinade

  • Time: 10mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A Japanese inspired marinade with sushi ginger, rice wine and miso


  • 2 tbsp Yutaka Yakiniku Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Yutaka Miso Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Yutaka Tamari Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp chopped Yutaka sushi ginger
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp Yutaka Mirin
  • 2 tbsp Yutaka Shaoxing Rice Wine


  1. Mix ingredients together
  2. Cover the chicken, salmon or tofu in the marinade
  3. Leave in the fridge overnight

Sushi Kebabs

  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A Japanese inspired marinade with sushi ginger, rice wine and miso


  • 4 bamboo skewers
  • 6 mini peppers
  • 2 courgettes
  • 12 button mushrooms
  • 6 small shallots
  • Marinaded chicken, salmon or tofu
  • 250g Sushi rice
  • 330ml water
  • 3 tbsp Yutaka Japanese rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 spring onions
  • 3″ piece cucumber
  • 6 Yutaka nori sheets
  • Yutaka bamboo rolling mat


  1. Soak the bamboo skewers in water for four hours before use
  2. Cover the chicken, salmon or tofu in the marinade
  3. Leave in the fridge overnight
  4. Make the sushi rice. First wash the rice three of four times with cold water
  5. Drain the rice with a sieve
  6. Add to a pan with the water
  7. Put the lid on the pan and bring to the boil
  8. Simmer for then minutes then turn off the heat and leave to stand for 25-30 mins. Do not open the lid
  9. Mix together the rice vinegar, sugar and salt
  10. Stir into the cooled rice.
  11. Chop the red pepper, spring onions and cucumber into small pieces
  12. Mix with half the rice to make a salad.
  13. Thread pieces of marinaded meat, peppers, courgettes and mushrooms onto a skewer
  14. Brush with BBQ sauce and place on the barbecue
  15. When done place a nori sheet on the rolling mat
  16. Add a line of sushi rice and the kebab and roll up.
  17. Serve with salad and the rice salad.

BBQ Sauce

  • Time: 10mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A Japanese inspired marinade with sushi ginger, rice wine and miso


  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Yutaka Japanese rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Yutaka Tamari Soy Sauce
  • ¼ tsp Yutaka Wasabi paste
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 2 tsp soft brown sugar
  • Dash Tabasco
  • pinch salt


  1. Mix ingredients together to make the sauce


Japanese Style Burgers

  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Burgers with a Japanese style BBQ sauce


For the burgers

  • 2 small red onions
  • 500g minced beef
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp Yutaka Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp Yutaka miso sauce
  • 1 tbsp Yutaka Yakiniku sauce
  • salt and pepper

To stack

  • 6 burger buns
  • 3 tbsp mayonaise
  • ½ – tsp Yutaka Wasabi paset
  • sliced onion rings
  • sliced pepper rings
  • whole mushrooms
  • Salad leaves
  • Tomato ketchup


  1. Peel and chop the onions and garlic
  2. Place the onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, meat, sauces and salt and pepper into a food processor
  3. Mix until well combined
  4. Shape six burgers from the mixture and leave in the fridge to chill
  5. Brush the burgers with the BBQ sauce then barbecue along with the mushrooms, onion rings and peppers.
  6. Mix the mayonnaise with the wasabi paste and spread on the burger buns
  7. Stack the burgers on the buns with salad, onions, peppers and mushrooms.
  8. Serve with the sushi rice salad

The family really enjoyed these recipes and we will be trying them again soon. We are planning a big barbecue for the bank holiday weekend. I suspect now that I have said that it will rain.

If you are looking for other recipes for your barbecue it is worth making some home made tomato relish. This is much nicer than shop bought and will impress your guests. Do you have any favourite barbecue recipes? Let me know below.


This easy American meatloaf recipe is delicious hot with chips or cold with salad. It is easy to make and the barbecue sauce topping makes it extra tasty.

For people of a certain generation the word meatloaf conjures up images of a bat out of hell. It has to be  gone when the morning comes. Indeed google agrees, search for meatloaf and you find mentions of the singer rather than the recipe. Meatloaf is very much an American recipe. I often come across references to a classic American meatloaf in books and films. Smiling mums serve it to their children at the dinner table. It always sounds like something exotic.

In reality meatloaf is a recipe that binds mince with other ingredients to make it go further. This is a common way to stretch out expensive ingredients. Every family has their own recipe with their own secret ingredients for the best taste.

Easy American Meatloaf

Easy American Meatloaf

Mince is such a versatile meat. I use it to make a range of tasty mid-week meals. Classics like spaghetti bolognese and shepherds pie as well as meatballs and beefburgers. These are easy to make and are always tasty. One thing that I had never tried  is a classic American meatloaf.  The idea of a meat taking on a loaf shape is a novel one but it makes is easy to serve.  Any leftovers can be eaten cold with salad so it is a very versatile dish.

The basic meatloaf recipe calls for ground beef or mince. Breadcrumbs act as a filler combining with the meat and soaking up the juice. Onions and garlic add a little flavour and the addition of an egg binds it all together. Seasoning is a must. Mince by itself can be a little bland and the addition of herbs and spices only enhances the flavour. The final touch for the meatloaf is the glaze. A rich barbecue sauce on the top adds a depth of flavour that perfectly complements the mince.

Easy American Meatloaf recipe

Easy American Meatloaf Recipe

Easy American Meatloaf

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 hr 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A delicious and tasty American meatloaf recipe.


  • 700g beef mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion
  • 250ml milk
  • 110g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp mustard


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C Gas Mark 4
  2. Grease a loaf tin
  3. Peel and chop the onion into small pieces
  4. Mix together the mince, breadcrumbs, onion egg and herbs and spices.
  5. Press the mixture into the loaf tin
  6. In another bowl mix the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup and pour over the meatloaf
  7. Place in the oven and cook for an hour

American meatloaf is very easy to make and is very tasty. It is surprising it is not more commonly made in the UK. I suspect this is a cultural thing. The British are more likely to use mince in a shepherd’s pie. I love the fact that you can eat it cold as well. It is lovely with salad.

Why not pin the recipe to try later?

Easy Amercian mealloaf. A delicious recipe made with minced beef

If you are looking for other recipes you can make with mince then why not try cowboy pie which is a twist on shepherd’s pie.



Eat Seasonal – May is a list of the fruit, vegetables and other food products that are in season in the UK in May. Eating seasonal products provides the best flavour at a cheaper price.

What’s In Season in May

Do you eat fruit and vegetables when they are in season? Seasonal produce has much more flavour and taste. If you are looking for food with more flavour, taste, crunch and juiciness then choose food that is in season.  It is not just the that is better, seasonal fruit and vegetables are cheaper. They also have less of carbon footprint that food that needs to be flown in.

May is a month which heralds the start of warmer weather to come. The hedgerows are starting to burst into bloom and light mornings are full with the sound of birdsong. Make the most of succulent Spring lamb and watch out for asparagus. The season is short so enjoy it with butter whilst it is at it’s best. Rhubarb is also at it’s best in May so grab the chance to make a rhubarb crumble or rhubarb fool. Rhubarb is also nice as a sauce on a savoury dish so cook it with mackerel which is also in season now.

May brings more colour to the plate. It is the start of the cherry season. Soon the blossom with become fruit. Carrots are starting to come into season and don’t miss new potatoes while they are around. There is nothing nicer than new potatoes with a little mint and some butter as a side dish.  What are you waiting for?  Go and get some seasonal ingredients now. I have a pdf of the food that is in season in May that you can download and print out if you wish.

Eat Seaonal - May. What fruit and vegetables are in season in the UK in May

Radish and Sweetcorn Salad

Radish and corn salad

One of the unsung stars of Spring are radishes. These quietly unassuming vegetables make their way into salads adding a crisp peppery bite.  They add a splash of colour to your plate and a touch of crunch. This makes them perfect for eating with dips. Radishes are good for you as well. They are high in anti-oxidants and vitamin C. Anti-oxidants are meant to help the body fight signs of ageing and may guard against cancer. It is worth adding radishes to your salad for these benefits alone.

Radish and sweetcorn salad is a very simple dish to make and adds a splash of colour to your plate. It is perfect for adding to Fajitas and Tacos if you are cooking up some food for Cinco de Mayo, the Mexican festival. It also goes nicely with a chicken sandwich to add a touch of crunch. To make it just mix up a small tin of sweetcorn with some radishes and spring onions that have been cut into pieces. Finally add a splash of lime juice and a little olive oil and mix it all up. A quick and easy salad that is also a versatile side dish.

Radish and Sweetcorn Salad Recipe

radish and sweetcorn salad

Radish and sweetcorn salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A quick and tasty salad which makes a lovely side dish

Put your recipe here. Tip: use ordered and unordered lists, headings, images, and links to improve the look of your recipe. You can also use special tags to format notes, ingredients, and directions.


  • 230g tin sweetcorn
  • 6 radishes
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp olive oil


  1. Chop the radishes in half and slice thinly.
  2. Chop the spring onions into small pieces
  3. Mix the sweetcorn with the radishes and spring onions
  4.  Add the lime juice and olive oil and stir until well mixed.

Other Recipes using May’s seasonal ingredients

Elderflower and Gooseberry Sorbet

Elderflower and Gooseberry sorbet

Apple, Cucumber, Elderflower and Mint Virgin Cocktail

Apple Cucumber Elderflower and mint cocktail

Pulled Duck with BBQ Sauce

pulled duck with barbecue sauce


What will you be cooking this May? Let me know below.



When life gives you lemons make lemon drizzle cake. This classic bake is sure to put a smile on your face.

What could be nicer than a classic lemon drizzle cake? A bite of the soft sponge cake brings the tang of lemon and the crunch of sugar. Perfect with a cup of tea to brighten up an afternoon.

Classic lemon drizzle cake

I haven’t made a lemon drizzle cake for ages. My last attempt at a drizzle cake was a lovely raspberry and blackberry drizzle cake which was perfect to use up my bumper raspberry crop. On finding that I had three lemons that I had to use up I thought a lemon drizzle cake would be perfect. Don’t you hate it when you have to buy a bag of lemons when you only need to use one? It did give me an excuse to make cake though and that is never a bad thing. Normally I would make lemon and sultana biscuits but they only need one lemon.

A classic lemon drizzle cake

Before I could make a lemon drizzle cake I had to find a recipe. Searching on-line I found several recipes for lemon drizzle cake. Strangely one of these requires one and half eggs. I am still trying to work out how you measure half an egg. Is there some gadget that slices an egg neatly in half that I am missing from my life? Even more weird how did someone discover that the recipe tastes best with one and a half eggs? I mean who would even try this? It is mind boggling.

When I need a classic recipe I always have a look though my gran’s cookbooks. I inherited a number of books from her. Some of these have strange names like the Radiation Cookbook and they take you back into the past. The recipes are substantial and use a lot of ingredients that are not so familiar today. Inside each of these books my gran has inserted hand written notes of recipes that she tried and liked. Some of these are cryptic with just a name and list of ingredients. Others have more detail but none have pictures. Looking though these I found a recipe for lemon drizzle cake. I have fond memories of eating this and other home made cakes with my gran when we went to visit. I thought I would try it for myself.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

A classic lemon drizzle cake is really easy to make. It starts with a basic sponge recipe. To make a basic sponge take the weight of an egg and add the same weight in flour, butter and sugar the. To make a bigger cake you can double and triple the amounts. It is an easy way to remember how to make a sponge without a recipe book. The secret to a lemon drizzle cake adding the lemon drizzle whilst the cake is still warm. Mix together some lemon juice and caster sugar until it is smooth. Let the cake sit for a few minutes when you remove it from the oven. Holes should then be made in the cake with a skewer and pour on the drizzle. The holes allow the drizzle to sink into the centre of the cake spreading the lemon heaven all though it.
Lemon Drizzle Cake

recipe title=”Lemon Drizzle Cake” servings=”8″ time=”1 hr” difficulty=”easy” image=”” description=”A light sponge drizzled with lemon and sugar to make a lovely tangy cake”]


  • 3 large eggs
  • 170g (6 oz) self raising flour
  • 170g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 170g (6oz) butter
  • Zest of two lemons

For the drizzle

  • Juice of two lemons
  • 110g (4 oz) caster sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4
  2. Grease a loaf tin
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  4. Add the flour, eggs and lemon zest and mix
  5. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin
  6. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a skewer put in the middle comes out clean
  7. Mix together the sugar and lemon juice for the drizzle
  8. Make holes in the cake with a skewer
  9. Pour the drizzle over the top
  10. Leave to cool

Why not pin the recipe to make later?

Classic lemon drizzle cake. Soft sponge with a lemon glaze drizzled over the top.


When was the last time you made lemon drizzle cake? Why not make some today?


The perfect steak Diane is pan fried steak with a creamy tangy sauce with mushrooms and onions. Eating it will transport you into the realm of luxury.

Steak is a meal that always brings a sense of occasion. When I was little my mum would cook steak for birthday meals. Steak and chips always meant a celebration. Even today we have steak for special occasions. If we eat out the meal one of us will normally choose steak. Steak is not something I prepare often. When I do I like ensure that I cook the perfect steak. It is hard to get the perfect mixture of tenderness and flavour to make a meal everyone will enjoy.
The other day I made Steak Diane. This is a rather retro dish but still very popular. The tangy mushroom and onion sauce with a hint of cream is the perfect addition to the steak.  With the side dishes of sweet potato fries and coleslaw it made a great meal. The steak was meltingly tender and the whole family enjoyed it.


Steak Diane


How to cook the perfect steak

A few simple steps will ensure that you get the perfect steak every time.

Choose the right cut

Picking the right type of steak can be difficult. There are lots of different cuts out there and the variety can be confusing. This is a quick guide to some of the different types of steak:
  • Sirloin steak – this is the cut most people are familiar with. This comes from the middle back of the cow and is tender and marbled with fat.
  • Rib eye steak – is from the rib section of the cow and is very tender with a rich flavour. Pockets of fat can be found though out which give it more flavour.
  • T bone steak – cut from the lower part of the cow. It contains a bone with fillet on one side and sirloin on the other. It gives you the best of both worlds but it is harder to cook as the different steaks cook at different rates.
  • Fillet steak – often known as the ladies steak, this is cu from just under the middle back. It is very tender but does not have as much flavour.
  • Flat iron steak – this steak comes from the shoulder and has a moderate beef flavour. It is great for marinading.
  • Rump steak –  cut the rump of the animal and is full of flavour. It is usually a large cut and is lovely and tender.

Choose great quality meat

As well as getting the cut right you need to choose a good quality steak. Recently I was sent a steak selection pack from the Great British Meat Co. This is a lovely selection of different steaks. The pack includes rib eye, sirloin, flat iron and rump along with two pork loin steaks. It is a great selection of meats for a family steak night.
The Great British Meat Co. source their meat from local farms, and cattle markets in North East England. By trading directly with the farmers they get the freshest and best quality meat. By buying from the Great British Co. you are helping support British farmers. The taste of the meat reflects the quality as it is full of flavour.


Steak selection pack from the Great British Meat Co.

Cooking  the steak

When cooking steak it is best to choose a heavy duty frying pan with a non-stick coating. This will distribute the heat evenly to the steak giving them a slightly charred taste. Make sure the pan has an even spread of oil and that the oil is hot before you add the steak. The golden rule for cooking steak is to sear it over a really high heat, then cook it until it reaches your liking. Finally the steak should be let to rest for four or five minutes before serving. The meat will relax enhancing the flavour.

A rare steak will take about 2 minutes to cook on each side while a well done steak will need about four to five minutes. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the steak. You can easily test by prodding the steak with your fingers. A rare steak will feel soft, medium rare will feel bouncy whilst a well done steak will be firm. Be careful not to over cook the steak or it will become tough.

STeak Diane

Making the Diane sauce

A tasty sauce can enhances the flavour of a good steak and Diane sauce does that. It is one of my favourite steak sauces along with peppercorn sauce.   The origin of the name Diane is a mystery.  We do know that in the 19th Century a creamy sauce “a la Diane” were an accompaniment to venison. The Roman poet Ovid tells the story of the young hunter Actaeon. Whilst he was hunting he accidentally came across Diana, the Greek goddess of the moon and the hunt. She was bathing naked in her secret grotto and being seen this way upset her. As punishment Diana transformed Actaeon into a stag. His hounds tore him to pieces and ate him.
Steak Diane is a twist on this venison dish. It seems to have originated in New York. It is a very tasty sauce that has stood the test of time and is a great accompaniment to steak.

Diane sauce recipe

The sauce is easy to make. Cut the onions, garlic and mushrooms into small pieces  and fry on a moderate heat until soft. Add some Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard to the pan along with any meat juices from the steak. If you wish you can also add a little brandy at this point and turn the heat up high until it burns off. Finally, add the cream and heat the sauce until it is thick. Pour over the steak and serve with any accompaniments. I chose sweet potato fries, celeriac coleslaw, onion rings and grilled mushrooms and tomatoes.


Diane Sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 15 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A tasty and tangy mushroom sauce perfect for serving with steak


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 15 g butter
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 50 ml brandy  (optional)
  • 200 ml double cream
  • Salt and pepper


    1. Peel and chop the onion and garlic into small pieces
    2. Chop the mushrooms
    3. In a frying pan heat the oil. Add the onions and cook until soft
    4. Add the garlic, mushrooms and butter and cook for a couple of minutes.
    5. Pour any meat juice from the steak to the pan along with the Worchester sauce and mustard
    6. If you are using brandy add this and turn up the heat
    7. Let the alcohol burn off then turn down the heat and add the cream
    8. Cook until the sauce thickens
    9. Season to taste and serve over the steak.

Why not pin the recipe to make later?

How to cook the perfect steak Diane.


What is your favourite way to serve steak? Let me know below.

I was sent a steak selection box to try out and create a recipe. I was not obliged to say anything nice and my opinions are my own.