Silver Travel Cook Club - January 2021

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Silver Travel Cook Club Wendy Wu ToursThis month’s Silver Travel Cook Club features a recipe for miso soup, inspired by sponsor Wendy Wu Tours Experience Japan holiday.

And you could win a copy of Japaneasy by Tim Anderson, a cookbook full of classic and modern Japanese recipes you can easily cook at home.

Experience Japan – 11 Day Fully Escorted Group Tour

Having been isolated from the rest of the world for over 214 years, Japan flourished without the influence of any other nation resulting in a truly fascinating destination with culture, cuisine, and traditions unlike anywhere else.

The 11-day Experience Japan tour gives you a true taste of this wonderfully unique country and features a whole host of authentic experiences to fully immerse you in the local culture, including fantastic culinary ventures!

Japanese tea ceremonyStarting in the fast-paced city of Osaka where you’ll explore beautiful Osaka Castle, journey to the historic heart of Nara to discover ancient temples, traditional zen gardens and serene parks. In Kyoto, wander through the striking bamboo forest, see vibrant orange torii gates and experience the calming waters which surround the iconic Golden Pavilion. You’ll even learn the age-old rituals of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony before heading to the Japanese Alps in search of snow monkeys.

There are plenty of culinary delights in store in Matsumoto where you’ll visit a miso house to learn about the process of making this famous Japanese seasoning, and also visit a sake brewery to sample Japan’s most iconic tipple! After witnessing the majestic sights of Mount Fuji, the tour ends in the lively city of Tokyo where soaring skyscrapers sit in perfect harmony alongside historic temples.

Departure dates and pricing:

There are various dates available on the Experience Japan tour for 2021 & 2022 and, this month only, you can book this tour from just £4,790pp with Free Return Flights, saving up to £800pp.

If you are a solo traveller and the Free Return Flights offer isn’t your thing, you can book a spot on this tour and pay No Single Supplement for a room of your own, saving up to £1,890pp.

Experience Japan is a fully inclusive, fully escorted tour meaning the price includes all accommodation, all meals, all daily tours and entrance fees, expert guiding throughout, all transportation in the destination, and any visa fees.

Golden Pavilion, Japan
Torii Gates, Japan

Recipe: Traditional Japanese Miso Soup

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 25g dried kombu seaweed
  • 4 spring onions, sliced at an angle
  • 6 fresh shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 85g tofu, diced
  • 85g watercress leaves
  • 1 tbsp sake, Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp fresh root gionger, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp miso paste


Add the kombu seaweed to a saucepan and pour in 1 litre of water. Slowly bring to the boil, remove from the heat and cover the pan. Set aside to allow the kombu seaweed to fully flavour the water.

Miso soup - Arnaud 25, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia CommonsAfter 5 minutes, use a draining spoon to remove and discard the kombu seaweed.

Add the sake (or rice wine or sherry), sugar and ginger to the broth and bring back to the boil.

Reduce the heat and stir in the miso paste until it dissolves completely.

Add the sliced spring onions, finely chopped mushrooms, diced tofu and watercress to the broth.

Cook gently, constantly stirring without allowing the soup to boil.

Ladle the soup into bowls (get some small Japanese soup bowls if you want to really be authentic) and enjoy!

Tip: If you don’t want to waste the kombu seaweed, this can be finely chopped and returned to the broth when you add the watercress. 

JapaneasyHow to win a copy of Japaneasy by Tim Anderson

What is your experience of Japanese cuisine? Miso soup, Kobe beef, ramen noodles, tempura prawns? Or perhaps something a little less popular with Western palates?

Just tell us about your favourite Japanese food experience – whether enjoyed in Tokyo or Tadcaster – and the best entry will win a copy of the Japaneasy cookbook by Tim Anderson.

Read more about all of our Silver Travel Cook Club recipes.


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Other Members' Thoughts - 20 Comment(s)

  • Carole23
    9 months ago
    Sushi is so good!
    Best place was a restaurant called Japengos in Muscat, Oman. A beach restaurant with floor to ceiling windows. The view was cruising teenagers in Dad’s Porsche and excellent spicy tuna!
  • Jeannies
    9 months ago
    Never eaten Japanese food but my son is an aspiring cook I'm sure he would cook us a lovely Japense meal.
  • Moonbeams
    9 months ago
    My husband and myself had taken Japanese classes at our local university prior to taking all our family on a holiday to Japan. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and our favourite meal was on a visit to the Tori Gates at Fushini Inari Taisha where we found a wonderful little restaurant that served Ramen that was just amazing.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    9 months ago
    Many thanks for all your comments. I'm learning so much I didn't already know about Japanese food and Woofles your comment particularly made me smile !
  • Carol_53
    9 months ago
    I have visited Japan twice and believe their cuisine is the best in the world. In Tokyo I particularly enjoyed the seaweeds like mekabu and wakame.... also kombu in the miso soups. At breakfast there were three lovely seaweeds, salmon teriyaki, tuna sashimi and clam chowder. All really amazing. I also tried their huge kumamoto oysters for dinner one day. Superb. I would love to win this recipe book to be able to make wonderful Japanese cuisine at home especially as there is no opportunity to go to Japan for some time.
  • Woofles
    9 months ago
    My old boss and I had a bet running ea h week to see who could lose the most weight. We were both overweight and looking to shed some pounds and were both very competitive. Instead of a prize system we had a forfeit scheme in place. If he lost he has to eat a piece of fruit of my choosing and if I lost I had to eat sushi (I don’t like fish now am I keen on cold rice!). Each Wednesday we reported our week’s achievements and the loser got “rewarded” the next day. More often he was eating apples or pears but over the course of the time I “enjoyed” my fair share of sushi. What he didn’t realise was that by the end of it I quite liked it (however to this day he still doesn’t eat fruit!)
  • Rod-Cornaby
    9 months ago
    In 1992 I stayed with a family in Japan for a week, enjoying their wonderful hospitality and eating wonderful everyday Japanese food. During my stay we also went out for meals, and the highlight was visiting a well regarded artist who made large panels of traditional tissue paper artwork at his ancient wooden house and studio. I made a small scene of Fuji-san, and then we ate a meal together around a firepit in the louge of the house with an old carved wooden carp suspending a pot above the fire, and fish cooked on sticks over the coals. We drank beer and laughed, and later I slept in a paper guest house in his garden next to a pond. I've always dreamt of returning to Japan - maybe one day!
  • you
    9 months ago
    I have not been to Japan so have been unable to taste Japanese food.
  • Stoughtontraveller
    10 months ago
    Our daughter in law loves to try new recipes and cuisines. This would be super for her.
  • Pardeus
    10 months ago
    Can't say I have ever fancied sushi but must admit I really enjoyed Miso Soup with Wakame and Tofu, also with Green onion and Bonito Flakes is very tasty.
  • keljimstock
    10 months ago
    Funnily enough my wife and I were considering a holiday to Japan just before the first lockdown. i had just turned 70 and we had recently celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary. It was to be the holiday of a lifetime. Riding the bullet trains, visiting the splendid castles, sploshing about in the bathhouses and of course exploring their fascinating cuisine. I have listened to Tim Anderson on Radio 4's "Kitchen Cabinet" many times so to have his book full of wonderful receipes would be splendid.
  • HenDdraig
    10 months ago
    The lockdown has me yearning for travel, and I had decided to use this enforced isolation to plan a trip to Japan when restrictions permit. Looks like you've done the job for me! My first experience of Japanese food was at a newly opened restaurant in the Canton part of Cardiff, some years ago now. Four of us (two couples) met for a meal. We're close friends and often travel together, spending a 40th birthday in Cambodia and a 50th in Norway. As we studied the menu we realised we knew nothing of Japanese food. We ordered set menus with some additions. Initially dubious when faced with Sashimi, we were converted for life to this fresh, melt in the mouth delight. Other dishes followed, and in our ignorance we poured our Miso soup over our rice, not knowing what it was. The food was delightful, and as good friends do we were enjoying a raucous evening laughing at one another's fumbles with noodles and rice alike. Green tea ice cream had a divisive effect akin to Marmite. The evening was only marred by the realisation that a young couple in the booth behind us were engaged in a horribly messy break-up. Judging by the little we overheard before we beat a hasty retreat, I'm confident that that sobbing young woman had a lucky escape, and I like to think that she has gone on to meet someone who deserved her.
    10 months ago
    Would love this book as we have a Nephew who is married to a Japanese Lady and they live in Tokyo. Could surprise them with some fusion cooking , fusion Indian with Japanese cooking, limitless possibilities.
  • Ozdevon
    10 months ago
    My sister-in-law who is Japanese surprises us with a fusion of Japanese & Western foods occasionally. Now that is something different. This book would enable me to return the compliment & surprise her when we are next able to meet
  • RobJones
    10 months ago
    My first taste of Kobe beef was in a wonderful restaurant in Utah USA, it melted in my mouth, that memory will always be with me.
  • The-lone-traveller
    10 months ago
    in Japan we had a type of Simmered beef which i know was cooked with soya sauce, sake and onions, it was served with a poached egg on top with a garnish of sliced tomatoes and ginger with a very tasty rice bowl having a mixture of vegetables added. It was followed with Buckwheat custard and not forgetting a glass of sake to compliment the meal.
  • SilverTravelEditor
    10 months ago
    It's making me hungry just reading your lovely comments. Nothing beats really well made sushi but I also love a good ramen. Hoping now I can find the ingredients to make this much needed warming miso soup !
  • Hardyplant
    10 months ago
    I'm not keen on sushi and apart from that the only other Japanese `style` food I've eaten is Katsu Curry, which I enjoyed in a local pub/restaurant. As we're cutting down even more on our meat eating it's probably a good time to try out a few recipes that include the use of tofu so I'm willing to try a few different things that add flavour to what is quite a bland ingredient.
  • Sararose
    10 months ago
    About 30 years ago I flew to Cologne to meet my current male friend and to have a meal in a Japanese restaurant! It was very different to anything I had ever eaten and delicious ,but it did spoil me for the average Sushi restaurant. If I had a Japaneasy cookbook I could try preparing it for myself. The boyfriend is, of course, long gone!!
  • DRSask
    10 months ago
    The only Japanese food I remember eating was many years ago in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada of all places. For a time (probably 20 years ago now) there was a Japanese restaurant in an old house on the edge of downtown. I tried it out one evening with friends. Once a month we would go to a different nation's restaurant to try out the food. Some were old favourites and others were new to us. This one was new and we all enjoyed it. I had the tempura vegetables and prawns and they were delicious. The batter was so light and crispy and everything was cooked perfectly so nothing was soggy or overcooked.