Do you love Japanese culture and food so much that you'd like to incorporate a sprinkle of it into your Xmas festivities? We certainly feel that way! So we've put together a handy list of ideas for adding just a little smidgen of the far east to the most wonderful time of the year.
Have a Sushi Cocktail Party
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Sushi is the perfect posh canapé, and making them in large quantities is no trouble if you have one of our handy sushi kits! You can even fill them with festive things like tempura turkey with cranberry sauce, or spicy-sweet potato. There are other great Japanese canapés you can make too, like pastries filled with salmon teriyaki, mini karaoke and delicious karaage chicken with a spicy dipping sauce.
Serve these delicious nibbles with sake cocktails or glasses of Japanese whiskey on the rocks, either on Christmas eve or boxing day.
Serve Kabocha Squash Soup as a Festive Starter
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More people are opting for a smaller roast dinner this year so they can fit in a starter and a dessert too. Why not try scaling down your main event, and instead starting with a delicious bowl of hot Kabocha squash soup. To make it extra special, why not top it with a swirl of cream, crispy pancetta and a dusting of furikake seasoning?
Make Japanese Desserts
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Japanese desserts can be really shown stopping, their skills in patisserie are akin to the French! This year, why not finish your dinner with a gorgeous, fluffy Japanese cheesecake with lashings of fresh fruit. It's a good alternative to fruit cake or Christmas pudding, which is often too stodgy. Japanese cheesecake is pillowy and light as a cloud!
Or you can serve mochi and other beautiful Japanese sweets. Melt a pot of chocolate with a little cream, then allow your guests to make skewers with fresh fruit, mochi and marshmallows for dipping into the molten chocolate. Pure heaven!
Learn the Art of Japanese Parcel Wrapping
Like most things in Japan, present wrapping is considered an art form. There's no scrunching of paper and lashings of tape here! Instead, there are delicate folds. There are plenty of great tutorials on Youtube, and they're often wrapped with fabric as opposed to paper. Why not buy a selection of pretty silk scarves (very cheap from vintage stores and charity shops) and use them to wrap your presents Japanese-style?
Enjoy Matcha Lattes on Christmas Eve
Christmas eve is made for snuggling up! That's why you need to make yummy pastries with matcha and sakura pastry creams, and nibble them in front of the fire whilst enjoying a hot matcha latte. Matcha lattes are very comforting and relaxing! Just add 1-2tsp of matcha powder to a normal latte. For the kids, you can make Matcha White Hot Chocolate! Just melt white chocolate chips, mix them with 1-2 tsp of matcha, then swirl into hot milk.
Have a Studio Ghibli Film Night
Christmas Eve or Boxing Day, you'll be tired but you'll still want to maintain the festive spirit! That's why you should have a film night. Make popcorn with furikake, and buy lots of Japanese sweets like Hello Panda and Wasabi Peas, then put your PJs on and grab as many Studio Ghibli films as you can find! Studio Ghibli films are made for kids, but they have a massive following by adults too. You'll be weepy and joyful by the end of it, and it sure beats the millionth showing of Elf.