Thursday, 23 April 2015

Powerscourt House & Gardens - Japanese Garden

After visiting the Powerscourt Gardens last week I'm not surprsied it was voted "No.3 Garden in the World by National Geographic". Powerscourt House and Gardens are nestled in the Wicklow mountains near the village of Enniskerry. It's a short distance from Dublin and less than an hour drive from where I live in Kildare. 

Inside these spectacular gardens lies the "Japanese Garden" which was laid out over 100 years ago in 1908.

My favourite time to visit the Japanese Garden is during Spring when you can view the cherry blossoms and Autumn when you can admire the different colours of the Japanese maple trees. Although the gardens are stunning all year. 

We were very lucky as the sun was shining all day and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom.

The Pepperpot Tower was the kids favourite place in the gardens as they can climb up the winding stairs inside the tower to reach the top

We enjoyed the amazing scenery during our lunch outside in the Avoca Terrace Cafe. There is so much to see inside the gardens I'd give yourself plenty of time to wander around. 

For more information go to

All photographs in this post were taken by Smiles! Photography who I would recommend highly for these type of photos but also family photos as she has a unique way of making kids smile naturally in photos.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Japanese Courgette (Zucchini) Fusion Salad

Here's my refreshing Japanese courgette salad. I hope you like it. Let me know what you think! 

1 courgette
2 tbsp rice vinegar (30ml)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper, to season 
Black sesame seeds, to garnish

1.Wash the courgette and then grate. 

2. Place in a serving bowl. 

3. In a separate bowl mix together the olive oil, rice vinegar, sugar and salt and stir until the sugar is fully absorbed into the vinegar. 

4. Pour over the grated courgette and mix well together. 

5. Garnish with black sesame seeds. 

If the courgette is large then double the ingredients for the salad dressing.

Serving suggestion:
I served this salad with oven cooked sweet potato fries and leftover roast chicken breast with milled dillisk sprinkled over it. 

Here is a picture of the rice vinegar that I use at home. I get it in my local Asian supermarket. 

Monday, 12 January 2015

Salmon & Spinach Miso Soup on TV3's Late Lunch Live

Here's my winter miso soup recipe which I demonstrated on TV3's Late Lunch Live today. Click here to see the video.

Japanese people have one of the longest life expectacies in the world and one of the reasons for this is their consumption of miso. Miso is a fermented paste made from soy beans, rice or barley, salt and koji (a fermentation starter). It’s known for its undeniable health benefits including anti-cancerous properties and aiding digestion. It’s also one of the richest sources of protein and vitamin B12. 

You can find miso paste in health stores, large supermarkets and Asian speciality stores. One packet of miso paste costs between €4 and €7. It should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge once opened.

Irish Kelp Seaweed & Shiitake Mushroom Stock
1 litre water
Few thin strips of dried kelp seaweed (about 20g) 

3 dried shiitake mushrooms

1. Put 1 litre of cold water in a large saucepan. 

2. Add the kelp seaweed and shiitake mushrooms to the water and leave soaking for at least 30 minutes. 

3. Heat the water until it comes to the boil. Then remove the kelp and mushrooms immediately. 

This can be stored in the fridge for about 3 days or you can freeze it.

Salmon & Spinach Miso Soup
Serves 2-3

1 litre Irish kelp seaweed and shiitake mushroom stock (see recipe above)

1 fillet of salmon (cut into bite sized cubes)

Handful of spinach leaves (washed)

1 medium carrot (peeled and cut into thin strips)

2-3 tablespoons miso paste (depending on your own taste)

Cayenne pepper or Japanese seven spice (shichimi togarashi), to season

1. Heat the stock in a saucepan. 

2. Once the stock is boiling add the salmon pieces and carrot strips. When it comes back to the boil reduce to a simmer for about 3 -4 minutes. 

3. Using a whisk or fork dilute the miso paste in a small cup of stock taken from the saucepan. Then, add to the saucepan and gently stir into the soup until mixed through. 

4. Place the spinach into the bowls before pouring the miso soup

5. To serve pour the miso soup and equal amounts of the ingredients into bowls. Garnish with cayenne pepper or shichimi togarashi.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Fiona Uyema's Review 2014

I've created a short video to share with you some of my highlights from 2014. It was a really exciting year for me and I was lucky to learn so much and have so many new experiences in the foodie world. I can't wait to share some of my 2015 projects with you. 

Wishing you all a great 2015 and may all your dreams come true this year. Fiona x 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Fiona Uyema on TV3 Late Lunch Live

It can be quite challenging to cook on live TV but my biggest cooking challenge yet was to cook with the biggest Irish sporting hero, Katie Taylor. I was glad Katie Taylor was cooking with me rather than against me!

This was at TV3 Late Lunch Live show earlier this month and I made a very simple yet tasty combination of chicken teriyaki served with seaweed salad and Japanese rice. See the footage here.

Lucy Kennedy and Martin King host the show. They always provide great laughs and entertainment to the viewers and guests!

Katie Taylor and Lucy Kennedy were a great help in putting the dishes together. They were open to the challenge of cooking something different and weren't phased by some slightly unusual ingredients.

Here's the result of the team effort! It was an honour to meet and cook with Katie Taylor, the best female boxer in the world! She is the reigning Irish, European, World and Olympic boxing Champion.

Watch this space as there will be more Japanese cooking at a TV screen near you!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Christmas in Dublin

Last week when I was in Dublin I got to enjoy three of my favourite things all in one day; Andrea Bocelli live in concert, lounging in The Westbury Hotel and Dublin's Christmas lights.

The concert took place in The 3 Arena and it was breaktaking with Andrea Bocelli receiving a standing ovation and ending with the powerful song Nessun Dorma. I've been to concerts with special effects but there was no need for anything like that as Andrea's voice and the live orchestra provided all the entertainment needed. 

Before the concert we enjoyed a festive dinner menu in the Westbury Hotel, the perfect escape from Dublin's hustle and bustle. We were seated by the window looking out onto the busy shopping streets and soaking up the relaxing atmosphere of the hotel. It was the perfect time of the year to go there as the Christmas decorations were just put up and the place was so cosy. 

The Westbury Hotel is my secret haven whenever I want to take a break from shopping, enjoy a lazy afternoon tea or go for a great meal. To really get into the Christmas spirit, I ordered the 3 course festive meal from Wilde the restaurant. Here's some photos of my first Christmas meal and every course was delicious. The standard of the service was excellent as the staff gave great attention to detail ensuring I had everything I needed.

On the way to the concert it was great to see Dublin's magical Christmas lights and officially begin to enjoy the festive season.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

RTE Guide recipe feature Fiona Uyema

You can find this chicken teriyaki recipe along with other Japanese recipes in this week#s RTE Guide magazine. 

Serves 2

4 chicken legs or thighs
For the sauce
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sake
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons water


- Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a large bowl. Marinate the chicken pieces in the sauce for at least 30 minutes. If you have time leave them in the fridge to marinate for a few hours.

Remove from the fridge at least 15 minutes before putting them in a preheated oven set to 180 degrees Celsius.

Cook for about 45 minutes or until cooked through. While cooking pour the sauce over the chicken pieces 2 to 3 times to ensure the sauce is fully absorbed into the meat.

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