Stable Bar

Guest Chef Motoko Fujita joined us in July bringing some very special Japanese cuisine to our menu. Inviting Chefs to embrace what is seasonal and local to us here in the Crake Valley and engage with local producers and growers to bring new culinary experiences to our local audiences. 

The Japanese dishes produced by Motoko are not what people might expect when they first think of Japanese – it’s rural Japanese food typical to villages – so what better place to serve it than in the village of Lowick Green: 

This Japanese set menu is composed of typical dishes often cooked in domestic and professional kitchens. When I arrived at The Farmer’s Arms, I was shown lovely antique porcelain spoons so decided on making a set meal which introduces a wide variety of Japanese flavours. All within a week, the skilled production team in their workshop quickly created suitable sized bowls, trays, chopsticks and unique chopstick holders.

During my residence at The Farmer’s Arms, Saturday’s dish was ‘Suiton’ dumpling which is a typical domestic countryside dish in Japan. This was then topped with tempura, accompanied by an ’emoji onigiri’ and salad. Back in 2019, I served this dish to the Grizedale team for a farmer’s wives lunch when they came and visited Japan. Kakiage tempura (crispy fry vegetable slices) was an ideal way to serve fresh root vegetables from the Farmer’s Arms garden and other local growers. To accompany the dumpling and tempura, there were two kinds of side salad which make use of the whole beautifully grown radishes and kohlrabi’s.

Lastly, Japanese food culture places great emphasis on visual installation to further enjoy meals so I asked a local teenager to make emoji’s  on onigiri rice balls.

Motoko’s Homemade Udon Set

Cold/hot Udon set (serves 4 people)

Homemade Udon Noodles:

– 200g flour (plain flour 150g : strong flour 50g)
– 150ml water
– 1tsp salt

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and gradually add the water while mixing. Knead for a few minutes until the dough becomes smooth and then set aside, covering the dough with a wet cloth (for at least 30 minutes or even overnight).

Flatten the dough to a 2mm thickness and cut into strings* (you need additional flour to avoid stickiness). Prepare boiling water in a deep pan and put the noodles in and boil for a few minutes until done. Drain and immediately place into cold water, and wash the noodles till they cool down.

*If you struggle handling the long noodles, an alternative is to make small pieces of dough, approximately the size of a fingertip (like a small dumpling) and boil in a pot.


To make dashi soup, you can either add water to a ready made dashi powder or make it from scratch using either a hot, or cold method.

Hot method:
– Kombu approx. 10 cm x 10 cm (wipe with damp cloth gently before use)
– 1L Water
– For added flavour, dried shiitake mushrooms or dried tuna flakes* (if not vegetarian)

Firstly, soak the kombu in a deep pot of water. Ideally for 30 minutes in advance. Then heat the water on a low to medium heat and when you see small bubbles coming up, turn off. It should be just before boiling. Never boil the Kombu as the taste and texture change.

Take the kombu out of the pot and cool down (some of this kombu can also be used for the radish pickle later)
*If you add tuna flakes, add it for the last 3 minutes of heating.

Cold method:
Put all of the ingredients listed below in a container and keep it in the fridge overnight
(it can last for 3 days at least in the fridge).

– 1L dashi
– 5tbsp soy sauce
– 5 tsp sugar
– 4 tbsp mirin
– 1 tsp salt

Then mix and heat in a pan and cool down again. To serve this soup hot, add water (500ml) to the cold soup and heat in a pan.


To make 200g of tempura batter, you’ll need:
– 140g plain flour
– 60g cornflour
– 2tsp baking soda
– a pinch of salt
– 150ml Cold water

For the filling:

-sliced vegetables (onions, carrots or any rogue veg in the fridge)

Firstly, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add water. Add the sliced vegetables and mix lightly. Raise the temperature of the deep fat fryer to approximately 200°c as frying hotter for less time produces a perfect crispy batter. However, if you’re frying meat or fish, you would reduce the temperature so that both the ingredients and batter are fully cooked.

To serve cold:
Set the noodles in a serving bowl, with tempura on top and drain cold soup over it. As a garnish, grated ginger, chopped spring onions or chive are then well suited to this dish.

To serve hot:
Warm the soup in a pot, then add the noodles and transfer to a serving bowl with tempura on top.

Green Leaf Salad Side Dish:

– chard, kale or similar leaf vegetables, cut to chunky slices
– sesame oil
– ginger
– garlic
– sugar
– soy sauce

Put the oil, ginger, garlic and sugar in a pan and heat gently. Shallow fry the vegetables for a couple of minutes in that mixture and finally add the soy sauce.

Radish pickles:
– radish (slice and mix a little salt, set aside)
– vinegar, sugar, mirin (mix and set aside)
– thinly sliced Kombu (the one you used for making Dashi)

Simply marinade the radish and kombu in the vinegar, sugar and mirin and then serve… and enjoy!

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