15-Minute Napolitan Spaghetti - A Japanese Invention
- Prep time: 5 min
- Cook time: 5 min
- Ready in: 10 min
- Yields: 2
When I was a kid, my mother used to often make me spaghetti and it was one of those dishes that I kept requesting over and over again. I think most kids have a fondness for pasta, especially the simple kind. In America, macaroni and cheese, or spaghetti and meatballs seem to be a hit with the younger set.
When you ask most kids in Japan what kind of pasta they want, they'd usually say it's Napolitan Spaghetti. Yes, I purposely spelled it the way it's pronounced in Japanese because you most likely won't find it anywhere else outside of Japan, or restaurants serving old-fashioned, Japanized Western food, or what we call Yoshoku.
*Photos taken by myself unless otherwise noted.
The Japanese love adopting foreign things into their culture and this includes food. Yoshoku, or Japanese-style Western cuisine is a favorite of many and enjoyed throughout Japan.
Recipes include all the yoshoku favorites such as Hayashi Rice and OmuRice. The Japanese cheesecake is a must-try!
The ingredients are probably going to sound strange to most Westerners, but it's really not as bad as it sounds, in fact it's deliciously satisfying if you ask me. The greatest thing about Napolitan is that it's super easy to make.
So what exactly is Napolitan? Inspired by the military rations of the American soldiers, which was spaghetti mixed with ketchup, the dish was created by the general chef of the Hotel New Grand in Yokohama sometime after The Second World War.
It's perfect for when you're out of your favorite spaghetti sauce because all you need is some ketchup, bacon ( ham or sausage can be used ), some onions and a package of spaghetti noodles. For a more substantial meal, add a fried egg on top! And to make it easier to clean up afterwards, I use a frying pan from start to finish. Now how cool is that?
- 4 ounces spaghetti
- 3 slices bacon, ham or sausage, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 8 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large frying pan, bring water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil.
- Cook spaghetti according to directions.
- Drain spaghetti in a colander.
- Heat some oil in the frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Cook the bacon and onions until onions are translucent.
- Add drained pasta and ketchup and cook for 1 more minute.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a dash of tabasco if desired.
Follow the adventures of an American family that attempts to eat their way through Tokyo. Their food journeys are exciting and often humorous, which includes a ride on the bullet train.
Written in a light-hearted way that is engaging yet informative.