Although I have called this incredible dip roquamole, I think it may be better made with a less illustrious bleu.
You don’t need to serve blue corn tortilla chips with this; you don’t have to serve any kind of tortilla chip with this: though both do add to the luscious eat-me quality. But I’m also very keen on a huge platter of dippable bits: radishes, carrot batons, sugar-snaps, you name it.

Serves: 4-6


125 grams crumbled roquefort cheese (or st agur)
60 ml sour cream
2 ripe avocados
35 grams sliced pickled green jalapeno peppers (from a jar)
2 spring onions (finely sliced)
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 packet blue corn tortilla chips


In a bowl, crumble or mash the blue cheese with the sour cream.
Mash in the avocados. If they are ripe, a fork should be all you need.
Roughly chop the sliced jalapenos and stir them into the mixture along with the finely sliced spring onions.
Arrange in the centre of a plate or dish, dust with the paprika and surround with tortilla chips. Dive in.
Additional information – for vegetarians use St Agur or a similar blue cheese suitable for vegetarians. For gluten free most corn chips are gluten free but check packaging.


A favourite itsu lunchtime soup, this is full of delicious vegetables and filling noodles. You’ll get two antioxidant packed vegetable portions, and a good amount of satisfying protein from each bowl. It’s hard to find a healthier way to fill up!

Serves 4

1 quantity Dynamite Broth (see below)
1 red pepper, cored and deseeded
100g or a handful of green beans, topped
100g or a handful of carrots
100g or a handful of mangetout
100g or a handful of shiitake mushrooms
100g or a handful of spinach
100g or a handful of bean sprouts
200g firm tofu, cut into cubes
3 tbsp wakame, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, then drained
40g thin glass noodles, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drained

1/ Bring the broth to a simmer. Meanwhile, cut all the vegetables, apart from the spinach and bean sprouts, into bite-sized pieces.

2/ Add all the chopped vegetables and boil for 2½ minutes, then add the spinach and bean sprouts for 30 seconds.

3/ Put the tofu, wakame and noodles in the bottom of each bowl and ladle over the vegetables and hot broth.

Nutritional tip: Wakame is a type of seaweed, very rich in iodine, which is important for a healthy thyroid gland; the tofu in this soup also adds lean protein, good for filling you up without piling on the pounds.
Top tip: If you like, you can use a handful of each vegetable instead of weighing it.

• 200 calories
• 1.7g saturated fat


We never use dashi that contains monosodium glutamate (MSG) when we make this soup at itsu. We think this flavour-enhancing chemical is quite unnecessary, so if you buy dashi rather than make it, do look out for one that’s MSG-free. We use dashi as the basis of potsu (sauce) recipes, as well as in our Detox Soup (see page 24). The broth will keep for up to a week in the fridge, and also freezes well, so you can always have some on hand to make a quick soup.

Serves 4

1.6 litres instant dashi, Homemade Dashi Stock or water
5 tbsp white miso paste
2 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp mirin
20g or 4cm fresh root ginger, grated
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 garlic clove, grated or crushed
4 lime leaves, chopped
1 hot red Thai chilli, finely chopped

1/ Bring the stock to a simmer. Put the miso in a cup or small bowl and mix in a tablespoon of the hot stock to soften it slightly and make a smooth liquid paste. Stir the paste into the stock until dissolved.

2/ Put all the remaining ingredients into a blender and blitz to combine. Pour into the hot stock and simmer for about 5 minutes to allow the flavours to develop. (If you don’t have a blender, just chop the vegetables into smaller pieces at the beginning and omit this step)

3/ Use immediately or cool and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Cajun Seasoning

2 tsp ground cayenne pepper, or chilli powder
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
60 g dried onion flakes
25 g dried mixed herbs
1 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
50 g salt

Malaysian chilli sauce

Chilli sauce, makes 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1 Tbs fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
2 garlic cloves
8 candlenuts
3cm piece of galangal
6 birds-eye chillies

1 To make the chilli sauce; put the sugar, water and fish sauce into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.

2 Add the rest of the ingredients, pour into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a jar and refrigerate. This chilli sauce can be refrigerated for up to three months.

It’s not a mega hot sauce


Note: Use fir needles from the Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) or Norway Spruce (Picea abies.)

For the echinacea-infused rum:
15g fresh echinacea root (or 10g if using dried)
100ml white rum

For the hot toddy:
120ml fir needles
1 star anise
3 calamondin oranges or 1 lime, sliced
250ml boiling water
2 tbsp eucalyptus honey
Pinch of black pepper
1 shot (28ml) echinacea-infused rum (see ingredients above)
1 tsp unsalted butter

1. To make the echinacea-infused rum, combine the echinacea root and the rum and leave to steep in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks. Strain out the echinacea and bottle up. The mixture will keep in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

2. To make the hot toddy, strip the needles from the fir branches until you have 120ml.

3. Put the needles in a teapot or bowl with the star anise and sliced calamondin oranges or lime, honey and black pepper. Pour over the freshly boiled water. Cover and leave to steep for 15 minutes.

4. Strain into a pan, and reheat on the stove.

5. Once reheated, add the echinacea-infused rum and butter until melted. Stir, then serve in a large cup.

USE: For adults, drink 1 cup only in the evening or before bedtime.
CAUTION: Contains alcohol. Consideration should be made when driving.
STORAGE: Best made fresh for use at once.


50g fresh rosehips
1 tsp Maldon salt
2 tsp dried ground ginger
1 tsp citric acid
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tbsp glucose

1. Preheat the oven to 80°C (180°F), or its lowest setting.

2. Bash the rosehips in a mortar and pestle to break them up slightly. This will split the fruit – remove the seeds and discard.

3. Add the salt to the split hips and give them another quick bash with the pestle. The goal is just to break them up a little, not turn them into mush.

4. Scatter the rosehips on a baking tray and put in the oven at 80°C (180°F). Immediately turn off the heat and leave in the oven for half an hour or so until they are dried but not burnt.

5. Remove the dried hips from the oven and grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Mix with all other ingredients, then store in an airtight container.

USE: Add half of the sherbet to 1 litre of warm water. Stir and drink freely.
STORAGE: Provided it is completely dry, this will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.


2 medium dried chillies or ½ tsp ground chilli flakes
1 vanilla pod, split in half
1 whole allspice
3 tbsp eucalyptus honey
50g yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) tea leaves
1 litre boiling water
200g dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids)
3 tsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder

1. Mix the chilli, vanilla pod, allspice and honey together in a pan, then add the yerba mate and boiling water. Simmer until the liquid reduces to approximately 150ml – this will take about 45 minutes. Strain and leave to cool to room temperature.

2. Put the chocolate in a glass heat-proof bowl, and melt over a pan of hot water.

3. Stir the cooled mate mixture into the melted chocolate, then refrigerate until it takes on a fudge-like consistency (about 30 minutes).

4. Mix the soft brown sugar and cocoa powder in a shallow bowl. Scoop a teaspoon of the truffle mixture and roll into a small ball, then roll in the sugar/cocoa powder to coat. Place each coated truffle in a small paper case. Repeat until all the mixture is used.

5. Once reheated, add the echinacea-infused rum and butter until melted. Stir, then serve in a large cup.

USE: This one is mainly for adults, because of the caffeine, but you can let older children have one or two! Don’t eat more than 6 a day.
CAUTION: Contains caffeine.
STORAGE: Keep in the refrigerator. Eat within 1 week.

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