August 2014


Tuna is a ‘meaty’ fish, so it’s great for filling you up without being too calorific. The pickled ginger and the spicy sauce give it a wonderful tang, making a simple ingredient taste deliciously more-ish.

Serves 2

100g edamame (soya) beans, peas or broad beans
150g canned tuna in brine, drained
1 tbsp ready-made pickled ginger, finely chopped, or 10g (2cm) fresh root ginger, grated
1 tbsp coriander, chopped
1 tbsp chives, chopped
3 tbsp Spicy Sauce (see below)
handful of mixed salad leaves
1 carrot, cut into fine sticks
2 tbsp Herb Dressing or Asian Pesto
flatbreads or pitta breads, to serve (optional)

1/ Cook the beans or peas in boiling, salted water for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water.

2/ Mix the tuna with the ginger, coriander, chives, spicy sauce and a pinch of salt.

3/ Combine the salad leaves with the carrots and dress with the herb dressing or Asian pesto (if you prefer, the dressing can be offered separately). Arrange the salad on a plate and place the beans and tuna mixture on top. Alternatively, place inside 2 flatbreads or pitta breads and roll up.

• 219 calories (plus 160 calories if eaten in flatbread)
• 1.4g saturated fat (plus 0.3g if eaten in flatbread)

Variations: Serve on a bed of rice, or with a hardboiled egg for extra protein. The tangy tuna can also be used as a filling for maki.
Top tip: When using canned tuna, always check its sustainability. Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose rate high in the Greenpeace league table.


At itsu you’ll find spicy sauce everywhere that mayo usually appears. It contains 74 per cent less fat than mayo and tastes ten times as good. Use this delicious sauce on seared salmon sashimi, as well as on smoked chicken, prawns and even in sushi. Stored in a screwtop jar, it will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. If the sauce thickens slightly during storage, loosen it with a little lemon juice or water before use.

Serves 6

120g soft/silken tofu
3 tsp tahini paste
3 tsp Sriracha chilli sauce or 1 hot red Thai chilli, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp sugar or sugar alternative
10g or 2cm fresh root ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated or crushed
1 ½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp light oil, such as groundnut or grapeseed

1/ Put all the ingredients into a blender and whizz to make a smooth sauce.

2/ Use the sauce immediately, or store in a screwtop jar in the fridge until needed.

Grilled Chicken & Brown Rice Potsu with Ithai Sauce Recipe

Juicy pieces of grilled chicken on nutrient-packed brown rice plus a mountain of vegetables topped with itsu’s famous ithai sauce – what could be better?

Serves 4

150g mixed brown and wild rice
150g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp light oil, such as groundnut, for coating
1 large carrot, topped, tailed and cut into fine sticks
1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and sliced
100g or a handful of green beans, topped
100g or a handful of mangetout
100g or a handful of shiitake
mushrooms, halved
100g or a handful of spinach
100g or a handful of bean sprouts
1 quantity ithai Sauce (see below)
salt and black pepper

1/ Wash the rice thoroughly and cover with warm water. Set aside to soak for at least 10 minutes.

2/ Heat the grill to its highest setting. Put the chicken thighs in a roasting tin, season well with salt and pepper and coat with the oil. Grill for 10 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. Remove and allow to cool slightly before cutting the chicken into pieces.

3/ Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a good pinch of salt and cook all the vegetables except for the spinach and bean sprouts for 3 minutes. Add the spinach and bean sprouts 30 seconds before the end of the cooking time. Drain well and cover to keep warm.

4/ Drain the rice and add it to the vegetable water, which will now be full of nutrients, and boil for 15 minutes, or according to the packet instructions. Drain well.

5/ Put the rice into serving bowls and top with the chicken pieces and vegetables. Pour ithai sauce over each one and serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Variations: Try different vegetables, perhaps leeks, tenderstem broccoli or pak choi, with edamame (soya) beans. Furikake or sesame seeds, preferably toasted, or toasted pumpkin seeds can be sprinkled on the finished dish to garnish.

• 300 calories
• 3.8g saturated fat


After years of tweaking, we have created a unique and delicious Thai sauce with the perfect balance of infused flavours. It’s something we are truly proud of, and its place as an itsu classic is now secure. Use it on potsus,
as a dressing for steamed vegetables, or poured over white or brown rice. Stored in a screwtop jar, it will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

Serves 4

4 tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp tomato passata
4–6 lime leaves, finely chopped
½ lemon grass stalk, finely chopped
10g or 2cm fresh root ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, grated or crushed
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp crushed chilli or ½ red hot Thai chilli, chopped
1 tsp sugar or sugar alternative
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp cornflour
½ tsp salt
160ml water
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped

1/ Put all the ingredients, except the water and coriander leaves, into a blender and whizz to a smooth sauce. Alternatively, hand-chop the ingredients as finely as possible and combine in a bowl.

2/ Put the sauce into a small saucepan and add the water. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

3/ Use the sauce immediately, adding the coriander to serve, or store in a screwtop jar in the fridge until needed.


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