Japanese-style Spaghetti


Who can resist spaghetti with meat sauce? Indeed, it’s comfort food which spans time and space. There’s nothing like a big steaming bowl of pasta topped generously with sauce. Especially, if it’s lunch time at school. Certainly in Japan you can buy prepackaged and canned meat sauces and whip it up as a quick meal, but most all schools make the sauce themselves. Not only does it taste better, it’s a great way to sneak more vegetables into the meal. Typically, there is a certain level of sweetness found in Japanese spaghetti sauces – and you’ll find it here as well. Enjoy the familiar yet new flavors of the classic dish!


2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ ground pork
¼ ground beef
1 large onion, minced
1 carrot, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
½ green pepper, minced
1 16oz can of tomatoes (unseasoned)
½ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons tonkatsu sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Olive oil for sautéing   
Pasta of your choice (spaghetti recommended)


1.       In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the garlic. Sauté until fragrant.
2.       Add the pork and beef and gently brown the meat, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the large meat chunks. Ideally the meat should be in uniform pea-sized pieces.
3.       Once the meat has almost browned, add the onion and mix to combine for thirty seconds.
4.       Add the carrot, celery, green pepper and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
5.       Add the can of tomatoes, ketchup, tonkatsu sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and ½ cup water.
6.       Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
7.       Cook uncovered for at least 30 minutes – ideally 1 ½ hours, adding water as necessary.
8.       Serve atop freshly cooked spaghetti.