Ketchup is underrated. Here, I said it.
Naporitan is a dish that doesn’t exist in Italy but is a beloved dish in Japan. It’s a ketchup-based pasta that’s been developed for the Japanese palate.
Written by Doobydobap
Naporitan, or Napolitan
You might be thinking, this food isn’t Japanese at all because it’s a spaghetti dish using ketchup and butter. If anything, it’s the closest to.. honeybooboo. However, naporitan is a dish native to Japan that originated in Yokohama from influences of American occupation in Japan post WW2. The abundance of shelf-stable American condiments and military rations led to Naporitan being developed and now a popular menu item offered at many Japanese coffee shops.
One of my favorite things to eat in Japan is the quick bites you get at Japanese cafes, and especially pasta. Naporitan is a dish that doesn’t exist in Italy but is a beloved dish in Japan. It’s a ketchup-based pasta that’s been developed for the Japanese palate. It’s how General Tso’s chicken doesn’t exist in China but it’s a dish that’s readily available in almost all Chinese takeout places in the US.
Putting ketchup into pasta dishes might sound icky to many of you all, but it works incredibly well. The concentrated tomato flavor, the sweetness, and the thickening agents make it a super easy meal to put together for a late-night snack or a mid-day lunch.
6 Japanese pork sausages
¼ green bell pepper
¼ red bell pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp bulldog sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
Prep the vegetables. Cut the onions and the bell peppers into 0.5 cm/quarter-inch thickness.
Slice the sausages diagonally, also 0.5 cm/quarter-inch thickness
Cook the spaghetti noodles according to the package instructions to al dente. Make sure to salt your pasta water!
Drain the spaghetti noodles and spread them on a flat plate to make sure some of the water evaporates off. I like it when the noodles are slightly toasted— this is a preference! If you want a more coagulated sauce, make sure to reserve ¼ cup pasta water.
In a large skillet. Melt the butter on high heat.
Once the butter has melted, add the sausages in.
Cook the sausages until some of the fat has rendered out and the butter has turned light brown.
Add the bell pepper and the onion. Sautée until the onions are translucent, or for about 1-2 minutes.
Add the sauce to the vegetables. Mix.
Add the spaghetti noodles in. Mix.
Plate on a hot stone or cook on medium heat for another 3 minutes for a slightly crunchy bottom. Garnish with parmesan. Enjoy!
Hi, I’m Tina aka Doobydobap!
Food is my medium to tell stories and connect with people who share the same passion. My recipes are a culmination of my experiences. I hope you enjoy recreating them at home, and if you do, make sure to tag me on Instagram!
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