Ajillo with Japanese Leek and Dried Tomatoes

Ajillo with Japanese Leek and Dried Tomatoes

I love ajillo. This ajillo is made with Japanese leeks, dried tomatoes, and seafood.
The combined sweetness of the Japanese leek, sourness of the dried tomatoes and savouriness of the seafood is great.

Ingredients: 1-2 servings [I used a 10-cm round Staub cocotte with a capacity of 200 ml (filled 4/5 to the top)]

Extra virgin olive oil (refer to Step 14 and 15)
80-100 ml (to taste. I used 100 ml)
Japanese leek (thick stalk cut to 4-5-cm lengths)..."A"
as needed (about 20-cm long)
Garlic (chopped)..."A"
1 clove (normal-sized)
Dried tomatoes in oil Recipe ID: 2475822 (or use normal dried tomatoes/ refer to Steps 1 and 2)..."C"
as needed
Prawns, oysters, or any seafood of your choice (prepared beforehand)..."C"
as needed
Red chili (sliced)..."C"
as needed
Natural salt (or Krazy Salt)
to taste
Black pepper
to taste
Italian parsley (or other herbs) (optional)
as needed


1. If you use normal dried tomatoes (not the ones from Recipe ID: 2475822) soak them in hot water for 20-30 minutes to soften.
2. After softening, cut the tomatoes into desired sizes. If they are small, leave as they are.
3. Put the "A" ingredients into a pot and place over a low heat. Cook slowly until the garlic and Japanese leek transfer their flavour to the oil. I normally use twice the quantity of Japanese leek shown in this photo.
4. When the vegetables from Step 3 become fragrant and the garlic is golden brown, add the "C" ingredients. I used oysters here.
5. Keep the heat constant and cook through the "C" ingredients. Turn off the heat. Check the seasoning of the oil and adjust it with natural salt.
6. After seasoning, add the italian parsley and bring it to boil quickly.
7. Sprinkle with coarsely ground peppers and serve very hot...I like to serve it with a French baguette.
8. I love this soft and sweet Japanese leek. Be careful not to burn yourself.
9. These are my dried tomatoes in oil; they look like jewels. Their acidity enhances the flavour of the entire dish.
10. The oysters are tasty in this dish. I like prawns and octopus too.
11. Dip a baguette in the oil...I usually use plenty of oil because it's delicious.
12. I use the same dish to cook and serve at the table. You also can make a big batch and divide it into individual ramekins. Serve it as you like.
13. This is made with (Recipe ID: 2493825) for ajillo with Japanese leek and nagaimo using a 20-cm grilling pan. Refer to this recipe as a indicator of the amount of oil needed.
14. [Additional note] I use half (50 ml) of the oil from Recipe ID: 2475822 for dried tomatoes in anchovy oil.
15. If you liked Recipe ID: 2475822 you might enjoy this recipe. Add some anchovies to this recipe for variation, if you like.

Story Behind this Recipe

I often make homemade ajillo dishes, since they're easy and everyone loves them.
I love ajillo made with poireau (garden) leeks, but since they're difficult to find in Japan, I use Japanese leeks instead, and enjoy mixing in other ingredients, too.
This Japanese leek and dried tomato ajillo is very popular, so I decided to post the recipe.