Wafu is the Japanese word for Western fusion. What is wafu pasta? Without a doubt, it’s one of Asian fusion’s most successful stories.

Wafu pasta is an umami-packed combination of cooked spaghetti tossed with Japanese ingredients: dashi broth, soy sauce, sweetened rice wine and flavorful mushrooms like shimeiji and shiitake. Some recipes call for butter, to thicken the sauce and help it cling to the pasta, and the dish is usually garnished with scallions, shredded nori, shiso leaves or spicy pollack roe. The variations are endless, however, and the dish can be adapted to suit nearly anything you have in the refrigerator.

Why eat Japanese spaghetti when you can eat either Japanese food or spaghetti? Because this fusion dish really will satisfy both cravings in a remarkably flavorful way. Not only is this dish well-established in modern Japanese cuisine, owing to the introduction of pasta during the post-war period, but many of the newer Japanese cookbooks that cross our desks proudly feature wafu pasta recipes.

Here’s how it’s done — try it at home and you’ll find yourself making it all the time.