Charred vegetable and couscous salad


Jun Tanaka’s Charred Vegetable and Couscous Salad

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Can't wait for the final installment in our WOT International Chef Series? Neither could we!

Today we give (an early) welcome Jun Tanaka — Our fourth and final chef in our WOT International Chef Series.

Today Jun is sharing with us this recipe for Charred Vegetable and Couscous Salad a little early… So be sure to check back because he will be doing an entire how-to video with a new recipe this Friday.

Until then, enjoy this delicious and healthy salad! The char-grilled veggies in this recipe are amazing just on their own, and even more yummy when added to the moistened couscous. It’s a nutrient-rich and flavorful salad that you will want to make over and over again.

Jun Tanaka's Charred Vegetable and Couscous Salad

Author Jun Tanaka


  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 8 asparagus spears peeled and cut in half
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into ¼” cubes
  • 1 small eggplant cut into ¼” cubes
  • 1 small zucchini cut into ¼” cubes
  • 1/2 bunch basil
  • handful of arugula
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch of spring onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • sprig of thyme
  • 1/2 chicken stock cube


  • Place the couscous in a bowl, measure out 1 1/3 cups of water, place in a saucepan and add 3 Tablespoons olive oil, the clove of garlic, thyme and stock cube, season with salt.  As soon as it boils, pour over the couscous, mix well and cover in cling film.  Leave to steam for 20 minutes.
  • Place the peppers, zucchini, eggplant and asparagus in a large bowl, season, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and cook on a hot griddle (do not pile them on top of each other, if they don’t all fit cook in batches).  Cook for 8-10 minutes, moving them occasionally.  Once all the vegetables are cooked, place them back in the bowl. Add the red wine vinegar and chopped spring onion.
  • Take the cling film off the bowl of couscous, pick out the garlic and thyme and fluff up using a fork.  Once all the grains are separated, add to the vegetables. Add the rocket, check the seasoning and serve up.
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Enjoy! Making this salad? Be sure and share it with us on Instagram!

About Jun Tanaka — Television chef and owner of The Ninth

Jun Tanaka began his culinary career at the age of 19 working at Le Gavroche, where he embarked on his first apprenticeship under the mentorship of the Roux brothers. Following his training in classic French cuisine, Jun went on to work with some of the country’s greatest Michelin-starred chefs at London’s most renowned institutions, including Nico Ladenis at Chez Nico, Phil Howard at The Square, and Marco Pierre White.

In 2004, Jun became the Executive Chef at Pearl Restaurant and Bar, the showpiece of the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel in Holborn, where he was awarded three AA Rosettes. In 2006, Jun also began hosting his own television series, Cooking It, on Channel 4, and to this day still makes regular appearances on shows such as Saturday Kitchen and Masterchef: The Professionals.

Jun has also written a recipe book, Simple to Sensational, which was published by Simon and Schuster in 2009. Jun left Pearl in 2012 to travel around Europe, before opening The Ninth in 2015.

About The Ninth: The Ninth opened in November 2015 as Jun’s first solo venture, which has since won several awards including a Michelin star in its first year (which has been retained ever since), three AA Rosettes and The Caterer Magazine’s Catey Menu of the Year. The name ‘The Ninth’ refers to the number of restaurants Jun has worked with and been involved in to date. The tagline of the restaurant is ‘a contemporary neighborhood restaurant by chef Jun Tanaka serving French, Mediterranean-style sharing dishes.’

by Camila Alves McConaughey