Saturday, 20 January 2018

Asian flavours

Working to eat out the cupboards following the aim for January 2018, new food is needed and new storages are being bought.
With an eye on the opportunity to change, I proposed that we left our tomato, mushroom, onion, cheese food and moved our flavours into Asian and primarily Japanese food.

We went to tree different Asian food stores and I bought:
Udon, Somen and egg noodles
Kombo and bonito flakes
Dashi powder (the two ingredients above make dashi but I wanted to try the quick version)
Mirin, sake, sesame oil, Japanese soy (the low salt version of the only brand possible)
Rice vinegar and hosin sauce
Tofu (firm and silk) and Tempeh
Wakame and nori sheets
Rice paper for spring rolls (loempia)
White sesame seeds to roast. grind or sprinkle
I did not buy yuzu because it was a bit expensive so I will continue using regular lemon/lime juice.
I did however buy flavoured dried fish in strips because it is so tasty. Better than potato chips.

I have been experimenting and cooking Japanese (i.e. attempting to cook...) since the mid 1990s. It has taken a very long time to understand the cooking methods and ingredients. I neither read nor speak any Japanese (beyond the words Anjin-san taught me in the TV-series Shogun in the 1980s.)

My main focus is sushi and I have always especially been fascinated with the cooking of rice.
I cook sushi rice at least monthly and very often for guests (it is cheap, impressive and almost fail safe). I have all the special tools that I need (and most of them are not special but they are identified as the sushi cooking tools.

I now want to improve on my Japanese cooking and I want to experiment with flavours.
The first thing I will do is my own dashi.
What should I think of when cooking Japanese and especially dashi?


  1. I don't make much asian stuff except for stirfries. What brand of hoisin sauce do you prefer? I've never found a commercial one yet that I like. And what salt-reduced soy sauce do you use? I prefer Kikkoman 37% less sodium,

    1. I am not much for naming names but yes, Kikkoman is the only soy sauce I use (and less sodium is a wonderful invention). I agree with the hoisin brands, I'll let you know if it is worth mentioning the name of.

  2. I've never tried making anything Japanese, but I do like to go to our local sushi restaurant. Lots of Asian supermarkets around here, mostly selling Chinese groceries.

    1. Chinese food is so much more common than Japanese, also because of the cost.