Thursday, September 21, 2017

The essentials: Setting up a Japanese pantry

My columns in the past two weeks on Japanese cuisine and fusion have drawn some comments from friends and readers. Some would like to try Japanese cooking, but they’re worried about the cost of the ingredients and wasting them.

Worry not. It’s inexpensive to set up a Japanese pantry. Almost all the dishes use the same basic ingredients that have a long shelf-life. Their combination in subtly different ways is what creates unique flavours.

The main things you will need are:

• mirin, a sweet wine

• Japanese rice vinegar

• Kikkoman soy sauce

• sesame oil

• brown sugar

• dashi miso, a fermented soybean paste (Korean brands are okay)

Once you have those things assembled, you’ll be prepared for this week’s recipes. I have fried eggplants in a sweet and salty miso sauce.

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