By Yvonne Pflieger
Did you know that your Manly Food Co-Op carries an extensive range of groceries that are essential parts of the traditional Japanese cuisine ( (和食 washoku)? And all of these packaging- and plastic-free?
The Japanese cuisine is known for its simplicity and aesthetics. A meal usually consists of steamed rice with one or several main dishes and side dishes plus miso soup and pickles.
We currently have:
- tamari (soy) sauce
- brown rice vinegar
- mirin (sweet cooking sake)
- sesame oil
- pickled ginger (in small glass jars)
- nori sheets for sushi
- dried seeweeds arame and wakame
- dried shiitake mushrooms
- umeboshi plums
- natto miso in bulk
- different types of miso (in glass jars)
- udon noddles
- soba noodles
- fresh ginger
- ground ginger
- wasabi powder
- wasabi peas
- sencha (green tea)
- matcha powder
The only thing currently missing is (glutinous) sushi rice which we are trying to source package-free.
Sauces and condiments are simple, but essential for the typical Japanese flavour. They are easy to make and will last for several days in the fridge. All ingredients are available at your Co-Op. Why not give it a go?
Mix 1 cup of water, 5 tablespoons of packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1–2 tablespoons of honey, 1 large clove of garlic (finely minced), 1/2 teaspoon of ground or fresh ginger in a sauce pan and bring to a short boil. Mix 2 tablespoons of arrowroot starch in 1/4 cup of cold water and add to the sauce. You might want to add a little less depending on how thick you want the sauce to get (it will thicken further as it cools down).
Teriyaki sauce is great as a marinade, but also as a dipping sauce.
Add 1/2 cup of soy or tamari sauce, 1/2 cup of mirin, 1/4 cup of sake, 1/4 cup of water and 2 teaspoons of brown sugar in a sauce pan and bring to a short boil. This makes a great marinade for tofu, veggies, fish or meat and can be used to brush over skewers and doubles as a dipping sauce, too.
You can replace the sake with water or by using more mirin and not adding the sugar, but sake gives it that special Japanese twist. Most bottle shops in Australia have some sort of sake these days or check out an Asian or Japanese supermarket nearby if you have access to one.
What is your favourite Japanese cuisine dish?