Monday, 20 February 2012


Much of what I cook is inspired by Japanese and Chinese cuisine and is based on what I call 'potions'. The basic ingredients are:

  • Japanese dark soy sauce

  • Mirin (sweetened rice vinegar)

  • Sake

in roughly equal proportions, to which I would usually add a dash of Worcestershire Sauce (after discovering that this is ubiquitous in Japan!). Other ingredients to vary the flavour include:

  • Reduced marinades

  • Stock (meat of various types, vegetable)

  • Light soy sauce

  • Tamari soy sauce

  • Beetroot vinegar (the vinegar from a jar of pickled beetroot, a delicious and much under-used resource!)

  • Sesame oil

  • MSG

  • Dashi powder

  • Oyster sauce

  • Tabasco sauce

  • Liquid from steeping dried mushrooms

The basic idea is simple. About 25mg per person of potion provides the seasoning for stir fries, along with added fresh ingredients such as chilli, garlic and ginger, or dried chillis and spices such as Chinese 5-spice.

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