It’s easy to bring Asian flavors home these days. Grocery stores carry a wide variety of products that can enhance some of the dishes you already enjoy. Here are just a few:
- Soy sauce – Look for a natural soy sauce, such as tamari. Use in place of Worcestershire sauce, or drizzle on top of steamed vegetables. Keeps indefinitely.
- Mirin – A sweet, low-alcohol rice wine that adds an aromatic flavor to many dishes. Use in place of sherry for cooking. Keeps well, even unrefrigerated.
- Rice vinegar – Milder than Western-style vinegars, rice vinegar is comparable to apple cider vinegar. Mix one part rice vinegar, one part soy sauce, and honey to taste for a unique salad or noodle dressing.
- Wasabi – This is a fiery root-herb that resembles horseradish, although it is not related to it. Available in either powder or paste form, use it sparingly – it packs a punch. Add to sauces, marinades or dressings in place of mustard, or mix into mashed potatoes. Refrigerate, well-sealed, after opening.
- Miso paste – Made from soybeans. Look for organic, brown-rice or light yellow miso for use in making miso soup (1 tablespoon paste to 1 cup boiling water) or in marinades for seafood. Refrigerate after opening. Keeps for long periods.
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