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Tips & tricks > Sauces, Elixirs, And Other Ingredients

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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) | 53 comments Mod
Here's a thread for home-recipes for sauces and other ingredients that you can easily make fresh yourself, without having to buy some commercial version that costs more and probably contains chemicals.

I use a lot of ginger-garlic paste in various kinds of Asian cooking. Having it ready to go saves time. The salt and oil act as a preservative, as does the turmeric. However the turmeric (obviously) turns it yellow and stains. If you don't care for the colour, leave it out, though I use it because I do a lot of Indian cooking.

Ginger-Garlic Paste
1 cup fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 cup fresh garlic cloves, peeled
Pinch salt
Dash oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)

Grind all ingredients together in a food chopper or processor until smooth. Place in a clean glass jar with a tight lid and keep in the fridge. Will keep for at least a month.

Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) | 53 comments Mod
Home Made Sushi Vinegar

1 cup rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2-inch square of kelp (kombu)

Heat all ingredients in a pan, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. When the mixture is clear, allow it to cool, and strain. Pour into a clean bottle and refrigerate.

This has much less salt and sugar than commercial brands of sushi vinegar and costs just pennies. You can add more sugar and salt if you feel you need it.

Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) | 53 comments Mod
Spiced Condiment for the Table
1/4 cup black peppercorns
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons crushed chili peppers
3 tablespoons coarse garlic powder or flakes
2 tablespoons dried basil

Blend all ingredients well and spoon into pepper mill.
Store any remaining spice blend in a tightly covered glass jar.
I use this blend at the table. Many winter vegetable soup recipes are improved by grinding a bit of this blend over the hot dish at the table.

Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) | 53 comments Mod
"Adobo" is a way of marinading meat, fish, tofu, etc. with spices and vinegar and oil. I made up my own blend and found it good. Keeps well in a clean glass jar.

Adobo Spice Blend
2 tablespoons dried garlic flakes or garlic powder
2 tablespoons sweet smoky paprika
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon thyme
1 teaspoon cumin
3 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon salt

Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) | 53 comments Mod
There are many versions of Furikake, known in the US as "Japan's salt and pepper". You can find about a dozen different ones on justbento.com, but this is a good basic starting point. Sprinkle some on hot rice and you've got magic! You can buy commercial packets of Furikake but they're awfully expensive for what you get. If you buy one bag of nori and one bag of dried bonito flakes, and some sesame seeds, you've got the base for a LOT of furikake mix. No need to buy the more expensive nori sheets; I buy the loose seaweed and cut it up with kitchen scissors, or throw it in the food chopper and blitz, pushing down when you need to with a wooden spoon.

Basic Furikake
About a cup of dried nori seaweed (I just tear off some and cut it up with kitchen scissors)
3 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (it tastes a lot better if you buy untoasted and dry-fry them until brown when you need them).
1/4 cup dried bonito flakes
Pinch salt
Good pinch sugar
Put all ingredients in a food chopper or processor and blitz. Store in a clean glass jar.
Sprinkle on hot rice.

Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) | 53 comments Mod
Home Made Dashi (Fish) Stock
You can invest in dried bonito flakes, but as they are imported from Japan they are pricey. If you are on good terms with a fishmonger, ask for the heads of large fish such as salmon. They will often give them free along with your purchase.

Home Made Dashi with Fresh Fish Heads:

1 piece of kelp (kombu), 2-4 inches wide
One or two large fish heads (salmon, monkfish, etc)

Place the kelp in a pot of water large enough to submerge the fish head. Bring to a boil, skim off any foam and reduce the heat to a simmer for one hour. After this time, add the fish heads and make sure the water covers them. Cover the pot and simmer 15 min longer. Discard kelp. If you like picking on the fish heads, do so. If not, discard.

The broth can be frozen in portions in plastic containers. Once frozen, remove from the containers and place your "fish broth bricks" in a plastic bag to safe space in the freezer.

Alternately, you can make the same kelp broth and after the hour, add

2 good handfuls dried bonito flakes

and simmer for 5 min.
Strain out the bonito flakes, discard kelp.

message 7: by Patriciaenola (new)

Patriciaenola | 8 comments My asking for a fish head is rather as much like a Jewish housewife A Rebbitzin - asking for a Pork Chop as any other thing
I cannot have such an item in my kitchen - a-layin' there watchin' what I am so cooking - I am glad you live well on the sea - I was thinking of "The Water Margin" A programme I used to just love - Chinese with English subtitles - a rascal called Kao Ch'iu - lived in the place - Liang Shan Po I had forgotten that place - and then here you are my dear Orinoco damned well reminding me (((hugs))) Patti

Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) | 53 comments Mod
You don't leave it on the counter, sweetie, you leave it in the fridge, then pop it in the pan and put the cover on!!

Go to YouTube and pull up a song called "Fish Heads."

message 9: by Patriciaenola (new)

Patriciaenola | 8 comments You do not get it precious - I hate the stuff so bad I cannot handle it - nor even see it around - you seem to live on it - I guess it's good y'know - I just do not eat it - I avoid the Fish counter in Asda - even seeing it - well I do not think it fair for me to say more -

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