We eat a lot of Asian and Asian inspired food and this is where I struggle the most with zero waste. There are ingredients that you just need and are hard to substitute. They aren’t necessarily available at your local grocery store much less your local bulk provider. I have found tamari and sesame oil at a store near my office, but items like mirin, rice vinegar, nori and wasabi are tougher to find. For now I am living off the last bits in my pantry, but they’re going fast! My plan is to ask my local Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants if they would be willing to sell me some of theirs. There is no doubt they purchase it in bulk and we have already built a relationship at these places so hopefully they won’t snub their nose at me.
That being said like many of you I am preparing a feast for Super Bowl tomorrow. A zero waste party that is! I am trying to recreate the spread from my childhood and show it’s possible to keep your old favorites. With seven kids (not all her own), their friends plus family it was pure chaos but my mom always hosted a great party. One of the dishes that we would wait eagerly for were her teriyaki drumettes, yum! She purchased her teriyaki from a jar, it was glass then but they now put it in plastic. I reached out to a friend who’s cooking knowledge is one envied by many and she gave me this basic recipe but told me to play with it. She even suggested adding basil, which I plan to try this summer when it’s in season. I have to say this is delicious and WAY easier than I expected. It’s like my relevation with pancake mix…why was I ever paying extra for something I could easily make with the items in my pantry! Duh, rethink the package Lily!
Here is my version:
1 tablespoon butter
1 heaping tablespoon if brown sugar
1 tablespoon mirin*
1/4 cup of tamari
1 garlic clove pressed
1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper
1 tablespoon seasame seeds (optional)
Cook the butter and sugar on low until sugar dissolves and thickens. Add mirin, tamari, garlic, and pepper stir until combined and bubbles slightly. That’s it you’re done!
Let it cool before using it to marinate. If you want it to be thicker, though it does thicken as it cools (be warned), stir in 1/4-1/2 tsp of cornstarch into tamari/mirin mixture before putting it in the saucepan and cook it a little longer to insure it’s totally dissolved.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday
*mirin is something I have not been able to find in bulk, but check your favorite restaurant they may have some they’d be willing to sell you.