Different cultures, different tastes! If you find yourself wandering the aisles of the Japanese supermarket wondering how to jazz up your dishes, give these a go! Here are three standard Japanese sauces that most people have lurking in their fridges. They may seem intimidating at first, but your taste buds will thank you!
Tonkatsu sauce, as the name suggests, is meant for tonkatsu (breaded deep fried pork ) poured into a small dish with roasted sesame seeds added on top. You often see it on the side, or in a large earthenware pot on the table at tonkatsu restaurants.
However, it can be used for so much more. Sandwiches. French Fries. Mix it with mayo or mustard. Add a little hot sauce. The possibilities for eating this are endless.
Personally, I would be content just to pour a shot of this and slurp it back after a long day. I carry a little pack of it in my suitcase whenever I go abroad, you know, just in case a craving strikes.
This is the absolute best sauce that you can pour on grilled beef, pork, veggies, and whatever else you can fit on your grill. Available in standard, garlic, spicy, sweet, etc., buy a bottle, experiment and live a little! Find your favourite brand and a flavour that works for you.
Pour it in a little dish and dip the grilled meat into it, rather than smother the meat in the sauce first. It is much better that way, and you can add more for a stronger flavour, or let the meat juice water it down for a lighter flavour.
My favourite is the one pictured above – garlic – and I usually add just a little tabasco for some extra kick.
This sauce is lighter tasting, and just a little sweet, with a strong nutty flavour of roasted sesame seeds. It is used on a variety of dishes, from topping steamed vegetables, to being used as a dip for hot pot foods, or boiled pork slices (shabu-shabu). If you want a stronger taste, pour it directly on your grub. For a lighter taste, use a small dish on the side, as the water from veggies, and juice from meat will thin out the sauce and lighten the taste as you eat.
There are also many varieties of salad dressings that are a little lighter and runnier than the goma tare itself. These are poured directly on salads or raw veggies.
So, there you have it. A few new things for you to try, and a few new ways to add some Japanese flavour to your life!