This post is part of January’s Japanese Pantry Feature. Keep coming back for updates and recipes related to this theme, or subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on anything new.
I’m very excited to announce that Diversivore’s new Pantry Pages are up and running! When the site went live on January 1st, I was itching to get the first few pages up to let you fine readers see what they were all about, but I figured it would be best if you had more than one or two to play with. With that in mind, I’m happy to say that this update comes with FIVE (count ’em!) brand new pages, dedicated to helping you learn how to incorporate the basic elements of the Japanese pantry into your culinary repertoire.
The basic structure of the Pantry Page Menu is very much like the Ingredient Pages. The dropdown search functions at the top of the page don’t do much now since all of the ingredients belong to one category, but you’ll see more and more functionality come into play as we go along.
I strongly encourage you to take a read through the new pages – I can almost guarantee that at least some of the information is new to you (some of it was certainly new to me). I was incredibly surprised by the complexity and nuance behind some of the most basic of Japanese kitchen staples. For example, before I began working on this topic, I had no idea how many kinds of kombu there were, or how linguistically infuriating it is to properly describe katsuobushi (we all call it bonito, but it’s not bonito, but sometimes true bonito is used in its place). And speaking of those two ingredients, I’m looking forward to putting them together later this month and detailing how to make your own world-class dashi (absolutely fundamental if you want to create seriously great Japanese food at home).
But maybe seaweed and dried fish aren’t your thing (yet – seriously, they’ll blow your mind if you give them a chance). How about dressing up your plain rice with the fiery, citrusy, salty, sesame kick of shichimi togarashi? Or maybe your salads and pickles need a splash of komezu (Japanese rice vinegar). Seriously, I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like this stuff. Perhaps you want to try your hand at that most quintessential of Japanese grilled treats – teriyaki. My recipe for the addictive sauce (called tare) is coming later this month, and you can’t make it without mirin.
These new pages have been meticulously researched, and are designed to be everything you need to find, use, and love these ingredients. If you feel that an important detail has been left out, or you’re left with questions, please get in touch (you can comment below or grab my email from the about page).
Keep coming back throughout the month, as there will be even more pantry pages coming soon, not to mention a bunch of great recipes that will hopefully encourage you to try out a few of these ingredients (if you aren’t already)!