Tell us what you have cooked lately (that's interesting)


I think Daishi is the broth made from Bonito, which is the smoked fish stuff.
Mark Bittman has a thing here:

and serious eats here:

The sauce looks to be pretty damn simple.
Here’s serious eats’ recipe for Daishi:


It’s pretty simple, ingredient-wise, but at the same time, I don’t find it worthwhile to make from scratch. I usually just use a pre-made soup base:

It’s used for soba dipping sauce, tempura dipping sauce, and udon soup base, in different concentrations.

You can make dashi at home in a pinch, we usually have some of this around, just in case:

Kombu is noted in the serious eats recipe above. It isn’t required, although you can buy it dried, and just keep in in the cabinet until you want to use it, if you like it.

Overall, I would (and do) just use the pre-made base.


Perfect! Oishi!!

When I go to the store the way I pick is just find something that’s glass and says PRODUCT OF JAPAN.


For both soba sauce (tsuyu) and dashi, I’d recommend going to a local Japanese (or asian) grocer and ask. With a little help from the store, you should be able to find a good quality one.

You can also find variants you might like too, like ones with daikon radish in it or something.


Yeah. I mean, I only use the Mizkan base because they were giving out samples at H-mart, and I liked it more than what I had been buying previously. You can buy small bottles of a couple of brands and taste until you find one you like.


I don’t find the making of dashi stock to be too onerous, personally, but man, you really plow through bonito flakes when making it. The kombu, like @CLWheeljack notes, will last forever and won’t take much per batch, but when I make enough dashi for, say, six bowls of miso over three days + a little extra to make okinomiyaki batter with, I’m using up like 4 cups by volume of bonito flakes, which is half of the huge bag I buy at the store. It feels very wasteful, even though it’s not much bonito in the grand scheme of things (it’s paper-thin shreds that don’t really bunch up, so “four cups” is like half an ounce, lol).

That said, it takes like 15m, so in the grand scheme of “shit too annoying/hard to do at home” (like a lot of Thai curry bases), dashi stock is still on my “worth making fresh” list. Using it then to make other stuff feels even more legit, and the upside there is that when you use it in a sauce like tsuyu or the little tempura dipping sauce you get with veggies in the restaurant is that you can adjust all the flavors to your personal preference, instead of relying on sampling a bunch of different brands to find the one that gets the closest.

Downside of course is that whatever you make yourself isn’t stuffed with preservatives so that you can make 32oz of it and keep it in the fridge forever, so I don’t make all Japanese dipping sauces from scratch–I usually keep Tonkatsu sauce and Okinomiyaki sauce pre-made in the fridge, since I never use enough in one go, and have 2-3 months gap between one use and the next.


Random question:
I have a bunch of recipes for grilling stuff in various America’s Test Kitchen books and I think some in Bittman’s stuff, none of which acknowledge the existence of indoor grills like my Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe. Is there a reliable way to convert them for indoor use? I fully realize that the flavor produced is not the same, which I think is why they turn up their noses at it, but I live in an apartment. I can’t do an outdoor grill, period. And surely even if an indoor grill isn’t as good it’s better than not doing those recipes at all?


I’ll keep a bottle of homemade konbu dashi and/or shiitake dashi (no bonito for my wife) in my house to throw in stuff randomly like stir fry (and even other non-Asian dishes) that need a boost of umami. Homemade stuff keeps well in a mason jar for a few months in the fridge.


Honestly, a lot of grilling recipes are already kinda inspecific by nature because A) not everyone’s grill is gonna be the same temp, and B) everyone likes their meat/veg cooked to different doneness anyway. So if they recommend a specific heat (rare, but not unheard of), maybe grab an instant read thermometer to track your griddler temp (but if it’s the same thing as what I have, it should have temp knobs already, so hooray!), but otherwise, crank it to somewhere in the ballpark of 400-450 and grill till stuff looks/feels/tastes done, TBH/

It’s not the same without the smoke, sure, but you can get decent char marks off of some grill plate designs and high enough heat.

@nKoan yeah, I figure the fish I normally add to mine knocks keeping it long-term right out, sadly. I did make some kombu-only dashi this past weekend for a batch of vegan doenjang jjigae, though, and it was pretty great! Will have to keep that in mind :)


I just make tonkatsu sauce with ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, because I cant be bothered to buy it.


If I were comfortable freestyling to that degree I wouldn’t be worried about the recipes. :(


Near the bottom of this WS article they give some ballpark figures for what different heat recommendations for grills correspond to in degrees F:

So, for recipes that don’t call for a particular temp (common in lots of grilling recipes), but just say “high flame” or “medium indirect heat,” etc., this could be a good guideline of where to set your Griddler.


That looks like it should help. The recipes do at least specify grades of heat for gas grilling.


It is also real authentic. About half the restaurants in India feature either Chinese or Arabian dishes.

Fun fact: chop suey is called American Chopsy here.


Tis the season.

So the one thing that’s held true since I was as kid is I don’t like beef stews and most beef steaks… Aside from hamburger, I typically don’t like beef that not at least somewhat rare. But, I promised myself I wouldn’t avoid everything I didn’t like in the past and try it again and again, within reason. I’ve had it at restaurants, my parents made, and I’ve had some versions friends have made too… just not my fav, still.


I made some really simple “chili” like concoction this weekend with ground turkey, black beans, quinoa, bell peppers, roasted tomatos, and corn. I thought it was going to be pretty blah at best, but my wife found the recipe and asked me to give it a shot.

I did add an extra ingredient that I swear you wouldn’t know was in there, but made the whole thing taste about 10x better…gochujang. I saw some very interesting posts from pro-chefs a few days ago on Quora about the “secret” ingredients they use to make things taste better. In their list was furikake, gochujang, miso, and fish sauce. I’ve used fish sauce and miso before to boost flavor, I hadn’t spiked in gochujang to non-korean things…but damn ~ 2 tablespoons completely boosted the flavor profile of this dish.

@Nesrie When you posted above and said it’s not really your cup of tea…I was wonder if it needed a boost from one of the ingredients above to improve the flavor.


Yeah, it’s like solid umami. If you don’t want to change the flavor of your food but just want it to taste better, get a bottle of MSG and use that instead. It’s perfectly safe, natural stuff and works wonders.


That could be, but it’s really texture of the meat. It’s very soft, and I know it is properly cooked because I’ve had some beef stews that you just chew and chew and then chew some more and it’s awful. This is not that. It’s not the flavor I have an issue with but that chunks of meat. In comparison though, I don’t like pot roast. I’ve never met a pot roast I didn’t have to choke down. I hate pretty much every version of sirloin you can think of. My family enjoys filet mignon sometimes as a real treat, I call it slightly rare meat paste.

I like the firm cuts you often cook to some degree of rare, like New York Steak, Ribeye and T-Bone… I can do flank steaks, Tri-Tips are iffy and about half the broccoli beefs out there I don’t like.

I’ll eat this though. It’s not up there in the hate sphere with all versions of liver. I just won’t make it again for another ten years.

I don’t know if it’s unusual or not but most of the restaurants around here advertise they do not use MSG. It’s like a think over here so I’ve grown up mostly thinking it’s bad, and about 20% of the people I know get a headache or something when it’s in the food so they avoid it for that reason.


So there was a big “scare” of MSG maybe 20 years ago or so and a lot of people started reporting symptoms like the headache thing. Double-blind testing shows that an incredibly minute portion of people have a negative reaction to MSG (along the same percentages as other rare food allergies), so most people are just experiencing a placebo effect.

But the wide spread of that rumor really cast a shadow over MSG, which was often added especially to Americanized Chinese food to boost other strong umami flavors like soy sauce and mushrooms in that cuisine, so lots of those places now advertise “MSG-free!” meaning, of course, added MSG free, since, well, soy sauce does generally contain the same base ingredient naturally (which also shows up in tomatoes and Parmesan and all sorts of stuff–and nobody’s out here complaining about getting Italian headaches, either).

Which sucks, because like @stusser notes, the pure MSG additive is a great way to quickly and easily enhance the flavor of all sorts of food. Sure, you can use a “natural” source of glutamic acid like mushrooms or fish sauce, but those usually come with all sorts of other flavors that may not be desirable. . . but the anti-MSG parade contiinues more or less unabated :(

I love this, Jim, and I think it would fit really well into my existing chili recipe, which already includes lots of tomato and brown sugar at the end. Definitely trying it next time!

I made some cornbread and shrimp chowder this week. The chowder was from scratch and I was pretty proud of how it came out, though I didn’t made quite enough roux at the start and had to supplement with a bit of cornstarch slurry at the end.

I also made some chilequiles for myself earlier this week with leftover ingredients from Mexican food the previous week, with some refried beans on the side. Basically just fried tortilla bits cooked into red salsa (a chipotle sauce or tomatillo salsa would be more traditional, but I had to throw out both of those after they went bad, d’oh), topped with fried egg, queso fresco, sour cream, and green onions :)


I personally don’t think I have any MSG issues. It’s not a deciding factor that I have ever used for restaurant selection, but I let my friends and family make those choices if they feel they must. I know of one person on the East coast who has verbalized an issue to it, and he has some other weird allergies/intolerances to, like it’s either raw or cooked carrots, not both, and apples so he might actually have a reaction to it.

@ArmandoPenblade that looks amazing. Now this is much more aligned with my idea of a fall/winter heavy and hot dinner affair.

I make a seafood macaroni that I love in the winters… takes like 2 hours to make it, it’s not cheap,and loaded with fat, so I enjoy sparingly.