Written and illustrated by Misa Ono
You can make a homemade garlic soy sauce just by putting peeled garlic and soy sauce into a bottle. My parents always store it in their fridge, and it is the best seasoning for the pilaf. It is also good with tofu or stir-fried vegetables. They also have homemade “ponzu,” which is a mixture of soy sauce and the juice of citrus like lemon. It is a good dressing for salad or tofu. In winter, “nabe” is frequently eaten. A nabe hot pot is kept hot in the center of the dining table in portable stoves. Various ingredients such as meat, fish, vegetables and mushrooms are cooked at the table. Diners can pick the cooked ingredients they want from the pot and eat with a ponzu dip. You can use any specialty citrus from your region and also vinegar for ponzu as well. Nabe warms you up during the cold season, and it is a well-balanced meal with both vegetables and meat. It is also easy to make, and it is an essential dish in Japanese winter.
It is difficult to find someone who makes their own homemade soy sauce; however, there are many people who make their own homemade soy based condiments. Since soy sauce has high salt content, it prevents the propagation of various bacteria and makes it easy to preserve for a long time.
Recently, “shoyu-koji” has been very popular in Japan, which is a mixture of soy sauce and rice koji. Although soy sauce is already made of soybean koji and wheat koji, you add another rice koji into soy sauce to make shoyu-koji. The soybean and wheat grains are filtrated during soy sauce production; however, you enjoy the rice koji grain in shoyu-koji. As kome-koji is sweet, it is good with tofu, salad and stir-fried dishes. It is also good to put raw egg on the top of rice and pour a bit of shoyu-koji. It is an interesting texture when you eat rice and rice koji at the same time. There is also another kind of shoyu-koji: mugi (barley) -koji is added instead of rice koji. It is also very good and has a different texture from the rice koji.
I had never thought that I really love soy sauce; however, as I write about it, I realize how much I love it. I have probably overlooked something that is right in front of my eyes. Your life may become more enjoyable if you review someone who is close to you and think “he/she is actually kinda cute!” !?