Stay At Home: The Lazy Gourmet Edition
It has been a few weeks since most of us have begun working from home and we’ve exhausted most delivery food app options and recipes that we can follow.
There are days we’re inspired to make that dish we’ve been thinking about, and other days we just need to eat for sustenance (and it has to be tasty).
So here’s a list of stuff that we (the Zairyo team) are stashing in our own freezers and pantry (most of which are inspired by our customers who have way more experience in managing kitchen inventory):
These ready-to-heat and ready-to-cook options cut our prep and cooking time by at least 30 minutes.
The best part? They taste as good as the ones in Japan (to be fair, they are made in Japan and supplied to Bento shops from Toyosu Market!)
How we do it: We’d heat up the rice we cooked the previous day (we usually cook a big pot of rice, enough for 2-3 meals for 2, then portion them and stash them in the chiller), then pop the meat of choice into the toaster oven/air fryer.
While the meat is being heated, we’ll prepare the vegetables. A quick stir-fry would take a maximum of 5 minutes.
Or if we’re really lazy, we would accompany the meal with a side of Hijiki Nimono, Renkon Tsukemono, or Dashimaki Tamago.
And voila, a Teishoku in under 20 minutes that’s easy to make even when you’re on a concall!
The Unagi is also a mainstay in our freezers! One piece is plump and large enough to feed 2 people. We'd throw it into the microwave for a quick blitz. (Go for the Shirayaki if you prefer a sauceless Unagi)
And the Chicken Thigh Yakitori that is always a hit among children and adults.
Contrary to popular belief that Dashi is only for soups, this stock is versatile enough for everyday cooking!
But why would we use Dashi when we have soy sauce? Because it adds depth and umami to dishes. And if you’re health conscious, using Dashi in place of soy sauce reduces the salt content in your dishes significantly without sacrificing on taste.
Much like the bouillon cube in most households, this is the magic touch that makes everything taste better :p
Prefer to make your own Dashi? Read this to find out how. This basic Dashi recipe is toddler-friendly!
What do we use it on?
- Tamagoyaki, we use it in place of salt
- Stir-fried vegetables, in place of salt / oyster sauce
- Porridge, in place of water
- Steamed egg, in place of water
- one pot pasta, in place of water
Also, on days when we just want to clear out the fridge, we’d make a pot of soup with the Shiro Dashi and throw in some Tsumire, Asari Clams and Udon for a quick and delicious seafood noodles!
If you’re one of those who didn’t hoard instant noodles (good on you!) and you’re looking for an instant meal option that doesn’t taste sad/bad, this is for you.
For pasta, try the Mentaiko Pasta sauce.
It’s surprisingly tasty and full of flavor! We made it fancy by adding the Aburi Salmon Belly slice and topped it with an Onsen egg – just like you would get at a restaurant. ;)
For Ramen, try the Dashimen. The noodles are made with Hokkaido flour and are air-dried, not fried. We’d add some pork belly slices to the Yuzu Ramen, reminiscent of that famous Yuzu Ramen by A* brand. ;) And some truffle oil to the Jidori Tori Ramen – which sounds like an unlikely match, but trust us on this!
It is a difficult time for everyone, but we think we can make the most out of our time at home to eat better, and spend time with those who truly matter.
And a gentle reminder that food wastage is also a global issue – there is no need to hoard. Buy only what you need.