Condiments: Episode 4

“First We Eat, Then We Do Everything Else.”

-M.F.K. Fisher

Condiments are an essential part of your pantry. Your pantry should include Dijon mustard, tamari sauce, mayonnaise, and tomato paste. Optional items include, white miso paste, fish sauce and coconut aminos.

Dijon Mustard

Mustard use in food goes back to ancient times. It was known as part of Hebrew cuisine and was a staple of the Mediterranean civilization, through the Greek and the Roman period.

Its be apart of French cuisine for a long time. Experts say truly good Dijon is a more modest creamy shade versus bright yellow. The flavor, is hot, strong and complex. It is mostly composed of water, mustard seeds and vinegar. Wine can be used to add extra pop too.

Keep it natural as possible. Avoid preservatives!

Cheers!

Tamari Sauce

Tamari sauce is very similar to soy sauce. They are not the same thing. Both are made from fermented soybeans, but tamari contains less wheat. Try tamari sauce! I believe it has a richer flavor. Less saltiness as compared with soy sauce.

Tamari sauce can be used to flavor a multitude of foods. Foods like nuts, shrimp and chicken, etc.

Cheers!

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is used all around the world. Some use it over ketchup on their fries! In the American south west it is a base for barbeque sauce and is known as white barbeque.

For those who aren’t enthusiastic about mayonnaise, Avocados can be an excellent alternative. I will talk about that in another episode. Did you know that mayo is a good source of vitamin E (amount of vitamin E depends on the type of oil used)? It contains small amounts of vitamin A , and is rich in protein and minerals.

I use mayonnaise in a sauce when I make sushi! Are you a fan of Sushi? If you are, then you must try siracha sauce mixed with mayonnaise. This combination along with salmon or tuna is exquisite! The mayonnaise adds a mildness to the spicy siracha flavor and when eaten with sushi, its bomb!

Cheers

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste reminds me of the vibrant color of red used in art. Its rich and has the consistency of paint that you would find in a tube. Beautiful! Food as art! Squeeze a bit into a sauce or brush it over pizza dough. Lovely!

Tomato paste, in concentrate form is a thick paste. It’s made by cooking plum tomatoes for several hours. Then straining them to remove the skins and seeds. Then, its reduced further until the tomatoes turn into a thick paste. It tastes so rich and tangy!

Tomatoes are the best source of lycopene, which is an antioxidant. It belongs to the vitamin A family. The vitamin C in tomatoes produces collagen. The collagen in tomato paste supports skin and ligaments.

Try a tablespoon or so of tomato paste in your favorite dish. It can improve the flavor in most recipes. Try it!

Cheers!

White Miso Paste

White miso paste is made from fermented soybeans. Koji is a mold that is used to make sake. Other ingredients that might be included are barley, rice, rye or other grains. To get it’s complex flavor, the mixture ferments for a couple months or even longer! As it ages, the miso paste gets darker and gains a more robust flavor.

It can boost immunity and help alleviate some symptoms of depression and anxiety. Miso contains healthy bacteria, which promotes a healthy gut.

Just a tablespoon of miso paste can add some flavor to ramen or tofu.

Cheers!

Fish Sauce


Although, fish sauce has the an acrid fishy smell. It also has a delicious, savory and long lasting flavor. Fish sauce brings complexity to a dip, a marinade or a salad dressing. It’s also a perfect alternative for soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, or salt. It can be an acquired taste though.

“Research has identified the enzymes and peptides found in fermented fish were associated with immune stimulating properties and tissue repair.” Give someone a fish and you feed them for a day, teach someone to fish and you feed them for a life time. – Author unknown

Try a few dashes in a stir fry, You might just like it.

Cheers!

Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos are dark, salty, and aged coconut tree sap. It tastes very similar to soy sauce. It’s unique because, it lacks gluten and soy.

The benefits of coconut aminos are it protects your heart and regulate cholesterol, reduces the risk of diabetes, aids in weight loss, strengthens the immune system, and reduces the risk of colon cancer.

One can combine it with fish sauce for the perfect seasoning.

Cheers!