Food to Dip in Soy Sause and Wasabi?
January 10, 2009 2:37 PM   Subscribe

I like Soy Sauce with Wasabi, but sushi is expensive. What quick and simply meals can I have that I can eat with Soy+Wasabi?

I have really been enjoying the spicy/salty taste of soy sauce with Wasabi. However, buying sushi everyday is way, way beyond my budget.

What dirt simple/cheap meals can I make and enjoy with soy sauce and wasabi?
posted by chrisalbon to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
You could pick up some buckwheat (soba) noodles and dip. Noodles are cheap!
posted by vincele at 2:48 PM on January 10, 2009

Also, the Japanese eat a lot of egg sushi-- learn to scramble an egg Japanese-style and plop on rice. Or mix with noodles, if you don't care about authenticity-- and who does?
posted by vincele at 2:50 PM on January 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Actually, sushi isn't expensive if you make it yourself. You can easily eat for $2.00/meal if you do it right. A sheet of nori is about a quarter, sushi rice is cheap, and if you're willing to go heavier on the vegetables, cream cheese, etc. than on the seafood, it doesn't have to be expensive. You're paying for labor and rent as much as anything else when you buy pre-made sushi. The food is only a fraction of the price.

Yeah, rice and beans are cheaper, but making sushi yourself is totally doable and pretty cheap. Take a look at SushiPro for a list of ingredients. They'll deliver, but your local Asian market should have equivalent products for equivalent prices.
posted by valkyryn at 2:53 PM on January 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Marinade, put on a baking sheet in the oven at 400°F. For the first 10 minutes, reduce the marinade. Flip and then brush onto the tofu every 5 minutes until the glaze has set.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 2:58 PM on January 10, 2009

Dumplings are always good. I second the previous comments about sushi being cheap if you make it yourself, a lot of the cost depends on what kind of fish you use. Things like California rolls are super cheap, as are most other basic preparations. If you do decide to make it at home just make sure that the fish is sushi-grade.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 3:07 PM on January 10, 2009

Best answer: Rice balls!
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 3:18 PM on January 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

by the way, if you're buying wasabi for use at home, you might as well make sure you're getting the real stuff—most of the wasabi paste on sale, and served at restaurants, is usually just horseradish with food coloring.
posted by lia at 3:26 PM on January 10, 2009

Marinating chicken thighs in low-sodium soy sauce + wasabi and baking in an oven = yummy goodness.
posted by softlord at 4:00 PM on January 10, 2009

I like to marinate tilapia in tamari and sesame oil, broil it, and smear it with wasabi. Tastes like a cross between saba and unagi.
posted by Riverine at 4:01 PM on January 10, 2009 [3 favorites]

Real wasabi is very expensive. The wasabi you've probably eaten is really just horseradish with green food coloring, so you might as well buy that.
posted by zardoz at 4:02 PM on January 10, 2009

Gyoza !

I make mine with pork sausage (breakfast sausage) green onion, onion, garlic, ginger, salt pepper, and an egg so it holds together better. Pinch it into wanton wrappers and steam, or fry them.

Total cost is really pretty low for the amount of food. I end up with a couple days worth out of one of the roll's of pork sausage I get at the local grocery store for 2 bucks.

The actually keep fairly well though they are so good my room mates get to them before they could spoil. I really like them cold the next day.
posted by magikker at 4:12 PM on January 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have recently fallen in love with avocado sashimi. Just cut up an avocado and dip in soy sauce and wasabi. Delicious.
posted by marlys27 at 4:39 PM on January 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you eat meat, a simple steak lightly salt and peppered before cooking goes well with soy sauce and wasabi.

If you can get a hold of fresh tuna (maguro) that you can eat as sashimi, you can cut them up into cubes along with an avocado and mix them up with some soy sauce and wasabi. Mmm. If you can't get a hold of fresh tuna, canned tuna or cooked shrimp also go well with the avocado/soy sauce/wasabi combo as well, but it's a totally different dish.

Tofu is also good cold (uncooked), with some soy sauce and wasabi, and if you can get a hold of some, dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi).
posted by misozaki at 4:43 PM on January 10, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding onigiri (rice balls), which my wife made for me tonight. We eat a lot of rice, so a 15lb. bag of premium sushi rice is about $20 these days. Various bottles of furikakes are about $4.50 (savory sprinkles), and you can fill them with anything you want from avocado to japanese pickles to small preparations of salmon or tuna. Nori wrappers are optional. Super simple and flexible.
posted by mrmojoflying at 4:58 PM on January 10, 2009

Stir fry is a natural fit, since you'd probably be putting soy sauce on it anyway. Something I love to use on mine is Premier Japan Tamari Wasabi. It's got wasabi already mixed into the soy sauce. Well actually it's horseradish, like most "wasabi" but I think that if that's what you're used to, and you like it, who cares?
posted by Askr at 4:59 PM on January 10, 2009

Best answer: Just Hungry is a motherlode for the basics of Japanese home cooking, and covers classic method for onigiri as well as a simplified one. There's also a broccoli-wasabi-soy recipe.
posted by holgate at 5:12 PM on January 10, 2009

Mayonnaise also goes well with soy sauce/wasabi, so for example some boiled spinach (drained and cut up) mixed with mayo/soy sauce/wasabi makes a nice side dish.
posted by misozaki at 5:14 PM on January 10, 2009

Response by poster: Onigiri seems like a great idea. Healthy, cheap, tasty, and easy.

Thanks everyone!
posted by chrisalbon at 5:15 PM on January 10, 2009

I see you didn't best-answer the first answer (soba), but I urge you try the cold soba/soy/wasabi combination, which is fantastic. Way better than, say, onigiri, which I don't think really needs the wasabi at all (unless you put a bunch of actual raw fish on there).
posted by rxrfrx at 7:47 PM on January 10, 2009

Howdy. The aforementioned Just Hungry is my site. I know several people have recommended onigiri, but wasabi does not necessarily always go with onigiri, nor does it always go with all kinds of sushi. The purpose of wasabi is, besides clearing your sinuses and providing that hit of flavor, is to counteract the 'fishy' or 'gamy' quality of whatever it is you're eating. So it complements some neta (the stuff that goes on top of sushi) very well, it can make other actually taste a bit unpleasant. If you go to a good sushi restaurant you can see when the chefs put on wasabi or not. (Grated ginger, grated daikon radish, even grated raw garlic serve a similar purpose to wasabi in that they counteract and complement the 'fishiness' or other strong characteristic of the neta. For instance, the standard topping on katsuo (bonito) or aji (horse mackerel) is ginger, not wasabi.) So, when applied to onigiri, wasabi may go well with certain fillings but not with others. Example: it may go well with a tuna-mayonnaise filling, but it will certainly taste pretty bad with a classic umeboshi (pickled plum) filling. And so on.

Anywho, to the subject of what you can use wasabi for besides sushi - think of it as being similar to mustard, and try it with different foods that might go well with mustard. It really complements the flavor of broccoli as in the recipe mentioned above, though you need just a litle. It can be interesting in salad dressings, in small quantities. It can also be used to perk up bland foods like tofu, soba (detailed cold soba how-to, self link) It cuts through the gaminess of duck in this marinated duck recipe (yeah another self-link). Wasabi butter (mix wasabi and butter and let it rest for a while to meld) on grilled fish or steak can be quite interesting.
posted by thread_makimaki at 9:22 PM on January 10, 2009 [4 favorites]

A shop near me sells wasabi humous. Pale green humous looks a little unappetising but it tastes surprisingly good with veg on a sandwich. You could try mixing a bit of humous and wasabi together and see what happens.

I've never had wasabi mashed potatoes but I keep stumbling across recipes for it - lots on Google.
posted by BinaryApe at 7:09 AM on January 11, 2009

Take very good soy sauce, mix with wasabi and perhaps a little apple vinegar, add thin sliced raw onions and spring onions in a shallow smash dish, then use it as a garnish on bits of meat and such (like for example tissue-thin-sliced frozen shabu shabu beef, cooked by swirling in boiling stock with mushrooms and stuff, like healthy fondue). Splendid.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:48 PM on January 11, 2009

smash='small', sorry.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:48 PM on January 11, 2009

I buy extra-firm tofu, cube it, boil it for 8 minutes, drain well (like 20 minutes or so), and then dredge it in cornstarch so all sides are covered. Then I heat up sesame oil or canola oil in a saucepan on pretty high, and fry 'em up. It's the way to make agadashe tofu at home if you don't have a deep fryer. It's delicious, everyone I've ever made it for loves it.
posted by Penelope at 11:26 AM on January 14, 2009

Our neighbour made sushi with pickles and I was shocked by how good it was.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:43 PM on January 16, 2009

Our neighbour made sushi with pickles and I was shocked by how good it was.

The next time you go to a quality sushi restaurant, ask for oshinko, or the pickle selection. You might be pleasantly surprised.
posted by mrmojoflying at 1:45 PM on January 16, 2009

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