If you haven’t noticed, a lot of my food is Asian inspired. So I made an Asian seasoning mix to make all of our lives easier in the future!
Some of the flavors stay the same in Asian cooking.
Ginger is strong and easily overpowering, but with control and restraint it can become a clean flavor in your cooking. I always go light on the ginger because a little goes a long way.
Sesame seed is a two-fold ingredient. When it is not toasted, sesame seeds can be a light, yet distinctly nutty flavor. But toasted sesame seeds end up with a much deeper flavor! Get yourself some toasted sesame oil and see what I mean. For lack of better descriptive words, it’s just toaster than raw sesame seeds. It still tastes like sesame but the flavor is just stronger.
Lastly, I avoid using regular yellow onions where I can in my Asian cooking. If there are onions in an Asian recipe of mine, they are cut very thin so they don’t end up too strong. Since I like the onion flavor to take a back seat in my recipes, I like green onions or chives. They still have that onion flavor, but the flavor is much lighter.
That, and I don’t want a chunk of under-cooked onion in my dish! Since I don’t like raw onions, biting into a partially cooked onion would not be fun for me.
But the ginger, garlic powder, sesame seeds, and green onion all seem to show up in a lot of my Asian inspired recipes.
Before I used individual herbs and spices in my cooking, I used to have an Asian seasoning mix that was purchased. Very similar ingredients, but there were no doubt different ingredient ratios. When I went to replace it, the sticker price was $4.00 for this shrimpy little bottle!
No way. You know from the simple syrup post that I don’t pay for things I can quickly and easily make myself! And for basically using herbs and spices I already had at the house (minus the chives), I was able to make a batch with 5 ingredients in less than 5 minutes.
The bulk of my time was me finding the ingredients in the spice cabinet. There are some of the spices that I can find with my eyes closed. But that white pepper… it was a bit more elusive. Using white pepper is worth it though!
To add to the fact that this mix is super quick and easy, one of the benefits to making your own Asian seasoning mix is knowing what you are putting into it. Common ingredients you can find in store bought mixes are anti-caking agents (such as silicon dioxide), flavor enhancers (such as the notorious MSG), preservatives, and fillers. Fillers make me the most angry because it’s usually wheat flour! It is absolutely ridiculous that I have to look for gluten-free spices that should already be gluten-free.
Another benefit to making your own Asian seasoning mix (or any mix for that matter) is that you get to put the exact the amount of the ingredients that you want into your mix. Personally, I go easy on the ginger because tastes too much like soap to me! (old memory, different story for a different time.) But maybe you really like ginger and you want your mix to have a strong ginger flavor.
Be my guest! I’m not going to get mad at you for it.
Alas, if you are an avid reader of this blog (which by the way, thank you!), you will know I have used store-bought spice mixes in the past. I just really like Montreal Chicken, okay?! Don’t cite me for it. (Click here to see what I am talking about.)
Lastly, I made this recipe salt-free. If you taste the mix on it’s own, it’s not going to taste like much. You’ll get the different flavors, but you’re inevitably going to say that it needs salt. And that’s okay!
Soy Sauce. Miso. Fish Sauce. What do they all have in common?
Well, other than the fact that you can find them in Asian cooking.
They are salty. Really salty. You could easily salt a dish with one of the ingredients above. So why would I want to put in extra salt on top of the already salty salt?? (Have I said salt too many times?)
But even though they are all superbly salty, they also have different quantities of salt. I learned about fish sauce just recently and the salt content is astronomical. It’s like my mum always told me; you can add salt, but you can’t take it out. So I’d rather err on the side of caution anyway.
Looking for a recipe to use your newly made spice mix on?
Come back on Friday when I will show you a new recipe to use it in!
Asian Seasoning Mix
Goods you need
- 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. crushed chives*
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. ground ginger powder
- 1 tsp. white pepper
- 2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. sesame seeds
Let's get to it!
Add all ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake. Done.
To crush chives, pulse them in a spice grinder or grind them with a mortar and pestle. Chances are, you aren't going to find crushed chives on the supermarket shelves. Let me know in the comments below if you did, because I couldn't find any!