Category Archives: Sauces, Cold

Ponzu Sauce


On vacation this week, and I made a trip to Tokyo Fish in Berkeley where I stocked up on sashimi fixin’s. One of the fish I was lucky enough to find was hirame, just the outside fin mussel. Called angawa, it is one of our very favorite sashimi items, but soy sauce does not do it justice.

Here’s a easy recipe for ponzu, the tangy citrus soy dipping sauce often served wtih angawa.

2 oz. Japanese soy sauce
2 oz. dashi
2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. rice wine vinegar
1 oz. mirin
good pinch bonito flakes

Combine all ingredients in a suitable bowl, and stir to mix. Allow to sit for an hour for the bonito flakes to infuse, then strain them out. Store refrigerated and covered tightly. Will keep for a week or so.


Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

My better half is soon off to a girls’ weekend, and that means I must give them recipes for fool-proof and yummy food. A taco feast. Recipe #1, a raw green salsa made from ingredients available in Minnesota…

1 lb. tomatillos, paper husks removed and rinsed
1/2 oz. garlic, chopped coarsely
1 oz. jalapeno, coarsely chopped, seeds included

2 oz. white onion, finely diced
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and chopped coarsely
2 limes, juiced, about 2 oz. juicesalt and pepper to taste

Prepare the tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeno.


Then transfer to the canister of a blender,


And process on low speed until all of the ingredients are broken down.


Add the avocaodes, and increase speed to high.

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Process until completely smooth.


Transfer to a suitable mixing bowl, and add salt.


Then chop the onions and cilantro, and squeeze the lime juice.


Add to puree, and stir to incorporate evenly.


Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Store refrigerated for up to three days. Adjust salt and lime after first day.

General Purpose Vinaigrette

I usually keep a container of this vinaigrette in the refrig. It’s good to dress almost anything, from leftover potatoes as salad, to tomatoes, maybe even leftover chicken for chicken salad. Think of it as an alternative to mayonnaise. It’s also very strong-flavored, so you don’t need much. Gather your mise en place:


1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. Capers, minced
2 T. Shallots, minced
1 t. fresh thyme, minced
1/2 t. fresh oregano, minced
1 oz. Good red wine vinegar
1 oz. Sherry wine vinegar
4 oz. EVOO (I use the Tuscan version from Costco)


Measure and mince all ingredients.


Add the vinegar (Get the best you can, it make a difference) and a teaspoon of salt and a few turns of black pepper, and whisk to dissolve the salt.


Slowly drizzle the olive oil in, whisking while you do. Season to taste with salt and lots more pepper. A purist would insist that this vinaigrette should be used within a few days, and it will taste fresher, but I have kept it for a couple of weeks, and it’s fine.

Blue Cheese Salad Dressing

Per Rebecca’s request, here is a recipe for blue cheese dressing. If you leave the cheese out, it’s ranch dressing. Either way, it’s a good thing to have in the refrig for a quick salad or dip…


Start with a clove of garlic, cut it in half and remove any green sprout.


Crush the clove with the side of a knife, then add a pinch of salt.


Using the side of the knife, crush and smear the garlic using the salt as abrasive until it is a smooth paste.


Transfer the garlic paste to a bowl and add 8 oz. of Best Foods mayonnaise and 6 oz. of buttermilk. Whisk until smooth.


Crumble 4 oz. of Saint Agur bleu cheese into the bowl, taking care to break the firmer outer surface into small pieces. The softer part will break up with the whisk.


Season with a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper and salt.


Tightly covered, the sauce will keep well for a week or so. The garlic flavor will get stronger as it sits, so use a smaller clove if you intend to keep it around.


A favorite all-American salad. Goes well with chicken and biscuits!