Now available in the orange cooler next to the kombucha dispenser: tamari sauce by the ounce!
If you are familiar with tamari sauce, you might think of it as a soy sauce substitute, or even equivalent. It is, and it isn’t. Tamari can be substituted wherever soy sauce is needed for a gluten-free alternative, but it also has its own unique flavor—at once more aromatic and less sharp than its wheat-filled cousin. Many who dislike the salty tang of soy sauce enjoy the smoother flavor of tamari, so even if you think it’s not for you, give it a go!
Tamari is a traditionally Japanese fermented byproduct of miso production. The variety carried by the Coop is certified organic, and contains only water, soybeans, and salt. Wan Ja Shan, the name of the manufacturer, is translated literally as “the aroma of 10,000 houses,” because the sauces they create are so savory that, according to legend, their wonderful flavor travels that far.
Tamari can be used as a dipping sauce for dumplings or sushi, but combined with other ingredients can become an everyday staple. Use it in combination with orange juice, rice vinegar, and sesame oil to make a marinade for meats, tofu, or mushrooms; add some sugar and toss over some raw almonds (or other nuts) and roast for a salty, savory snack. After hard-boiling eggs, crack the shells, but don’t remove, and return them to a pot of water mixed with one cup of tamari; after a 10-minute simmer you’ll have a pre-salted and beautifully marbled egg to add to salads or just to eat on its own. Substituting tamari for salt when cooking beans will give them a deeper, more aromatic tinge—try it with a slice of kombu (also now available at the co-op) to reduce the gas-inducing properties of good ol’ red kidneys, then toss them with barely-cooked kale or collards for a simple and warming winter meal. And of course, a sprinkling of tamari brings a deep flavor to any rice bowl.
Since the Coop carries tamari in bulk, you’ll have to remember to bring your own bottle (and preferably something marked with the fluid ounce measurement) in order to take home some of this multi-purpose sauce. At $0.16 cents per fluid ounce, a full pint jar will cost $2.56—a good deal for something so useful!