Sunday, September 5, 2010

Homemade Chunky La-yu ("Taberu La-yu")

La-yu (hot chili sesame oil) is one of my favorite condiments, and I love drizzling it to many different dishes. With just a tiny amount, it gives a nice kick to a dish. Original la-yu is from China, but it has been loved by Japanese people for so long and is very much localized in Japan.

Maybe since last year, a new type of la-yu was introduced and making a sensational hit throughout the nation of Japan. It's so-called, "Taberu La-yu", or chunky la-yu, and you can find different versions from so many different producers at stores. In my last trip back to Japan, I picked up one of the most sought-after kind from Kyoto Hotel Okura, and I thought it was really nice. I've also tried other versions from different producers.

Because I love la-yu so much, after tasting different versions, I thought I should make my own chunky la-yu at home! I studies different recipes for inspiration and reached to my original. I wanted to make something rather simple than too big flavor kind which can be fortified by adding dried shrimp/ scallop or fermented black beans. So, my version is pretty straight-forward, and best of all, it tastes so good...with just about anything!

The recipe is very easy. I simply infused all the ingredients (except for soy sauce) in the oil (EVOO + sesame oil) and added the soy sauce at the end. After resting it for 24 hours, the very flavorful chunky la-yu is ready. You can find the recipe on toiro's website, so please check it out.

It's great with the steam-fried donabe fish, steamed vegetables, donabe rice, etc.