|Japanese restaurants in the Philippines commonly offer yakimono (grilled stuff) done in two different ways: plain salted or with teriyaki sauce. In my favorite Japanese restaurant, Izakaya Kikufuji, the plain salted yakimono is so intensely flavorful, you'd think they added something aside from salt. And after a bit of sleuthing, I may have stumbled upon the answer. In a Japanese store in Cartimar, where you can get Japanese ingredients for cheap, I saw a bottle of aji-shio or ajinomoto-salt. Now, I'm not accusing Kikufuji of using vetsin but when I tried out the aji-shio at home, the results were very pleasing. |
We grilled some chicken wings, aspara bacon, beef sirloin, siling pangsigang, pork with leeks, and good old yakitori. Everything was seasoned with the aji-shio, or, as we now call it, magic salt, and the meats transformed from just good to bursting with flavor. That's cheating, purists will probably say. And I would agree almost every time.