Cooking Sake Mixed with Salad Oil Produces a Versatile Seasoning

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Stir-fried meat and vegetables, front, and hamburger steak with tomatoes

“Ryorishu oil,” a mixture of cooking sake (ryorishu) and salad oil, is a hot topic among people who cook at home. Sprinkling on the combination during preparation or cooking can make sauteed vegetables crunchy and meat dishes juicy.

It is the brainchild of Cook Inoue, a comedian who is also a home cooking specialist.

While active as part of the comedy duo Twinkle, Inoue has been working to cook many dishes from famous restaurants at home. During his research, he discovered the magical seasoning, which is made up of one part salad oil and four parts cooking sake.

“It’s convenient to keep it in a container to use whenever you want,” he said. He eventually published a recipe book featuring the mixed seasoning in June.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
“Ryorishu oil,” made from one part salad oil and four parts cooking sake.

Inoue shared two recipes that use the seasoning.

The first dish is stir-fried meat, Chinese chives and bean sprouts. For this recipe, adding his mixed seasoning enhances the vegetable’s nice texture, creating a taste close to what you can find in a Chinese restaurant.

Before using the mixed seasoning, shake well. Once sprinkled on, the cooking sake evaporates immediately, steaming the ingredients, and the oil spreads out at the same time, making the chives and bean sprouts crispy. To keep the vegetables from overcooking and getting watery, Inoue says you should turn them over quickly with tongs, rather than shaking the pan.

Stir-fried meat and vegetables

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 100 grams pork belly, thinly sliced
  • 1 bag bean sprouts (200 grams)
  • 1 bunch Chinese chives (100 grams)
  • 11/2 tbsp mixture of cooking sake and salad oil
  • (Seasoning A)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp chicken soup stock
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1-2 cm grated garlic, in tube
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • Directions:

    1. Cut Chinese chives into 5 centimeter lengths and pork belly into 1.5-centimeter-long pieces. Heat the frying pan over high heat with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and fry the pork. Spread the chive roots on top of the pork, followed by the bean sprouts and chive leaves in that order.

    2. Make sure the vegetables are level. Sprinkle on the mixture of cooking sake and salad oil. Cook for 1 minute, then turn over the ingredients with tongs, and cook another 20 seconds. Add Seasoning A, mix lightly, and season with salt.

    The next dish is a hamburger steak stewed with tomatoes, which is just like a dish served at a Western-style restaurant. It is so juicy — when you cut it with a knife, the meat’s juices ooze right out. The aroma of ground pepper and nutmeg is very appetizing.

    Hamburger steak with tomatoes

    Ingredients: (serves 2)

    • 250 grams mixed ground beef and pork
    • 75 grams onion, finely chopped
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 1/2 tbsp mixture of cooking sake and salad oil
    • Some flour
    • 1 tsp salad oil
    • (Ingredient Group A)
    • 1/2 egg
    • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
    • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tsp ketchup
    • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
    • A pinch of nutmeg
    • (Ingredient Group B)
    • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
    • 40 grams onion, finely chopped
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic, in tube
    • 1/2 tsp consomme powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt

    • Directions:

      1. Place ground beef, onion, the mixture of cooking sake and salad oil, and salt in a bowl, and knead well. Add Ingredient Group A and knead further. Divide the meat mixture into two, shape each into an oval while removing the air inside, and slightly hollow in the center. Dust their entire surfaces with flour.

      2. Refrigerate the ground meat until immediately before cooking to consolidate the fat. Adding the mixture of cooking sake and salad oil before cooking softens and seasons the meat, making the hamburger steak juicy.

      3. Put salad oil in the frying pan and heat over a medium-high setting. Place the meat mixture in the pan, cover and cook for 2 minutes on each side.

      4. Add Ingredient Group B and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low-medium heat for about 8 minutes, then flip the meat mixture several times until it is cooked thoroughly to prevent it from burning.

      Inoue says that the mixture of cooking sake and salad oil is versatile. “It can be used for any kind of dish, regardless of Japanese, Western, Chinese, and more. I hope you will try it at home,” he added.