Orange and mirin-glazed cod with a barley and broccoli salad and served with bread.

Shaina Glassman

I spend a good portion of my day making decisions about things. Be it work stuff or family stuff, it seems as though I spend more time than I used to making decisions on where and how to take the next step toward the finish line.

Is this how I pictured the, “When I grow up...”? Probably not. It was supposed to be easier. I was supposed to eat whatever I want for dinner and go to bed when I want. I was supposed to be the boss of the house like my mom was and I was definitely not supposed to have any responsibility. That’s how I pictured being an adult and it was marvelous!

Well, here I am, 20-something-almost-30 and it turns out that I don’t make any of the rules and I don’t actually get to pick my own bed time, my bed time picks me.

Most of what being a mom is all about is (beyond wearing an invisible cape) is making decisions. When I discovered the world of meal subscription, I discovered how easy it could be to allow another human being to make the dinner decisions three times per week and mail it right to my door in a pretty little box with giant ice packs keeping it cold.

The following recipe is from a Blue Apron box I got last week. It is so good! Sometimes they send me some weird stuff that’s totally outside of my comfort zone and the whole time I cook it, I am telling my husband how weird I think it is and express my doubts that it will be edible.

This recipe was one of those. Who puts oranges with broccoli? Turns out it’s delicious and barley doesn’t taste like dirt, but a hearty and more nutty version of rice.

This whole dish is amazing, all of the flavors perfectly compliment each other and it’s very easy to make. The recipe calls for mirin, a Japanese sweet wine vinegar. I would say you could probably use regular white wine vinegar and a small dash of Agave instead since mirin might be hard to find.

Again, this recipe is perfect and delicious exactly how it is ,but I always advocate throwing a personal twist on it. Enjoy!

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(1) comment

Mogie
Mogie

Some other substitutes for mirin are "

Sake is another Japanese rice wine, but unlike mirin, sake is used for cooking and for drinking. Substitute 1 part mirin with 2 parts heated sake and 1 part sugar. As a substitute, sake gives the most mirin-like taste in your final product.


Sherry wines come in a variety of flavors and colors, ranging from sweet to rich to dry. Dry sherry isn't very sweet and has a stiff, acidic flavor that makes it suitable for cooking. Use a dry sherry wine in place of mirin in equal proportions, or measure 1 tablespoon of dry sherry and a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar for every 1 tablespoon of mirin for a sweeter, more representative substitute.

A dry white wine may offer acidic flavor without too much sweetness. Select a Chardonnay or Sauvignon blanc and use it in equal proportions to mirin. You may notice a slightly fruitier taste in your final product.


Mirin has a small amount of alcohol. If you're looking for a nonalcoholic substitute, vinegar is a suitable replacement. Rice wine vinegar offers a similar taste to mirin, but any white wine or distilled white vinegar will work. Use 1 tablespoon vinegar and a 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar for every 1 tablespoon of mirin. The type of vinegar you use determines your final product. For example, the vinegar flavor might be more pronounced with distilled vinegar, while it might be more subtle if you use white wine or rice wine vinegars."

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