Try subbing versatile miso if you don’t have oyster sauce

THE WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post Food staff recently answered questions about all things edible.

Q: I’ve promised a chicken stir-fry that is made with oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar and olive oil. But I’ve got no oyster sauce (or oysters)! Is there an easy-ish substitute?

A: Do you have any fish sauce hanging around? That would get you a little bit of a similar flavour. Miso would also give you some fermented flavour. Even some re-hydrated dried mushrooms and some of their soaking liquid could work. – Becky Krystal

Q: Miso – I like it, but whenever I use it I find it really hard to incorporate it into liquids. Is there a secret trick?

A: Take a little of the liquid that you’re trying to incorporate the miso into, and combine it with the miso in a small bowl then whisk that into the larger amount. – Joe Yonan

Q: I have digestive issues and have to eat gluten-free. Any suggestions on how to make the perfect crab cake?

A: I’m wondering whether you could give a gluten-free panko a try. But there are also plenty of people who want no bready filler in their crab cakes, which would work for you as well. Other binders you might want to consider are mayo and eggs. – BK

Q: My insta-pot lid gets water in it when I wash it. I try to tip it up and loads of water comes out the little hole on the side. Am I missing something? I don’t want it to stay wet!

A: Mine cannot be unassembled, so I clean it well with hot, soapy water and shake out as much waters as I can. Then, I put it on the rack facedown to drain until I think it is dry.  – Ann Maloney

Q: How can I tell when the bleu cheese in my fridge is bad? Should I just eat some and wait to see if I get sick? Or is there a better way?

A: If there are grey or black fuzzy spots, then it’s time to toss it out. Slime is also usually another indicator that it’s time to go. – AH