You Americans out there think you recycle your trash; I assure you that you do not. The Japanese Seriously, No Kidding RECYCLE.
Take the disposal of cooking oil after deep frying. In the U.S. I would save an empty glass jar or plastic bottle and pour the oil into that, then throw it in the regular trash. I can’t do that here in Japan, because you absolutely do not throw plastic or glass into regular trash (called Burnables)–ever. So what to do with several cups of used cooking oil?
Enter oil hardening powder.
I heard of this powder from the hivemind that is Yokohama Mommas–it’s a Facebook group that is the local version of Moms on the Hill, for you DC readers out there. I bought a package of said powder at the 100 yen store (naturally). Here’s what it looks like.
The instructions read to stir the powder into hot oil, stir until dissolved, and allow to cool and harden for 20-50 minutes.
Here’s my skillet before.
And after hardening.
Now I can scrape the hardened oil into regular trash (Burnables). One thing I didn’t think of until after pouring in the powder–what’s in this, anyway? Google Translate assure that there are plant-based ingredients, but do I have to wash the skillet with soap? It’s a seasoned cast iron pan, and I usually pour off the oil and wipe it out with a paper towel. I asked this question to Yokohama Mommas and await the reply.
The title of this post comes from Google Translate’s version of said powder, in case you’re wondering. Yes, it’s worth a chuckle–but at least I can tell what it means, which is good enough for me. I can only imagine what I’m actually saying in Japanese most of the time that I try….