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Rice Cooker

Rice Cooker

I strongly recommend you to invest in a good rice cooker, if you eat cooked rice frequently. It is a must item in any Japanese household, because without properly cooked rice, there won’t be any enjoyable Japanese food. I used to own a cheap $20 rice cooker, and I had problems with rice sticking inside […]

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Dashinomoto

Dashinomoto

It’s best to make dashi (soup broth) from katsuobushi, niboshi or kombu, but sometimes we don’t always have time to cook from scratch. Fortunately, there is a shortcut. Dashinomoto is the essence of dashi, and it’s concentrated. It is either granulated or liquid. They are convenient items if you have at home. The granulated type, […]

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Kombu (kelp)

Kombu (kelp)

Kombu is a dried edible kelp, and has a wide range of usage. It can be used to extract dashi broth, cooked with food, or used in a pickling bed to enhance flavor. There are many different kinds and quality. Kombu has a high concentration of umami inside, so that good quality kombu dashi has a […]

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Katsuobushi (Dried Bonito)

Katsuobushi (Dried Bonito)

Katsuobushi or katsubushi is a rock hard dried bonito flesh. When I was a child, my grandma often asked me to shave it from the block, before preparing food using a wood plane like tool. Now Japanese people usually buy already shaven katsuobushi. The flavor of shaven katsuobushi deteriorates quickly once it’s exposed to the air. […]

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Grater

Grater

I use a small ceramic grater in the picture for any cooking when a recipe calls for “finely chopped garlic or ginger” or “garlic paste”. The ceramic grater also can be brought to the table and serve grated ginger. The metal one at the top of the image is used to grate larger vegetables such […]

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Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

When you buy a bottle of soy sauce for Japanese food, make sure to buy Japanese soy sauce. Similar sauces are widely used in Asia, but depending on the country, the flavor and texture are quite different in each country. For instance, I have 3 different bottles of soy sauce in my refrigerator, 1 for […]

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Carrot Greens

Carrot Greens

Beautiful carrots are sometimes sold at farmers markets or distributed from CSA. The greens are so fresh, but many people cut them off and throw them into a compost bin on the site. Did you know that they are edible, and even delicious? In Japan, people used to make furikake, a type of condiments to […]

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