Login

Archive | Spices/Condiments RSS feed for this section

Shiso

Shiso

A basil-like green shiso leaves (also called ohba) is a common Japanese herb. They are often sliced into thin ribbons to be used as a condiment of cold somen noodles or hiyamugi noodlesduring summer. The leaves have distinctive refreshing aroma. Other than used as condiments, a whole leaf can be lightly battered and fried as a […]

Read More
Beni Shoga

Beni Shoga

Two different Japanese condiments are called beni shoga. One is pink, flat, and sweet-and-sour beni shoga, which you see at sushi restaurants. Another one is red, julienned, and sour, but not sweet. Both of them are pickled ginger. The pink sweet beni shoga is sometimes called gari at sushi restaurants, but English wiki calls it […]

Read More
Sesame Oil

Sesame Oil

Japanese sesame oil comes in dark or clear. Common cooking oil is the dark one (the picture above). It is made from roasted sesame seeds and has distinctive toasty aroma and flavor. When a Japanese recipe calls for sesame oil, usually referring to this dark one. Clear one is called taihaku-yu. Because it’s made from […]

Read More
Tonkatsu Sosu

Tonkatsu Sosu

Tonkatsu sosu is a Japanese version of Worcestershire sauce, and both ingredients are similar. But tonkatsu sosu is much thicker, milder, and sweeter than Worcestershire sauce. Also unlike Worcestershire sauce, tonkatsu sosu is always used as condiment at the table. As the name shows, it’s always used on tonkatsu (pork katsu) or chicken katsu. But […]

Read More
Popular Secret Ingredients to Make Curry Rice Even Better

Popular Secret Ingredients to Make Curry Rice Even Better

Many Japanese have one or two secret ingredients to add while making curry rice. You can of course make great tasting curry without adding anything. But time to time you may feel something is missing, when you eat curry you made. Or maybe you bought curry mix you usually don’t buy, because it was on […]

Read More
Rice Vinegar

Rice Vinegar

When a Japanese recipe calls for vinegar, it’s referring either rice vinegar or mixed grain vinegar. Rice vinegar is made from rice, and used for sushi or sunomono. Mixed grain vinegar is made from corn, wheat and other grains, and used for other general purposes. Rice vinegar has slightly darker color and more expensive than […]

Read More
Sake for Japanese Cooking

Sake for Japanese Cooking

Japanese recipes often use sake for Japanese cooking, because it increases the flavor of food, removes the unpleasant smell of fish, and tenderizes meat. But unlike wine in French or Italian food, Japanese food doesn’t require expensive sake. Rather, Japanese chefs say that cheaper one is better for cooking. One of my neighborhood liquor store […]

Read More
Japanese Mustard

Japanese Mustard

When a Japanese recipe calls for mustard, regular prepared mustard shouldn’t be used. Unlike American mustard, which is a combination of mustard seeds, vinegar, and other spices, Japanese mustard is only made of powdered mustard and water. You can either buy powder type or ready to use tube type. When you prepare mustard on your […]

Read More
Furikake

Furikake

Furikake is condiment to sprinkle over rice, or mix in rice when making rice balls. When people get tired of plain white rice and want to add some flavoring, furikake comes in handy. Parents often sprinkle frikake on rice to encourage children to eat rice. Most commercial ones are dry for long shelf life in […]

Read More
Umeboshi

Umeboshi

Umeboshi is sour and salty Japanese preserved food. Besides soy sauce, they are one of the most familiar food to Japanese. When a Japanese gets sick and doesn’t have an appetite, umeboshi and softly cooked white rice come to rescue. People believe in its mild medicinal property, such as helping digestion, increase appetite, and fix […]

Read More
Mirin

Mirin

Mirin is one of the Japanese condiment resembling sake, but has a much higher sugar content. It can be made at home, by adding rice koji to sochu (unflavored distilled liquor, vodka can be used in the U.S.), and let it sit over 6 month. Over time the mixture will be highly alcoholic and sweet. […]

Read More
Noodle Soup Base

Noodle Soup Base

Noodle soup base can be made easily from scratch using soy sauce, mirin, katsuobushi and kombu. But for the people who are busy, there are ready made noodle soup base sold at stores. Actually, many Japanese people use store bought ones. Noodle soup base is concentrated liquid, and pretty convenient.  Many Japanese cooking flavorings are […]

Read More