Seasonings Blog Posts

Japanese Horseradish | Wasabi - Foodies Japan

Japanese horseradish wasabi has made it onto the global culinary stage, but beware, beware, beware. Like may of the finest things in life - art, diamonds, narcotics (?!), banknotes, Buddhist statuary - for every genuine item there are countless fakes and pale imitations, peddled by mercenaries rogues out to relieve you of your precious coin. So it is with wasabi.

READ MORE

A Dash Of Dashi | Basic Stock - Foodies Japan

A great dashi stock is essential. It is the crucial element in soups, dipping, sauces, nimono simmered dishes and nabemono hotpot dishes, and for cooking fish and vegetables. Typically it is made from katsuobushi dried bonito or konbu kelp, or a blend of the two. Other ingredients such as niboshi dried sardines, shiitake mushrooms, and, in my kitchen tobiuo flying fish, are commonly used too.

READ MORE

Dried Seaweed | The Story Behind Nori - Foodies Japans

Despite its rather unassuming deportment, nori (海苔, dried seaweed) is an essential component of many Japanese dishes, including makizushi (sushi rolls) and onigiri (rice balls). 

READ MORE

Mirin, We're In | Ritual Drink Turned Household Sweetening...

Mirin is used extensively in Japanese cuisine, and is most often referred to as ‘sweetened sake’ although as Professor Richard Hosking, the author of A Dictionary of Japanese Food, most accurately points out, it isn’t – it is the liquid formed from a mash of glutinous rice mixed with komekoji malted rice and shochu liqor.

READ MORE

Bonito Flakes | Powerhouse Of Flavor - Foodies Japan

Katsuo-bushi (鰹節, dried bonito flakes) forms a backbone of washoku, providing an umami supercharger to all kinds of dishes ranging from dashi to okonomiyaki thanks to the presence of inosinic acid, which exerts a synergistic flavor-enhancing effect on things like the glutamic acid found in konbu and soy sauce. It’s made by boiling the body of a bonito tuna after removing the head and insides for a...

READ MORE

Shoyu: Soy Sauce | The Joy Of Soy - Foodies Japan

When I first arrived in Japan in July 1986, an urban legend was doing the rounds that Western visitors flying on the nation's two international carriers, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, had complained because the long-haul flights perennially reeked of soy sauce. I am sure the story was made up, but the notion of Japanese shoyu being as integral to national identity as manga and Mount Fuji ...

READ MORE

Myoga Ginger, Shoga & Garlic | Japans Flavor - Foodies Jap...

What Is Myoga? You ask Myoga: Japanese Ginger Myoga is a ginger relative, but its taste and rather powerful fragrance are wholly different from shoga ginger. Only the buds and stems are eaten, not the root. Myoga is usually thinly sliced and added to miso soup, nimono, sushi, and is particularly suited to pairing with katsuo no tataki seared bonito fish, and pairing with vinagered dishes.

READ MORE

Japanese Spices: Japanese 7 Spice | Yuzu And Yuzu Kosho - ...

The Japanese spice shelf is treasure trove for the adventurous foodie. Let's start with shichimi. It is the popular spicy condiment for noodle dishes and nabe hotpot dishes literally means the ‘seven-taste pepper’. Often it is simply abbreviated to shichimi. It is frequently sprinkled onto hot soba and udon noodle dishes and soups, and yakitorigrilled chicken and other poultry dishes. As with yuzu...

READ MORE

Su Vinegar, Ponzu Citrus Dip and Tsukemono Pickles

Japan’s own first vinegar, umezu, came as a result of the ancients salt-pickling plums. Its impact on the cuisine is reflected in the word anbai, literally ‘salt-plum’, which means spot-on, or well-balanced, especially in the phrase anbai ga ii, ‘this is just right’.

READ MORE

The Veggie Kitchen: Negi Spring Onions, Nira, Tamanegi And...

Negi spring onion or Welsh onion is very widely used, primarily as a nabemono or soup ingredient, or as sarashinegi an addition to tsuyu dipping sauces for noodles. In Kanto only the white part of the the shironegi or naganegi is used.

READ MORE

Katsuo-bushi: A Powerhouse of Flavor in Japanese Cuisine

Katsuo-bushi (鰹節, dried bonito flakes) forms a backbone of washoku, providing an umami supercharger to all kinds of dishes ranging from dashi to okonomiyaki thanks to the presence of inosinic acid, which exerts a synergistic flavor-enhancing effect on things like the glutamic acid found in konbu and soy sauce. It’s made by boiling the body of a bonito tuna after removing the head and insides for a...

READ MORE