Cooking Japanese Style
While sushi is often the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Japanese cuisine, there are many other dishes to consider that
utilize a wide range of ingredients and spices. To start creating delicious Japanese style dishes, such as Amazu Chicken, Japanese-Style
Tuna on Potato Rosti, and Japanese Prawn and Noodle Salad – a list of common components are found below:
1) Soy Sauce, Tamari or Nama Shoyu - Soy sauce is a useful flavoring and cooking ingredient of Japanese cuisine. Tamari is a wheat-free
version, while nama shoyu is a non-pasteurized version of soy sauce that has been replacing traditional soy sauce over the years. Remember
that this ingredient should be placed in the refrigerator after opening.
2) Mirin - To add flavor to a lot of Japanese dishes, mirin is a sweet-tasting delicate rice wine that is often found in the ethnic oils and
vinegar section of a grocery store. Store mirin in the refrigerator after opening.
3) Toasted Sesame Oil - This roasted seed oil packs a lot of flavor, which is often used in small amounts to increase the appeal of numerous
Asian foods. It is not uncommon to find toasted sesame oil added to dressings, soups, and stir-fries.
4) Wasabi - The "kick" that wasabi provides is felt in the nose. It's quite effective at clearing the sinuses during cold and flu season!
Wasabi is a rhizome that is used fresh in Japan and in a powdered or green paste form outside of the country. Wasabi dipping sauces make great
spicy accompaniments to chicken and other meat dishes.
5) Japanese Pepper - Usually, Japanese pepper (which are actually dried flower buds) is found in Chinese five-spice powder or the Japanese
shichimi togarashi. Before using, many Japanese chefs will toast the pepper in a hot pan.
6) Fu - The traditional kind of wheat gluten that comes in both raw and dry form is called fu. Solid gluten is blended with glutinous rice
flour and millet, which is then streamed in large blocks. Sometimes, solid fu is sweetened and filled with a substance, such as red bean paste.
This is called fu-manju. Dry baked fu is leavened with baking powder and baked into long (bread-like) sticks. This kind is referred to as
"yaki-fu" and is often added to miso soup and sukiyaki.
7) Shiitake - There are numerous uses for shiitake mushrooms, often found in miso soup and many other steamed and simmered vegetarian
dishes. At the grocery store, shiitake comes dried and sometimes sold as preserved food in packages.
8) Soba - Buckwheat flour is used to create the thin Japanese noodle that is served chilled with a dipping sauce or added to a hot broth and
presented as a noodle soup.
9) Hot Chili Oil - Japanese chefs will use hot chili oil to season their dips and stir-fries. The oil is not exactly used during the cooking
process, but is often drizzled on top of food just before serving. Some people sprinkle red chili pepper flakes on dishes when they are unable to
use hot chili oil.
Chicken Wild Rice Soup with Lemongrass
Grilled Japanese Chicken
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