Japanese cuisine is easy to prepare at home but to do so you need to have some basic ingredients and equipment in your pantry, which will help you recreate the atmosphere, flavors and aromas of the cuisine of the Rising Sun.
- RICE VINEGAR (KOMEZU or simply SU). The first evidence of this vinegar dates back to 794 when the samurai used this vinegar as a tonic, convinced that it gave them strength. It is a lighter vinegar than ours made from wine. Made from rice, it is used to season vegetables or rice for sushi. It was initially used for its antibacterial properties and as a disinfectant for raw fish and shellfish.
- DASHI BROTH: for convenience you can find it already in powder form, otherwise it can also be made at home.
- TEMPURA FLOUR: allows you to make light batters.
- KATSUOBUSHI: dried tuna flakes. Basic ingredient for dashi broth or for the final decoration of okonomiyaki and takoyaki.
- KEWPIE MAYONNAISE
- MIRIN: sweet rice alcohol
- MISO: fermented soy, rice or barley paste.
- TOASTED SESAME OIL AND SESAME OIL.
- PANKO: Japanese breadcrumbs.
- SAKE FOR COOKING (RYURISHU)
- SOY SAUCE: shoyu (it is the Japanese version made with half soy and half toasted wheat. The Chinese one is made only of soy), TSUYU (type of soy sauce but sweeter, also used to create the sauce to dip tempura with the addition of mirin and dashi broth) and tamari
- TONKATSU SAUCE: for pork cutlets or croquettes (Korokke).
- YAKISOBA SAUCE: for sautéed noodles.
- OKONOMIYAKI SAUCE
- YAKITORI SAUCE: for the skewers.
- PONZU SAUCE: condiment made of Japanese citrus fruits such as Yuzi and Sudachi and soy sauce.
- TOFU: soy “cheese” obtained from the curd soy drink. There are various types, from the freshest to the most “seasoned”.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
- ALGAE: KOMBU, at the base of the dashi broth, NORI, in sheets, WAKAME, used for soups and salads.
- DAIKON: white root, the most representative of Japanese cuisine. It is eaten raw in salads, grated or marinated, as a side dish or cooked in stewed dishes.
- MUSHROOMS: mushrooms are omnipresent in Japanese cuisine, from the most classic SHIITAKE, both dried and fresh, to SHIMEJI and ENOKI. You can find them in tempura, in soups or cooked in a pot.
- KOBOCHA: Japanese pumpkin with a soft pulp that tastes of chestnut. It is cooked over low heat or tempura.
- NASHI: is a Japanese pear, juicy and crunchy.
- RENKON: lotus root. It is prepared fried, sautéed, stewed or pickled.
- SHISO: aromatic plant of the mint family, also called perilla or Japanese basil, accompanies many Japanese dishes, both sweet and savory.
- WASABI: is a mountain root similar to horseradish. Grated, it gives a spicy and balsamic green paste used above all to accompany sushi.
- YUZU: yellow citrus with a delicate taste, very present in Japanese cuisine. Used in Ponzu sauce or some pastry products.
TOOLS AND RODS
- Rectangular PAN for cooking TAMAGOYAKI (rolled omelette).
- OROSHI GANE, non-perforated grater for daikon, ginger and garlic.
- RYORIBASHI, longer chopsticks than normal Hashi, used for cooking.
- SUSHI-OKE , plate of wood used to prepare vinegar rice for sushi using a SHAMOJI, wooden spatula to mix. Together you will find the MAKIZU, a bamboo mat to roll up the maki.
- SPOON of wood for eating soups and ramen.
- WAN , small soup bowl, fitted with lid. It is used a lot to make miso soup.
- HASHIOKI, chopstick holder and HASHI, eating chopsticks.
Obviously, in the equipment to have at home there are knives. They must have a very sharp blade that allows you to cut food into the right size to be eaten with chopsticks.
In the kitchen of the Rising Sun, crockery also plays an important role. They have to be beautiful because they have to make the foods they contain stand out. Pottery is an ancient art in Japan and every family always has some handcrafted piece.
With these things you can cook excellent Japanese dishes, so even from your home, you can travel through food to the land of the Rising Sun.