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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Japan Tours and Life Style

8 Very basic condiments in Japanese cuisine

I’ve often heard folks say they’re afraid to prepare their favourite Japanese foods at home. There appears to be a misperception that preparing Japanese cuisine is overly difficult. It necessitates unusual materials, lengthy hours, and skilled talent, and it is better left to the professionals. Believe it or not, this is true. We’re here to tell you that creating delicious and nutritious Japanese food is a lot easier than you would imagine! Have you ever wondered how bento, or Japanese lunch boxes, get their savoury flavour? Alternatively, why are authentic takoyaki (fried octopus balls) so delicious? The solution can be found in Japanese spices.

To add taste to Japanese foods, specific sauces and ingredients are used in everything from sushi to ramen to tempura. The world of Japanese condiments is rich with taste, from soy sauce and wasabi to seven-spice combinations. These bring out the inherent flavour of the ingredients and give them a more nuanced flavour. Cup ramen, California rolls, and gyoza all seem to have Japanese condiments and seasonings in them. But, let’s face it, Japanese food served outside of Japan isn’t usually the most authentic. Wasabi and soy sauce might get old after a while. Fortunately for us, Japanese cuisine has much more to offer.

If you’re staying in a homestay or renting an Airbnb, branch out and sample some of these delectable Japanese spices. Here are 8 Japanese condiments to make your meal more interesting!


  1. Soy Sauce- Most well known of all Japanese condiments


    8 Very basic condiments in Japanese cuisine

Shoyu, or soy sauce, is one of Japan’s most well-known sauces. It’s a dark sauce with a salty but delicious flavour produced from fermented boiling soybeans and roasted wheat. It may be found in almost any restaurant in Japan, not only traditional Japanese restaurants. It is usually classified into five types based on differences in ingredients and production methods. Wheat is a significant ingredient in most Japanese soy sauces, giving them a slightly sweeter flavour than their Chinese counterparts. Due to the presence of alcohol in the product, they also have an alcoholic sherry-like flavour. Not all soy sauces are created equal.

It’s the most important condiment for sushi and sashimi in Japan. Soy sauce is also known as “Murasaki” in traditional sushi restaurants. Kikkoman is the most well-known brand of soy sauce, but smaller, more unique brews of soy sauce in various tastes may be found all across Japan. In the 7th century, soy sauce was brought to Japan. The name “tamari” comes from the Japanese verb “Tamara,” which means “to accumulate,” referring to the fact that tamari was traditionally made from the liquid waste of miso fermentation. The country that produces the most tamari is Japan.


  1. Wasabi- A unique tasting Japanese green sauce

wasabi soup
In traditional Japanese restaurants, wasabi is a green paste condiment. This Japanese horseradish variant is commonly served with sushi and sashimi. Wasabi belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which also includes cabbages, horseradish, and mustard. Its root, sometimes known as “Japanese horseradish,” is used as a spice and strongly. Its heat is closer to that of a hot mustard than that of capsaicin in chilli pepper, resulting in fumes that irritate the nasal passages rather than the tongue. If you eat too much at once, you may have a burning sensation inside your nostrils or even pain in your head, but this will pass quickly. The plant grows wild along stream beds in highland river valleys in Japan. This is a unique Japanese condiment that you must try if you visit Japan. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way!

Shizuoka Prefecture, near Mt. Fuji, is known for its wonderful wasabi, and Nagano Prefecture even has wasabi touring the farm. If you visit these regions, you’ll find innovative recipes and culinary products made with this pungent, spicy paste. Wasabi is normally marketed as a root that needs to be very finely grated before use, or as a ready-to-use paste (either actual wasabi or a blend of horseradish, mustard, and food colouring) in tubes the size and shape of travel toothpaste tubes.

Because fresh wasabi is perishable and more expensive than horseradish, the paste form is generally horseradish-based. To prevent the taste of the paste from evaporating, keep it covered until ready to serve. As a result, wasabi is generally placed between the fish and the rice by sushi chefs.


  1. Pickled Ginger (Gari)- for Sushi

Pickled Sushi Ginger (Gari) 新生姜の甘酢漬け • Japancchunks


Pickled and fermented foods are ubiquitous in Japan, even in sushi restaurants. This sort of pickled ginger, known in Japan as “gari,” is used to cleanse the palate before eating sushi. Gari or amazu shoga are Japanese terms for pickled ginger. It’s eaten between different kinds of sushi and served with sushi or sashimi. It aids in the cleansing and enhancement of your taste senses. Century Eggs, a Chinese delicacy, go well with it as well. Most Asian markets provide ready-to-eat pickled ginger in pink or white, but I prefer to create my own and share it with my family and friends. Gari’s hue ranges from a subtle pink to a somewhat yellow light tone. To add variety to your rolls, consume it in between mouthfuls. For a refreshing, spicy, and salty treat, consume it in between pieces of your rolls.


  1. Worcester Sauce- for Okonomiyaki, Yakisoba and Katsu Cutlets

Tonkatsu sauce is a thick, fruity brown sauce used in Japan as a topping for katsu meals such as tonkatsu (fried pork cutlet), chicken katsu, and korokke (potato croquette); as a dipping sauce for kushikatsu (deep-fried skewered items); and as an ingredient in yakisoba (noodle soup) (fried noodles). Tonkatsu sauce, which is based on Western Worcestershire sauce, is also known as “usuta sauce” when it has a thin, liquid texture or “chuno sauce” when it has a medium-thick texture. Usuta sauce is more popular in Japan’s western Kansai region, but chuno sauce is more popular in Japan’s eastern Kanto region. Okonomiyaki sauce and takoyaki sauce, which use the same fruit and spice blend as tonkatsu sauce, are also similar.

The sauce is available at family-style restaurants such as Gusto and western-style Japanese eateries. Worcester sauce is a condiment created with veggies, fruits, spices, sugar, and soy sauce. It’s commonly referred to as “sauce” in Japanese. It may resemble soy sauce in appearance at some restaurants, but it is thicker and has a sweeter aroma. If you’re not sure which one is which, give it a sniff before pouring. Sauces for katsu pork cutlets (pictured), okonomiyaki, yakisoba, and takoyaki come in a variety of flavours and thicknesses. It’s a must-have condiment for foods, with an acidic, savoury, and sweet flavour that’s hard to beat.


  1. Ichimi Chilli Pepper and Shichimi Togarashi (The seven-spice blend)Shichimi Togarashi and Nanami Togarashi -Japanchunks


In Japan, spice flakes like the ones shown above can be found in soba or udon noodle restaurants. It’s also a great match for tempura. There are two types: ichimi, which is made from powdered dried red chilli peppers, and shichimi, which starts with him and then adds six other spices. What are the five spices? That’s insignificant. Let me introduce you to Shichimi Togarashi. This spice blend, also known as Nanami togarashi, contains not five, but seven spices! The shichimi togarashi spice combination, perhaps the most essential Japanese spice, is often used to improve the flavour of various Japanese meals, from udon to grilled beef to onigiri rice balls.

Red chilli pepper, roasted orange peel, sesame seeds, crushed ginger, seaweed flakes, poppy seeds, and other ingredients make up this Japanese seven-spice combination, which represents a common cross-section of traditional Japanese flavours. To add a little spicy Japanese kick to practically any cuisine, including soups, noodles, and rice bowls, sprinkle it on top.

Shichimi togarashi pairs wonderfully with noodle meals such as soba and udon, as well as Western fares such as grilled fish and burgers! If you want things spicy, add some to your noodles or meal for a mild to moderate kick. Start with a modest amount until you’ve become acclimated to the heat.


  1. Sesame Seeds- The most flavoured condiment of Ramen

8Common Condiments Used In Japanese Cuisine | Japanchunks


Sesame seeds are a popular spice in Japan, and they’re used in a variety of foods, including ramen. White, black, and golden sesame seeds (Shiro Goma, Kuro Goma, and kin Goma) are the most popular forms, and they all contain healthful fats and vitamins, making them highly nutritious and delightful condiments. As you eat more Japanese food, you’ll see this superfood ingredient popping up in unexpected places. The ingredient is black sesame, which is sprinkled on top of rice, sprinkled over onigiri, used in salad dressings, and ground in the tonkatsu dipping sauce, among other things. Goma dofu, a dish from the vegetarian Buddhist diet known as shoujin ryouri, and black sesame ice cream is also made with black sesame seeds. Black sesame seeds are considered to offer anti-ageing qualities and be beneficial for skin and hair.

Sesame seeds are available in little grinders or jars at eateries, and they provide a nutty, somewhat creamy flavour to any dish. To try it yourself, add some whole sesame seeds or crushed sesame seeds to the ramen.

Sesame seeds are commonly used in Japanese cooking––black sesame is commonly used in sweets, as a topping for mochi, and in baking.


  1. Chilli Oil (Rayu)- A must-try for spicy food lovers

Japanese Chili Oil with Crunchy Fried Garlic -Japanchunks


This red hot component will appeal to those who enjoy spicy foods. This is most commonly seen on the counter at ramen establishments, ready to be added to your bowl at your leisure. Rayu is chili-infused vegetable oil (a sort of chilli oil) that is used as a cooking ingredient or a condiment in Chinese cuisine. The oil is usually sesame oil, and the chilli pepper used is usually red, giving the oil a crimson hue. Soy oil, corn oil, dried aloe, ginger, guava leaves, leek leaves, paprika, and turmeric may also be utilised.

This vibrant crimson oil can be found in Chinese restaurants and rmen shops. It’s created from chilli peppers and, even if you just use a small quantity, it packs a punch when added to foods. Though it’s most commonly used to make gyoza sauce, if you’re a spicy food aficionado, why not use it in other recipes as well?


  1. Shio (Salt)- Know the creative aspect of salt in japanese cuisine

8 Common Condiments Used In Japanese Cuisine | Japanchunks


There are three types of salt: rock salt, pink salt, and moshio salt. Seaweed is used to make Moshio salt. This salt is the earliest known sea salt, and little is known about it save that it was made with a lot of energy. Salt is a condiment that is used in every country, but in Japan, you may come across salt that is unusually innovative. Wasabi salt, plum salt, and even sea salt are available in addition to regular table salt and rock salt. Because of the seaweed, Moshio salt is regarded as a premium Japanese salt with added depth.

Moshio is a well-balanced ingredient that works well in a variety of recipes; add a pinch to soups and salads, or try moshio-salted crackers or udon. Instead of a soy sauce-based tempura soup, these specialised salts are generally served with tempura (battered and deep-fried fish and vegetables). This experience will allow you to sample a variety of flavours and improve your tempura taste.

If you look closely at Japanese salt shakers, you’ll notice some larger white grains within – this is rice, which is used to absorb moisture and keep the salt dry.


Japanese condiments and sauces have a distinct flavour that is unlike anything else. The most flavorful and potent condiments you may use to add savoury flavour to your Japanese recipes. These spices bring a new dimension to Japanese food. These ingredients are sweet, spicy, tart, and sour, and they will wow you in the kitchen. Many of these components can be found in traditional Japanese cooking, so get out of your comfort zone and try some traditional (and delicious) Japanese recipes. But there’s plenty of room for experimenting in the vibrant world of Japanese spices and condiments! At dinner, toss some tonkatsu sauce on your fried chicken or furikake on your noodles. A little Japanese flavour may go a long way in your cooking!

On your next vacation to Japan, be sure to check out the broad variety of tastes used in Japanese cooking and step outside of your comfort zone by trying some of these delectable Japanese spices.


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