CategoryTitle   Description
  Bamboo skewers You can easily find bamboo skewers in Asian markets. They are approximately the width of a toothpick and about four times as long. Used for yakitori and other quick broiling and grilling, and also handy for testing the doneness of food.

  Dashi   Kombu Katsuobushi Dashi

  Ginkgo nuts   Tender nuts commonly sold by the can or jar in Asian markets in America. Traditionally served in steamed dishes.

(Glutinous rice)
  Sticky rice. Cooked mochigome is called kowameishi.

  Katsuobushi Kombu Katsuobushi Dashi

A sea vegetable used for both eating and making stock (dashi). Various grades are available, but all kombu is basically divided into two categories: nikombu (for eating) and dashi kombu. When dried, kombu is nearly black in color. It imparts its flavor quickly in water, so just wipe it with a damp cloth and don't leave it to sit too long.

  Kuzu   A tasteless starch made from the kudzu vine and used for thickening sauces and desserts. In comparison to arrowroot and cornstarch, kuzu is believed to have soothing properties for digestion.

  Mirin   Sweet Japanese rice wine used in cooking. Syrupy and low in alcohol, mirin is made from sweet glutinous rice fermented with water and a grain-based culture called koji. It's used in a wide variety of Japanese dishes, especially in sauces and dressings.

  Miso   go detail

  Naganegi   Sometimes called the Japanese leek, naganegi has white stems up to one inch thick and 12 inches long. It is milder than onion and sharper than spring onions. When sauteed, naganegi is mild and succulent.

(Rice vinegar)
  A mild vinegar made from fermented rice. Used in sushi rice, dressings, etc.

(Rice wine)
  Sake is known equally well as an alcoholic beverage and an ingredient in sauces and marinades. In Japan, different grades of sake are used for the two purposes. Cooking sake has a lower alcohol content than drinking sake (15 - 19%).

  Sake lees (Sakekasu)   The sweet remains of sake after filtering. Sake lees is usually sold as a paste or in sheets. It is used in soups and marinades, and served alone as a winter snack.

  Sesame oil   There are two kinds of sesame oil: Dark Sesame Oil, which has an intense roasted flavor and is typically used for finishing dishes; and the milder, nutty-flavored Golden Sesame Oil used for cooking and in salad dressings. Both are widely available in America.

(literally, Golden Oak Tree Mushrooms)
  In Japan, both fresh and dried shiitake can be found at any supermarket. In America, it's much easier to find dried shiitake. Soak in room temperature water for about an hour until tender before cutting.

  Shimeji mushrooms   Sometimes called abalone or oyster mushrooms. Shimeji have a flat, grey cap and grow in a cluster. They are an frequent ingredient in a wide variety of Japanese dishes from nebemono to salads.

  Taro   One of Japan's staple vegetables, taro is harvested in the summer and stored until winter. It is usually boiled.

  Tempura   Recipe for Tempura Batter
Recipe for Tempura dipping sauce
Classic Tempura Combinations

  Togarashi   Also called Japanese red pepper, togarashi can be found on the tables in soba restaurants, izakayas and other restaurants. It's a combination of seven spices: hemp seeds, dried orange peel poppy seeds, rakeseeds, powered red pepper and shansho berries.

  Usukuchi soy sauce   Light-colored soy sauce

  Yoshino kuzu   A high-grade type of kuzu.

  Yuzu   A mellow Japanese citrus fruit.

  Wakame   A mineral-rich, mildly flavored sea vegetable used widely in Japanese cooking, especially in salads.

  Wasabi Sometimes called the horseradish of Japan and known famously as the bright green paste used in sushi, wasabi is actually a gnarled brown root grown in Japanese mountain streams. Prepackaged wasabi is made by drying the wasabi, grinding it into a powder, then combining it with water. Freshly grated wasabi is hotter and more flavorful.

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