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A Guide To Japanese Cooking For Making Easy Dinner Recipes

Japan, being the “Land Of Rising Sun”, is world-renowned for its highly skilled preparation methods and unique presentation. While making a recipe, each ingredient is carefully selected to balance its harmony with its own individual flavor. The Japanese diet, rich in fiber content and low in calorie and cholesterol, uses ingredients available during the season. Their breakfast consists of miso soup, gohan (rice), nori (dried seaweed), pickles and green tea.  The lunch is usually simple and consists of noodles (udon or soba). Dinner might consist of rice, a main dish of fish or meat, a side dish of vegetables, miso soup and pickled vegetables.

The two main staples of the Japanese cuisine include, rice and noodles. Rice, either boiled or steamed, is served at every meal. Noodles are available in numerous varieties, such as soba, thin brown noodles made from buckwheat flour; udon, thick white noodles made from wheat flour; and ramen, thin, curly noodles, also made from wheat flour . Soy sauce and other soybean products are also staples in Japan. These include miso(fermented soybean paste) and tofu (a soybean curd that resembles custard). Other common ingredients in Japanese food include bamboo shoots, daikon (a giant white radish), ginger, seaweed, and sesame seed products. Japanese pickles called tsukemonoare served at every meal. Seafood is also plentiful in this island nation. Green tea is the national beverage of Japan, although black tea is also available. Sake(SAH-kee, wine made from rice, usually served warm) and beer are also very popular.

Following are the 5 essential ingredients to be included in a Japanese Recipe:

  • Dashi, a delicate golden stock made from a combination of konbu (dried giant kelp) and flaked, dried bonito fish (katsuobushi). Also available in readymade liquid and dried instant form.
  • Shoyu, soy sauces have a relatively fresh taste and aroma and are generally sweeter and less salty than Chinese-style sauces. Most commonly available are the light (usukuchi) and dark (koikuchi) varieties.
  • Mirin, a pale amber colored cooking wine used for a hint of sweetness and as a glaze for grilled dishes.
  • Rice Vinegar, clear, mild vinegar with a slightly sweet flavor, and a great alternative to wine vinegar in salad dressings.
  • Cooking Sake, a brewed cooking wine, loved for its flavor in marinades and sauces and is cheaper than sake bought to drink.
 
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