Japanese Sauce (Tsuyu), Sweet Rice Wine (Mirin), Noodle Soup Base
(L) Japanese Soup Stock Base (in satchets), (R) Miso Soup packets
My family loves Japanese food and other than eating out which could be quite costly for our family, I also cook some of their favourite dishes like Sukiyaki, which is healthy and easy to prepare as it is like a one-pot/casserole dish. However, I do admit that I am not an expert in Japanese cooking but I can cook a few dishes quite well. Watching Mrs Hoshizawa cook nutritious and simple Japanese meals on Dosanko Cooking helps a lot!
Here, I am introducing some basic Japanese ingredients that are necessary to make these dishes taste different (to me it means non-Chinese in flavour! ), so that you know what they are ….. and if you can get them, then you can cook Japanese food for your family, too! I know, I know…:roll: there are only Japanese words on the labels and no, I cant’t read Japanese at all, but I cheated a bit, I read the price tag label that contains information of the ingredients in English!
After this, I will post my version of Sukiyaki and a few other simple Japanese recipes. Here is a picture of the Beef and Salmon Sukiyaki that I had cooked yesterday just to give you an idea, and I will provide you with the easy, delicious and healthy recipe soon…
After I had finished cooking my Sukiyaki for my children and their friend , I turned off the fire, and broke in 5 eggs (1 for each person), which appear to be raw in the picture…but I put a lid on the casserole for 5 minutes, thereafter, we have perfectly cooked, runny eggs, the way we love them with the Sukiyaki soup. I had cooked a separate Sukiyaki for me and my husband as we were having dinner a bit later on.
So, the basic ingredients that we need for Japanese cooking are :-
Japanese Sauce (Tsuyu)
- there are many varieties of sauces like for sashimi, noodles, etc, but I simply chose one that has lots of ingredients in them like bonito, mackerel, kelp extract….since I am using this soy sauce for cooking and in marinades. Chinese soy sauces contain mainly soy beans and their flavour is not as rich as the Japanese types.
Japanese Rice Wine (Mirin)
This is sweet rice wine, a lighter and milder version than the Chinese types. More subtle in taste.
Japanese Soup Stock Base
I like to buy those that come in little satchets/muslin bags that I can dispose of after cooking. Some call this soup base dashi stock and basically it contains only bonito flakes (a type of fish that is dried into hard logs and shaved thinly to be used mainly for soups), kelp, mackerel extract, and shitake mushrooms. Hehe, I have no idea what the cooking instructions are but I follow my taste buds to see if I need more or less of this!
Instant Miso Soup Stock
I stock this up for those days that I want to cook a completely Japanese meal – from rice to soups to main courses, etc. 1 satchet per person. Just add little fresh white tofu cubes and slivered nori (dried seaweed sheets).
Another ingredient that is commonly found in Japanese cooking is miso (a type of fermented soy beans), but I don’t have this on hand to show you now.
Hope you will try your hand in Japanese cooking ……the recipes will be up shortly!