Add these staples to your pantry to cook up an oishii (delicious) meal. By Estelle Low
These condiments, available at most Japanese marts, are essential in every self-respecting chef’s pantry. Add them to yours today!
1. Japanese Condiment: Mirin
What is mirin? Made from glutinous rice, cultured rice and distilled alcoholic beverage, this sweet rice wine is valued for its delicate aroma.
Mirin can be used for Sauces and Japanese dishes as a sweetener.
Substitute Mix sake and sugar in a ratio of 3:1 (or three teaspoons of sake to one teaspoon of sugar).
2. Japanese Condiment: Johakuto Sugar
What is Johakuto sugar? Similar to caster sugar, but finer and moist.
Johakuto sugar can be used for Japanese dishes and desserts.
Substitute Mix one teaspoon of water mixed with 70g of finely granulated white sugar.
3. Japanese Condiment: Grain Vinegar
What is grain vinegar? Brewed from grains like wheat, rice and corn, its subtly sour taste goes well with most ingredients.
Grain vinegar can be used for Sushi vinegar, sushi rice, salad dressings and marinades.
Substitute Rice or brown rice vinegar.
4. Japanese Condiment: Shinshu Miso
What is Shinshu miso? This versatile, light brown miso is popular for its mild flavour.
Shinshu miso can be used for Soup and gravy.
5. Japanese Condiment: Koikuchi Soy Sauce
What is Koikuchi soy sauce? Don’t try to swop this for Chinese dark soya sauce. This is much lighter and has a slightly fruity taste.
Koikuchi soy sauce can be used for Marinades, dips and stir-fries.
Substitute Any brand of Japanese dark soya sauce.
6. Japanese Condiment: Cooking Sake
What is cooking sake? More than just a flavour enhancer, this rice wine – made by brewing rice, malt and vinegar – tenderises and neutralises odours in meat and fish.
Cooking sake can be used for Sauces, marinades, soup stock and grilled dishes.
Substitute Mirin or Chinese rice wine.