Sauces and Condiments for Japanese Cooking
Let’s see a run-down of the more important sauces and condiments the Japanese use for cooking.
Japanese chile oil (rayu) is an infusion of sesame and/or vegetable oil with dried, ground, hot red chiles. It’s a condiment and an ingredient to add heat to dressings, marinades and dipping sauces. There’s a variation with chunks of garlic, onion, and sesame seeds.
Dashi is stock made with bonito flakes and kombu. It has a strong umami flavor and is used as base for many soups, sauces and dressings. There’s Instant dashi as well.
Mirin is a sweet cooking wine of fermenting steamed glutinous rice with shochu (a Japanese distilled spirit). It adds sweetness and a subtle sake-like flavor to sauces and glazes.
Miso is one of the most important staples of Japanese cooking. It’s a seasoning paste made by salting and fermenting soybeans with rice and/or barley. Red and white miso are the most popular. Miso paste is dissolved in dashi broth to make miso soup, and used as a flavoring in sauces, marinades and dressings.
Ponzu shoyu is a widely used condiment made with soy sauce, yuzu (or other citrus) juice and often mirin, rice vinegar, bonito flakes and/or seaweed. It adds adds flavor to sauces, dressings and marinades, and acting as a dipping sauce for tempura, sashimi and noodle dishes.
Japanese rice vinegar (su), is from fermented rice, much less acidic than Western vinegars. Seasoned rice vinegar, used in the making of sushi rice, is mixed with sugar, salt and sometimes sake.
Sake is a traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage that’s rich with enduring culinary and cultural importance.
Soy sauce (shoyu) is the most important condiment and seasoning. It’s extracted from a fermented paste from soybeans, wheat, salt and yeast. The most popular and widely available in the West is koikuchi – dark, salty soy sauce. Tamari shoyu is a soy sauce often made without wheat, safer for the gluten-intolerant.
Toasted sesame oil is a golden, fragrant nutty oil made from sesame seeds and used primarily as a flavoring agent rather than a cooking oil. It’s used in dressings, marinades, noodles and stir-fried dishes, and sometimes a small amount is added to frying oil to impart flavor.
Using Only Essentials in Bellevue
Sushi In Joy uses only the best in sauces and condiments when we prepare your food. They are the essentials that make your dining experience special in Bellevue.