Essential Ingredients in Japanese Cooking

President of Aquafinancial Consulting, Inc., Adewale Gbalajobi enjoys a variety of hobbies, which include traveling, exercising, cooking, and playing sports. An avid cook, Adewale Gbalajobi enjoys a variety of cooking styles, including West Indian, Italian, African, and Japanese cuisine.

Every type of cuisine requires several essential ingredients at hand, and Japanese cooking is no different. One of the main staples of Japanese cuisine is Japanese rice, which, unlike Jasmine or Thai rice, has no aroma and is sticky enough to hold dishes like sushi together. Japanese soy sauce is another essential ingredient. Since there are several countries that produce soy sauce, it can be difficult to determine which products are truly Japanese soy sauces. Regardless of the brand, cooks can usually choose from two types, Koikuchi, which is black, and Usukucki, which is a lighter color but is more salty.

Sake, a Japanese alcohol that is brewed in water, rice mold, and fermented rice, is also a common ingredient, as is mirin, which is similar to sake but has lower alcohol content. Mirin sweetens dishes and is often used with fish to reduce the smell. When making Japanese curries, a common ingredient is Japanese mayonnaise. Different from Western egg mayonnaise, Japanese mayonnaise can be used in salads, sauces, and pastas in addition to curries.