japanese pantry staples

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It is no secret that I adore Japan. In the last nine years I've taken myself there ten times. Over the last few years I've tried my best to abandon fast fashion for many reasons. When I'm in the Japan, the main reason might just be so I can fit more food into my suitcase.

When I Japan can spend hours in the basements of department stores locating the best flavour savoury mochi or sugared black beans. I can hardly walk past a health food store without stopping in to check out the herbal teas and tiny packets of perfectly polished rice and grains. I've found however, that simple is best, and below are my favourite things to bring home from Japan for everyday use and how I sometimes use them. 

Even if you're not travelling to Japan anytime soon you can find all of these at Japanese grocery stores in Australia (just check the ingredient listing first) or through the organic brand Spiral foods. 

Umeboshi (pickled plum) paste // eat on top of grilled tofu with sliced cucumbers, or raw smoked tofu wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves. Wrap inside white rice onigiri. 


Yuzu ponzu // a soy sauce, vinegar & yuzu citrus dressing. Toss through soba noodles, with coriander, spring onions, sesame oil and toasted seeds. Use as a summer dipping sauce for gyoza. 


Hojicha // the quiet, fragrant cousin of sencha. A roasted, almost caffeine free tea that also makes a really good latte. Steep two tablespoons in freshly boiled water for a minute or so. Make a stronger base with a small amount of water. Add soymilk and rice malt syrup. 

Vegan kewpie mayo // add to vege sushi rolls with tofu, cucumber, shredded carrot and lettuce. Mix with sriracha and spread on roasted vegetable and tempeh sandwiches. 

Yuzu kosho // a spicy fermented paste made of chili peppers, yuzu and salt. Add to soups, ramen and anything that needs a little kick. 

Kirimochi // cut, individually packaged savoury mochi. Heat under the grill, dip in soy sauce and wrap in toasted nori. Cut into smaller squares and add to soups.

Gomashio // roasted ground sesame seeds and salt. sesame seed to salt ratio is around 15:1. Add salt to dry frying pan and push around for a minute or so. Add to mortar and pestle. Roast sesame seeds until lightly browned and start to pop. Add to the salt and grind a little, but not too much. Add anything else, dulse flake, shiso flakes, chilli. Eat on top of rice, avocado toast or porridge.


Konbu // a seaweed for making umami stock. Wipe and dirt or debris off konbu. Soak in a litre of water overnight. Bring to a simmer and remove konbu just before the water starts to boil. Use stock for miso soup, udon, ramen etc. 

Miso //  make miso soup with konbu dashi, potato slices & spinach. add to avocado toast. mix with tahini, ginger and garlic and use as a dressing, dipping sauce or soup stock.  

 

Did I miss your favourite? Or your favourite way to eat? Let me know xo  Kitchen Image via Pintrest

 


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