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Japanese food requires great expertise in terms of using the essential ingredients that you need while cooking. Since there are so many ways of cooking Japanese food, you will need various ingredients. However, the most common and essential ingredients should always be there in your kitchen. 5 of them are the following:
1. Japanese Rice
Although it may look quite self-explanatory, using Japanese rice in Japanese cooking is essential to develop the same taste as that of rice you eat in Japanese restaurants. Some people cook Japanese food with Thai rice but that simply is not appropriate for Japanese cooking. You need to have Japanese rice for Japanese cooking.
Japanese rice does not have any scent. It is essential for making sushi because of its stickiness that holds rice together. Japanese rice is available in various brands. However, Japanese rice made in the US is said to be the best in taste. Moreover, it is cheaper as compared to other brands made in other countries.
2. Japanese Soy Sauce
Japanese Soy Sauce gives a specific Japanese flavor to your dish. That is why it is one of the most essential Japanese ingredients whenever you cook Japanese food. It is produced in many countries. Among many brands, Kikkoman proves to be really good and it can be found at western supermarkets. Chinese Soy Sauce cannot replace it due to variation in its taste.
3. Fish Stock Powder (hon dashi)
Fish Stock Powder can be used in every meal. That entirely depends on your taste. Its stock is made from swordfish. However, it does not taste like fish at all. It can be used as a taste-maker in Japanese foods. Japanese people use it in their cooking just like western people use chicken stock in their food. So it is commonly used in Japanese food.
4. Japanese Mayonnaise
Japanese are so fond of mayonnaise that they prefer Japanese mayonnaise more than that of western egg mayonnaise. Japanese mayonnaise is quite different in taste. One of the famous brands of Japanese mayonnaise is Aji no Moto. Another one is Kewpie. You can use it in salad and sauces. Most Japanese use Japanese mayonnaise in a very famous Japanese dish called Ebi mayo.
5. Rice Vinegar
Rice Vinegar can be the strength of all Japanese recipes. No other vinegar can take the place of Japanese Vinegar because it is specifically used for cooking Japanese food. You cannot have the same Japanese taste from Japanese dishes if you have not poured Japanese vinegar in them. So it holds its own charm in Japanese foods. Although Chinese vinegar is available in the West, it cannot be used as a substitute for Japanese vinegar.
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