Kitchen Tips

5 Must-haves in a Japanese Kitchen

East Asian cuisine is vast, diverse and packed with more variety than you can imagine. This is due to the unusually large number of ingredients that go into the making of most dishes that cuisine from China and Japan plate up.

Japanese cuisine offers more variety when compared to the rest of East Asia. Each dish throws a different surprise. So, if you’re planning a Japanese meal, make sure you do it right. Here are 5 must-haves in a Japanese kitchen:

1. Sisho Leaves

Shiso leaves
Image Courtesy: Ad Blankestijn used under the Creative Commons Licence

Sisho leaves are a mandatory ingredient to have on your shelves before you embark upon your very own Japanese culinary adventure. Most of the time, the main dish is merely placed on the leaf, but even two minutes on a sisho leaf can totally enhance the taste of dishes like uni and fried crab.

2.  Tofu

Image Courtesy: Joel Abroad used under the Creative Commons Licence

It may come as a surprise, but tofu occupies a very important place in a Japanese kitchen. For an ingredient that is otherwise considered a weak substitute for meat, Japanese cuisine encourages its use wherever possible. Many dishes include tofu, so make sure you have plenty of it in the refrigerator.

3. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms

Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
Image Courtesy: Jennifer Murawski used under the Creative Commons Licence

Dried Shiitake mushrooms offer more flavour than they do in their fresh form. They are a popular ingredient in Asia, and are used in several dishes including Dashi, an authentic Japanese delicacy.

4. Soba Noodles

Soba Noodles
Image Courtesy: botterli used under the Creative Commons Licence

Also known as buckwheat noodles, soba noodles can be used in myriad ways. Cold and refreshing, they are often the main ingredient in salads, as well. So, you’d do well to stock up on soba whenever you can.

5. Sea Vegetables

sea vegetables
Image Courtesy: Weddingraphy Studio used under the Creative Commons Licence

Ingredients such as nori seaweed and wakame seaweed are common on a Japanese platter. They are used in soups and salads. With a lot of nutritional value, these are a healthy choice if you’re going through a bit of a health kick!

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