Japanese Cooking Ingredients

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    Japanese Short Grain Rice

    Japanese Rice
    Japanese Rice. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    These are ingredients which are often used in Japanese cooking.

    Japanese short grain rice gets slightly sticky when it's cooked.

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    Genmai. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Unpolished rice (short grain brown rice) is called genmai in Japan. Since the embryo and the bran layer aren't removed, genmai is more nutritious than polished rice (white rice).

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    Tofu (soybean curd)

    Tofu. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka
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    Aburaage. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Abura-age is deep-fried tofu. It's pouched.

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    Atsuage. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Atsuage is deep-fried thick tofu known as tofu cutlet.

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    Nori. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Nori is edible seaweed and usually indicates sheets of dried nori which are commonly used for making sushi rolls.

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    Katsuobushi. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Katsuobushi are dried bonito flakes which are used to make dashi soup stock. Also, they are used as toppings in various dishes.

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    Yakidofu - Grilled Tofu

    Yakidofu - Grilled Tofu. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka
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    Azuki. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Azuki are small and dark-red colored beans. They are simmered to make anko (sweet bean paste) which is an essential ingredient in traditional sweets.

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    Shimidofu. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Shimidofu are freeze-dried tofu. They are also called koyadofu. Soak shimidofu in water to soften before cooking.

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    Chikuwa. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Chikuwa is a tube-shaped fish cake. Fish paste are mixed with seasonings and are steamed to make chikuwa.

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    Harusame. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Harusame are transparent noodles made from potato starch or mung bean starch. They are known as bean threads or cellophane noodles.

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    Natto. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Natto are fermented soybeans by natto bacillus. They are sticky and have strong smell. Natto are often served in Japanese-style breakfast.

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    Kombu. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Kombu (kelp) are widely consumed seaweeds in Japan and are commonly used to make dashi soup stock in Japanese cooking.

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    Wakame Seaweed
    Wakame Seaweed. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Wakame is the most popular seaweed eaten in Japan.

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    Konnyaku. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Konnyaku are gray or white slick products made from konnyaku yams. They are usually sold in rectangular blocks. Konnyaku don't have much taste.

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    Boiled Bamboo Shoots

    Boiled Bamboo Shoots
    Boiled Bamboo Shoots. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Bamboo shoots are called takenoko and are often used in Japanese cooking.

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    Narutomaki. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Narutomaki is a kind of Japanese fish cakes.

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    Kanpyo. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Kanpyo are dried long strips of gourd. Simmered kanpyo are often used as fillings in sushi rolls.

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    Niboshi. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Niboshi commonly indicate dried sardines which are traditionally used for making dashi soup stock.

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    Kiritanpo. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Kiritanpo is a cylinder-shaped rice cake. It's a speciality food of Akita region, Japan.

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    Kamaboko. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Kamaboko are semi-cylinderical shaped fish cakes. They are often used as toppings in noodle dishes, such as udon in hot soup.

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    Fu Picture
    Fu. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Fu is made from gluten of wheat flour. There are various shapes and colors of baked fu. Fu is often used in nimono (simmered dishes), soup, and so on.

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    Kiriboshi Daikon

    Kiriboshidaikon. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Kiriboshi daikon are dried strips of daikon radish. They are soaked in water before cooking.

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    Hoshi Shiitake

    Hoshi Shiitake
    Hoshi Shiitake. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Hoshi Shiitake are dried shiitake mushrooms.

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    Tororo Kombu

    Tororo Kombu
    Tororo Kombu. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Tororo kombu are thin and long sheets or flakes of konbu. Dried kombu (kelp) are softened in vinegar marinade before being shaved. It's added in various soup, rice, or noodle dishes.

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    Chukamen. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Chukamen noodles are used for ramen dishes. These noodles are generally made with wheat flour and kansui (alkaline solution) in Japan.

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    Hanpen. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Hanpen is a kind of fish cakes. It's very soft.

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    Shirataki Noodles

    Shirataki Noodles
    Shirataki Noodles. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Shirataki noodles are semi-translucent noodles made of konjac or konnyaku yams.

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    Sakura Denbu - Sweet Fish Powder

    Sakura Denbu
    Sakura Denbu. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka
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    Kanten Stick
    Kanten Stick. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Kanten is made from tengusa seaweeds. Tengusa seaweeds are simmered at first, and jelly-like materials are firmed and freeze-dried. Kanten come in different forms, such as sticks and powder.

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    Mochi. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Steamed mochi rice (glutinous rice) is pounded to make mochi. Fresh mochi is soft, but it hardens quickly. Prepacked mochi blocks, which are flattened and cut into square pieces or shaped into rounds are available at grocery stores.

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    Dried Soba (Buckwheat Noodles)

    Dried Soba
    Dried Soba. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka
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    Dried Somen Noodle

    Dried Somen
    Dried Somen. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka
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    Dried Udon Noodles

    Dried Udon Noodles Picture
    Dried Udon Noodles. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka
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    Shiratamako. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    It's glutinous rice flour which is used to make dumplings.

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    Kinako - Soybean Flour

    Kinako. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka
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    Domyojiko. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Domyojiko (glutinous rice flour) is usually used to makes traditional sweet cakes in Japan.

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    Kuzuko. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Kuzuko is the starch powder made from kuzu or kudzu plant root. It's used for thickening sauce or making dumplings.

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    Kuri-no-Kanroni. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    These are simmered sweet chestnuts in syrup.