Showcasing the Mediterranean diet and Asian diet  




Shoyu (soy sauce)

Shoyu is Japanese soy sauce. It's made from a mixture of soybeans and wheat which is mixed with salt and water and an active culture called koji. This is left to brew slowly for at least a year. Shoyu is used to some degree in almost all Japanese dishes including hot-pots, noodle dishes, soups and sushi.




Rice is a staple food in Japan, and short grain varieties such as Koshihikari are the most popular. This type of rice becomes sticky when it's cooked yet still retains some firmness. It also has a slightly sweet flavor and mellow aroma.






Noodles are another staple food in Japanese cuisine. There are many different varieties of noodle commonly eaten in Japan but three of the most popular types are somen (very thin wheat noodles), soba noodles (made with a combination of buckwheat and wheat), and udon noodles (thick wheat noodles).



Gari (pickled ginger)

Gari is eaten as an accompaniment to sushi (vinegared rice with toppings) and sashimi (thinly sliced raw fish). It's sold in jars and vacuum-sealed packets and ranges in color from light pink to red.










Wasabi is a hot and pungent Japanese green horseradish. Although wasabi can be used freshly grated, it's most often found in powdered form which can be made into a paste, or in a tube as a pre-made paste. Wasabi is commonly eaten as an accompaniment to sushi and sashimi, and can also be used in dressings.






Mirin is a sweet rice wine used for cooking. It adds a subtle sweetness to sauces, marinades and simmered dishes.




Rice vinegar

Rice vinegar is a must for seasoning sushi rice and is also used in marinades, salad dressings and sauces.



Dried shiitake mushrooms

Dried shiitake mushrooms are reconstituted in hot water and add a chewy texture and robust flavor to noodle dishes, braises and hot-pots. They can also be cut lengthwise and added to sushi rolls.









Miso is a paste made from fermented soy beans mixed with a grain such as barley or rice. It's used to flavor Japanese soups, sauces and stocks.





Nori are paper thin sheets made from a special type of seaweed. They're used to make sushi rolls, and can be cut into strips to garnish Japanese soups and salads.







Instant dashi

Dashi is a stock flavored with dried fish flakes (typically bonito) and a type of sea kelp called konbu. You can make your own dashi stock, but it's far easier to use instant dashi powder, which is easily reconstituted in hot water. Use dashi stock as the base for Japanese dishes such as miso soup and hot-pots.




Green tea

Green tea has a delicious rich flavor (it's also rich in antioxidants) and traditionally accompanies most meals in Japan. Sencha is the most popular type of green tea in Japan.