Japanese Spices and Seasonings

flyinglentris

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Japanese spices and seasonings are very unique in the world, except for black and white sesame seeds.

The unique spices and seasonings are listed here (apologies, if I missed some).

Wasabi - made from horse radish
Gari - pickled ginger
Miso - Fermented Soy product, often dried to a powder
Sansho or Sansyo Pepper - made from unique Japanese peppercorns
Shichimi Togarashi - Japanese Chilli Seasoning, made from red chilli pepper, sansho pepper, orange peel, black and white sesame seed, hemp seeds, ground ginger and nori (seaweed).
Matcha - crushed green tea leaves
Kombu and Nori - kelp and seaweed.
Katsuo Bushi - dried and flaked bonito fish
Dashi - a stock made from the combination of kombu and katsuo bushi
Mitsuba - a unique Japanese herb, often compared to parsley, but more pungent
Shiso - a unique Japanese herb that is sharp and minty
Tobiko - flying fish roe
Furikake - a seasoning mix which may vary in content, but basically contains black and white sesame seeds, sea salt, sugar and nori, but with additions which may be any of the following: miso, katsuo bushi, shrimp paste, shiitake mushroom powder and possibly, other ingredients.

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There have been a time or two that my lunch consisted solely of steamed rice with a generous helping of Furikake sprinkled on it; maybe I was hungover those days? Ebi (shrimp) is my favorite flavor of furikake because in addition to the sesame seeds, salt, nori, it also contains bits of dried shrimp.
 
There have been a time or two that my lunch consisted solely of steamed rice with a generous helping of Furikake sprinkled on it; maybe I was hungover those days? Ebi (shrimp) is my favorite flavor of furikake because in addition to the sesame seeds, salt, nori, it also contains bits of dried shrimp.

If I have had Japanese food with furikake on it, I don't know of it. Given that much, I can't claim to have ever used it.
 
Funny thing about it is, while I associate the taste with Japanese cuisine, I don't remember having any dishes with furikake while I was in Japan for 2 weeks! Perhaps it was just a condiment on the table at some restaurants or maybe it is used in Japanese homes, akin to instant ramen, as a seasoning of convenience?
 
Funny thing about it is, while I associate the taste with Japanese cuisine, I don't remember having any dishes with furikake while I was in Japan for 2 weeks! Perhaps it was just a condiment on the table at some restaurants or maybe it is used in Japanese homes, akin to instant ramen, as a seasoning of convenience?

My understanding from researching Japanese spices is that it is quite common and is used to top and spice up rice. Many of these spices are used as condiments, the way pepper is for folks in the western world.
 
I finally had an opportunity to use my salmon furikake, having some left over rice from my recent sushi creations.

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Furikake is often used over rice in Japan.
 
I love Shichimi Togarashi , I often mix it in with instant noodles and also use it to make spicy tuna/and other sushi rolls. I have one of these in here :
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These spice mixes are really good, I have all of them. They're made by Jonnie Boer, one of our countries masterchefs (3 michelin stars).

I also use this soy sauce Japanese dishes:
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This is authentic Rotterdam soy sauce, it's brewed in Japanse soy barrels bought by a Dutch entrepreneur (he's half Japanese by blood) who wanted to make real soy sauce. It's the best soy sauce in NL.
 
I have to say: the wasabi you posted a photo of (above) is absolutely and utterly the best wasabi I have ever tried. BOY! is it hot - and full of flavour.
I´d also mention that the Sansho "pepper" is not strictly pepper; it´s the flower pods from a shrub ( a bit like Szechwan pepper) and tastes peppery, but is not related to the piper negrum (black pepper) plant.
Hey, but that´s being pedantic; the flavour ( and origin) is unique!
 
I haven't used this mirin product, yet, but read the ingredients on the label and it doesn't even contain sake, but high fructose corn syrup and corn starch are primary ingredients with greatest percentage. So, I don't see this as a quality mirin product, but a cheap immitation. I'm a bit POed. But it was at a cheap price, so I can go back and do a better job of researching a different product before I spend on it. For now, I'll give it try as a stand in and add my own sake.
 
I haven't used this mirin product, yet, but read the ingredients on the label and it doesn't even contain sake, but high fructose corn syrup and corn starch are primary ingredients with greatest percentage. So, I don't see this as a quality mirin product, but a cheap immitation. I'm a bit POed. But it was at a cheap price, so I can go back and do a better job of researching a different product before I spend on it. For now, I'll give it try as a stand in and add my own sake.
I guess that's why it says "Mirin style sweet cooking seasoning". I will have to watch out for this in the future when I buy. Now I'm curious to go check mine... Nope, mine has alcohol in it. I'll post a picture shortly.
 
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