What Dry Goods are in Your Pantry?
The ideal Japanese pantry must have a list of essentials to be able to make particular Japanese dishes. There are dry goods considered important in cooking the most common Japanese meals. Without them, you can say your meal isn’t really quite Japanese. Here are some of those dry goods essentials.
Adzuki beans are small, red beans that originated in China. They are starchy legumes with a rich, chestnut-like flavor, often used in making sweets in Japan. The beans are usually cooked down with sugar and mashed to make red bean paste. They are often paired with glutinous rice in sweet and savory applications.
Shiitake mushrooms are traditionally cultivated in both Japan and China; both fresh and dried shiitakes are widely used in Japanese cooking. The dried variety have an intensely earthy, woody, umami flavor that makes broths and sauces savory, such as vegetarian dashi broth. Most dried shiitakes found in the US are Chinese in origin.
Soba, somen, and udon are Japanese noodles,common in both restaurant and home cooking throughout Japan. Udon and soba noodles are the most popular.
Nori is a seaweed widely used in Japanese cooking. There are three types: yaki nori (dry-roasted), ajitsuke nori (seasoned and roasted) and tsukudani nori (wet seasoned). Nori is more popular as the wrapping for onigiri (rice balls) and sushi.
Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs made from crustless bread, often used as a coating for fried foods, like tonkatsu (pork cutlet). It makes a flaky, crispy crust because it absorbs less grease during the frying process.
Rice is the staple grain of Japanese cooking and is included in most meals. Short-grained, sticky japonica rice, which is cultivated in Japan, is the most widely consumed. Sushi rice is boiled rice tossed with rice vinegar, sugar and salt.
Wakame is one of the most popular and common seaweeds used in Japanese cooking. Most often sold either salted or dried, the long, slippery leaves are reconstituted in water or broth and often eaten in soups, like miso or salads.
Using the Dry Essentials in Federal Way
Visit us at K-Ton and see that we use the dry goods essentials, bringing to you Japanese cuisine in Federal Way, WA.