When we cook we go searching for the highest quality fresh ingredients, but for some reason when it comes to other groceries the same cannot be said. In particular with Japanese cuisine it is assumed that soy is soy no matter where it comes from, and fish sauce, often made from cheap low quality stocks, is going to be the same regardless of what we buy. This is simply not true and ultimately impacts flavour. Like all other foods there are quality crafted Japanese ingredients and then there are mass-produced products that barely qualify for the title on the label. With this in mind we have introduced a range of Japanese ingredients of the highest quality.
Flavoured Sesame Seeds
Ever wondered why your sesame coated sushi tastes so good? These little bottles might have the answer. Using natural concentrates including yuzu, ume and wasabi, each little sesame seed is coated and then roasted to bring out that familiar nutty flavour. Not only do these colourful gems look fantastic on your meals, but their flavours are intense and can add a much needed lift to a tired old recipe.
Akasu Smoked Vinegar
Akasu Smoked Vinegar is made using a traditional fermenting process. Sake is poured into ceramic pots and left to ferment for 3 years before being placed into pressurized barrels where it is compressed for 3 months to mature the flavour. The vinegar is then smoked with cherry blossom wood chips to create an intense sour-smoky flavour.
Yamada Seiyu White Sesame Oil
Employing only 11 master craftsman and producing just 20,000 bottles a year, Yamada Seiyu White Sesame Oil is a rarity amongst Japanese ingredients. Their process involves slowly roasting the sesame seeds and pressing them gently without chemical extraction to preserve the flavour. Many commercially produced sesame oils taste burnt due to being roasted at higher temperatures. Yamadu Seiyu White Sesame Oil is more subtle in flavour and support your other ingredients rather than overwhelming them.
Ito Farm Yuzu Juice
At Ito Farm they hand squeeze their yuzu juice so that the pulp and skin do not contaminate the flavour of the juice. The 2 other methods of producing yuzu involve pulping and boiling the yuzu fruit which introduces unpleasant bitterness. Because of this more gentle approach only 30% of the available juice is squeezed from the yuzu fruit as opposed to 60% using commercial extraction methods. The owners of Ito Farm feel that this attention to quality is reflected in the flavour of the final product.
Concentrated White Dashi Stock
This white dashi stock is fantastic to use in so many ways. Soups, sauces, Japanese coddled eggs, risotto vegetables, stir fries, rice dishes, pasta dishes, dipping sauces and more! Made from Japanese Kombu and bonito extract this is super flavoursome (with almost a smoky finish) and is one of our favourite products in store at the moment.
Premium Green Onion Oil
This multi-stalked, non-bulbing Japanese green onion is one of the kyo yasai, or traditional vegetables of the Kyoto region. It is soft and juicy, with a sweet flavor that goes well with many dishes. Green onion oil can be used to garnish everything from grilled steak to fresh seafood, cured fish, rice dishes and shredded vegetable salads. Folk law has it that the Japanese green onion is also good for people recovering from the common cold.
Shotsuru Fish Sauce
As hinted in the introduction to this article your fish sauce really should be made from high quality fish if you’re going to consider using it in your food. Shottsuru Fish Sauce is brewed the traditional way using sailfin sandfish. The Shotsuru company revived the method in 1983 due to a lack of a traditional fish sauce in the market. They are now Japan’s third highest selling fish sauce.
Tobaya Suten Master Crafstman Rice Vinegar
In the words of Tobaya Suten CEO – “Vinegar should be seen as a backseat player. The primary role of vinegar is to enhance the taste of dishes. Vinegar should never come out front, but though indispensable for some dishes, it should be the most important backseat player and can then give a dish a shining accent….I believe this is what our vinegar has achieved.” What more can we say?
Firefly Squid Sauce
There is no better squid sauce available! Chefs who have tried this sauce go weak at the knees. Most fish sauce is made using anchovies, but Firefly Squid Sauce and Shotsuru Fish Sauce (above) are superior to the extreme. This sauce is balanced in every way and the depth of flavour it achieves in your recipes is incredible. Of all the products here this is the first you should try.
Kombu Vegan Dashi Stock
A vegan dashi stock is very rare as most brands still include some benito fish. Every aspect of the production of this dashi stock is poured over to ensure that flavour is drawn out as much as possible. The result is a rich umami concentrate that can be reconstituted for your favourite Japanese broths.
These items are stocked in store only at The Essential Ingredient Rozelle. For current stock levels and pricing information please call +61295558300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org