1-Knowing Ingredients

Soy sauce/shou-yu/しょうゆ

Made from a fermented paste of boiled soybeans. After fermentation,  processed to extract liquid. Being used to add saltiness and distinct taste called “Umami” to the food.
Can be used not only  for Japanese cuisine but also some western cuisine as well.
*What’s Umami? it’s one of the five basic taste together with sweet, sour, bitter and salty.


It’s is a kind of rice wine similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content.
It has rice aromatic sweetness. It also works as glazing when it’s cooked and reduced.
Q. What if you don’t have mirin?
A. You can use syrup instead. it also gives sweetness and glazing effects but has no rice sake aromatic flavor.


It’s an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin that is made from fermented rice. It can be also called rice wine.
There is rice wine called Cooking Sake which is already seasoned with salt.
Most of the recipe I introduce here is using drinkable sake. NOT seasoned sake.
if you only have Cooking sake, that’ OK, just watch the amount to other seasonings such as soy sauce, sake you are adding.


Traditional Japanese seasoning paste produced by fermenting rice, barley, and/or soybeans with salt and the fungus. It comes in variety of color, flavor and saltiness depending which region of Japan it’s made in.
Most commonly used to make Miso Soup. But there’re so many other dishes you can make with miso! Please check my recipes here! ; )

konbuSea kelp/konbu/こんぶ

Edible kelp. Along with shredded bonito they are the main ingredients of dashi, a broth that forms the basis of many soups (such as miso) and sauces.
it’s sold in dry sheet. the surface is covered with powdery thing which contains Amino acid also known as Umami.. means,, all the goodies are there! do not wash off!
*What’s Umami? it’s one of the five basic taste together with sweet, sour, bitter and salty.

katsuobushiShredded bonito/katsuo-bushi/かつおぶし

It’s used to make dashi (mentioned earlier,,)you can also use as toppings such as Okonomi -yaki , Tako-yaki, Cold Tofu appetizer, and so on..

soba-sauceSoba sauce/soba-tsuyu/つゆ

It is made of a strong mixture of dashi(fish broth)and sweetened soy sauce.
usually use it as soba dipping sauce or udon soup.
*Since it’s already well blended with Japanese basic seasonings. Not just being used as noodles dipping sauce but It can also be added to many Japanese dishes!

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