Asian Cooking Ingredients
The other day, someone from our facebook group posted an excellent question. It was actually so relevant that we felt compelled to dedicate a special page to it! So the question asked was:
“Is there a list of items to keep in hand for these recipes. My world market is about an hour away and I want to stock up on necessary items I can’t find in a regular grocery store.”
We are lucky enough to live right down the street from a couple of Asian supermarkets, but we know that isn’t the case for everyone. So if you are located in an area that requires bulk shopping, here is the list of ingredients we would call ‘essential’ Asian cooking ingredients to our recipes!
The good news is that all of these items are considered shelf stable (over 12 month shelf life), so feel free to stock up! You can also purchase on Amazon (in which we participate in their affiliate marketing program and would truly appreciate if you ordered through the links provided).
Keep in mind that most of these products are imported so pricing is going to be naturally higher compared to an equivalent domestic product.
So without further ado, here are the top Asian cooking ingredients used in LCA’s recipes!!
There are plenty of brands to choose from, but we personally like Marukin’s Low Sodium Soy Sauce the best, especially for those watching their sodium intake. There also is Yamasa Low Sodium, which we like as well.
Kikkoman is definitely the most distributed brand here in the USA, but we find it a little to bold and salty.
And finally, tamari soy sauce for those looking for a gluten-free version.
Soy Sauce should be readily available at most supermarkets, but in case you are located somewhere very remote, Amazon is your friend!
Kewpie Mayonnaise is Japanese style mayonnaise. When comparing with domestic mayonnaise like Best Foods or Hellman’s, it is much noticeable creamier and richer.
The best place you can get Kewpie mayonnaise is at a local Asian supermarket but if you don’t live near one, Amazon does carry it as well.
Since Japanese sake is not distilled (it is brewed similar to beer), it does contain some carbs, but the amount used for most of our recipes are pretty negligible.
Japanese Sake is used in cooking to help bring the base flavors of a recipe together and adding a little umami as well.
The best place you can get Japanese sake is at a local Asian supermarket, but can’t find any around you, dry sherry wine will work as a substitute.
NOTE – Since we actually get asked this a lot, RICE WINE VINEGAR and JAPANESE SAKE are NOT interchangeable. One is a vinegar and the other is an alcohol.
For those that are not familiar with the term ‘umami’, it is considered to be a flavor/taste. The main ones are sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami being the 5th taste.
The best place you can get Dried Bonito Flakes is at a local Asian supermarket, but if you don’t live near one, Amazon also carries it as well.
Sesame oil is used in various Asian cooking and adds that distinctiveness taste you find in many Asian recipes.
You can use whatever brand you can access, but just make sure it is 100% dark toasted sesame oil. Some cheaper brands mix the oils and call it ‘blended sesame oil’, which makes the taste of the sesame oil very light.
You should be able to get sesame oil almost anywhere.
Ponzu is a soy sauce base with added citrus and umami flavors.
Some people make it at home, but we just prefer to buy the specific brand Mizkan Aji Ponzu (which was formerly Mitsukan), since we think it tastes the best.
The only place you can really get the Mizkan Aji Ponzu is a local Asian supermarket. Amazon does carry the Kikkoman Ponzu, but we personally find that one a little too sweet (more carbs as well).
So that concludes our list of top Asian cooking ingredients used here at LCA! Hope you found it useful and you can pick up some of these ingredients on your next shopping trip!
If you ever have any questions, suggestion, requests – definitely reach out to us on Instagram, Facebook, email or comment below! We really enjoying hearing from everyone and it is the best part pf our day!
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