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Japanese/Asian Food Simplified Ingredients

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posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 04:17 AM
Couldn't find a previous Thread for this so here it goes.

After being let down by the store bought marinades and prepackaged mixes, I've realized that most Japanese and Asian cooking begins with a very few simple ingredients: Soy Sauce, Sake, Sugar, Garlic, Ginger, Bonito, & Miso

Broken down as followed:
soy sauce (have to use the brewed type - ie Kikoman style)
sake (use the cheap American made brand of Gekkeikan Sake - no export preservatives added)
natural sugar (regular sugar works just as good, you can even use honey if that is your thing)
garlic (always use whole garlic cloves vs powdered...unless you are crockpot cooking, then use the powered stuff)
ginger root (this comes in many forms - pickled, grated and squeezed, sliced, whole)
bonito fish (the Dashi soup stock you buy at your local asianmart has MSG in it if you don't like MSG - otherwise make a stock using bonito flakes)
miso (any variety will work)

Other components:
Acid components - vinegar, lime, lemon

Cream - coconut milk, cow's milk

Egg plant
Daikon radish (Rutabaga potato works as a so-so sub if you can't get Daikon in your area)
Green Onion



Any hard cheese


These are your basics for good homemade asian cooking.
My Teriyaki marinade recipe:
1 cup of soy sauce (This is 2 parts if you need a bigger quantity)
1/2 cup of sake - or 1 cup of sake with an additional 1.5 tbsp sugar (the half cup of sake is 1 part, if using the alt method it is 1 part sake and 1 part mirin)
1/2 cup mirin (sweetened cooking sake - can be found at your local store, if not, see above) 1 part of mirin
2 cloves of garlic (I normally double garlic req in any recipe - I'd use 4 for this ratio) 2 cloves equal 1 part garlic
1 piece of ginger root the size of your entire thumb (use this per 2 parts soy sauce) grated and the grated bits squeezed - only use the juice. This equals 1 part ginger
1 tsp of your red pepper powder of your choosing - 1 part of peppers
1 tbs of sugar - 1 part of sugar.

Marinade your meat (up to 3.5lbs I think for this ratio of product) - total of 8 parts for over 2 cups of liquid. Adjust your measurements if needed. It takes 3hrs or so to marinate. If you use a flavor injector, I'd suggest adding 1/2 tsp of acid to each syringe full of marinade.

Cook meat like you want it - if you pan sear it, give this a try: Save marinade, remove meat from marinade. Brown meat on all sides. Pour half the remaining marinade into pan. Add equal amount of water. Simmer the meat for 20 min total. Be sure to flip the meat every 3min or so. Add a touch of water when the pan becomes too dry.

My chicken Satay recipe is almost as simple - tired of buying the Satay packages from the asian mart - only to end up with super dry chicken with no flavor.
My soba noodle base soup (just the base soup, to get you started on making the best soba in the world):
For 2 servings of Udon noodles (very very similar to traditional soba soup that you'd get at your local mart):
Mix 3 tbs of Soy sauce, 3 tbs of sake, 4 cups of water, 2 TBS of dashi soup stock (1 TBS Miso, 2 TBS diced green onion).
Cook your noodles as the package directs - drain the water and place the noodles into a clean bowl.
Bring the soup mixture above to a boil - turn off heat and let it sit for 5 mins.
Ladle the soup into your bowls. Top the noodles with pickled ginger and any meat toppings you want.
Add Miso paste before you ladle the soup into the bowls if you want that flavor. Sprinkle with diced green onions if desired. [edit] This soup base is almost the same for my Okinawan pig feet soup.
Chicken Adobo (Filipino Style):
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
1 bulb of garlic
1 Tsp of black pepper
Prepare by browning your chicken in a stock pot - just enough to get some color.
Pour in the above mixture (liquids). Adjust the range to simmer the chicken while doing the following.
Take an entire bulb of garlic - peel and cut off the blemishes from them. Chop coarsely. Pass garlic through a garlic press - over the chicken mixture in the pot. Add black pepper. Bring to boil, then simmer with lid on, for about an hour. Remove lid and simmer for 20min more to allow the soup to reduce a bit. Spoon out chicken and ladle some remaining sauce over the chicken. Serve with white rice. Spoon a bit of the sauce over the rice as well.
You can use pork or beef - just add 1 small diced onion to the mix per cup of soy sauce used. Add the onion the same time you add the garlic.
I could go on and on. Enjoy and hope this helps those who want like good home cooked Asian food.

edit on 19-11-2012 by ChuckNasty because: spelling/sentence structure/edit to clarify thingies

edit on 19-11-2012 by ChuckNasty because: added === to separate stuff

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 04:54 AM
Wow dude I'am going to try it out tonight

Gonna go to the shops in a while to get the stuff to make it with cheers dude/dudette.
Japanese is my fave food.
Thanks again.

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 05:02 AM
Just skimmed thru but...

Kikoman? Not even heard of in Asia. It's a Western preference.

Cheese? What Country is this from?

So many meat recipes are really Western as Asian food truly calls for Seafood. Red meat is rare in many provinces throughout Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan.

But, I'll return to see what transpires.

I offer these critiques because I've lived in Asia (many Countries) for 8 years and have owned 3 bars and 4 restaurants there.

The recipes and processes you are describing are "Fusion" attempts at Asian food.
Tasty but not authentic.

Example: My restaurant (Canada) does not use the typical red sweet and sour sauce that 90% of Western Chinese restaurants use. We make our own from Pineapple and garlic. Chinese people look at this red sauce and ask WTF?

But, I applaud your offering of food. That's me in essence.


edit on 19-11-2012 by jude11 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 05:25 AM
reply to post by jude11

The Kikoman brand is a Japanese style soy sauce. I too lived in Asia (ok Japan, some Thai and some Philippines) for most of my childhood and a lot of my adult life...but Kikoman is a brand that only seems mainly known in Japan and the US.

The flavors from Kikoman vs the non-brewed Chinese version isn't the same. You can sub Thai Soy Sauce if you have that handy - see-u-kao (the brand with the monk looking boy on the bottle) tastes almost the same, but not as pronounced. My wife thinks the Kikkoman brand has a too salty flavor even though the see-u-kao soy sauce has a higher sodium content.

Didn't add my Chicken Satay recipe - Use dark meat for flavor - if you use white meat, it'll end up tasting dry:
2 lbs of bone in chicken thighs
3/4 cup of soy sauce
3 TBS of lime juice
5 cloves of garlic
2 thumb sized ginger pieces (grated and squeezed - add the grated parts to the marinade too)
P-nut sauce:
4 TBS of the above marinade
1/2 thru 3/4 can of coconut milk (unsweetened - pick a thai style with the thai made up ching-chong writing on it).
1 big ass spoon full of peanut butter - creamy prefered.
Combine marinade mixture with meat in a ziplock bag. Marinade for 4 hours or so (overnight works well).
Remove chicken from marinade - place chicken meat on skewers that have been presoaked - or place meat on a roasting sheet (for the oven). Cook chicken as desired - either flame or oven.
While cooking meat - combine P-nut sauce items. Bring to a simmer and mix mixture until the peanut butter no longer is in clumps and the sauce has thickened some.
Once the meat is done - remove and place on plates. Serve with a side of the sauce - or pour sauce over meat.

If you chose to grill your meat and the meat is white - baste the meat with oil ever so often until done. If not, you may end up with tough as cardboard chicken skewers.

[edit]: Cheese - any hard, melt in your pan type of cheese. My list of ingredients above were more for Japanese foods - with other asian food stuff using it too. From my ventures, I've found that I can replicate most dishes using the above ingredients. I bet I can even go to your restaurant and mimic the flavors of the dish with the above.

If you are talking about traditional Chinese stuff - I have no idea what that even tastes most people won't. If you have ever been to Japan within the last decade and have eaten at a restaurant, you should be able to replicate most of the dishes using the ingredients above.

And the main listing of the 6 ingredients above are authentic to Japanese/Okinawan dishes.
edit on 19-11-2012 by ChuckNasty because: edit as above

[edit 2]: Red meat is more common than you think in Japan and Korea. In Okinawa, Pork is supreme, even over seafood.
edit on 19-11-2012 by ChuckNasty because: edit 2 as above

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 05:38 AM
reply to post by ChuckNasty

Ok, Now we're talking!

Kikoman is my preferred style because of the less salty taste that most Western restaurants use. Easier to use and to work with as the salt content is less pronounced. When you work with fish sauce, black bean and sometimes even sambal, it's a beautiful ingredient.

Red meat is more common than you think in Japan and Korea. In Okinawa, Pork is supreme, even over seafood.

No, in Asia, Red Meat is Beef, Available but very expensive. Thin slices are a delicacy on any barbecue. But expensive. Pork is in abundance and the higher fat content, the better.


edit on 19-11-2012 by jude11 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 19 2012 @ 05:57 AM
reply to post by ChuckNasty

No wasabi?

posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 02:52 AM
Double Post
edit on 20-11-2012 by ChuckNasty because: double post

posted on Nov, 20 2012 @ 02:52 AM
Here's a good example of the Japanese Flavor used in everyday cooking - - Posted on Shine from Yahoo - using the main ingredients in a certain fashion to make a 'different' flavor. Just stay away from the agave nectar - use honey instead.

Other note -
I tried simmered pork chops the other day - browned the pork chops (use black pepper to season the chops while browning). Added sake to simmer the pork chops. Last bit of cooking time I added some soy sauce. Flipped the chops a few times to allow for the dark brown color of the soy sauce to come through. You can even add some sugar when you add the soy sauce for a sweeter flavor. Allow the liquid to reduce - add a splash of water now and then (to prevent burning) if you want a deeper shade of brown to set in. You can even toss in chopped garlic towards the end - heat it enough to just barely cook the garlic at that point.

*Don't cook it too long or the chops will get tough.

Experiment with the basic 6 ingredients to come up with your Japanese 'influenced' dish. Working on a NipponBBQ sauce concoction now.

posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 02:27 AM
Tooting my own horn again. Is it against the TOS to keep posting on your own thread? Hope not, just my Allrecipe acct doesn't seem to save all my recipes.

My current JapaneseBBQ sauce recipe:
4-6 cloves of chopped garlic
1 TBS oil
1/8 cup soy
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ginger, grated (squeeze or not - toss it all in)
3/8 Cup Sugar
1/4 C Vinegar (Didn't have rice wine vingar - had to use hwhite)
1/4 C Miso Paste
1 6oz can of regular tomato paste
1/2 Cup water (can be omitted)
1/2 Cup Sake
Some Tabasco - or red pepper flakes (I used the tabasco - didn't feel like roasting/grinding pepper flakes as I am out)
1/8 Cup Worcester Sauce
2 tsp dry mustard (Wasabi or Horse radish would work better I think)

Heat oil in a pot - add chopped garlic. Saute garlic enough to flavor oil. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for 30+ mins. Stir often. Add Sake if the mixture becomes too thick or looks like it'll burn...but if after the 30mins and it looks thick - should be good to go.

Taste often to ensure palatable mine is more tang than salty. Add whatever you think it needs. If you like more salty - add more soy. More tang - add more ginger root gratings. Etc...

Critique please. Test on small portions of meat just in case. Don't think this is crockpot safe.

Store in the ice box - I think if you add 2 cans of 6oz tomato paste - you'll get a ketchup consistency.


posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 03:06 PM

Originally posted by ChuckNasty
Tooting my own horn again. Is it against the TOS to keep posting on your own thread? Hope not, just my Allrecipe acct doesn't seem to save all my recipes.

It's encouraged to post as much as you want.

By the owners and the members.


posted on Nov, 21 2012 @ 09:46 PM
Great thread! I love Japanese food. You wouldn't happen to know any great udon noodle recipes would you? It's my favorite but can't find any where I live now.

posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 10:42 AM
Great thread, love asian food but Japanese is my favorite. Shabo shabo (spelling?) is heavenly and any noodle recipes would be awesome!

posted on Nov, 22 2012 @ 12:29 PM
I am actually going to attempt to make Korean Pho.. does anyone have any tips how to cook this to cook the vegetables right?

posted on Nov, 23 2012 @ 01:58 AM

Originally posted by TheKeyMaster
I am actually going to attempt to make Korean Pho.. does anyone have any tips how to cook this to cook the vegetables right?

Never had it sir, but if it comparable to other asian noodle dishes - bring your broth to a boil (for the second time, after adding your meat) - add the chopped veggies and stir a bit (20seconds or so) - remove from heat and serve over the noodles. If your Korean Pho calls for root veggies (radish, carrots, etc) try blanching them in boiling water for a minute, drain, then add to your broth with the leaf veggies (you can nuke them in a microwave until they are hot, but still hold their texture instead of blanching). If your Pho calls for sprouts - place the sprouts under your noodles (in your personal bowl). The heat from the broth should make em done enough to eat.

When my wife makes her noodle dishes, she'll boil her veggies first but still keep them crisp. She'll then place them under the cooked and drained noodles in individual bowls. Toss seasonings on top - then ladle the hot ass broth over. That way each person can customize their own stuff. (I like to add a ton of hot peppers and lime juice myself).

Hope this helps a bit. The Korean style Pho sounds delightful - bet it has a lot of spice.

posted on Nov, 23 2012 @ 02:24 AM

Originally posted by TheKeyMaster
Great thread! I love Japanese food. You wouldn't happen to know any great udon noodle recipes would you? It's my favorite but can't find any where I live now.

Are you talking about making the noodles or the sauce?

Never tried this one as I buy the cheap Udon style noodles at my local Commissary:
1 Tbsp salt
3 cups of wheat flour
3/4 cups of water - warm

Mix salt and water. Put flour in a mixing bowl - add water. Stir until crumbly - make a ball out of it. Toss into a ziplock bag and let it rest for 40mins. Knead dough 10mins until smooth and satiny. Roll dough onto a floured surface until about 1/8 inch thickness (might want to do half at a time). Toss more flour on top - fold the dough into a fan shape (5 folds). Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/8 inch strips (You can use a cutting board on top as a guide).

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Shake excess flour from the noodles and add to the boiling water. Allow it to come to another boil - add 1 cup of cold water - repeat 2x. Drain, rinse and drain again. Place into serving bowls and top with your sauce.

But if it the sauce you want - udon noodle sauce between the mainland Japan and Okinawa are I found out the hard way. Lets just say mainland udon noodles are bland, very bland. Okinawan styles are full of sinful flavor. Okinawan soup broths are mainly pork and bonito based (both together). For my Okinawan style noodle sauce I use pork neckbones. Simmer the neckbones in a huge stock pot of water for hours - until the cartilage is tender enough to eat. Add your bonito flakes (and slices of ginger) in a cheese cloth - simmer some more. Make this the basis of your sauce. You can do almost anything with it - add a dash of your round eye BBQ sauce. Better yet, add some Korean Kimchi soup base sauce for a rich flavorful noodle sauce that works with both Udon and Ramen. Mixing Miso and garlic instead also works fine.

Most Udon and Ramen sauces are interchangeable - search Okinawan (or Hawaiian) Ramen recipes for sauce recipes. Most Okinawan style meats work well with noodles - for a flavorful pork recipe, try . Place a boiled egg cut in half on top of the cooked noodles for that extra 'authentic' look.

[edit]: As for the boiled neckbone - try pan frying them after being boiled. Toss in some soy sauce and some honey. Let it get crispy and brown a bit. Flip a few times until it looks like it'll burn. Remove from heat - place meat on your cooked noodles and sauce...and yes, the cartilage is edible and is an excellent source of calcium.
edit on 23-11-2012 by ChuckNasty because: edit as above


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