Flavor Ingredients for Japanese Foods
Next to Italian and Chinese foods, Japanese foods are among the most popular in the Western world. Japanese cuisine is available in many different markets, and found everywhere from the most high end restaurants and restaurant chains to the prepackaged foods section of a local grocery store. Japanese cooking has largely been influenced by the foods of other countries, and likewise, Japanese food coming into the country has been changed to reflect American tastes. That means that the range of flavors that can be found in Japanese cuisine is incredibly high – there is always something new and exciting to find.
Virtually any flavor can be found in Japanese foods, though traditional flavors remain the most popular. Of particular importance when searching for flavor ingredients for Japanese cuisine is a savory base, whether it is a strong vegetable taste like Advanced Biotech’s Natural Ginger Oil or the flavor of chicken, beef, pork, or seafood, all of which are commonly used in all types of Japanese foods. These bases are especially important when it comes to products such as udon and ramen noodles, which can be purchased with either a liquid flavor or a powder to complete the dish.
While wasabi is expensive and difficult to find, this product also features in many Japanese dishes – and especially in traditional sushi. Horseradish and horseradish oil are often used to replicate this flavor for the American market, and can make for a great addition to spicier Japanese dishes, as well. Likewise, ginger is one of the most common flavors in Japanese cooking, and ginger flavor ingredients can easily be purchased to enhance the overall taste of a dish.
A strong vinegar flavor is also associated with many Japanese dishes. Smokey and roasted flavors are often common, especially among flavor creation companies looking to replicate certain Japanese styles of cooking or grilling. While it may surprise some, Japanese style mustard is also a popular addition to many dishes, meaning that mustard flavor ingredients play a small but vital role in many Japanese dishes. Both spicy and sour flavors are also commonly used in these dishes.
As important to Japanese cuisine as the ingredients needed to produce savory dishes are the ingredients needed to produce sweet dishes, or what are commonly known in Japan as “wagashi”. One of the more popular Japanese style sweets is Moshi, a kind of rice cake that can be enhanced by any number of flavors. Wagashi are typically flavored with fruit; however, the type of fruit that is chosen can range widely. Strawberry is a common favorite, with tropical fruits such as orange, pineapple, and mango also being popular. Grape is another favorite, as is coconut. Spices such as cinnamon are also common to Japanese wagashi.
Japanese-style confectionary treats and beverages can also be made using a number of different ingredients. American companies have now begun to produce “ramune”, a style of soda specific to Japan. Ramune typically contains lighter fruit flavors, with melon being a popular flavor. Also popular are gummy candies, which can be flavored with different types of fruit. Pocky, a thin biscuit covered in a sweet cream or chocolate coating, is also available, and may be flavored with anything from coffee flavors to almond, hazelnut, or mint.
It is easy to see that there is a lot of diversity when it comes to Japanese foods, though the average consumer may not realize it. Having a range of ingredients to choose from can be of great benefit to a manufacturer or restaurant making Japanese food and beverage products.