This starchy root of the lotus pant is rich in vitamin C and iron.
Select plump, unblemished roots that are pinched off in sections somewhat
like sausage links. After cutting, it should be soaked in vinegared
water to prevent discoloration. Lotus root is used in marinated salads
and simmered and deep-fried dishes.
The main ingredient in miso is soybeans. It is full of high-grade
protein. There are many types of miso, but they are generally divided
into two categories, "red" and "white," based
on color. Red miso generally is dark brown with a distinct aroma and
flavor, whereas white miso tends to be lighter and sweeter.
Pickled Red Ginger (Benishoga)
This popular garnish is made from ginger root that has been pickled
in salt and then again in a vinegared mixture.
Potato Starch (Katakuriko)
This starch is made from potatoes. It usually is dissolved in water
and added to soups and sauces as a thickener or dusted over meat and
fish before deep-frying.
Rice Vinegar (Komezu)
This vinegar is milder and has a gentler flavor than fruit and wine
vinegars. Traditionally-brewed rice vinegars are fermented for several
months. Rice vinegar, like other vinegars helps foods keep longer,
prevents vegetables from discoloring, and removed bitterness. Used
in dressings, sushi rice, and pickles.
Roasted Nori Seaweed
These are sheets of dried seaweed that have been roasted under a heat
lamp. It is a source of high-grade protein, calcium, carotene, and
iron. Select nori that is shiny, dark, and crisp. Nori is used to
wrap up rice, as in sushi and rice balls (onigiri).
Sake, a fermented alcoholic beverage made from rice, also is frequently
used as a seasoning, just as wine is. Besides adding its own flavor,
sake help other flavors to be absorbed, counteracts strong odors,
and tenderizes meat.
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