Posts Tagged ‘aojiso’

When only Japanese ingredients will do

Since the tragic events in Japan in March, there have been some difficulties with the export of Japanese foodstuffs to the EU.  This is mainly due to some very strict legislation which has been put in place to ensure that all food which leaves Japan is safe and unaffected by the radiation that leaked at the Fukushima nuclear reactor.

While current stocks in the UK seem to have lasted well so far, and a number of products have been sourced elsewhere, there are some specialized products which are in short supply and are likely to go out of stock very soon.  This has highlighted the fact that sometimes there is just no substitution for Japanese products.  Here are some of the things which are difficult to replace:

Aojiso dressing – a Japanese vinaigrette which captures the essence of the green shiso leaf; both the aroma and the flavour. 

Kizami wasabi – a Japanese relish made from grated wasabi (the real wasabi; no horseradish supplemented here) and fresh wasabi leaves which have been pickled in soya sauce.  This makes a lovely, subtler alternative to wasabi as an accompaniment to sashimi and sushi but also complements beef and I enjoy it on tofu too.

YuzuYuzu juice – with a flavour somewhere between lime, lemon and orange, this is a citrus fruit in its own right which cannot be satisfactorily replaced.  While lime juice can be used as a substitute for it in recipes, the dish is just not quite as exciting as when yuzu juice is used.

 Yuzu kosho – literally translated this means “yuzu pepper” but this does not do this product justice as it is a green chilli paste with the addition of yuzu so you have a combination of spicy green chilli and the lovely citrus notes of yuzu.