【 CONTENTS 】

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Yakumi, it is important to the Japanese main dish

Yakumi is a kind of spice that improves the taste of Japanese food and helps to work up an appetite. Yakumi usually comes in tiny portions with the main dish, like wasabi with sashimi and Negi on top of Ramen.
There are many types of Yakumi that usually are served based on their best match with the Japanese dish. For example, sushi with wasabi, gyudon with beni-shouga, soumen with myoga, hiya yakko (cold tofu) with ginger, and all these combinations are pretty typical on the Japanese Menu. You cannot fully taste Japanese food without yakumi. We enjoy the real taste of Japanese food with yakumi.

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Raw fish is best matched with Wasabi

Wasabi is a kind of important yakumi for Japanese food. If you look at the bottom surface of the fish that’s served with sushi, you can see the green paste-like substance, wasabi. Wasabi is grated wasabi roots with its own distinct flavor.
It stimulates tongue and if you use too much, it’ll bring tears to your eyes. Japanese people also add soy sauce, another form of yakumi, to their sushi. Wasabi kills any possible bacteria in the fish and works up your appetite by removing the fishy smell. You can find small tubes of wasabi at supermarkets in Japan.

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Soba and Udon are best matched with Shichimi-tougarashi

Shichimi-tougarashi is a seven-flavored chili pepper and is nicknamed shichimi.
It’s sprinkled over soba and udon. It’s not always a fixed seven spice seasoning, but usually made of at least five spices. Some of the spices include, seeds from opium poppy, chenpi, seed from cannabis, perilla frutescens, nori, aonori, ginjer, sesame, rapeseed, and Zanthoxylum piperitum. Shichimi-tougarashi is mainly sprinkled a few times over soba, udon, and Yakitori. It adds a moderate taste to the food. Please don’t try to eat the shichimi-tougarashi alone, it’s too spicy! It’s sold in little bottles at the supermarket.

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Broiled eel and kaiseki ryouri(traditional Japanese meal served in courses)are best matched with Zanthoxylum piperitum.

Zanthoxylum piperitum is a deciduous aromatic small tree, belonging to the Rutaceae (sitrus and rue) family. We call it ‘pepper bites’ and it numbs the tongue. It is sprinkled over broiled eel and kaiseki riouri in Japan.

You can buy Yakumi at the Japanse supermarket!

We have other types of Yakumi, like myoga, shouga, and negi. You can usually find yakumi easily, because it’s sold in small tubes or bottles at the supermarket. I recommend trying to find some yakumi at the Japanese supermarket and give it a try!

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AUTHOR

kyoami

kyoami

Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.