A Guide to Japanese Cooking Ingredients

A list of common ingredients I use to cook Japanese food. To make good-tasting and authentic Japanese food, you will need to make sure you have these ingredients in your kitchen.

These can usually be purchased from your local Japanese supermarket or online. I will link some of the below products to Amazon (if available). You may also be able to find the below items at a Korean or Chinese grocery store, if a Japanese supermarket is not in your area.

Kayanoya Dashi



Dashi is Japanese soup stock made from fish and kelp.

This is my favorite Dashi powder and I use it often in a variety of dishes I make. This is the secret of Umami. You don’t need to add MSG to have an Umami taste.

Available here

Organic Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

(Shoyu – 醤油/しょうゆ )

Soy sauce is one of the essential ingredients for Japanese dishes and so many of Japanese dishes use it as a main base taste or as a hint of the taste of the dish.

Available here

Cooking Sake

Cooking Sake

(Ryorishu – 料理酒)

Cooking Sake is one of the essential ingredients for Japanese dishes.

Organic Mirin

Japanese sweet rice wine

(Mirin – 味醂/みりん)

Mirin is one of the essential ingredients for Japanese dishes.

Available on Amazon here

Organic Rice Vinegar Single

Rice vinegar

(Su – 酢/す)

Rice vinegar is often used in Japanese dishes.

Available on Amazon here

Japanese Mayonnaise

Japanese Mayonnaise


Japanese mayonnaise tastes a bit different from other ones like more sour.

I assume you think of Kewpie brand mayonnaise when you hear “Japanese mayonnaise”. There is no doubt that Kewpie mayonnaise tastes good! But I personally prefer other brand ones which don’t contain MSG. And if I can’t get one of those, I just make that regular American mayonnaise into Japanese mayonnaise with some super easy secret tips.

Here is the recipe:

Organic sesame oil

Toasted Sesame Oil

(Goma Abura – ごま油 )

I often use sesame oil as a cooking oil to add some flavorful taste to the dishes.

Available on Amazon here

Egg Roll Wraps

Egg roll wrappers

(Harumaki-no-Kawa – 春巻きの皮)

I’m generally trying to use organic ingredients as much as I can when I cook, but when I can’t get an organic product of the item, I at least try to find additive-free stuff. And this egg roll wraps I’ve recently found at a local store made me happy as it doesn’t contain any additives such as Sodium Benzoate which is often used as a preservative for most of those egg roll wrap products. The surface is not gonna be smooth texture when you fry it but I prefer not to have those toxic additives into my body. 😉 You can find this at Ralphs or Target.


Bean Thread Noodles

(Harusame – 春雨/はるさめ)

Thin noodles made from bean starch

Available on Amazon here

Organic Katakuriko

Potato starch

(Katakuriko – 片栗粉/かたくりこ)

Available on Amazon here


Dried bonito flakes

(Katsuobushi – 鰹節/かつお節)

Available on Amazon here

Organic Miso Dashi



Miso is used to make Miso soup as well as for many other Japanese dishes.

Available on Amazon here

Alternate: Available on Amazon here


Konjac Yam Cake

(Konnyaku – こんにゃく)

Organic Nori

Dried black sea weed sheet

(Nori – 海苔/のり)

Available on Amazon here

Original Organic Panko


(Panko – パン粉)

Available on Amazon here

Organic Toasted Sesame Seeds

Roasted white sesame seeds

(Irigoma – いりごま)

Available on Amazon here

Organic Soft Tofu



Available on Amazon here


Soy Sauce Base Soup Stock

(Tsuyu-no-moto – つゆの素)

No MSG Tsuyu-no-moto Available on Amazon here

Organic Ponzu



Organic Ponzu Available on Amazon here

Shiro Dashi



Organic Tonkatsu Sauce



Organic Tonkatsu Sauce Available on Amazon here

Organic Okonomi Sauce



Organic Okonomi Sauce Available on Amazon here


Japanese Shiso herb leave

(Oba – 大葉/おおば)

Umeboshi Plum

Pickled Japanese Plum

(Umeboshi – 梅干/うめぼし)

Umeboshi with No Additives Available on Amazon here


Shiitake mushroom


Organic Dried Wakame

Wakame Seaweed


Organic Wakame Available on Amazon here


Dried Green Sea Weed Powder

(Aonori – 青海苔/あおのり)

Available on Amazon here