12 Essential Basic Japanese Seasonings & How to Use Them


Washoku, or traditional Japanese cuisine, is famous all over the world. In this article, we will discuss what creates distinctly Japanese flavors.

There is 12 basic Japanese seasonings used in various occasions and essential for cooking delicious Japanese dishes. Read on to learn more about what & how to use these various sauces and condiments found in Japan.

1.Wasabi (Japanese Horseradish)

Wasabi is well-known for being the intimidatingly hot green paste that accompanies sushi, historically thought to have medicinal properties when eaten with raw fish. But you can also use it to garnish soba noodles, or even make a wasabi dressing for sushi bowls and cooked fish.

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2.Shoyu (Japanese Soy sauce)

Shoyu is the term broadly given to Japanese style soy sauces that are made from fermented soybeans, wheat, salt and water. In general, they are quite thin and clear and are a good all-purpose cooking and table sauce.



Mayonnaise the flavor is rich and cream , as it contains only egg yolks instead of whole eggs and uses a special vinegar blend. Use it to make your own tuna mayo onigiri, decorate your homemade okonomiyaki, and garnish your yakisoba, salads, sandwiches, and even sushi.


4.Ponzu Vinegar

Ponzu is the citrus sauce that even those who hate citrus will love. Made from the juice of any citrus fruit (yuzu is often used), soy sauce, mirin (rice wine), and dashi (Japanese soup stock), this tangy vinaigrette-like sauce can brighten the flavor of your gyoza, stir-fry, marinated meats, and tofu dishes. Add bonito flakes and kombu (kelp) to the ponzu for extra umami savoriness!



Mirin is a type of rice wine and a common ingredient in Japanese cooking.  It is similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content.  The sugar content is a complex carbohydrate that forms naturally during the fermentation process;  no sugars are added.  The alcohol content is further lowered when the liquid is heated.


6.Sushi Nori

Nori is a dried edible seaweed used in Japanese cuisine, made from species of the red algae genus Pyropia including P. yezonesis and P. tenera. It has a strong and distinctive flavor, and is often used to wrap rolls of sushi or rice balls.

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7.Teriyaki sauce

Teriyaki sauce can be used as a marinade, basting agent, or dipping sauce. It's a versatile tool in the kitchen, elevating stir-fries, steaks, and seafood dishes. It's easy to throw together with just a few pantry ingredients and packs a potently delicious punch.


8.Sushi Ginger

Pickled sushi ginger is often served and eaten while you eat sushi and it’s an essential part of a sushi meal. The spiciness and sweet vinegar flavor of the ginger help cleanse the palate between eating, allowing you to enjoy different pieces of fish and rolls. The name Gari is said to be from the onomatopoeia of the crunching noise or the sound of a knife thinly slice the ginger. At a sushi restaurant, you can ask more gari if you want extra.

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9.Unagi sauce

Unagi Sauce or Eel Sauce is sticky, sweet, savory, and flavorful! Popular in Japanese cuisine, it’s traditionally used on grilled eel (unagi), barbeque dishes and sushi rolls. Unagi sauce is made by simmering 4 simple ingredients to a sugary, salty reduction that’s perfect atop your favorite dish.

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10.Sesame Salad Dressing

Sesame salad dressing have a nutty, slightly sweet taste and contribute a wonderful flavor to this simple salad dressing. You may find bottled sesame dressings at your local supermarket, but it is very easy to make at home and won't contain all of those preservatives.

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Bread crumbs are most easily produced by pulverizing slices of bread in a food processor, using a steel blade to make coarse crumbs, or a grating blade to make fine crumbs.


12.Tonkatsu Sauce 

Tonkatsu sauce is a rich, savory Japanese sauce that mainly contains fruits and vegetables such as apples, lemon juice, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and more. This tangy condiment goes great on top of fried pork cutlet (tonkatsu), of course, but can also add zest to other fried foods like fried shrimp, croquettes (korokke), and even takoyaki. Try making a close approximation at home by combining soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and sugar.

Where to Buy Excellent Japanese Seasoning

Japanese seasonings are essential for traditional Japanese foods, like sushi, tempura, unagi rice, fried pork cutlet, etc. If you want to cook Japanese food, the correct seasoning will help dishes become better. If you are a Japanese restaurant manager, it's good for you to choose JolionFoods Japanese seasonings for the excellent quality and various types. 

What's more, Jolion also has OEM service. If you are a food manufacturer, you can choose us to produce seasonings with your brand. Our best service and great producing ability always satisfy all clients. Contact us today for your wholesale or OEM business.


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