Japanese Pantry Essentials: Dry Goods
Adzuki (azuki) beans
Starch-heavy legumes with a rich, chestnut-like flavor, adzuki beans are often used in sweets in Japan, frequently cooked down with sugar to make red bean paste. They are often paired with glutinous rice in sweet and savory applications.
- David Myers: Japanese Recipes
- Gastronaut: How to Make Sushi with Morimoto
- Japanese Made Simple
- Japanese Knife Guide
Dried shiitake mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms are traditionally cultivated in both Japan and China, and shiitakes, and both fresh and dried shiitakes are widely used in Japanese cooking. Dried shiitakes have an intensely earthy, woody, umami flavor that brings a savory note to broths and sauces. (They are often used for making vegetarian dashi broth.) A high-quality dried shiitake is the tenshiro donko, which is cultivated especially for drying. Most dried shiitakes found in the US are Chinese in origin.