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Jan 9, 2010 10:31 AM

What should I add to a growing Asian pantry?

I've been cooking a lot more Asian food lately, and am trying to stock the pantry with essentials. I've got the basic condiments that you can find at most regular grocery stores, like fish sauce, rice vinegar, wasabi, miso, siracha, etc. I'm going to make a trip to a huge (and sort of intimidating) Asian grocery ... what should I get that will keep -- either in the pantry or fridge -- for a long time?
I'm thinking:
Fermented black beans
Kombu seaweed
Kochujang (sp?) - Korean hot sauce

Other ideas?

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  1. Someone posted this on the Boston Board. You might find the info helpful.

    "I've since found a bunch of great info at

    rockdoc Jan 05, 2010 06:16PM"

    1 Reply
    1. re: bizkat

      Thank you! These lists are great... very helpful!

    2. For Japanese cooking, I like to keep mirin, toasted sesame oil, kombu, katsuo bushi, nori, toasted sesame seeds, and sake in my pantry (other than what you already listed- rice, soy sauce, wasabi, miso (red and white), and rice wine vinegar).

      1. I just bought a helpful guide on Amazon: The Asian Grocery Store Demystified. Descriptions, pictures, and uses for Asian ingredients, plus some recipes and cooking technique instructions..

        1. Condiments/Seasonings
          청주 Cheongju (Clear Rice Wine)
          참기름 (chamgireum - sesame oil)
          참깨 (chamkkae - sesame seeds)
          된장 (doenjang soybean paste)
          간장 (ganjang - soy sauce)
          고추장 (gochujang - red pepper paste)
          고춧가루 (gochutgaru - red chili pepper powder)
          잣 (jat - pine nuts)
          물엿 (mulyeot - malt syrup)
          흰 후추 ground white pepper
          약주 Yakju (Clear Rice Wine)
          Dried Foods

          미역 (miyeok - Dried seaweed)
          다시마 (dashima - Dried kelp)
          볶은참깨 (chamkke - Roasted sesame seed)
          다시다 (dashida - Beef and anchovy soup stocks or for convenience, stock flavors = shellfish, Beef and anchovy dashida
          당면 (dangmyeon - cellophane noodle/sweet potato starch noodle)
          오징어마른/오징어채 (Ohjingeo?/Ohjingeochae - Dried squid/dried seasoned squid)
          멸치 (myeolchi - dried anchovies)
          김 (gim - dried laver/seaweed sheets)
          시래기 (siraegi - dried radish leaves)
          표고버섯 (Pyogo beoseot - Shiitake mushrooms)


          도토리 전분 (dotori - acorn starch)
          메밀가루 (memil - Buckwheat flour)
          찹쌀 가루 Sweet Rice Flour
          로터스 뿌리 가루 Lotus Root Flour
          맵쌀 가루Mapssal - rice flour
          감자녹말 potato starch
          고구마 전분 sweet potato starch

          1. I cook a lot of Japanese, so of course there is sake, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil, yuzu, miso, and also a few other items that I go to often include:

            Katakuriko 片栗粉 A starch originally made from katakuri (dogtooth violet), it is more commonly found made from potatoes, a great way to thicken sauces, similar to cornstarch but with a finer texture.
            Sesame Oil ごま油 (goma abura) This aromatic oil made from toasted white sesame seeds is often used for its aroma and nutty flavors.
            Wasabi わさび The Japanese horseradish plant is available grated and in tubes. Look for products that are one hundred percent wasabi, often labeled “hon wasabi”.
            Yuzu koshou 柚子こしょう A salty and spicy paste made from salt, yuzu rind, and chili peppers.
            Yuzu 柚子 The skin of this aromatic citron is a popular condiment. It can be purchased freeze-dried.
            Shichimi 七味 A blend of seven herbs and spices, often dried red chili pepper (togarashi), dried yuzu peel, ao nori, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, white poppy seeds, and sansho peppers. Blends do vary. A shop in Kyoto, Gion Hararyokaku, has a popular blend of “kuroshichimi” or black shichimi, different from the more commonly found red shichimi. This is often served with noodles like udon.
            Ichimi 一味 Dried red chili pepper (tougarashi), also called ichimi tougarashi.