Common in the kitchens of Japan, these ingredients can be found in Asian markets all over America.
BONITO FLAKES Pale pink shavings from dried bonito fillets; used for making dashi, the basic Japanese stock. Sold in bags.
CHRYSANTHEMUM An herb; both the leaves and the blossoms are used; tastes like cauliflower. Leaves sold fresh, blossoms fresh or pickled.
KONBU Dried kelp used for making dashi. Large greenish-brown leaves are folded into 40-60-gram packages.
KUZUA thickener, made from the root of Japan's native kuzu plant. Pebblelike pieces are sold in small packages.
MIRINA sweetened rice wine for cooking. Sold in bottles.
MISO Fermented soy bean paste, pale cream to deep chocolate in color, and chunky to smooth in texture. Sold in tubs, tubes, or bags.
MITSUBA Also known as trefoil, this cloverlike herb tastes like a cross between sorrel and celery. Sold fresh.
MOUNTAIN POTATO A long beige-skinned tuber prized for its mild flavor and gluey consistency. Sold fresh.
WAKAME Greenish-brown seaweed, with a tough central vein that must be removed. Found in packages, dried or salted.
YUZU A citrus fruit tasting like a cross between a tangerine and a lemon, used for its rind and acidic juice.