Rice
Ingredients

Rice

Rice, the main source of sustenance for half of the world’s population, comes in an endless variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Rice grains can be long, like those of basmati rice from India and jasmine rice from Thailand; tiny, like mochi-gome from Japan, which is similar in shape to Italian arborio rice; or somewhere […]

Olive Oil
Ingredients

Olive Oil

Olive groves line the rocky hillsides of Italy and the Mediterranean coast. For millennia, the region has produced gorgeous olives (they were a favorite street snack in ancient Rome) and olive oils (tools for making olive oil that date back 4500 years have been found in Crete). The average age of southern Italian olive trees […]

Lemongrass
Ingredients

Lemongrass

Photo by odonata98 (Kimberly Reinhart)  This herb, which is native to Malaysia and grown throughout Southeast Asia and California, is one of the most important in Southeast Asian cooking. With the great popularity of the food of that region, lemon grass has made its way onto countless ingredients lists for all sorts of dishes. It has […]

Soy Sauce
Ingredients

Soy Sauce

Photo by avlxyz  Soy sauce is a staple condiment and ingredient throughout all of Asia. Produced for thousands of years, soy sauce is a salty, brown liquid made from fermented soy beans mixed with some type of roasted grain (wheat, barley, or rice are common), injected with a special yeast mold, and liberally flavored with salt. […]

Bonito
Ingredients

Bonito

Photo by BocaDorada Bonito is a type of tuna, which is a member of the mackerel family, and one of the most important fish in Japanese cuisine. Rarely eaten fresh, the dark, oily meat is dried into very hard cubes, which must be ground or shaved with a special tool before use. Bonito shavings form […]

Pasta
Ingredients

Pasta

Homemade vs. Store Bought Though a complete list of pasta shapes could take up volumes, there are two basic types available: factory-made, dried macaroni pasta made with flour and water, and homemade “fresh” pasta, made with eggs and flour. The two have different consistencies, textures and uses. They are truly separate and truly equal. Factory-made […]