Yakumi condiments

Jun 29, 2022 | Recipes, Summer

薬味
YAKUMI

A Lively Mixture of Aromatic Herbs

Food cultures around the world employ various aromatic herbs and spices to stimulate the appetite, maximize flavor and promote healthful eating. Japan has a long history of using yakumi, condiments, that provide a benefit to the body in some manner. Indeed, the Japanese word is written with calligraphy for “medicine” and “flavor,” suggesting yakumi possess both curative and preventative merit.

Use yakumi to top a variety of dishes, from tōfu to stewed vegetables to cold noodles. It can also be folded into an omelet. Here’s a BASIC RECIPE to use as a point of departure for creating your own house version of YAKUMI.

Looking for more suggestions on how to take this basic recipe and enliven your meals? Look at PROJECT Yakumi posted to Kitchen Culture Cooking Club.

My June 2022 newsletter is all about yakumi.

Chop, slice, and mince various herbs. Here, I have used green shiso, mitsuba (stalks and leaves), slender scallions, new ginger and myōga.

Place the cut pieces in a fine-meshed net bag. I use one sold as a filter for a washing machine. Turn your bag inside-out so that food cannot get caught in the bag’s stitched seam.

Lightly “massage” to evenly distribute the various herbs BEFORE rinsing. As you rinse, continue to lightly massage. Squeeze out excess moisture. Use right away, or store (in the net) in the refrigerator in a closed container or reusable bag.

Salmon

Salmon

Four varieties of wild-caught salmon are commonly available in markets around the Pacific rim. Left, top to bottom + right: Sockeye (beni-zaké in Japanese) Coho (gin-zaké in Japanese) Chum (aki-zaké in Japanese) Chinook (kingu samon, in Japanese) 鮭・さけ・SAKÉ SALMON Fish...

KAMBUTSU: The Dried Darlings of the Japanese Pantry

KAMBUTSU: The Dried Darlings of the Japanese Pantry

In the photo above, there are five vertical columns, from left to right: KAMPYO (soaking in water with kombu; deep-fried to make chips; used as an edible tie for kombu rolls); KANTEN (sticks and powdered form, made into a savory bamboo shoot and asparagus aspic, lemon...

Moon-Viewing Dumplings

Moon-Viewing Dumplings

月見団子 TSUKIMI DANGO The moon can be seen shining from any place on our planet and people everywhere see beauty in a full, luminous moon. But ritual contemplation of the “moon of the middle autumnal month” (chūshū no meigetsu) has its origins in China. The practice...

CHAMPURU a Happy Hodgepoge

CHAMPURU a Happy Hodgepoge

チャンプル・CHAMPURU In the local dialect CHAMPURU means “hodgepodge.” It is essentially a stir-fry; the signature dish of Okinawa.  Every household will have its own version though most will include some sort of tōfu and lots of vegetables, most likely bitter melon or what...

Explore

Archives