One of the fastest emerging trends in New Zealand today is the increasing diversity of what we’re eating and cooking. Our interest in ethnic restaurants and ethnic foods has taken on a new dimension and there’s no doubt we’ve all become a lot more adventurous in our attitude.

This diversity is reflected in the range of ethnic foods available at Moore Wilson’s Fresh. For instance, we continue to expand the range of Japanese and Korean ingredients and condiments we have in available. The following is a guide to some of the most popular:

Belacan A fermented paste made from shrimp meat. A condiment that is common throughout Japan and Korea and is especially a feature of Malaysian cuisine. An essential ingredient in many sauces and curries. Recommended that you use it sparingly as it has a strong and pungent flavour.

Gochujang A hot pepper Korean fermented paste made with red pepper flakes, glutinous rice, soybeans and salt. Used in various Korean stews and soups and also to marinate meat. The most quintessential Korean condiment of them all.

Gochugaru  Made from coarsely ground sun dried red peppers and this is the ingredient that has given Korean food its hot and spicy reputation. The flavour is hot, sweet and slightly smoky.

Kimchi A traditional Korean side dish now available pre-prepared. Based on fermented cabbage and sometimes including daikon radish, onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper, it has recently been named as one of the world’s healthiest foods. While the Koreans serve Kimchi with just about every meal, there are lots of things you can do with it too. Use it to wake up your morning scrambled eggs, great as a wrap filling and a tasty way to top off a baked potato. Both Korean Kimchi and a locally produced version are available.

Kewpie Mayonnnaise Regarded as the best mayonnaise in the world. Made from egg yolks only rather the whole eggs plus rice vinegar, soy based vegetable oil and a touch of the flavour enhancer MSG.

Mirin Sweet Japanese cooking wine with a golden colour and made from glutinous rice. Not only adds sweetness but also gives a gloss or shine to a dish. Essential for teriyaki chicken and wonderful drizzled over salmon.

 A traditional Japanese paste made from fermented Soy beans. These are numerous types and textures available. Provides an intense almost meaty savoury flavour despite being a vegan-based condiment. As a general rule, the lighter the Miso colour the more mild the flavour. A New Zealand - made Miso is now being made using Nelson soybeans.

Nanami Togarashi Nanami literally means ‘seven flavours’ in Japanese. This tasty spice blend is made up of chilli pepper, orange peel, black and white sesame seeds, Japanese Pepper, Ginger and Seaweed.

Nori A type of seaweed that comes in in dark green/black sheets and most commonly used as a wrap for Sushi. Can be shredded or bought in a powdered form (called anori) and used as a garnish or flavouring for noodle dishes and soups.

Panko Breadcrumbs These Japanese-style breadcrumbs are light and fluffy and incredibly crisp. You can, in fact, use them in just about any recipe that calls for breadcrumbs.
Rice Vinegar: This is mild in flavour and is not as acidic as western vinegar. A pale yellow colour it is used as sushi vinegar and in making pickles.

 Bean curd made from soy bean milk and formed into a block. Has a myriad of uses in salads, soups and can be eaten by itself. Available either firm or soft (silken).

Wakame Another form of seaweed, often used in Miso soup, noodle soups and salads. Wakame comes in dried or frozen form. When using dried wakame, soak in water to soften before using or just add a few pieces to soup. Be careful not to use too much as the pieces expand greatly in size. Frozen Wakame does not require cooking.

Wasabi This Japanese horseradish tastes very peppery and pungent. While fresh wasabi is sometimes available, it is mostly used in a paste or powdered form.

Soy sauce, Sesame oil, Fish sauce, Rice wine etc. are universally used in Asian cuisine and each Asian country generally makes its own version. Generally these base ingredients are inter-changeable irrespective of their country of origin. Simply use the version that most suits your personal taste.

Visit Moore Wilson's Tory Street Fresh Market for our full range of Korean & Japanese ingredients.