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A wide variety of condiments are used in the Japanese cuisine. Below is a list of some of the common spices, pastes and sauces that tourists are likely going to encounter at restaurants during their travels:




Ichimi, which translates to “one flavor”, is a chili spice that contains only one ingredient: chili pepper. Ichimi is used in a similar way as the above-mentioned shichimi but offers just the spiciness of the chili peppers without the fragrance of the other spices.

Goma, sesame seeds, are used in a number of Japanese recipes. While both white (shirogoma) and black (kurogoma) sesame are used, the former is by far more common. Goma can be used whole or ground up and sprinkled over stir-fried and simmered dishes. Sesame-based sauces and dressings are also popular in dishes like salads and shabu shabu.

Although pepper is widely available in Japan today, it has not been a popular ingredient in traditional Japanese cooking. Pepper shakers are sometimes encountered at the table of restaurants serving Chinese or Western dishes.