Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Friday, May 4, 2012


Salad oil, cooking oil. サラダ油。Also briefly called "abura, " 油。

Cooking oil in Japan (for sauteing, deep-frying, etc) is always pure, cold-pressed vegetable oil. In the traditional kitchen, animal fats are not used at all. Also when frying meat, eggs etc. always salad oil is used, and not butter or margarine.

Rapeseed oil (aburana) is very popular. Other types one sees in Japanese supermarkets are: soy oil (daizu), safflower oil (benibana), sunflower oil (himawari), corn oil (tomorokoshi), and peanut oil (rakusei). Some oils are sold for specific purposes, such as "tenpura oil." Others are mixed oils carrying the name of the producer, such as "Nisshin salad oil." And of course nowadays there are many salad oils with less or no cholesterol.

The only type of vegetable oil never used in Japanese cooking is olive oil because the flavor is too dominating and it is too heavy.

Oil used for seasoning is mainly sesame seed oil (goma-abura). Sesame seed oil may also be added to tenpura oil to add fragrance (up to half of volume).