Japanese Flavours

Like so much of the world, the cuisines of Japan can’t be summed up as one singular idea. From the ancient Kaiseki of the former imperial city of Kyoto, Japanese food has developed through centuries of political, economic, and social change. Known for the dichotomy of simultaneously simple and complex flavours, Japanese cuisine is all about well-rounded, sophisticated tastes in small doses.

History & Influences

Japanese cuisine remains rooted in ancient ideology and has endured in tradition since its conception.  Around 300 BC, Japan shifted from a hunter-gatherer to an agricultural society and rice cultivation began.  Influences came from Korea and China where Buddhism initially shunned the consumption of meat as taboo. Upon the decline of the Tang dynasty in the 9th century, Japan made a move toward its individuality in culture and cuisine, and the use of chopsticks as eating tools became the norm, previously only used by the nobility and those of high social standing.  

What is Japanese cuisine?

The home of the later-recognised fifth taste ‘umami’ meaning ‘pleasant savoury flavour’, it’s no surprise many of Japan’s flavours are driven and influenced by it, including soy sauce, tamari, miso, nori and wakame and dashi, which is a golden stock made of dried ‘kombu’ (kelp) and bonito (dried fish flakes) and known as the building block of Japanese cuisine.  Pivotal to Japanese cooking is umami and the Japanese are experts at balancing this intense yeasty savouriness with zings of sour from yuzu (Japanese citrus), mirin (rice wine vinegar), and the sweetness of sake, red bean paste and pickled ginger, all offset by the intense mouth-puckering heat of wasabi. All flavours are brought together to harmoniously and subtly enhance the natural taste of the fresh produce used, and nothing is too over-sauced, over-seasoned, or overshadowed – the true art of flavour balancing.


Tender chicken pieces, sweet apple, and potato infused with a rich curry sauce.

A wonderfully spice-rich vegan take on authentic Japanese are.

Braised beef and vegetables in a golden curry sauce.

A Japanese-inspired vegetable and bacon soup.

Iconic JapaneseDishes

Grounded in tradition and elegantly refined, Japanese cuisine ranges from the fresh, clean flavours of sashimi to rich curries, steaming-hot udon and ramen, and stir-fried noodles. Traditional street foods in different parts of Japan include Takoyaki (golden balls of batter with marinated octopus), okonomiyaki (fried noodles with a variety of fillings), nato (sticky, gluey fermented soybeans eaten with rice for breakfast), and sukiyaki.

Japanese spices

Spices don’t always spring to mind when considering the world’s spice route. Originally Japanese food was dominated by garlic and pepper, however, Japan grows and produces many spices and flavours such as red pepper flakes, yellow mustard seeds, ground ginger, sea salt, and white and black sesame seeds. 

Japanese Kare

A golden brew of warming peppery flavours with sweet hints of allspice and fennel, our Japanese Kare (curry) blend infuses your at-home curries with authentic flavours of Japanese cooking. Curry was introduced to Japan in the early 1800s when Anglo-Indian Royal Navy sailors brought the curry powder of India and combined it with the sweet additions of fruit like apples to suit the British palate. Today, the golden curries of Japan are popular throughout the globe and can be made with vegetables, chicken, beef, pork, or seafood.

Flavours of the world

Comprising 6 regions, 12 countries (and counting) and 48+ delicious accompanying recipes, Flavours of the World opens the doors to the world’s spice route and allows everyone to explore the countries and cuisines that have shaped our culinary world today. Sugar-free, filler-free, and preservative-free, our blends make cooking wholesome, authentic meals from around the globe simple and affordable; offering step-by-step instructions and a catalogue of free online recipes to suit all diets


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