Below is a long list detailing some of the ingredients we use in our shop & restaurant kitchens. Because of the Asian nature of our food, we understand some items are unfamiliar, we hope these explanations help.
Click a letter of the alphabet...
Avocados are difficult to handle, but the nutty flavours and texture they add to our maki rolls and salads make them worthwhile. We always try to use Hass, (the one with a crocodile skin), it´s a far better flavour than its watery fuerte relation. Sometimes itsu avocado tastes citrusy, that´s because we bath the fruit in fresh lemon juice to prevent the enzymatic browning. Browning on the underside of the fruit is caused by oil from the stone. An avocado contains 60% more potassium than a banana and rich in vitamin E, K & B. 75% of the calories in avocado comes from monosaturated or `good´ fat...
You´ll find blueberries in our Hawaii-5 0 fruit cup. One of the super fruits, blueberries are a strong source of vitamin C & K
itsu´s famous dynamite broth is made using a miso soup base...we add a little coconut milk, fresh citrus juice, lime leaves, tamarind, freshly pressed ginger, garlic. The seasoning is sashimi pepper and hondashi. It contains bonito flakes (fish) however we also have vegetarian recipe (made to order)
We use a special type of carrot, they are called `donkey´ carrots. We produce our wonderful long angel hair carrot using a specially imported machine from Japan. Carrots are a known source of vitamin C and carotene. The myth relating to improved eye sight from eating lots of carrots started during World War 2, when the RAF started the rumor to cover up the new use of radar equipment. That aside, they are very good for the skin.
We only use fresh British farm assured chicken. Our chickens are bred to higher welfare standards as set out by Defra on farms around Northamptonshire and Shropshire. These farmers ensure that our birds have sufficient space to move around freely with adequate shelter and clean comfortable bedding. We use chicken thigh meat in our potsu because it´s juicier than breast meat and has a far better flavour. We´re hoping to stay with the two farms we´re with now. In the event this should change we will, of course, update our website.
Coriander is a delicious aromatic herb, and really adds a touch of the east to the flavour profile of many itsu dishes. We prefer the English grown variety.
Every morning each itsu store makes up a fresh batch of crab mix using Blue swimmer, three spot crab, surimi stick (surimi stick is produced with Pollock fish, we´re sorry to say it does contains some artificial colouring) secret mild spicy sauce and pepper mix (see shichimi pepper).
Also known as glass/cellophane or vermicelli noodles, you´ll find these in our detox and noodle soups. The noodle is fat free, gluten free, low in calories and high in carbohydrate.
As with all of our sauces the full recipe is top secret... If you were to try and recreate the fresh herb dressing at home it would take you forever... amongst other things you´d need huge amounts of coriander (like making a good pesto), fresh lime juice and a dash of Thai fish sauce (See Sweet chilli sauce
itsu sweet chilli dressing contains Thai fish sauce, this provides the sour sweet contrast so well known in Asian cooking. Fish sauce is derived from fermented fish, it´s rather pongy on its own but really makes a huge difference to the sauce. It also contains lime juice, chilli and rice wine vinegar (a fermented rice product).
Soy sauce is made by fermenting soy beans, contains wheat and therefore not gluten free. It is naturally brewed, therefore free from additives and E numbers. Low sodium sauce is available in all of our stores - look for the green cap.
at itsu we only use fresh British duck breast - reared in Lincolnshire and hand stripped and roasted in Devon
itsu veggie dumplings or gyoza are filled with cabbage, tofu, leek, spring onions, seasoning, garlic, and a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil. Unlike most Asian dumplings and dim sum itsu dumplings do not contain any flavour enhancers
Our edamame come from farms in China which do not use hard core pesticides. Not only do we not agree with these nasty chemicals impact on the environment but heavy use of pesticides damage the beautiful bean and make them go a nasty yellow colour. Edamame are a good source of Dietary Fibre, Protein, Thiamin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper and Vitamin K.
itsu´s zero fat frozen yoghurt is made with real live A1 type pro-biotic cultures; unlike other frozen yoghurts it´s not made from a powder. Most frozen yoghurts contain a nasty fat element which stabilises the mix; itsu frozen yoghurt is stabilised with guar gum, a natural extract from the guar bean.
Furikake is a dry Japanese seasoning mix used in much of their cuisine. Furikake has a great flavour, we often use it on our salads etc. It consists of a mixture of dried and ground fish, sesame seeds, chopped nori seaweed, sugar, wasabi fleck and salt
Pickled ginger is a commonly used palette cleanser. It is always enjoyed when eating raw sushi & sashimi.
Ginger is a tuber, and provides a rich warm flavour to many of our dishes. We make fresh ginger juice each day in stores. It´s the key to our many great recipes. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese
A good crunchy bean... found in our maki, potsu and some of our salads. Beans are full of vitamins (Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A and Vitamin K), they are also a good source of potassium and dietary fibre
itsu ithai sauce, found in our rice potsu, is made with a little tomato sauce, creamed coconut, chopped fresh onion, lime juice, fresh ginger, tamarind, lime leaves, chopped coriander, a little turmeric and a touch of garlic. Real coconut is a great source of iron, potassium & zinc. Similarly to seeds and avocado coconut milk is naturally high in saturated fat. The saturated fat in coconut is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) in particular, one called lauric acid. MCFAs are rapidly metabolized into energy in the liver (unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are used up more quickly by the body and are less likely to be stored as fat). `Lauric acid is converted in the body into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms. It is therefore now thought that consumption of coconut milk may help protect the body from infections and viruses.´ For more information see: www.bbcgoodfood.com
Our khobez flat bread is 'the sandwich' in our sandwich salads....a traditional flat bread from the Arabian Peninsula [our khobez is delivered daily...from a lovely family baker in North West London..] It took months of development to get the perfect bespoke square shape for rolling, wrapping, tearing and sharing.
Pickled Kombu is a type of seaweed, commonly used in Asian cuisine. It is a good source of glutamic acid, an amino acid responsible for "umami", one of the five basic tastes in addition to salt, sweet, sour and bitter. The brain can use glutamic acid as fuel and it also helps the body build proteins. Kombu contains iodine, a mineral that is essential for normal growth and development. All meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, as well as kombu are excellent sources of glutamic acid.
A clear, golden Japanese spirit that gives our teriyaki sauce its sweet taste. Mirin has a very low alcohol content, which is largely cooked off during the making of the sauce in large pans
Miso is made from cooked soyabeans. It´s an amazing form of protein. Miso is the staple of all Japanese cuisine. They eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Miso forms the basis of itsu´s miso soup and dynamite broth in our itsu shops - it is free from MSG, colourings and artificial flavourings. There are numerous references to how healthy it is on the web. It is thought that miso exerts the same cancer-fighting effects as other soy foods. Experimental studies carried out specifically with miso have shown it to protect against breast cancer. There are a large number of miso soups available and it´s best to avoid the cheap ones made with instant dried powder.
A roasted pressed sheet of dried seaweed, itsu uses these sheets to bind together our rice maki rolls
Commonly used in Asian cuisine you´ll find these mild little onions in our miso soup, potsu´s and ricebowls. Spring onions are a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Manganese
Shichimi is a Japanese seasoning, meaning 7 spices. (Mandarin orange, sesame seed, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, ginger, nori and ground sansho `a relative of the Sichuan pepper). Shichimi adds the kick to many of our dishes
You´ll find fresh pineapple in our hawaii 5 O and some of our beautysmoothies. A good dietary fibre source Pineapple contains Vitamin B6 and Copper, and is a very good source of Vitamin C and Manganese.
Pretty little pearls - find them in our Hawaii 5-O fruit cup and add colour and texture to our fro go yoghurt. There is much research on the internet about this fruit preventing cancer, arthritis etc. We just know it´s a good source of dietary fibre and vitamins C&K.
We use Italian superior white rice in all of our sushi. The rice is double washed.
Rice vinegar can be mixed with salt and sugar to make sushi vinegar, which is used to season the rice used in sushi. Rice seasoning vinegar contains Spirit Vinegar, Rice Vinegar, Sugar (Sucrose, Cane Molasses), Salt. Rice vinegar is used to control the Ph of rice, preventing food bacteria growth
itsu rocket is only taken from the first & second cut´s in the field, this ensures that we get the best peppery flavour without the bitterness. Itsu rocket is washed in spring water. Some people use chlorine to wash leafs; we never allow this at itsu.
itsu uses fresh atlantic salmon, delivered from Norway - with optimal water currents, abundance of cold clear waters and good oxygen levels. For lots more information on itsu salmon have a look at our sustainability pages.
Salmon is rich in healthy fat, giving you lots of omega 3, protein and oils that contribute to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and weight.
Seeds are a great sources of protein, and essential minerals iron. 1 portion can provide over 20 per cent of the recommended daily intake of iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium
Shallot sauce is particularly good with our seared tuna or fillet beef. It contains a whole host of fresh ingredients, shallots, fresh lemon juice etc. The recipe calls for some soya sauce which slightly raises its sodium content and means it isn´t gluten free. It is available at our itsu [dining] restaurants
our [dining] chefs use green shiso, also know an oba, in our tempura recipes.
Every morning each itsu store makes up a fresh batch of salmon mix using Superior grade salmon, Tabasco, our secret spicy sauce (you wont find mayonnaise at itsu) and a pinch of shichimi pepper (see shichimi pepper).
Our secret alternative to gunky mayonnaise. You won´t find mayo in itsu. As soon as our recipe for spicy sauce was finalised we banned the white stuff from all of our kitchens.
itsu spinach is washed in spring water... Some people use chlorine to wash leafs; we never allow this at itsu... itsu uses a semi savoy variety of spinach, which has hardier leafs, making it perfect for our broth. Spinach is a great source of iron & calcium.
A tart fruit from the tamarind tree commonly used as a spice, a key ingredient in our ithai rice potsu.
"teri" means lustre and "yaki" means grill...a royal version of brown sauce...found in our new 'on a bed' salads and great with chicken potsu.
Flying fish roe (caviar)- these naturally bright orange little pearls feature heavily at itsu [dining] Chelsea and Notting Hill.
A soya bean curd found in itsu´s forever young miso soup and superbowl. Tofu is made with soy beans, soy protein and firming agents (glucono-delta lactone - (GDL) E575 is a naturally-occurring food additive used as an acidifier. Calcium chloride - a common salt)
We only ever use sashimi grade tuna loin, adult fish. This protects the long term sustainability of the species. Our tuna is immediately flash frozen at -60 so as to seal freshness and quality. For lots more information on itsu tuna have a look at our sustainability pages.
A classic miso soup garnish. Wakame is low in saturated fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Riboflavin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese. To reduce the levels of sodium in wakame we take extra care to wash it in clear running water.
Wasabi is bright green in colour, with a fresh scent and hot flavour - you can find this in many of our sushi boxes. http://www.kinjirushi.co.jp/english/wasabi.html