“The Japanese believe Umeboshi plums possess magical healing powers, used to cure everything from ancient Samurai battle fatigue to the modern-day hangover. They are shockingly expensive, but a little of their super-concentrated, tart acidic flavor goes a long way.
When I buy cashews for cooking, I always opt for the broken cashew pieces as opposed to whole nuts; they are less expensive and taste just as good. Black garlic is fermented, and has twice as many antioxidants as raw garlic; its flavor is much sweeter and more mild, kind of like garlic candy (in a good way). You can find this at your Asian grocer, but it is widely available in mid range supermarkets as well (they even sell it at Trader Joe’s). If you can’t find it, just substitute roasted garlic cloves and add a pinch of sugar.”