Tuesday, May 3, 2016

What I Bought at Japanese Supermarkets

      A week ago, I went to Tokyo Central and Seiwa, which are Japanese supermarkets in Costa Mesa. Today, I decided to share with you what I bought there. These are not fancy and nothing special at all for Japanese people, but I thought these might be interesting if you are not Japanese because these are something I've never seen at American supermarkets. :)

      These were what I purchased at Tokyo Central. Have you ever tried these before?

      These were Japanese foods I purchased at Seiwa. 

Let's see each product. :)

■ Frozen Takoyaki
Frozen Takoyaki  冷凍たこ焼き
     This is frozen takoyaki (冷凍たこ焼き), which is one of my favorite Japanese foods. Tako (たこ) means octopus, and yaki (焼き) means grilled in Japanese. As I mentioned in my previous entry, I used to live Osaka, which has so many famous fresh takoyaki store, so it reminds me of my Osaka life. :)  I think takoyaki will be loved by everyone, so you really should try this delicious takoyaki. Even if you have never had octopus before and might be afraid of having new tastes, I'm sure you will like it. You can notice umami (うま味) from takoyaki. :)  According to Wikipedia, umami is one of the five basic tastes.

■ Katsuobushi, Dried Bonito Flakes
Katsuobushi かつおぶし
     I also bought katsuobushi (かつおぶし), dried bonito flakes. It's perfect for topping over takoyaki.

■ Aonori, Dried Seaweed Flakes
Aonori 青のり
      This is aonori (青のり), dried seaweed flakes. I also sprinkle aonori over takoyaki.

■ Japanese Mayonnaise
Japanese Mayonnaise マヨネーズ
     This is Japanese mayonnaise (マヨネーズ). Japanese mayonnaise usually comes in a squeezable tube. It tastes much better to me. Once you try Japanese mayonnaise, you will be obsessed with it.

■ Meiji Karl
Meiji Karl 明治 カール
      Meiji Karl (明治 カール) has been one of my favorite Japanese snacks. There are some flavors you can choose from, but I always choose this cheese puff one.

■ Bourbon Alfort

Bourbon Alfort ブルボン  アルフォート
     Bourbon Alfort (ブルボン アルフォート) is chocolate covered cookie. As I mentioned my previous entry, this is one of my favorite Japanese chocolate snacks. When I visit Japan, I always purchase some.

■ Myojyo Chukazanmai
Myojyo Chukazanmai 明星 中華三昧
     These are Myojyo Chukazanmai (明星 中華三昧), Japanese instant noodles. Because I knew that these have so many positive reviews, I tried these for my first time. :) I've already eaten them up and was very impressed at them. I'll write about it next time.

■ Natto
Natto  なっとう
     This is natto, a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. If you are new to Japanese foods, I don't recommend it to you. Some people don't like it because of its natto smell. I eat this on a daily basis though. If you have never tried natto and strongly want to try it, you should choose this Kinnotsubu Niowanatto (金のつぶ におわなっとう) because it has less smell. I think the name, Niowanatto, is come from niowanai(におわない) and natto(納豆). Niowanai means that it doesn't smell in Japanese. It has less natto smell but has umami from natto. It's perfect for people who don't like natto smell. If you love natto, you can check out my previous entry, How to Make Sticky Ice Cream with Natto.   

■ Yamaimo
Yamaimo  山芋
       This is yamaimo (山芋), Japanese mountain yam. Grated yamaimo is so sticky. You have probably seen yamaimo when you have kaisen tororo don (海鮮とろろ丼), fresh sashimi and grated yamaimo on rice bowl. Grated yamaimo is sometimes used to make okonomiyaki(お好み焼き) because its texture will be better by adding yamaimo.  I like to eat grated yamoimo with soy sauce and wasabi. Yamaimo is pretty expensive vegetable for me, so I only buy it when it's on sale.

■ Okara, Tofu Lees
Okara おから
     This is okara (おから), tofu byproducts. As I mentioned in my previous entry, okara is one of healthy Japanese foods because it's made of soy beans. :) It's pretty hard to find okara here in the U.S., but I found that both supermarkets, Tokyo Central and Seiwa, sell okara! I think you cannot always find it there though. I've already cooked Japanese okara hamburg steaks. :) 

■ Mitsukan Ajipon

Mitsukan Ajipon ミツカン 味ぽん
      Mitsukan Ajipon (ミツカン 味ぽん) is Japanese condiment which I always want to stock in my pantry. It's like soy sauce with sour flavor. When I was child, I didn't really like it because of its sourness, but now I love Ajipon very much. I use it when I have Japanese nabe dish. Just dip thinly sliced pork and vegetable in it. It's also perfect with Japanese gyoza.   

■Sweetened Red Bean Paste
Sweetened Red Bean Paste あんこ
     My husband really love Japanese sweets made of sweetened red bean paste, which is called an (あん) or anko (あんこ) in Japanese. We made zenzai from this and mochi.

■ Frozen Lotus Roots 
Frozen Lotus Roots 冷凍れんこん
     This is a pack of frozen lotus roots (冷凍れんこん). Even if you don't know what lotus roots are, you have probably seen photos of lotus flower which is well known as one of zen flowers in the U.S. Yes, this vegetable is the roots of lotus. When I was child, there was a big pond near my friends' home in Japan. I often heard croaking of bullfrogs from the pond. There were plants with huge rounded green leaves growing the surface of water. It was like a creepy pond for me as child, but I sometimes found there was beautiful lotus flowers in a dark pond. It was actually my first time to see lotus flowers. Then, one day I was surprised at what I saw that day. Some adult included my friend's parents wearing black wet suits went into the creepy muddy pond. I thought what's going on! What they were doing in the pond was harvesting lotus roots! I hadn't known that it was pond for growing lotus roots until that day! This is one of my favorite vegetable, and I cook chikuzenni with this one. 

■ Konjac Sponge
Konjac Sponge こんにゃくスポンジ
      This is konjac sponge which I purchased at Tokyo Central. This was actually my first time to purchase it and was one of beauty products I wanted to buy in Japan for a long time. I saw many positive reviews on Japanese konjac sponges on Amazon. Konjac (こんにゃく) is called yam cake in English. It's actually vegetable often eaten in Japan. I also sometimes cook nikujyaga, chikuzenni and etc with konjac in the U.S. :) However, this is a sponge for facial cleansing, so you cannot eat it.

     My entries related to Japan can be seen here.

       These are my entries you might like.

■Top 10 Products You Should Buy at Japanese Supermarkets (for Beginners!)

■The Best Japanese Beauty Products at Mitsuwa, a Japanese Supermarket

■Top 10 Most Popular Japanese Foods

■My Top 15 Must Eat Foods in Japan - My Favorite Japanese Foods

■8 Interesting Japanese Kitchen Gadgets!

■My Top 10 Favorite Japanese Sweets

■How to Make Japanese Deep Fried Chicken, Kara-Age

■How to Cook Japanese Curry

■How to Cook Miso Soup

■Top 10 Products You Should Buy at Daiso

      This is my entries related to cooking.

      This is my entries related to my favorite recipes.

      My entries related to beauty can be seen here.

     My entries related to Best Japanese Beauty Products can be seen here.

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