After this post I got a few messages about what to buy at these Japanese Asian Markets. My first thought was you can just buy whatever it is that you like, but then I realized that the people who asked were people unfamiliar with Japanese food and never went to an Asian Market before. Now, I'm here to give you my personal shopping list when I go to the Asian Market. Keep in mind that I am not the cook in the household, my husband is. So a lot of my stuff are snacks and easy fixes.
Here we go!
Snacks and Candy
So I'm going to be generalizing this one. There are so many snacks and candies to choose from and they're all really good. You really can't go wrong with any of them. In the picture is Pocky and Pretz. Pretty much anything made by Glico and Meiji will be delicious. My favorite Japanese candy is Apollo Chocolate. It's a mix of chocolate and strawberry flavor.
Swiss Roll Cakes
These cakes are so good! I love them. I remember finding them in Japan when I studied abroad so when I found them here in America I was ecstatic. These little cakes are great in the mornings with a cup of milk. They come in various flavors but my favorites are the creme and strawberry flavor.
(If you couldn't tell already, I love strawberry flavor).
This is for those who are more adventurous. Dorayaki are traditional Japanese snacks. It's a pastry with red bean paste inside. Think of it as red bean paste in between two small pancakes. If you're into traditional sweets and are okay with red bean paste then you should like these.
I know many of you are familiar with cup noodle or other variations of it that is referred to as ramen, but this is a better quality of ramen. Think of it as a ramen kit. In this bag you get broth and noodles, everything else you'll have to buy separately. My husband buys these when we want to have a ramen night for dinner. This packet serves both of us. We love the Tonkotsu flavor which is pork. We add in pork tenderloin, green onion, bamboo shoots, and bean sprouts. It taste great. I hope you give this a try because it definitely beats those cup ramen brands.
Another one I'm generalizing for is drinks. You really can't go wrong here either because they're all great drinks. I personally love the melon soda the best. Ramune is always fun to have on occasion though. There will always be green tea available if you are a green tea fan and not into the carbonated drinks. And then there's Calpis (Calpico). I'm still not sure of this drink. It has a milky texture and kind of like a yogurt flavor. I don't think it's something I would buy for myself but I'd drink it if someone bought it for me.
Mochi Ice Cream
Mochi Ice Cream is amazing! They come in many flavors and are a great bedtime snack. Everyone should already know what ice cream is but for those of you who may not know what mochi is it's like a gummy rice. It's really good, but if you don't like gummy texture you might want to try this with caution. My personal favorites are the strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate chip flavors. Other flavors are coffee, mango, red bean, and chocolate.
Now I'm getting more into the cooking aspect of shopping. This is the brand of rice we like to buy. It's called Nishiki. It's really good. We use this rice when we have teriyaki burgers, curry, or gyudon (beef bowl) for dinner. We cook the rice with our Japanese rice cooker that we also bought from our local Asian market. This rice is like candy, that's how good it is.
There are many brands for curry but we buy the Golden Curry brand ( you can get this brand at a grocery store). It's great and easy to make. Curry is a fast and easy dinner in Japan. It is one of the most common dinners to make. When in Japan, I like to go to Kokoichi but this does the job when I'm not in Japan. Here's the YouTube video by Japan vlogger Micaela, that my husband uses, on how to make curry.
I love a really good miso soup. I'm still kind of on the search for a really good one. So far I can only get really good ones at two local restaurants. There are two kinds of miso: red and white. I prefer the taste of the white miso over the red because the white isn't as fishy tasting, if that makes sense. The brands in the picture are pretty good though. Some brands may require you to buy your own seaweed and tofu so check the bag.
And that's what I buy when I go to a Japanese Asian Market. I hope this helps in your ventures at your local Asian market. Like I said, I'm not the cook in the house so there weren't many cooking related items on this list. If you could tell, I'm more of a snacking kind of person. Let me know what you like to buy from the market or what you think I should try.
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