Best Places to Find Japanese Recipe Ingredients

Do you love Japanese food and wish that you could create some of those great Japanese dishes like shrimp tempura, katsudon curry, or yakitori, but don’t know where to get some of the necessary ingredients to complete these recipes?

The first thing you might want to try is to visit your local supermarket. Almost every large supermarket contains an aisle of ethnic foods, right? Well, if you live in Hawaii, you might be in luck due to the high concentration of Japanese immigrants to that state over the years; however, for the rest of the country, all you will find in the supermarket are a few packs of Ramen noodles, some bottles of soy sauce, and maybe a bottle of teriyaki sauce if you are lucky.

A step up from the supermarket would be a visit to the local Asian market. While at first this might seem like a good idea, again it depends on what area of the country you live in. Asian markets in Hawaii and California have quite a bit of great Japanese food, condiments, spices, or whatever else you might require. You will find that Asian markets in the rest of the country will be hit or miss.

Most of the Asian markets where I live are run by families from Vietnam or Thailand. Still, these Asian markets will have a better selection of Japanese food than the average supermarket. I have had some success finding Japanese Kewpie brand mayonnaise as well as Vermont Curry roux (despite the name, this curry roux is 100% Japanese), as well as some Japanese snacks like Pocky at these markets.

If you live in a small town with no Asian population to speak of, even an Asian market may be out of your reach. So where do you go when you are trying to find the necessary ingredients to make the perfect Japanese dish?

The internet of course! These days there are many websites where you can buy Japanese food online. They offer everything from Japanese spices, authentic Japanese teas, even Japanese snacks and candy. In fact, you can find even the most obscure ingredients to complete your recipes, like Japanese bread crumbs, and sheets of nori seaweed for those interested in making their own sushi.

Japanese food is not the only thing these online merchants offer! Some offer Japanese cookware, tea sets, bento boxes, even electronic goods such as rice cookers.

When looking for a website to buy Japanese food online, your best bet is to seek out the websites that specialize in Japanese cuisine. These online retailers know what ingredients are necessary for a wide variety of Japanese recipes and will always have these items available for purchase.

Don’t have a recipe for your favorite dish? The best Japanese online grocers will have free recipes available online for almost any Japanese dish you can imagine.

While you are on the internet, why not check out an online Japanese grocer today?

Japanese Recipes Which Appeal To Western Palates

Having lived in Japan for many years, I was able to experience a large variety of the dishes available in the land of the rising sun. At first, I was very adventurous and wanted to eat the dishes most different to my own culture’s familiar tastes. After some years living abroad though, I started to feel like many of my expatriate friends and craved the tastes of home in my own house. With comfort food, one can often relax and create a little atmosphere of Western comfort, even while living in a tiny Japanese apartment.

Here are a couple of Japanese dishes which are easy to stomach for the foreigner who has been in Japan too long, or for the uninitiated who wants to sample Japanese food without diving straight into sushi:

Katsu Curry

I first had katsu curry while on student exchange in the Saitama region, close to Tokyo. As a 15 year old active boy, I required a lot of calories to make it through the day. The school cafeteria served up katsu curry as an option everyday and it soon became my favorite Japanese comfort food.

The meat of the dish is tonkatsu (the ton means pork, katsu is the style of batter), which is thin to medium thickness pork fillets, breaded and deep fried. There are a range of dishes made with tonkatsu, and even a tonkatsu sauce, which is not used in katsu curry, but is often found on tonkatsu along with shredded cabbage as a garnish.

The aforementioned fried pork is laid upon a bed of rice and then covered in a mild Japanese curry (more closely related in flavor to an English beef stew then any Western concept of curry). The typical garnish is a bright red pickled ginger, julienned. This may be placed on the curry when served or offered as a condiment at your table.

Karaage

For those trying to avoid too much cholesterol in their diets, be warned, these recipes may not suit you. Again, as a 15 year old boy and even now, I still think karaage is one of the easiest Japanese foods to eat as a Westerner.

One could easily assume karaage is just fried chicken, as done in many other countries. While similar, there are some subtle differences. One point to note is that while karaage is most often made with Chicken, it is not always the case. You may be served gobo karaage which is the same batter, but used to fry burdock root. A difference from common fried chicken you may find in the United States of America, is that the meat is first marinated in sauces such as soy combined with garlic or ginger. After marinating either for an hour or overnight, the main ingredient is then lightly covered in a flour or starch and fried in oil. Many cooks will double or triple-fry the karaage, with a resting period of 15 minutes between fries.

The resulting food is always delicious and while Japanese enjoy covering karaage in mayonnaise before eating, to me, that feels wrong, so plain karaage or with a little Frank’s Hot Sauce is the perfect pseudo-Western food to be found all over Japan.

Try an Authentic Japanese Recipe: Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki is one of those words Japanese that we’ve amalgamated into the English language and now appears everywhere – like Samurai, Ninja – but unlike those mythical knights of old, Teriyaki sauce is actually quite easy to make yourself and isn’t so much of a secret.

Today I’ll show you the ingredients you need to make your own Teriyaki sauce and give a few serving suggestions for a light meal. Of course, Teriyaki sauce is commonly associated with chicken, but if you’re vegetarian then there’s no reason to not try it with fried tofu or soy-based meat substitutes.

Ingredients:

– 6 tbsp of soy sauce

– 2 tbsp of mirin

– 3 tbsp of cooking sake

– 1 tbsp of sugar

– 2 tbsp of oil

– 4 chicken legs

– Japanese rice, or some potatoes to accompany

Preparation:

Making the sauce is actually rather simple – just combine the soy uce, mirin, sake, and sugar in a fry pan. Heat on a low flame until the sugar dissolves then boil for about two minutes.

To prepare the chicken legs, wash then dry (with a kitchen towel) and cut into small pieces (only needed if you’re planning on eating with chopsticks). Feel free to use chicken breast instead of legs, but the Japanese swear he leg is tastier than the breast meat. Personally I can’t stand bones. Saute them until brown, then pour the previously made sauce on top and cook for a further 20 minutes with the pan covered the whole time.

Of course, this dish is best served with Japanese rice, but you could also use the chicken and sauce for own main meal idea, with potatoes or a salad, for instance.