Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you live?

(The survey is now closed. Thank you to everyone who responded - your comments were and are truly useful to my project!)

In connection with a project I’m working on at the moment, I’d like to take a short 5-question survey of Just Bento and Just Hungry readers.

I assume you are here because you have at least some interest in Japanese food and cooking. My questions are as follows.

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

By ‘extraordinary’, I mean things like:

  • Ordering food by mail order. I know ordering ‘gourmet’ or special food by mail is not quite extraordinary, but in my mind ordering everyday food items by mail is a bit much.
  • Asking friends or family to send/bring stuff from Japan.
  • Going way out of your way, or traveling a long distance, to get to stores that carry Japanese foodstuffs.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Regular (non-Asian) supermarket? Asian market? Health food/natural food store? Somewhere else?

3. What kinds of things can you get easily and locally?

For instance, where I am now (southern France) I’ve seen that things like soy sauce, nori, sushi rice, rice vinegar etc. are available at regular supermarkets. Fresh fish is a problem, though I did find a small fishmonger that has really fresh fish. What can you (and do you) get easily locally?

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

And, finally…

5. Where do you live?

Please tell me your location (city/country - I don’t need your exact address ^_^), so I can get a good idea of what is available where and so on.

So, to repeat, here are the five questions:

  1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?
  2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
  3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
  4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
  5. Where are you located?

Thank you so much! Your answers will be very helpful to me.

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Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. Medium - Difficult (I live in the Midlands of England, see #5) depending on the product. I say difficult for specific brands of Japanese food, which would only be available by mail order, or asking a friend to send me some . For basic ingredients, they're generally available in supermarkets (see below).

2. There are very few (I can think of only one close by) asian markets in my area, would need to travel to a bigger city for more choice. Even then, it's mostly chinese brand ingredients. In the bigger cities there are branded Japanese restaurants which sometimes sell ingredients for a higher price.

3. Easy to get soy sauce, sushi rice, dried sheet seaweed, freeze dried wasabi packets and powdered miso soup from local supermarkets (only one brand though, no choice in types of rice for example). Fresh fish is relatively easy, but "freshness" depends on the butcher. It is more difficult now than it used to be to find VERY fresh meats easily as local butchers are difficult to find. Also, I've never found 鰹節 anywhere >_<

4. Sometimes. If I have a craving I normally resort to buying out, but I sometimes make simple vegetarian rolls. It's less about the difficult of finding products and more about my general laziness!

5. Leicester/England.

If there's something I've been silly enough to overlook, or a specific point you want clarified, ask on twitter :)

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?
Depends. I can get nori, rice vinegar, mirin, soy sauce, miso soup and more popular items at my local supermarket. Anything else is mail order only.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
We used to have an Asian supermarket, but since that closed, only the above.

3. What kinds of things can you get easily and locally?
See 1.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
Not as much as the lack of vegetarian options

5. Where do you live?
Essex, UK

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?
It's actually really easy for me to find stuff because Philly has a really huge Asian community. A lot of it's Korean, but there are a lot of Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese import things.

Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
There's two H-Mart stores near me, and they always have a big stock of Japanese stuff.

What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Anything, really. Some of the more well stocked regular markets carry mirin, wasabi, rice, tamari...but most of the time we go to H-Mart.

Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
Not really

Where are you located?
I'm in Philadelphia, PA

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Fairly easy.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Some things I can get at the supermarkets I frequent. Some things I can get at Asian grocery stores in the city. And then some things I need to go to the suburbs to a store specializing in Japanese foodstuffs, or to an H-Mart.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Nori, kombu, wakame, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, cooking sake, sesame oil, miso paste, various noodles, tofu, rice, panko-- most of the staples. The things that are a little more difficult to obtain are things like aburaage, bonito flakes, and produce like burdock, lotus root, shiso, etc.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

It wouldn't deter me, but if I had to go out of my way to get certain ingredients, I would have to put it on the back burner, so to speak. I'm pretty good in figuring out substitutions, but there are some things you just can't substitute.

5. Where are you located?

Currently in the US, in Philadelphia. Moving to Washington, DC in a couple of weeks!

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. I don't have much trouble as I have some great Asian markets in my city.

2. The best source of strictly Japanese ingredients in my area is a store called Nippan Daido. It is a Japanese market run by Japanese which carries everything you would expect from a supermarket (or at least コンビニ) in Japan.

3. Pretty much anything I'm looking for. Between the above Nippan Daido and the multitude of Chinese and Korean markets in my area, I've had success in finding some of the rarest of ingredients (rare to me anyway; I'm not Japanese). As far as everyday ingredients go (味噌とか、出しとか、若布とか、カレーとか) I rarely have trouble finding anything.

4. Never.

5. I'm in Houston, Texas.

I hope this helps! We love your site!

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?
Easy. Larger local markets carry very basic ingredients, specialty stores 5-20 miles away carry most harder to find ingredients.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where? I can get basics (Rice, soy sauce, mirin, ginger, nori, edimame, white sesame seeds.) at my local Supermarket. Furikaki, Daisho, and other less basic ingredients can be purchased at an asian specialty store about 5 miles away. For fresh vegetables, better tea and harder to find seasonings and pre-cut nori I would need to go across town to an Asian fish market/grocery. (About 20 miles.)

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally? Just about everything I have read about in your journal I have been able to find, except for some of the fresh vegetables, which may be available at other times. The less 'pantry basic' ingredients require a 5-20 mile drive though, which requires planning.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe? Yes. It requires planning a drive-time to get the harder to get ingredients. If the ingredients aren't among the basics I can get at my two local groceries I would have to *really* want to make it and go out of my way to do so.

5. Where are you located? Detroit MI, USA

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

I live in Japan, so I get everything here. There is a good way to buy from Japan and save on international shipping. Try this company: Tenso (http://www.tenso.com/landing/en/) They let you use their Japanese address and then ship you your stuff at a lower cost than the small companies would.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?
- Moderate. On an everyday basis: difficult. There's some good Japanese stores in central London (Japan Centre is the best), but this is only accessible by public transport so not practical for 5kg bags of rice, etc. I don't get there as often as I should, but they do have handy mail-order option when I want rarer ingredients. Otherwise, there are 2 large Chinese supermarkets semi-near my home where I can get basic Japanese ingreds from.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
- Oh, I kinda answered that above. Basically: it's semi-difficult to get 'speciality' ingreds, but not too hard to get the basics, especially if it's popular in other east Asian countries. I buy giant jugs of soy sauce from Costco! :D

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
- Ramen (of course), rice, seaweed, some sauces, gyoza/dumpling wrappers, dried mushrooms, noodles, sesame seeds, miso paste - and weirdly I've found umeboshi puree in my local (normal) supermarket! For stuff like lotus root, more specialised sauces/spices, dashi and so on, I have to trek to Japan Centre or order online.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
- Yes, a lot. I only tend to keep quite basic ingredients to hand (miso paste, seaweed, rice, sesame seeds, furikake and sometimes noodles).

5. Where are you located?
- I work in central, live in outer London.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Generally very easy- though slightly more effort than my grocer around the corner.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

There are some Vietnamese and Korean grocers closer to me than the pure Japanese ones which often carry cross over products and produce. I also don't mind mail order if I'm feeling particularly lazy. Sometimes I work for a company close to Piccadilly Circus in which case there's Japan Centre and a couple other Japanese grocers just there- super easy!

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Anything from the Japan Centre. Actually it might be more useful to say that I find sometimes fresh Japanese vegetables harder to come by- lotus root, gobo, shiso leaves, and mushroom varieties. Sometimes they have them, and sometimes they don't. It's not a guarantee which is occasionally annoying (but I recognize I have it pretty good generally).

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Not at all as most recipes I go for are made from stuff that isn't necessarily 'Japanese'. The only thing I need special would be the sake and mirin- everything else can be found in a regular grocery store (for the most part). I like all the 'special' stuff, but there are LOADS of tasty things to make that require none of that.

5. Where are you located?

London, UK :)

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. It used to be a lot harder when I lived in Wyoming. When I lived there I would order from Amazon.com or Asianfoodgrocer.com, or drive the couple hours down to Cheyenne, Wyoming where there was an asian food store. Now I live outside of Omaha, Nebraska and there are several Asian grocers here. Some have more snack items I've heard, the only one I've been to is a bigger grocery store. The signs are mostly in Korean but they have a wide variety of Japanese items as well.

2. See above. LOL I didn't read number two until I was done answering number one.

3. At the store I have been to here in town, I can get fresh and frozen fish, live crabs, shrimp, fresh veggies, pickled daikon, shitake, miso, sauces, sushi rice (BIG bags!), frozen desserts (frozen mocchi!), some snack foods, ramune, soy sauce, somen noodles, udon noodles, rice noodles, iced coffees, this store is pretty amazing!

4. Not really, I try to see if there are alternatives, if not I will keep looking for items, if I need to I will ask if they can special order.

5. Papillion, Nebraska. USA (Papillion is a suburb of Omaha)

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary
measures?
Most food items are readily available because this is a university town - and we have a good sized
Asian population (though not necessarily Japanese).

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Almost all grocery outlets and "health food" markets carry sushi rice, nori, and other basics. If I need
something unusual I can go to one of the Asian markets and try my luck there.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Getting fresh fish of ANY kind is a challenge here :) The Asian markets do get produce in on a weekly
basis though.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter
you from trying a recipe?
It hasn't so far but I am only a beginner. The real challenge is getting my family to try anything!

5. Where are you located?
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

I regularly shop at several stores and get many things easily. There are some things that I just can't get here.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Harris Teeter (a US chain) has a pretty good selection, also there are several Asian Markets (of various size and usefulness) with in a couple of miles of me.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Easiest things to get are soy sauce, rice, nori, noodles (udon, soba, bean threads, etc), mirin, rice wine vinegar, & miso soup.
4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Yes and no. Sometimes I look at a recipe and just know I won't be able to get at least 1 key ingredient, and so pass on by. On the other hand, I can never find everything and once I've decided on trying something, I make do with what I can get.

5. Where are you located?

Newport News, Virginia, US - near Norfolk & Virginia Beach (pretty big metro) a few hours south of Washington DC

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Fairly easy. Depends on what ingredients really. Haven't found kinako yet.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Yes. Asian grocery store as well as large local supermarkets.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Staples such as sushi rice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, curry cubes, [ instant/dried ] noodles, some tsukemono, nori, wasabi paste, kombu [ only found it in the asian grocery store in the city though ], soy sauce, mirin, miso paste, tofu, bonito flakes, green tea amongst others.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Yes. However I'm deterred mainly by the complexity of the recipes and the hassle of gathering the ingredients that I lack. I usually try to make do. eg I've been making stock with bonito flakes only as I can't really afford to buy kombu at the moment [ am job-hunting and living off a swiftly depleting bank account currently ]. :P

5. Where are you located?

Melbourne, Australia

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Fairly easy, since we have a large Korean community here, and the majority of the Korean-owned markets stock Japanese products.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Yes, generally at the Korean stores: H-Mart, Superfresh, Lotte, etc. There are also a couple of small Japanese markets in Maryland and DC that stock slightly more obscure products.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Prepared sauces and seasonings, dried foods (bonito, konbu, etc.), some refrigerated/frozen goods (natto, konnyaku, takuan, etc.). Meats are also generally available in cuts that are suitable for Japanese cooking. What's generally unavailable are fresh vegetables - smaller Japanese green peppers (green peppers in the US are almost all those mammoth, thick ones that are generally unsuitable for Japanese cooking), etc. Although more common vegetables - daikon, negi, etc. - are generally available.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Not as a rule.

5. Where are you located?

Northern Virginia (DC suburbs).

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

I can get most sushi-related materials, since it's v popular here. However, to get other foodstuffs, like fish cake, ume plums, seaweeds, and fried or freeze-dried tofu I have to go to some pretty ridiculous measures. I have friends who live in large cities (Chicago, Illinois, USA and Seattle, Washington, USA) buy me ingredients in their very well-stocked Japanese groceries (Yojamaya and Mitsua, large chains) and mail them to me.

Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Getting more interesting things, like Panko breadcrumbs or sweet rice flour at an Asian foods speciality store in town. I often transport ingredients from other ethnic cuisine into the Japanese as a substitute, like mediterranean ground sesame paste, tahini, or Mexican hot chilies instead of Japanese hot chilies. It's almost impossible to find fresh fish, especially sushi-grade so we typically will eat shrimps that are semi-decent when frozen - we get them at the typical grocery store. However, we use local fish (freshwater walleye, trout, bass and crappies) in our Japanese cooking that we get from catching it and cleaning it ourselves. The flavor's not always the same but they cook up wonderfully.

What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

I can get a handful of things mostly everywhere (sushi rice, nori, rice vinegar, soy sauce) at basic American grocery stores. The farmer's markets are flush with daikon, snow radish, edamame. Some Japanese ingredients I have taken to making myself like Ponzu sauce, sweet red bean paste, and growing my own sisho. We also adapt a lot of recipes to use our own vegetables that grow locally instead of the harder-to-find Japanese equivalents (pluots instead of ume plums).

Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Especially when it's a product that's necessary for the outcome of the recipe - sweet rice flour or white miso versus red. I think the biggest deterrent, however, is transliterating and translating names of products. I think of sweet rice flour, but I'm not sure if it's the same translation as fine rice flour or red rice flour, etc... Also, when I'm looking for a product and the packaging only has Kanji I have a really difficult time identifying the product. Most American import products have a second label that includes the FDA-required label elements including ingredients, so I use them heavily to figure out what exactly I need.

Where are you located?

Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Re: Finding ingredients in Madison ...

For fish cake and freeze-dried tofu, try the Oriental Shop on Park Street-they don't take debit cards, so go with cash or a check. They have mostly Japanese goods, and the only place in town I've found that carries matcha powder and chiremenjako. Look in the refrigerated cases for fish and fresh vegetables.

I've found aburaage and a ton of other tofu varieties at Midway Asian Grocery, near Regent and Park. I am also very fond of their selection of fish balls. I have also found a wide variety of stuff (lotus root slices) at the Garden Asian Market in Middleton, corner of University Avenue and Allen Boulevard. The Garden market also has fresh vegetables and a Chinese BBQ that smells wonderful (though I haven't tried any yet). Lee's Oriental on University Avenue in Shorewood Hills has a generic Asian selection with more Korean ingredients.

Finally, you can find many ingredients at the Willy Street Coop on Williamson Street. I get my miso and mirin (without added sugar, since my husband is a diabetic). Google for all of these, the Oriental Shop site is in Japanese, but has pictures of their location. All of these are on the bus lines and easily accessible. Like you, I read the nutritional label in English to see what I am getting, or I ask the clerk where to find my ingredient. What really helps is finding a picture of the ingredient to make sure I got the right stuff.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

fairly easy

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

theres an asian mini market round the corner from my house that sells basic ingredients and noodles and pocky :) and the main supermarket has a japanese range. they also sell some equipment such as bamboo steamers, rolling mats for sushi and rice cookers

3. What kinds of things can you get easily and locally?

seaweed (sheets and crispy), mirin, rice, rice wine vinegar, ginger, wasabi paste, miso mix, soy sauce, fish sauce, fresh fish and prawns, noodles, oyster sauce, teriyaki sauce, im sure theres lots of other bits and pieces i've missed out. if i can't find it in the shops (which is rare) i order online. the only thing ive actually ordered online so far was a packet of furikake

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

only if its a main ingredient i cant get hold of (seasonal/out of stock) otherwise ill find a substitute. if it is a main ingredient ill just try later when i can get it.

5. Where do you live?

north east england

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Fairly easy, depending on how far "exceptionally long distances" are. Mitsuwa Marketplace is about 90 miles away and in an area I get to a couple of times a year anyway and there's nothing I've looked for that I haven't found there. More locally (withing 15 miles), things are a little scarcer, but adequate.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

There's a Thai-owned grocery about 10 miles away that solicits stocking ideas from the tiny Japanese ex-pat community here.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Including what's at the Thai grocery: a large collection of nice sake (we're lacking on the cheap cup-sake), beer and shochu, a number of Japanese soy sauces (including light soy), mirin, nori, rice vinegar, powdered dashi, dried konbu and wakame, assorted rices (both domestic and imported Japanicas), sesame oil (does that even count these days?), several kinds of tofu (same question) including inari wraps, imported udon and soba noodles, cakes of curry sauce starter (but not my favorite House brand Java Curry), a couple of kinds of miso paste, panko, umiboshi, instant noodle cups, katsuobushi flake, furikake, daikon, yamaimo, a fair assortment of frozen seafood including octopus, and Ramune, candies and packaged bakery.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Nope. Food's about tasty more that absolute authenticity, after all.

5. Where are you located? 15 miles west of Milwaukee, WI, US.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1&2. I can get most things that I would normally use at any of the Asian markets around town (most are located in Henrietta, and I'd be happy to offer you a list of them).

3. A lot of the basic stuff like rice, soy sauce, some seasonings and furikake, can be found in regular supermarkets. The more specialty stuff like dashi and furikake sans seaweed (durn allergy!) can be had from the Asian markets. We had a new one open up a year or so ago that is HUGE and has everything from fresh produce that you can't find in other stores to LIVE seafood! They also carry the usual fare of teas, frozen prepackaged foods and treats, snacks, oh! And every day they have fresh baked goods and freshly made gyoza wrappers!! I honestly wish I had a car so I could get out there more often than I do. I generally hafta bum a ride or beg as we're about to pass it. ;)

4. If I know I can't get ahold of an item (like mirin, for example) I will definitely put off trying the recipe until I can get said item. Usually I will stock up on things that are either freezer fodder or shelf stable, because I know I won't be to the Asian market any time soon.

5. Rochester, NY. And like I said, I'd be happy to offer a list of places and maybe a short review of each.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

It isn't too easy to pick up some Japanese ingredients such as nori or sake which would have to be bought online for me. However, there is a few places I haven't been too here, so perhaps they have the nori/sake I need.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Mostly in asian supermarkets, however, the asian supermarkets mostly have Chinese ingredients/food and less Japanese.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Rice Vinegar, Sushi Rice (or rice that is similar) and Soy Sauce.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Yes, I don't know what to swap it with, so generally don't make the food.

5. Where are you located?

Scotland, UK

What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

Hello
I am in Scotland too and wondered if you wanted to exchange shopping tips for Japanese food/eateries etc.
I live near Stirling

Mimz

What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

Hello
I am in Scotland too and wondered if you wanted to exchange shopping tips for Japanese food/eateries etc.
I live near Stirling

Mimz

What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

Hello
I am in Scotland too and wondered if you wanted to exchange shopping tips for Japanese food/eateries etc.
I live near Stirling

Mimz

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

I live in a rural area of New England, but it is near an Ivy League school. There are two stores where I can count on being able to get some Japanese food -- a local Asian store that's run by an Indian family and a local co-op. One I can walk to, the other is about a mile away.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

The above-mentioned stores. My grocery store's Asian section is mostly American generic "asian" food that they're calling Thai these days. When I was a kid, the called the same food Chinese...

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

I can get Japanese rice in bulk, about three different brands of nori, daikon, pickled ginger, furikake (is that how its spelled? I've never bought it), umeboshi and umeboshi paste... Plenty of other things that I can't recall because I haven't tried.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

If I have a general idea of what the flavors are supposed to be like, I'll substitute. I'm NOT someone who is likely to follow an exact recipe unless it's something fussy that can fall like a souffle.

5. Where are you located?

Near Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in the US.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?
By ‘extraordinary’, I mean things like:

It's alright. There is a Japanese Supermarket about 10 Minutes by car/15 by Bus/Subway away from Campus, so right after class i can hop there and buy all the goodies. It's also only about 25 Minutes by car from home.
There is also a large Asian hypermarket with a decent Japanese/Korean section and many nice Asian fruits and vegetables, 20 Minutes from home.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Regular (non-Asian) supermarket? Asian market? Health food/natural food store? Somewhere else?

See above and the supermarket 5 Minutes by car, has some a bit overpriced stuff, like soy sauce, nori, sushi rice etc.

3. What kinds of things can you get easily and locally?

See above
Fresh Fish ... nah not here. There is a fishmonger in the Kleinmarkthalle who just might be ok but why gamble for a poisoning. Just safe species. Some supermarket offer ramen but mostly the south asian variety which is good but not the real thing.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Noes
Never
I substitute like a crazywoman, not only if i don't have but also if i don't like something (like Konyaku).
But if i get to love a certain taste i will go great legth to get it or just won't do the recipe.

5. Where do you live?
Near Frankfurt am Main, Germany
The mentioned shops are in Frankfurt suburbs.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

I live near Frankfurt and do not know about these shops. Could you please name the suburbs you where talking about?

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

There are only a few ingredients that are tough (or impossible) to get where I live, such as kikunori, unshaved katsuobushi, udo, kujira, uma... just the really specialized/illegal stuff. It's also tough to find inexpensive "clean" ingredients... everything has artificial coloring, MSG or HFCS in it, so that's kind of annoying - either that or you pay a premium.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

I do all of my shopping at Uwajimaya, which has an awesome selection of Japanese and other Asian ingredients. There are several Asian markets around my area that carry Japanese goods as well, but Uwajimaya does it the best.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

We have local matsutake, shingiku, negi, hakusai, kabocha... lots of produce; Fresh wasabi up from Oregon as well. We have lots of fresh fish, too. I don't really have a problem finding ingredients for Japanese recipes.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Just udo (grr). Some of the imported stuff, like yuzu, can get prohibitively expensive.

5. Where are you located?

Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Relatively easily. Most supermarkets have some of the basics, and it's only half an hour drive to some more ethnic supermarkets that have what I want. (More specifically, I think it's about 30 miles to each of the two markets I mention below. To me, that's not very far.)

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Pretty much every supermarket here has the basics like soy sauce and rice vinegar. I've seen a couple places that have nori. But if I want something that's more Japanese specific, I have to go to the nearest city. There's a giant Chinese/Vietnamese market that will have things like sushi rice, masago, mirin, soba and udon noodles, most of the basics. There's also a small Korean market, that will have more Japanese specific ingredients like hon-dashi, furikake, and mochiko. I can't get fresh fish where I am, so I rely on frozen if I want fish. The Vietnamese market has a large selection of meats and fish, but I'm pretty sure most of what they have is previously frozen as well.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Well, there's everything I mentioned above. I have to admit a soft spot for Japanese junk food: Pocky, Kinoko cookies, Ramune, which I get at the Vietnamese market. I can get mochi and daifuku at the Korean market. Both have things like Kewpie mayo (which is the only mayo that works for my spicy mayo). I can find umeboshi and daikon as well. Many varieties of mushrooms. Most of the things I /can't/ find are very specific fruits and vegetables, or herbs. I can't find shiso, and I see things like kabocha squash very rarely. I can't seem to find things like fish cakes, not sure why. Most other things I can find with only a little bit of effort.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

I've attempted a couple of recipes from my Japanese cookbook when I know I can get the ingredients or make easy substitutions. I'll be put off from a recipe if it calls for very fresh fish, or mentions an ingredient I've never heard of before, because I know that's difficult to find where I live.

5. Where are you located?

I'm in Norman, OK, US.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

For common daily ingredients like shoyu and mirin, we have quite a huge selection of asian grocers for a town that has a population of just 30,000 people. However, more specialized items cannot be found, and I usually get them when I travel to bigger cities like NYC (4 hours away) or Toronto (also 4 hours away).

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

See above. We have 2 Korean grocers that have about 50:50 Japanese:Korean foods, and another 2 Chinese grocers that have some Japanese foods.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

There is absolutely no fresh fish that I would dare to eat sashimi-style. In good weather we get a truck that drives in from Boston with fresh fish once a week, and that is the closest to sashimi we can get. Most things we can get locally, like sauces, but fresh ingredients are the hardest to come by.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

If there is something I really want to try, I usually leave out the ingredients I cannot find, or make substitutes.

5. Where are you located?

Ithaca, NY (Upstate), USA.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1.How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Super Easy. I have 2 Asian grocery stores within 3 miles of my home. Another 3 or 4 more within 5 mile radius. Seattle's International District is just a 30 minute drive away and Maruta Shoten is another 10 minutes in Georgetown.

2.Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Again, Super Easy. The mainstream supermarkets have a nice selection in the Asian food aisle. And I have acess to local Asian food stores. There are also many "organic" chain stores that have Asian food selections. I shop at Japanese owned Central Market which carries Japanese food items and very fresh seafood.

3.What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally? Pretty much everything.

4.Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

I have not yet had trouble finding any Japanese ingredient

5.Where are you located?

Edmonds, WA, USA

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

It's pretty easy to get most of the basics and not too hard to get some of the less common ingredients.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Most of the basics can be obtained from the general supermarket, and almost everything else is available at a local International Foods market.

3. What kinds of things can you get easily and locally?

Nori, various types of rice and sauces, miso paste, tofu, furikake, all kinds of dried items, many Japanese fresh vegetables, and various Japanese specialty frozen items are all available at the International Foods market. Really fresh fish is still very hard to find here as Indiana is nowhere near any coasts.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Sometimes, especially if it's not something I generally have on hand or can easily be substituted. Recipes that use specific Japanese vegetables that are not easily substituted, I generally avoid because it can get expensive and I don't always know how to pick out the fresh vegetables (because they are totally new to me!).

5. Where do you live?

Indianapolis, Indiana USA

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Fairly easy for everyday items. Sometimes I do have to scour the town, but I have built up a good knowledge of what is sold where. That said, there are some things that I grab while I can if I am in other cities with more variety.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Newcastle's Chinatown has a variety of stores from which one can muddle together a pretty comprehensive larder with a little effort. Sainsbury's specialist section and Waitrose can prove helpful in a pinch, although it is mainly Clearspring products (can be pricey!)

3. What kinds of things can you get easily and locally?

As a veggie, I value Chinese supermarkets and the opportunity to grab renkon, taro, ginko nuts and other fresh stuff. Sushi rice, mirin, cooking sake, curry roux and storecupboard items along those lines can be picked up at my local large Chinese Cash and Carry. There are still a few items which most of my recipes hinge on (konbu, for one) which I find hard to find, so grab when I can!

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

A classic example is yuba... I scoured the oriental supermarkets in Portsmouth (where I lived at the time) like a mad thing trying to find it for a recipe I had. I was later told that it's actually a pretty expensive ingredient, and then, lo and behold, yesterday I spotted some in a local shop. However, I am pretty resourceful when it comes to substituting items I don't have access to so unless something vital like that yuba, I will normally experiment... Thinking of that example reminded me of the variability of stock in different towns. Portsmouth - could buy konnyaku easily, Newcastle - cannot get konnyaku - and yet there is very little size difference between the two cities.

5. Where do you live?

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?
Easy to slightly frustrating. There's some basic stuff sold at regular markets, but most of the more "specialty" items (nori, rice vinegar, sushi rice) are only sold in areas that are a pain to get to. This would likely be a bit easier for someone with a car, but I can't drive. Plus, I got spoilt growing up in Northern California.
2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Most if I try hard enough. Quite a few require going out to the one good Asian market in the greater metro area which is kind of out of the way.
3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Most anything that could also be used in a non-Asian meal or has been Americanized enough to be considered "normal" (soy and terriyaki sauces come to mind here).
4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
A bit. Mostly because I like to get all my shopping done in one quick trip.
5. Where are you located?
Washington, DC

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Pretty easy actually, there's an asian market within driving distance

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Yup, at an asian Market called Grand Asia Market. It's about a 15 minute drive from where I live. They sell everything "asian", so it covers Vietnamese, Indian, Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese food supplies

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Pretty much everything that "I" am aware of, at least if I've seen it on a Japanese food blog (a la this blog), I've been able to find it at the asian market...except Yakidofu, for some reason they just don't have it, it's weird.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Since I've never really come across something that my market doesn't have I really can't say this applies to me. I mean if it looks good, I'm pretty much assured I'll be able to find the ingredients, so I'll always give it a go.

5. Where are you located?

Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1: Fairly difficult to get non-packaged items (i.e. produce). For a good number of packaged staples (bonito flakes, konbu, miso paste, gomashio, etc) I have to drive about 150 miles round-trip.
2: I can get a few domestically produced staples from a local health food store.
3: Tofu, edamame, panko, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, various noodles, rice.
4: Yes it can be discouraging. I need to find a list of substitutions that will work.
5: Weed, California. Pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so that explains the lack of local availability.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Easy. There's a "Japantown" with lots of japanese/asian stores less than 10 min by car; although they all seem to have the same products

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

You can get the very basic stuff at local supermarkets like shoyu, okome, nori, hon-dashi, mirin, etc... But it's not worth it; it's easier to go to Japantown

3. What kinds of things can you get easily and locally?

You can get most of the industrialized japanese stuff easily. Typical japanese vegetables are a bit harder to find but you can get most of the more common stuff like negi, shungiku, hourensou, gobou, hakusai, kabocha, daikon, etc. Fresh fish is also not a problem, you can get most of them here. Tofu, miso, wakame, konbu, shiitake, shimeji is also easy to find.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Hmm I guess not. I think I can find most of the ingredients here

5. Where do you live?

Sao Paulo, Brazil - some say we have the largest japanese community outside of Japan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberdade

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?
Very easy.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Yes - most regular markets around me carry some of the very basic stuff, and there are a variety of Asian markets within a short drive. The Japanese sector of downtown Los Angeles (Little Tokyo, or Japantown, or J-Town) is not much further. The Japanese markets aren't as conveniently located as my regular market (which I can walk to), so I typically plan periodic trips to my Japanese market and stock up.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Almost anything I need; I can't think of an ingredient I've looked for and could not find. At regular supermarkets I can buy tofu, edamame, some sauces, and noodles. I usually go to Japanese markets for produce (like yamaimo, shiso leaves, specialty mushrooms, gobo), miso paste, tsukemono, seaweeds, specialty sauces and seasonings, noodles, arare, rice, mochi and other sweets, and many other ingredients.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
It would probably depend on whether the ingredients play a primary role in the dish. For dishes where the ingredient is a minor player, I usually research online for potential substitutes and/or omit.

5. Where are you located?
Los Angeles metro area, CA / USA

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

For the most part, it's pretty easy to get some of the common ingredients. I haven't seen mirin or dashi around, though. And any specialty vegetables are definitely out, and so is furikake.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

What I can get is usually obtainable at the regular grocery store, and if need be, one of two Asian variety stores downtown.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Sushi rice, soy sauce, wasabi paste, nori, etc is all available at the regular grocery stores since they've recently added a sushi counter. Beyond that, I'd have to go to the Asian variety stores which carry varieties of candy, and sauces, etc. But mostly what they carry is Chinese and not Japanese.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

Most definitely, which is unfortunate. :(

5. Where are you located?

St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. It's pretty easy.

2. I can get basic stuff (nori, rice of various descriptions, soy sauce, miso) at our local grocery store, and there's a Chinese owned vegetable shop even closer to home than the grocery store which carries a lot of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc. foods (I got kombu, Japanese pepper blend, furikake, konnyaku noodles, dumpling wrappers, and a number of other things there... and of course lots of fresh vegetables). If it's anything too unusual (well, I don't know if "unusual" is the right word--in my case it was bonito flakes and natto), I might make a trek to Chinatown.

3. I've actually never had a recipe I couldn't make with ingredients found in Vancouver. Fruits and vegetables are excellent here in the summer, and there is a good selection of fish (I was actually given 2 large dungeness crabs last week by friends with a boat). Other meat is very expensive, but available.

4. I often cook without recipes and/or take liberties with recipes, so no, it's not a deterrent, but when trying something new, I usually try to get the right ingredients. As I mentioned, in Vancouver I can usually get whatever I need.

5. I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada! (Actually, I grew up in Seattle, which has the drool-worthy Uwajimaya grocery store... ah, I miss it so...)

By the way, I love your websites! They are very inspiring... and they're getting me excited for moving to Japan in a couple of months!

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. Very easy. I have a small Japanese grocery less than a mile of where I live/work, as well as Korean groceries that sell many Japanese items. It's not in the same direction as the supermarkets I generally go to for more every day ingredients, but it's not far enough that I would say it is really a "special trip". I do load up when I go though. There are bigger stores with more selection that are in other areas of the city, but will often require a special trip (a subway ride).

2. Japanese market, Korean market, some items available at the local supermarket. There is also a very very large Japanese supermarket not very far (though requiring a special trip) from my neighborhood.

3. Soy sauce, tofu, various types of noodles, spices available at regular supermarkets, nori, sushi rice, rice vinegar, miso, mochi, tofu skins, Japanese pickles, and much more are available at the Japanese market. Fresh fish is easy to get at the many supermarkets and seafood stores around.

4. No, because usually ingredients are available, or if not, something close, and also, I'm willing to go out of my way to try recipes that interest me.

5. Upper West Side, New York City.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Quite easy to get processed foods (canned stuff, packaged sauces, dried stuff, etc.). A bit more difficult to get all the produce and other fresh/perishable ingredients. Those produce items that are common across several Asian cultures are generally easier for me to get due to a fairly large Chinese presence in my area.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Yes. I can get pan-Asian ingredients at Super 88, a Chinese supermarket that has ingredients from some other Asian cultures as well, but mostly those common in China or common across Asian cultures. I can also get them at a small but rather well-stocked Japanese grocery store, but that's mostly processed foods and some sushi-quality fish, and unfortunately it will be moving to a far less accessible location soon. I can get some things at natural and gourmet stores like Whole Foods Market or Harvest Co-Op.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Shelf stable processed foods like sauces, dry soup mixes, canned goods like aburaage and lychees in syrup, furikake and other seasoning mixes. Rice (though not usually more than white or brown Nishiki). Frozen processed foods like mochi, fish cakes, meatballs, etc. Some items of produce like Japanese sweet potatoes (though I don't know if there might be a season when the store doesn't carry them). Various types of dried seaweed.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

It depends. If the ingredient is central to the dish (for example, if it is a konyakku-based dish and I don't have konyakku, or if it's a simple dish but with a seasoning of a hard-to-find ingredient that has a unique flavor), I'll skip the dish. If it's something like a stir fry of some kind of greens I can't find but with a sauce of ingredients I CAN find, I might try it with a different green, after doing research to see what's similar.

5. Where are you located?

In the Boston, Massachusetts metropolitan area.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?
Relatively easy for most common Japanese ingredients. It's harder for the more exotic ingredients and types of fish. For example, I can't get hamachi anywhere and I still haven't been able to find pre-grilled tofu. I also can't seem to find mitsuba but it might be there and I just can't figure out that's what it is.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Yes, there is a good Japanese/Korean market one town over from me, plus a number of good Asian chains in my area (Super 88, Kam Man Market). There used to be an outstanding Japanese grocery store in Cambridge called Kotobukia but unfortunately their lease is up so they are closing. :-( :-(

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Daikon radish, shiso leaves, chrsyanthemum leaves, umeboshi, tofu, dried sardines, instand dashi, konbu, hijiki, wakame, furikake, ponzu sauce, miso, kabocha (although sometimes it's really buttercup squash labelled as kabocha but that's tasty too), Pocky, canned nameko mushrooms (pricey!), shimeji mushrooms, shiritake noodles (the real kind, not the fake tofu version), konyyaku, etc.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
No, after cooking Japanese for a while, I'm getting really good a finding substitutes. Plus, I can get most of what I need. After making the above list, I realize I'm really lucky to have so many options.

5. Where are you located?
Boston, Massachusetts USA

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

Quite easy to get processed foods (canned stuff, packaged sauces, dried stuff, etc.). A bit more difficult to get all the produce and other fresh/perishable ingredients. Those produce items that are common across several Asian cultures are generally easier for me to get due to a fairly large Chinese presence in my area.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

Yes. I can get pan-Asian ingredients at Super 88, a Chinese supermarket that has ingredients from some other Asian cultures as well, but mostly those common in China or common across Asian cultures. I can also get them at a small but rather well-stocked Japanese grocery store, but that's mostly processed foods and some sushi-quality fish, and unfortunately it will be moving to a far less accessible location soon. I can get some things at natural and gourmet stores like Whole Foods Market or Harvest Co-Op.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?

Shelf stable processed foods like sauces, dry soup mixes, canned goods like aburaage and lychees in syrup, furikake and other seasoning mixes. Rice (though not usually more than white or brown Nishiki). Frozen processed foods like mochi, fish cakes, meatballs, etc. Some items of produce like Japanese sweet potatoes (though I don't know if there might be a season when the store doesn't carry them). Various types of dried seaweed.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

It depends. If the ingredient is central to the dish (for example, if it is a konyakku-based dish and I don't have konyakku, or if it's a simple dish but with a seasoning of a hard-to-find ingredient that has a unique flavor), I'll skip the dish. If it's something like a stir fry of some kind of greens I can't find but with a sauce of ingredients I CAN find, I might try it with a different green, after doing research to see what's similar.

5. Where are you located?

In the Boston, Massachusetts metropolitan area.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?
Easy. Not as much variety as the Bay Area, but still relatively easy.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Yes, at Japanese and Asian grocers/boutiques, organic foodshops, and various butchers and fishmongers. Sometimes I am surprised by what is available at the open air market, especially with mushrooms.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Most basic and some very exotic ingredients, though it irks me that I can't find sakuraebi or the wee wee dried fish anywhere.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
It depends on whether or not a substitution will completely alter the essence of the recipe. I will substitute where possible, but sometimes you can't and shouldn't.

5. Where are you located?
Paris, France

Out of curiousity, may I ask for what sort of project is this information being used? The answers you're receiving are quite interesting, could make for some very interesting charts and graphs (I know, they really aren't sexy in and of themselves, but ever seen some of the examples Edward Tufte has in his books? Very nice visuals. Apologies for the tangent...)

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

I can't say what the project is as of yet, but if it turns out well I'll let you all know :) I think I will put together some graphs or something from the results. I'm finding them very interesting too! BTW, you could ask Workshop Issé if they have sakuraebi (though I don't see it on their website...you never know)

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

A very good idea. I was just there last week and I forgot to enquire about the sakuraebi because lo and behold I stumbled upon a treasure trove of hijiki. And then I was lost in a dégustation of exquisite products. They are fabulous. Not to sound like a food snob, but really there is a world of difference between industrial miso or umeboshi, and then the artisanal version. It is worth every penny.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?
Very easy

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Yes, at Asian markets (there are several) or Japanese markets (quite a few here as well)

3. What kinds of things can you get easily and locally?
Fresh fish, soy sauce, nori, sushi rice, rice vinegar, sake, miso. There is quite a large Japanese community here and I've never been unable to find anything I need for Japanese cooking!

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
No - it's always been quite easy for me to find the required ingredients. I guess I am lucky in that way! :)

5. Where do you live?
Vancouver, Canada

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. Medium - Some items common items are available at the grocery store, but it seems odd that there are not more ingredients readily available since there is such a large Asian population in the area (mostly Chinese, but there are still a lack of Chinese ingredients)

2. I can get common ingredients from the grocery store.

3. I can get rice, nori, soy sauce, and some other shelf stable basics locally at the grocery store. There is very little other than the ingredients you would need to make sushi.

4. Sometimes I shelf different recipes, until I am able to make it to an Asian market when I stock up on most everything.

5. East Bay, San Francisco Bay Area

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

In SF try here: http://www.nijiya.com/ They have most everything I've ever wanted for Japanese cooking and tons more too.

Re: Survey: What Japanese ingredients can you get where you ...

1. How easy is it for you to get Japanese ingredients without having to resort to extraordinary measures?

It's pretty easy if I'm willing to make the 20-minute drive to where all the larger Asian supermarkets are in my city.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?

I can get basic Japanese ingredients at my local supermarket (miso, tofu shirataki noodles, tofu, nori, soy sauce, fresh fish) and more "exotic" ingredients at the local Asian markets in my city. My neighborhood health food store also carries organic versions of the basics and a wider range of Japanese ingredients, like umeboshi and various seaweeds.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?

For me, it's really about the number of ingredients -- will I have to go to a couple of different stores to pick everything up, or can I get the majority of them in one store over another? I don't mind making the effort if it's worth it and something that I can easily make at home. If it's more of a "project" recipe, I probably won't attempt it unless it's a long weekend or a major holiday (like when I made tamales on Christmas Eve).

5. Where do you live?

I live in San Diego, California, where there is a huge Asian/Pacific Islander population and easy access to fresh fish and Asian ingredients from various cultures.