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

I have to drive about an hour to the east side of Ann Arbor. There I shop at Hua Xing, a Chinese grocery that carries a lot of Japanese food and has a fresh fish section. I also go to Tsai Grocery for dry goods and rarer items. A local chain, Hiller's, has a large selection of Japanese food, frozen items, and a great selection of quality seafood. It's worth the drive and during the school year my daughter lives in Ypsilanti on the campus of Eastern Michigan University which is less than 5 minutes from Hua Xing.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
No, not really. Locally, I shop in Jackson, MI and that means at a Meijer store. Meijer does not carry a lot ethnic food of any variety and very little Asian food. This has always made me wonder because we have a Japanese owned plant less than a mile from the grocery store where I shop and a lot of the Japanese who work there shop in that store.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
The local groceries carry more pan-Asian items than Japanese specific. I can get soy sauce, mirin, nori (bad nori), over priced rice, and a lot of Chinese convience foods and boxed meals.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
No. I usually try to figure out a substitute. I have a couple of cookbooks and online resources that have been helpful. But, I have had to set recipes aside until I could find items.

5. Where are you located?
Albion, Michigan - 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?
Despite living in North London, UK it is pretty easy for me to get hold of Japanese ingredients.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
I live a 10 minute walk away from a Japanese supermarket, Atari Ya, plus there are 2 others 10 minutes away by car. And if I am in town, I always make a detour into Japan Centre at Piccadilly Circus. I also use the various oriental supermarkets around China Town and Centre Point area of Tottenham Court Road.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Pretty much everything; rice (big bags), mirin, soy, sake, tofu, miso soup and paste, konnyaku, lotus root, noodles, ready made furikake, edamame and my local Japanese supermarket has a fresh fish counter so I will occasionally pick up sashimi when I can afford it. I also pick up quite a few bit from Waitrose (supermarket) who have recently introduce an range of own brand Japanese ingredients, which are sourced from Japan.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
Haven't had an issue as of yet.

5. Where are you located?
Finchley, London, UK

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 drive 250 miles to San Francisco to get my Japanese ingredients.
2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
simple things like rice vinegar in small bottles, organic soy sauce , simple furikake, nori and the like. But nothing like umeboshi, or real japanese brown rice or any japanese rice for that matter. I can't get all the fun varieties of furikake. (I know I should just make my own)
3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
see above (sorry) Also Tarder Joe's has nice usa fresh shitakes. The farmer's market has fresh daikon. My haelth food coop carries many varieties fall river miso. Their miso is fantastic!
4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
no. I'll try substitutions, or wait until I go to SF.
5. Where are you located?
Chico, 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?

Very easy, there are lots of Japanese Grocery store in the city (where I live is only 15mins train to city). Local supermarket and Asian Grocery store (Chinese or Korean) sell them too.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Japanese Grocery store (Maruyu, Japan city kombini), Asian Grocery Store(Miracle), Local supermarket.

3. What kinds of things can you get easily and locally?
Soy sauce, mirin,sake, all kind of seaweed(konbu,wakame,nori), furikake, instant dashi, curry, mirin,sake,tonkatsu sauce, kewpie mayo, miso, oden pack, japanese snacks(pocky!) and drinks. pretty much everything. even dango!

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
Not at all. I usually improvise.

5. Where are you located?
Sydney, NSW, 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?
Very simple, its maybe a 10-20- minute drive to any of my local asian markets.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Yes, at 99 ranch market, greenland market, seafood city, and island pacific. just to name a few

3. What kinds of things can you get easily and locally?
Basics such as nori, rive vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, tonakatsu, rice, kamaboku, soy paper, rice paper, sushi grade tuna, masago roe(my favorite), several sake varieties, plus whole lot more that i cant think of right now.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
No not really.

5. Where do you live?
Van Nuys, California USA

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

Not sure what happened to my prevoius comment, but here goes again:

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

Relatively easy, I live about 10-15mins away from town, which has a japanese shop selling japanese ingredients. Variety wise, its sufficient enough (can't find shiso leave or bento accessories though, and variety is definitely not as wide as Japan Centre), but stock comes in really slowly.

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

I can also find some clearspring japanese products from an organic shop nearby my place. Some local supermarkets and asian grocery shops also sell common things like sushi rice, nori, toufu, mirin, miso soup paste/powder and soya sauce. There's also a japanese restaurant chain here selling some japanese ingredients, but are highly priced.

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

Can find fresh salmon and tuna over here in some fish shops, but need to specify its for sashimi usage. The japanese shop I mentioned also sell some frozen prawns and cuttlefish/octopus ready to put on top of sushi.

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

Well, if things are not available, then I won't try out the recipe. Also, what I cook depend largely on my two picky kids. =P

5. Where do you live?

Copenhagen, Denmark. Don't think other parts of Denmark will be able to find 'uncommon' Japanese ingredient that easily.

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

Hi Sharonian,

I will visit Copenhagen at the end of the month and I've promised to make some Japanese food for some friends. What luck I saw your response! Could you please take pity on a traveller and tell me the name of the Japanese shop you normally buy from? An address would be nice too but any information would be very much appreciated.

Cheers,
Jannie

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

1. Depending on the ingredient, it can range from super easy to really difficult. Things like soy sauce, mirin, tonkatsu, curry mix and pocky I can get at the grocery store. But anything beyond that (miso, fresh foods, most snacks, etc) I'd have to drive all the way into Seattle for.
2. Yes. The local Safeway has a decent selection of things, if not everything.
3. Soy sauce, mirin, Japanese curry mix, rice vinegar, sushi rice, tonkatsu, pocky, nori, wasabi, mochiko flour and tofu are the easiest to get. Sometimes there are other things but not usually.
4. Quite often it does, especially if there aren't more easily-obtained, cheaper substitutes.
5. Olympia, WA USA.

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

1. Very easy for most things. Seasonal items can be tricky.

2. There is an Sunrise Supermarket in town as well as at least three smaller Asian food stores that stock fresh and frozen foods.

3. Sauces, rice, nori, panko, edamame, bok choy and other fresh greens, mushrooms (fresh/dried), seafood, soup packets, furikake, and some seasonal fresh fruits like longan are easy.

4. Most of the time I'll just save the recipe for when I can find the item needed or an acceptable local substitute if I've tried the recipe before and know the taste I'm going for.

5. I'm in Knoxville, TN.

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. There are a lot of local groceries that has "international" food sections. The most I would have to do is a 45 minute drive to a grocery in another city. But I only go there around 2 to 3 times a year to stock up on things I can't find closer to home.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Local groceries and Japanese groceries. I visit three Japanese groceries regularly for things I can't find in a regular grocery. Cartimar in Pasay City (this is the one that's 45 mins away from me) has a row of about three Japanese groceries and one that's Japanese/Korean.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Local groceries have soy sauce, mirin, nori, Japanese rice, panko, tofu, fresh fish, curry blocks, noodles and a lot of the ingredients common to Asian cuisine. Japanese groceries have practically everything else. The only problem is sometimes they only have a few stocks of a particular ingredient and you have to wait for them to obtain more.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
Not really, most things can be substituted with something else. For instance, nagaimo sells out pretty fast but the local "gabe" works just fine. Price is a problem though, if something is expensive I'll probably only try the recipe once. Edamame is somewhat pricey here so I tend to avoid using it.

5. Where are you located?
Quezon City, Philippines

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 - I have a local Asian market nearby, and two health food stores that stay in relatively good stock of exotic-type foods.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Yep, I go to the Asian market, Hua Xing, about 1 block away from my apartment.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
I can get a couple types of Miso paste, umeboshi, lots of noodles types, firm or soft tofu, fresh vegetables like daikon, nappa, and bok choy (but not lotus root or taro root), fish sausage, ginger, seaweed, and all kinds of sauces. I can't seem to find tofu products much, however, like inarizushi skins or anything else like that.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
It used to - It took me forever to figure out what Dashi stock was and where to get it; I'm still not sure if I'm mixing it right, truthfully. I also didn't make anything with bonito flakes because I couldn't find them, and I didn't know at the time that they weren't a key ingredient in most recipes.

5. Where are you located?
Ypsilanti MI, 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?
There's a well stocked Japanese grocery store about a 35 to 40 minute drive from where I live. It's a college town so they seem to have more ethnic offerings even in the large chain stores. I usually have to go up there two or three times a month so I always work in a trip to the Japanese grocery store while I'm in town.
2.Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
I've had pretty good luck with our local stores carrying basic ingrediants, as well as some items I used to have to get out of town.
3.What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
It used to be just sushi making ingrediants. tofu and panko and staples like seasame oil, soybean flour. Lately they've even begun to carry things like miso paste, ponzu sauce, azuki bean paste and mirin which I could never find locally before.
4.Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
I haven't come across something I couldn't locate at the Japanese grocery store.
5.Where are you located?
Monroe, MI (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?

Pretty easy, there are a couple of mainly japanese markets here and a few korean/chinese markets with some japanese ingredients.

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

Mostly at the asian markets, our local supermarket ironically is the only place i've seen that carries shungiku and it's quite expensive ($4 a pound)

The other "American" markets have Asian sections but the selection is dismal and generally overpriced.

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

Anything pre-packaged or even frozen - natto, mochi blocks, nori, several varieties of shoyu, mentaiko. The usual commercial stuff -- curry blocks, furikake, ochazuke packets, fish sausages, inari skins in a can. A wide variety of pickles (I love them). Shabu-shabu cut meats, though I tend to slice my own since it's cheaper. The vegetables are come and go -- daikon, hakusai, enoki, and shiitake are always available but shungiku rarely found. No japanese eggplants to be seen. Occasionally there will be a small expensive pack of fresh shiso leaves, but shiso and mitsuba are available more in the form of dried imported packets. Absolutely zero source for ikura roe :(

Fresh fish is readily available though nothing you can call sashimi-grade. The local japanese market claims to have the latter, but a quick taste will reassure you that it's not as fresh as restaurants around here (which already are not as fresh as they could be, from a landlocked state).

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

No, I haven't had a real problem with unavailability.

###5. Where do you live?

Ann Arbor, Michigan (midwestern United States)

Additional comments: Having moved here from New York City, I was very surprised at the availability of Asian cooking ingredients. I think there must be a decent size Japanese expat community nearby -- I know there are a LOT of Koreans here, so maybe a Zainichi influence?

If you or anyone else who reads this knows of a decent izakaya (not just in name) within an hour of Ann Arbor I will love you forever.

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 isn't very easy. It's probably possible, but I haven't found an easy way.

Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
There is a store called Hannafords that has some things, but it is far from a Japanese or even Asian store.

What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Sushi rice, nori, mirin, rice wine vinegar, instant miso soup, daikon radish, panko bread crumbs

Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
All the time. Whether it's mochi flour or hanpen, there are many things I just can't find without well over an hour drive.

Where are you located?
Keene, New Hampshire, USA

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

1. Pretty easy, but sometimes expensive. And it's difficult to get Japanese vegetables.

2. There are more options:
- My first choice is a small Japanese shop run by a Japanese woman. I see Japanese people very often in it, so it really has to be good ;) She sells all kind of stuff: sweets, cooking ingredients, soap, tea, kitchen and tea pots, frozen goods... You can even rent Japanese movies and every saturday frech baked Japanese bread (anpan, curry-pan, choco-pan, etc) is sold.
- Second choice is a asian supermarket run by people from Thailand with a little Japanese section.

3. Soy sauce, nori, mirin, differnt sauces for different meals (like shabu-shabu), tofu, shiso, furikake, sushi rice, rice vinegar, frozen naruto, adzuki, sake, umeboshi, lotus root, tsukemono, curry-roux, rice cracker, strawberry pocky sticks, yokan, udon, gari and other noodles... so much, I can't remember everything *-*

4. Sometimes... But not very often, because it's easy for me to get most of it. If something isn't available I try to change it.

5. Munich / Germany

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

1. fairly easy, because i have a car. most of the ingredients in your recipes, i can find at the asian market or the natural food co-op. some (like kiriboshi daikon, for instance) are impossible to find, but i don't know whether that's because they don't have it at my asian market or because i just can't find it—it's a big warehouse kind of place, not very well organized, and of course it's more difficult to find things when you can't read the labels very well!

2. the only specifically japanese ingredients that are produced locally here would probably be burdock and fresh shiitake (though i'm not entirely sure about the shiitake) and those are easily gotten from most natural food co-ops.

3. i can't get any thing at the store in town, but i don't shop there anyway. they carry almost no organic produce. i drive around 20 minutes to the nearest college town, where there is a natural food co-op. every two weeks or so, i drive into the twin cities (minneapolis/st. paul) to go to the huge asian market and the nearby co-op there.

at the college town co-op, it's easiest to get fresh organic daikon and burdock. there is also a widely-carried michigan-based brand called eden foods that distributes super high-quality japanese foods for the macrobiotic crowd. i use their mirin because it's the real thing (not sweetened with corn syrup), and their whole umeboshi (no msg). and their ginger pickled with shiso is incredible. they also carry different types of seaweed and noodles, but i don't buy any of those because the seaweed is so much cheaper at the asian market and i can't eat the noodles anyway. all of these ingredients, including soy sauces, sushi rice, and rice vinegar, are easy to find at any natural food co-op. they don't, however, have basic calrose rice. i have to go to the asian market for that.

4. sometimes. but, well, only if i can't find it! lotus root is often in bad shape at my asian market, or they don't have it at all. but overall, it seems that most of the things listed in your recipes aren't too hard to find. if i didn't have an asian market, however, it would be a lot more difficult. things such as dried shiitake or konbu cost about 5 times more at a natural foods co-op than they do at an asian market, and i use them all the time for dashi and everything else. i just have to do my shopping at two different stores. it is kind of a pain, but i'm used to it.

5. about an hour from minneapolis, minnesota.

oh, and i thought i should add that i'm a vegetarian with wheat and corn intolerances, so anything besides what i can eat, i wouldn't have noticed.

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

(2) Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Daiso, Isetan Supermarket and Meidi-Ya Supermarket.

(3) What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Vegetables, Fish and Sauces

(4) Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
I am usually able to get the ingredients.

(5) Where are you located?
Singapore

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

1.- Easily. Fortunately, I live like 500 m. away from 'the' japanese store in Madrid.

2.- I buy at "Tokyo-ya" (avda. Presidente Carmona), which is something like a japanese market selling from food to yukatas or kitchen ware. It's very expensive, thought. I also buy in a little chinese store right under Plaza de España.

3.- This chinese shop is where I buy "normal" things like nori, mirin, soybeans and vinegar. In Tokyo-ya I only buy treats like mochi balls, calpico and so on. I go to tokyo-ya when I'm lazy or when I'm in a hurry, because it's way nearer than the chinese one from my home. I think Tokyo-ya sells almost everything a japanese food fan would need (except fish or meat, obviously), and there are actual japanese people buying things there almost everytime I go there.

4.- Not really. If i don't find the kind of fish I'm asked to used I'd probably try another kind. But the most detering factor is my husband, lol.

5.- In Madrid, Spain.

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. I haven't had a problem.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Yes. I can get the current fad stuff at, you know, Meijer and such, like miso, nori, sushi rice, rice vinegar, gari, etc. and anything else I can get at the gigantic Asian Market just down the street. They have tons of fresh fish and pretty much anything you would want, though I still don't buy my rice there because you have to get really large amounts. The only thing I am totally unable to find is umeboshi, for some strange reason. I have wanted to make an umeboshi rice ball for years and have yet to be able to find a place that sells them.

3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Um. Pretty much anything? I have a bunch of Japanese cookbooks and have made many, many things. Like I said, the only issue I have had is with umeboshi.

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

5. Where are you located?
Ypsilanti, MI

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?
My city has (as far as I am aware) one Japanese food market, not located smack in the middle of town, but close enough, and they are pretty well stocked when it comes to dry goods and items which won't go bad in room temperature. They also have items like frozen fish and prawns, miso, konnyaku and tofu in freezers and coolers respectively. Fresh items, however, like vegetables, fruits (yuzu, fresh wasabi) and herbs (jiso/shiso etc.) are naturally more difficult and I still haven't found a store which stocks these kinds of items. One exception to this is the daikon, which I can get from a greengrocer a ten minute walk from the Japanese market. But Oslo (my hometown) has an abundance of foreign markets and greengrocers, so I might have overlooked some treasure troves of Japanese food distributors...

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
and
3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Soy sauce and packets of ramen noodles have been sold in normal supermarkets for as long as I can remember. Lately other Japanese food staples has popped up in its own Asian section, nori, rice vinegar, rice and bamboo mats for making sushi, tofu (mainly silken, but you might find firm if you're lucky) and various noodles. You will find them next to Hoi Sin sauce and canned coconut milk, which might be less typically Japanese :-P That being said, I only live a 30 minute walk away from the fore mentioned Japanese market, so I think that's quite local too.

4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
Sadly yes. I don't have confidence in my own skills, and rely highly on recipes when making tasty, and not just nutritious, food. And to me, making the dishes tasty is vital in Japanese cooking, balancing the flavors just right. I will, however, go out of my way in search of these ingredients, just so I can try a recipe.

5. Where do you live?
Oslo, Norway

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?

There is an overabundance of Japanese markets near where I live in the Torrance/Gardena area of Southern California. Mitsuwa, Nigiya (2), Marukai (4) and there are Japanese ingredients also sold at the Korean and Chinese markets in the area.

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

All the vegetables even shizo leaves which I love in tempura. Yuzu kosho, actual fresh yuzu, those green chili peppers they use in yakitori a lot, all kinds of mushrooms, rice vinegar, all kinds of rice, there's even a tiny little shop that makes mochi. (Chikara Mochi 16108 S Western Ave Gardena, CA 90247)
4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
No.
5. Where do you live?

Lawndale, California.

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

1) It’s very difficult get everyday Japanese ingredients where I live. Easily 90% of it I have to order from the internet or substitute (like fish types and produce) with things I can get locally.

2) There are no Asian (or any specialty) stores where I live, though our regular grocery story has a really nice specialty food section…it’s mostly Thai and Mexican foods.

3) I can get dried shitake mushrooms, nori in the summer, gari all the time. I live in an farming belt, so I can get a lot of the produce that will grow and even found a friendly farmer who’s going to try and grow some burdock (gobo?) and daikon radishs for me this year.

4) I do a lot of substitutions which can be a lot of fun. Some end up being really icky, but most turn out something really good, if not authentic.

5) I’m in rural Wyoming…..really rural Wyoming (USA). Like “Anyone out there?!” kind of rural.

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 not extraordinarily hard, but it's not quite easy either.

2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where? + 3. What kinds of things can you get easily and locally?

We have at least one large Chinese grocery store here, I've been to one, small Vietnamese grocery, and supposedly there is a Korean grocery around here somewhere, though I haven't wholeheartedly searched for it. All of these places carry a limited selection of Japanese ingredients.

Mainstream supermarkets tend to carry "stereotypically" Japanese ingredients, such as soy sauce, sheets of nori, mirin, sushi rice, wasabi in little tubes, panko, etc. I have been able to find soba + udon noodles, as well, in mainstream markets.

There is also a large warehouse that sells vegetables in bulk -- their main audience are restaurants, but they have an increasing number of individual consumers -- and it is run by Chinese people. They carry a few Asian ingredients and I was able to buy a 1 kg sack of panko and a small jar of furikake from them relatively cheaply (panko = US$ 4.19 furikake = US$ 4.50), at least compared to other stores. They also carry rice flour (mochiko+joshinko).

Generally speaking, it's really just sushi ingredients that are easily obtainable.

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

YES. Because, for me to get those ingredients I will have to pay a lot (for instance, ordering from online.) I don't have a job. I am a college student. I live at home. I am also the only one in my family who cooks Japanese food. When I do, I have to make enough for everyone (6 people) so it costs more. Therefore, I try to make those recipes with ingredients I can find with relative ease and aren't too exotic.

5. Where do you live?
I live in Tampa, Florida USA. TT__TT

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?

So-so. I haven't yet found a specialised store or anything like that.

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

Atleast 3 different store chains. Interspar, Mercator, Leclerc. Depending on what I'm looking for I can generally get a lot from Mercator - national chain. Leclerc tends to have quite a bit as well. Interspar not so much.

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

Soy sauce since ages ago. Dry packed seawed, wasabi powder and paste, teryaki sauce. What I've been unable to find so far is miso, sake or any other Japanese alcohol. And until a few weeks ago... Sushi rice.

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

Nahh I tend to fuse the flavours anyway so if I can't get something I'll just pick something else.

5. Where are you located?
Ljubljana, Slovenia

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 depends on what ingredients. It's fairly easy to get the basics, and fairly easy to find substitutions for produce that's hard to find. The one thing I have always had trouble finding fresh is edamame, and the base for soups.

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

The basics can be found in any grocery store, easily accessible by train or jeep. It's only a matter of taking the time to go. For more special items, there are several specialty stores in my city, two of which are walking distance from where I work. A few are hard to get to, but are only a short commute away. Easier with a car.

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

All kinds of noodles, soy sauce, bulldog sauce, mayonnaise, miso, sesame seeds and oil, Japanese rice, sake, rice vinegar, wasabi, nori, and all sorts of instant powder mixes.

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

Not really. If I'm determined to try something, I will take the time to hunt down ingredients, or find substitutions.

5. Where are you located?
Makati, Philippines

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,
2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
lots of choices in Toronto and area. Asian food is prevalent, even in smaller grogery stores. These is a sizeable Japanese community here. The JustHungry list is quite good although there are many more stores that carry some items. Sanko and T&T are on our short list but will be checking out more stores as we develop our repertoire.
3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
so far everything I have looked for. sometimes price is the limit for us, not availability. Not a lot of choice in radishes, just the round ones and daikon so far.
4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
No, there are always substitutes, or we just leave something out :-)
5. Where are you located?
downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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?

-On a scale of one to ten, one being impossible, I'd say around 4.

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

-Yes! I can get some of them. There's one huge 'all asian' market in the centre of the town, and I'm in it all the time.

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

- Enokitachi, and those white shimeji are pretty easy to find. Mirin, rice vinegars, sansho, and some shoyu. Those curious white 'bulb' onions that look like they are part of the normal 'green onion' but taste different. I can get loads of different kind of nori and a couple of different types of wakame and I can get dried konbu. There are only a couple of 'real' noodle brands they sell there, and they only have two kinds of decent rice there. It is really hard to find good rice. Surpisingly to me, there are lots of different places besides the 'all asian' market where they sell daikon! What I can't get are the other very basic things like fresh perilla, or yuzu. I can't get bonito, which is really odd, I can only get dashi pellets. They also only seem to sell dark cooking shoyu and the chinese kinds at that. I get really food homesick here sometimes. Nothing tastes as 'fresh' as I'd like, you know? Except the mushrooms. Good thing I'm in love with those, or I'd be even sadder.

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

- Absolutely. I get cravings for things that I just can't make unless I grow the herbs and special order certain ingredients. Which I will do sometimes if I can't get over it. Certain foods are just comfort foods, and I can't do without them.

5. Where are you located?
-Brussels, centre city. Belgium.

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?

Really easy. ;)

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

I actually currently live across the street from a HUGE Asian grocery store.

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

I've been able to find anything and everything you can imagine an Asian store to have there. They've even got fresh fish, live lobster, and such. More importantly, they've got a huge selection of yummy snacks and drinks. ;P

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

If I ever got the chance to actually cook something, then I doubt that there was ever anything I couldn't find where I live. But, alas, I am poor and have roomies, so I don't get to cook - unless frozen pizzas count. XD

5. Where do you live?

Plano, Texas, which is right next to the Dallas 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?
Fairly easy, we have two asian markets here, and about an hour away is an Uwajimaya.
2. Can you get Japanese ingredients locally, and if so, where?
Relatively. The asian markets nearby are varied, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc.
3. What kinds of Japanese ingredients can you get easily and locally?
Most sauces, Furikake, noodles, rice, sweets, lots of stuff.
4. Does the unavailability of ingredients that are mentioned in Japanese cookbooks or websites deter you from trying a recipe?
Not necessarily, if the local markets don't have it, I put the recipe in a file that I look at before heading to Uwajimaya every couple months.
5. Where are you located?
Olympia, WA. About an hour and a half south of Seattle

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

so, i know i'm terribly late here, but i thought i'd contribute.

i live in kalamazoo, michigan.

there are two specialty asian food markets that i know of in kalamazoo. one is down on westnedge, which means that it's a bit of a drive, but not terrible. we just call it "Kim's" because it is owned by a korean woman named kim. it's small, but i can get my sushi rice (among other kinds), soy sauce, okonomi sauce, yaki niku (spelling?) sauce, nori, rice seasoning, rare vegetables, bottled drinks, frozen foods, noodles and snacks there. she has mostly korean foods, but she can special order just about anything. she also has a small section in the back with cooking utensils like long chopsticks, mortal and pestle, and steaming racks.

the other one is on oakland avenue, it's behind an ice cream shop my roommates and i frequent called treat street. again, i don't know the name (sorry!) but this store DOES specialize in japanese products. they're cheaper and a bit bigger. i can get cases of mi goreng (an indonesian dish, they're just ramen noodles in a special sauce. i usually fry an egg and add it), and all the same basic stuff i can get at Kim's, including mochi ice cream, green tea, sesame oil, vinegar, dried octapus, frozen fish and vegetables, some fresh exotic vegetables, and big jumbo bags of rice, of which they have several kinds. the biggest difference that i have noticed is the snack aisle - there are more japanese snacks, whereas kim tends to carry mainly korean snacks. they also carry steaming racks, sushi mats and chopsticks, but i would say kim has a wider selection of cooking utensils than they do.

i haven't had to special order anything yet, but then again i haven't been terribly adventurous with my cooking yet.

i hope this was helpful!