An inside look at a Japanese grocery store

So what do Japanese grocery stores hold that other’s don’t? As it turns out, a lot.
Here are a few:

Gigantic Apples
In Japan, apples are expensive, HUGE and singularly bought. Seldom will you find a small apple. Oh how I long to munch on an apple that’s not the size of a basketball. Okay, that was an exaggeration but close. Also, they (the apples) sport soft cushiony bottoms, like so:image[1]An entire isle dedicated to MISO

The vegan community’s year’s worth of tofu + the infamous fermented beans, natto:

A wide range of bottled tea (mostly herbal):
More plastic than Toy World:
A large selection of  sushi (well, of course) + a HUGE variety of other ready-made foodimage[2]image[11]All types of pre-cooked noodles (+ two whole isles dedicated to instant ones):
Other: a combination of all things anko, matcha, sweet, salty, random, incredibly delicious and plain right gross:
What you won’t find are:
fresh apricots or beetroots (and if you have, then please for the love of God, HOLLA!)
lean red meat
good quality CHEESE especially Feta
a satisfactory cereal isle
adding to that, oats
good quality dried goods (nuts, seeds and fruit)
nor many if any (totally humming Scribe right now) organic or “healthy” products.
Although…I have spotted chia seeds sprinkled atop frosted cupcakes before!

Miso nikomi udon

Last night, Fukuda sensei mad me misonikomiudon that’s miso-nikomi -udon. It was delicious of course and perfect for the cold. According to her, it’s one of the easiest Japanese foods to make – which is why I’m contemplating returning to NZ and opening shop… But, we can discuss that another time.

Basically, all it is, is boiling a whole lot of things together at once. Exactly like nabe. Which results in everything becoming super flavoursome and hot.

This is a shitty attempt at a recipe but bear with me. Or is it bare? I am forgetting my England here.

Our misonikomiudon (shit, that’s a tongue twister) contained aburaage (deep-fried tofu), scallions, egg, mushroom and kamaboko (fish cake) but you can pretty much use any type of meat (or more tofu) and any veggies you like, like cabbage, carrot, onion etc.

Here’s a basic recipe to get you started but please feel free to spice it up harharhar.

1 package udon noodles
2 cups dashi (fish stock) or use water if you can’t get your hands on some or if you’re veggo
2 tsp red miso
1 tsp mixed miso (red and white)
2 tsp sake
1 tsp sugar
meat or tofu or tofu and more tofu (thinly sliced)
vegetables (thinly sliced)
1 egg (I assume you just crack it in, maybe do this near the end)

In an earthenware pot, bring dashi to a boil.

Dissolve in the miso.

Next, sake and sugar.

Add the udon.

Wait a minute or five.

Add everything else (by arranging nicely on top) then cover.

Takes about 10-15 min or until everything looks FINE.