16 Things to Buy at a Japanese Market

Walking the lanes of a grocery store can be its own form of travel, especially when you’re in a grocery store with foods from outside your culture. But there is always the looming question of what to buy. I reached out to my friend Remi, who was born in Japan, to share with us her top picks to get!



1. Asazuke (Pickled Vegetables)

“It is so refreshing. It’s easy to eat over rice or you can just have it as a snack on the side.” -Remi

2. Renkon Slices (Lotus Root)

“We typically sauté it with other vegetables with soy sauce or we put it as more of a stew-type with other vegetables.” – Remi

3. Maruchan Fish Cake Sausage

“My personal favorite that I grew up with as a snack. I like to eat it right of the package just because it was such an easy snack for me when I was growing up. ” – Remi

4. Gohan Desuyo (Seasoned Seaweed)

“It looks like a black paste, now that black piece is actually seaweed. It’s seaweed marinated with soy sauce and a little bit of sake and sugar.” – Remi

5. Ochazuke (Seasoned Green Tea Mix)

“You put it over rice and you pour hot water over it and you just eat it that way. It comes in many different flavors. My go-to is umeboshi, which is the pickled plum.” – Remi

6. Hatchimitsu Umeboshi (Honey Pickled Plums)

“Umeboshi can be very, and I mean very sour. I reccomend trying out the one with the honey because it has a nice sweet and sour flavor to it. It’s a nice way to introduce yourself into it.” – Remi

7. Saba-Ka (Marinated Canned Mackerel)

“It’s marinated with either miso or soy sauce. So it’s basically a Japanese version of a tuna can, expect we marinate everything.” – Remi

8. Salmon Flakes

“I use salmon flakes to make easy fried rice or I make onigiri with it.” – Remi

9. Soy Sauce

“In Japan, some soy sauce actually goes with certain types of food. [Usukuchi Shoyu] has a bold flavor for stewed vegetables, or [Tamari Shoyu] that is strictly for sushi or sashimi, [Saishikomi] for stir-fry, [Shiro Shoyu] is for eggs over rice.” – Remi

10. Mirin (Sweet Cooking Sake)

“It’s different from regular sake because it has that lower dosage of alcohol as well as a slight bit of vinegar as well as sugar.” – Remi

11. Hondashi (Bonito Soup Stock)

“I use it a lot in my soup bases. One is miso soup for sure and that’s the same base and the same miso soup that you guys will get in a Japanese restaurant.” – Remi

12. Riska Mentai Umai Snack (Cod Roe Flavor Puffs)

“That is a corn snack. It’s like a ring and it has different types of flavorings from cheese flavor to the mentai snack, as well as a nori snack.” – Remi

13. Sakiika (Dried Shredded Squid)

“A lot of people eat it with their beer because it’s a drinking snack.” – Remi

14. Oden Set (Seafood & Soup Kit)

“It’s a nice cozy dish. It’s a bunch of different types of fish cakes with a small little packet of the broth. It’s a Japanese type of stew.” – Remi

15. Koriyama Cheesecake (Caramel Flavor)

“It’s this oval-type of cheesecake and it’s like a sponge cake. It’s very light and very fluffy.” – Remi

16. Bikkle (Yogurt-Based Drink)

“It does kind of taste like a milky substance, but it’s actually yogurt. It was one of the drinks that I did grow up drinking when I was back in Japan.” – Remi

Watch the Video


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