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What To Buy During The Pandemic - My Japanese Shopping List

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Although Japan is not currently on any sort of lockdown or strict order to stay indoors, I think we are all starting to realize that we need to take matters into our own hands and self-isolate as much as possible. For those of you who are dealing with your first "crisis" in Japan, I wanted to provide a little bit of a guide to help you make sure you're as prepared as you can be, for spending time indoors.

- Meats: Pork, Beef, or Chicken. Whatever you have.
- Vegetables: Potato, Onion, Carrot, Mushrooms, Spinach/Komatsuna/Kale, Asparagus, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin (Kabocha), Eggplant, Okura, Renkon (Lotus Root)

Quick Tutorial on How To Make Curry @ 4:53

●Instant Miso (for reference, this is the kind I usually buy https://www.amanofd.jp/amano/shop/goods/index.html?ggcd=B4741&cid=miso)

You can buy any kind, some instant miso comes with a paste, which some people may prefer but I like the freeze-dried type. It is said that certain nutrients are preserved when you freeze-dry vegetables, so I think they're a bit healthier.

●Cook Do (for reference: https://www.ajinomoto.co.jp/cookdo/lineup/)
These are usually found in the Chinese seasoning section of your Japanese supermarket (as the majority of the boxes are Chinese.) Similar simple-meal kits with Japanese recipes are sometimes stocked in the same aisle.

●Canned Tomatoes
- Good for curries (add one can of diced tomatoes to your curry to make it more tangy and acidic)

- Pasta (sautee veggies, garlic, onion, and bacon, add your diced tomatoes, stew, taste, and season, add to pasta)

- Soups (lightly sautee your favorite soup veggies in oil and garlic, pour diced tomatoes into the pot, then fill the empty tomato can with water and add one cube of soup stock of your choice, throw in your desired seasonings, bring to a boil and simmer. you can add rice, quinoa, gains, shredded chicken to make it a hearty meal.)

- Stews (for beef, lamb, and pork, I cut my vegetables large, season them first with cumin, curry spice, cinnamon, salt, pepper, paprika, etc to make a fragrant mix, then add tomatoes and water, and simmer until liquid has dissolved and the mixture is thick enough to be a stew.)

- Salsa (Use half a can, pulse in a mixer with red onion, cilantro, garlic, green pepper, red chiles, lemon, salt, pepper, and a bit of cumin for a more tex-mex flavor)

I didn't show them in the video but I actually prefer S&B's herb packets, you can see what they look like here:
Most supermarkets have them, and they are very versatile, cheap, and easy to use.

●Yakiniku Sauce:
You can choose any kind you like! When in doubt, the popular Yakiniku chain "Gyukaku" has a sauce in the supermarket that's pretty good. Use this on "grilled" and "charred" meats. Tastes great over rice. Make a "Yakiniku Bowl" with charred carrots, cabbage, onion, green pepper, and slices of beef or pork.

●Ponzu: I prefer Yuzu, but you won't be missing out on too much if they don't stock it. Regular Ponzu works. Use this on steamed veggies with lighter flavors, or in sautees with Asian veggies (bok choy with garlic topped with ponzu, baked white fish with salt and ponzu, or daikon and pork sauteed with ponzu is great!) Can be mixed with olive oil, salt, and pepper to make a salad dressing too!

●Veggies - Try to pick a few greens, and then one veggie of each color. I try to plan for one raw-green (for salads), one wilting-green (for soups and stir-fries), and one firm-green (for baking grilling) per shop.

Green: Lettuce, Baby Leaf, Spinach, Bok Choy, Komatsuna, Asparagus, Zucchini, Green Pepper, Kale, Cucumber, Cabbage, Avocado

Purple: Red Onion, Eggplant, Purple Turnip, Satsumaimo (Sweet Potato), Purple Cabbage (great for adding color).

Red: Tomatoes, Red Peppers, Beets, Beni Daikon (Red Radish)

Orange: Carrot, Pumpkin, Orange Pepper, Orange/Yellow Fruit Tomatoes

White: Daikon, Turnip, Cauliflower, Renkon (Lotus Root), Bean Sprouts, Potato, Onion, Sato-Imo, Yama-Imo,

Brown: Gobo (burdock root), Mushroom

●Buy & Freeze:
- A loaf of bread or two (Japanese bread tends to come in slices instead of loaves so buy accordingly.)
- Meats (Chicken Breasts are the most versatile AND cost-effective IMO.)
- Frozen Seafood (S&B has a paella seasoning! if you can find it, this is a nice way to utilize rice, veggies, and seafood)
- Frozen naughty snacks like pizza, dorayaki, frozen fried rice, emergency instant meals, etc can go here too.

●Pasta and Rice are good to have, but if you don't have a rice cooker in your apartment, you can buy a few microwavable instant-packs from your supermarket or convenience store and store those instead.

Let me know what you'd add! I'm out of space and can't write more :'(
演芸 - Entertainment
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