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View Full Version : Friend in Japan willing to ship you stuff...what would you get?



slowtyper
07-12-2011, 05:39 AM
Just curious. My friend is willing to ship me things so I am thinking of what to ask him to get. Not just knives either...any other cool kitchen related things?

So far I've asked him to look into the wooden moulds for oshizushi for me.

Are stones much cheaper and easy to get?

Lefty
07-12-2011, 07:22 AM
A shark skin wasabi greater is sweet for garlic, wasabi, etc and A real Hinoki board would be great too!

Eamon Burke
07-12-2011, 09:13 AM
+1 on those. A real Wasabi root, or even just real Wasabi powder.

spaceconvoy
07-12-2011, 10:12 AM
There aren't any hard & fast rules - price is very dependent on vendors and whatever unique relationships they have with certain companies. For instance, you can get the Naniwa 2k green aoto in America for almost half the price it sells for in Japan. Also, keep in mind most brick & mortar knife stores in Japan stock a very limited selection of stones, mostly Shapton and Naniwa. To get most of the stuff we talk about on the forum, your friend would need to order online (Rakuten has some English support, and will allow him to pay COD so he won't need a bank account).

Sigma Power is one of the few bargain stone brands you'll be able to find in Japan, because for whatever reason, they don't have a dedicated international vendor. I'd look for the Sigma Power 1k soft version, which is supposed to feel very similar to the Rika, and much faster than a typical 1k. Also, depending on your lineup, you might want to look for the Suehiro Rika 3k and 6k, which come from the same series as the beloved 5k and aren't cheap in the states.

Similarly, Aritsugu (Tokyo) is the only bargain knife brand you won't be able to find (easily) online... Almost everything else (aside from the assortment of small undiscovered one-man smith operations) can be bought online in America, often for less than what you'll pay in Japan.

slowtyper
07-12-2011, 11:40 AM
Great info! I don't want to make him too much trouble so will stick with things easy to find or easy to order online without a lot of research.

Good call on the sharkskin grater. Anyone know how wasabi root fares during travel say stuck in somebodies luggage?

mhlee
07-12-2011, 11:50 AM
Anyone know how wasabi root fares during travel say stuck in somebodies luggage?

Keep it loosely wrapped in a damp paper towel, and then in a plastic bag or wrapped in plastic, and it will be just fine. :thumbsup: You just don't want it to dry out.

I would recommend getting smaller roots as well instead of larger roots. That way, you can use one at a time, without having to use a whole large root quickly. They're also less expensive than larger roots. Wasabi from Shizuoka is considered the best.

I would also get cookbooks. There are so many Japanese cookbooks that are not available here.

slowtyper
07-12-2011, 12:07 PM
Going off topic a bit, anyone buy fresh wasabi regularly online and have it shipped? I'd be interested in your experiences with this.

hien
07-12-2011, 12:34 PM
i want this :biggrin:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3354/4649364506_f0f5af7272_m.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/whereruhien/4649364506/)

jwpark
07-12-2011, 12:50 PM
Japanese mentos :)

mhlee
07-12-2011, 01:06 PM
Going off topic a bit, anyone buy fresh wasabi regularly online and have it shipped? I'd be interested in your experiences with this.

I sold fresh wasabi years ago retail (purchased from a wholesaler) and they were fine.

I purchased fresh wasabi in frozen tubes last year from Pacific Farms. While it's not even close to fresh root wasabi, it's much better than your standard or even your tube "neri" or "hon" wasabi. It was delivered to me frozen in a styrofoam container.

However, it's been a PITA to get out of the tube because it's so coarse. It will also be a little watery.

If you have never had real wasabi and have only had powdered paste or tube wasabi, please note that it is not even close to being as hot or spicy as powdered or regular tube wasabi.

Eamon Burke
07-12-2011, 04:16 PM
Honestly, if you can get some Wasabi shipped, I'd like to buy a root from you. It has to grow in rocky, cool river shores that flood a certain amount of the year and have overhanging shade. Basically, Japan. They tried to make some in Oregon and it didn't work out to harvest reliably. I had some from a sushi chef I worked with, and it was fantastic. I hate horseradish, but loved Wasabi.

mhlee
07-12-2011, 04:30 PM
Honestly, if you can get some Wasabi shipped, I'd like to buy a root from you. It has to grow in rocky, cool river shores that flood a certain amount of the year and have overhanging shade. Basically, Japan. They tried to make some in Oregon and it didn't work out to harvest reliably. I had some from a sushi chef I worked with, and it was fantastic. I hate horseradish, but loved Wasabi.

Here's a US company that sells fresh US wasabi. It looks like they're temporarily out though.

http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.493062/sc.2/category.12/.f

slowtyper
07-12-2011, 05:57 PM
Are there companies that import Japanese wasabi?

mhlee
07-12-2011, 08:08 PM
Are there companies that import Japanese wasabi?

Yes.

If you're a restaurant employee/owner, I would check first with seafood wholesalers that purchase directly from Japan. I recall seeing wasabi being sold by Los Angeles Fish Company and International Marine Products here in Los Angeles. I would imagine that True World Foods (a national seafood wholesaler that imports directly from Japan) would have it as well.

Noodle Soup
07-12-2011, 08:18 PM
I'm guessing customs would take a very dim view of you bringing in fresh bare roots. A couple of years ago I thought it would be OK to bring in garden seed from Thailand. They took a completely different stand on it.

peterm
07-12-2011, 08:49 PM
I would get some pens. Because Japanese pens are expensive to get here, but a lot of them are really neat. I got myself a Dr. Grip 4+1 pen to replace my supply of 1+1 that I stocked up on when they got discontinued awhile back.

Eamon Burke
07-12-2011, 10:05 PM
Here's a US company that sells fresh US wasabi. It looks like they're temporarily out though.

http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.493062/sc.2/category.12/.f

Yeah. Temporarily as in years. I found that site in like '09 and I've never seen them have anything in stock.

hien
07-12-2011, 11:13 PM
True world sell $90/lb

Seb
07-16-2011, 07:28 AM
Interestingly, they have started producing wasabi in New Zealand, of all places.

http://www.coppersfolly.co.nz/

ecchef
07-16-2011, 08:18 AM
Try these guys: http://www.mitsuwa.com/english/

I can get the real deal at my local Aeon just about anytime. :D

But nobody has fresh mint! :mad3:

And believe me, it's julep time in this neck o' the woods.

spaceconvoy
07-16-2011, 09:27 AM
That reminds me - shiso is incredibly hard to find in America, much more so than real wasabi in my experience. But it'll never last packed in someone's luggage...

slowtyper
07-17-2011, 02:43 AM
That reminds me - shiso is incredibly hard to find in America, much more so than real wasabi in my experience. But it'll never last packed in someone's luggage...

I don't find shiso to be too hard to find. BTW shiso grows really easily...you can buy seeds on ebay. It's like mint, I hear it will take over your garden. I don't grow it but have heard from some people who do. I plan to plant some soon.

SpikeC
07-17-2011, 01:22 PM
Good to know!

DrNaka
07-18-2011, 10:17 PM
This is a very difficult question.

Most things you can buy over internet worldwide.

I would suggest to buy miso or shoyu in a professional shop because you have much more to choose than in US or EU.
But it is very difficult what to recommend there. Your friend must try them.

A very good moromi miso which you can use for cucumber salad (or sushi morokyu) may be one to choose.

mhlee
08-08-2011, 07:22 PM
Wasabi update:

I've seen fresh wasabi roots here in the LA area at the Marukai market in Gardena and Niijiya market in Torrance. It's still expensive though.

Eamon Burke
08-08-2011, 08:18 PM
Wasabi update:

I've seen fresh wasabi roots here in the LA area at the Marukai market in Gardena and Niijiya market in Torrance. It's still expensive though.

How expensive?

mhlee
08-09-2011, 01:08 PM
I don't recall the price per pound, but it was around $10 per piece for a small root.

steeley
08-10-2011, 04:20 AM
$55 for 1/2 LB .
there is a place that sold plants so you could grow it yourself.
see if i can find it.

steeley
08-10-2011, 04:34 AM
sorry no plants for sale anymore but if you can find seeds and water source and the time maybe it is worth just buying it.
here is some growing
http://youtu.be/fFjpRn3fwOg

Eamon Burke
08-10-2011, 10:05 AM
I don't recall the price per pound, but it was around $10 per piece for a small root.

I'm a cheap bastard, and I'd pay that in a heartbeat.