Grocery Haul 2016/11/25

Friday November 25, 2016

This post comes from a weird habit I have. It always starts as an attempt to decipher the grocery receipt, and then I start taking photos and geeking out. Normally, I decide no-one will care, then delete everything and try to move on with my life. But can I just indulge this OCD tendency today and tell you about every single thing I bought at the grocery store this afternoon?

I'm probably (definitely) weird, but I think that this is exactly the kind of thing I would want to read if I were dreaming of moving to Japan, so maybe someone else will appreciate it.

Kitchen Court groceries, ¥4,217 I got a craving for soup as I was leaving the train station on the way home. I decided I should try to make nabe (hot pot), and I just needed broth and vegetables. But I was hungry (whoops), so I splurged. I usually buy a few groceries every day. This is a "big" grocery trip, because I needed two bags to carry it all home instead of one. Our little fridge is pretty full now.

Kitchen Court groceries, ¥4,217

I got a craving for soup as I was leaving the train station on the way home. I decided I should try to make nabe (hot pot), and I just needed broth and vegetables. But I was hungry (whoops), so I splurged. I usually buy a few groceries every day. This is a "big" grocery trip, because I needed two bags to carry it all home instead of one. Our little fridge is pretty full now.

白卵小玉 ミックス, white eggs small dot mix(??), ¥165 玉 is "tama", meaning ball or dot. Google Translate is amazing, but their Japanese is a work in progress.

白卵小玉 ミックス, white eggs small dot mix(??), ¥165

玉 is "tama", meaning ball or dot. Google Translate is amazing, but their Japanese is a work in progress.

房総鶏むね肉, Bōsō Chicken Breast Meat, ¥646 1.115kg at ¥58 per 100g is an especially good deal! That's USD$2.31 per pound at today's exchange rate. Dark meat is favored here - tender, fatty, delicious - so breast meat is the least expensive part of the bird. I assume this is a product of the Boso Peninsula.

房総鶏むね肉, Bōsō Chicken Breast Meat, ¥646

1.115kg at ¥58 per 100g is an especially good deal! That's USD$2.31 per pound at today's exchange rate. Dark meat is favored here - tender, fatty, delicious - so breast meat is the least expensive part of the bird. I assume this is a product of the Boso Peninsula.

The package contains three big chicken breasts, which I put into these medium (quart-ish?) sized bags. (37 bags for ¥100 from Daiso ¥100 shop)

The package contains three big chicken breasts, which I put into these medium (quart-ish?) sized bags. (37 bags for ¥100 from Daiso ¥100 shop)

ブルーベリー, Blueberries, ¥388 180g at ¥388 is USD$8.59/lb. No more giant Costco bags of blueberries for $3.33/lb. There's a Costco here, but it's 75 minutes each way, with $11ish round trip train fare, and I think they only deliver non-perishables. That's a lot of trouble when I can't imagine bringing a giant Costco box on the train, nor carrying it the last mile home on foot. I have a rolling grocery sack, though - it's still in our shipping container, which should arrive in late December, so I'll make a Costco pilgrimage then and weigh the benefits. I think they'll even accept my American Costco card, but I need to ask them to start charging me the low Japanese membership fee.

ブルーベリー, Blueberries, ¥388

180g at ¥388 is USD$8.59/lb. No more giant Costco bags of blueberries for $3.33/lb. There's a Costco here, but it's 75 minutes each way, with $11ish round trip train fare, and I think they only deliver non-perishables. That's a lot of trouble when I can't imagine bringing a giant Costco box on the train, nor carrying it the last mile home on foot. I have a rolling grocery sack, though - it's still in our shipping container, which should arrive in late December, so I'll make a Costco pilgrimage then and weigh the benefits. I think they'll even accept my American Costco card, but I need to ask them to start charging me the low Japanese membership fee.

ハヤシライスソース, Hayashi Rice Sauce, ¥288 ゴールデンカレー中辛, Golden Curry Medium Spicy, ¥178 ゴールデンカレー辛口, Golden Curry Spicy, ¥178 I love that 辛 can mean "spicy" or "painful" (like heartbreak). I've never tried Hayashi Rice before. It's supposed to be like a stew.

ハヤシライスソース, Hayashi Rice Sauce, ¥288

ゴールデンカレー中辛, Golden Curry Medium Spicy, ¥178

ゴールデンカレー辛口, Golden Curry Spicy, ¥178

I love that 辛 can mean "spicy" or "painful" (like heartbreak). I've never tried Hayashi Rice before. It's supposed to be like a stew.

Golden Curry is a box of roux cubes. There are two servings. Stir fry meat and vegetables for 10 minutes; add water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes; turn off the heat. Add a pack of roux cubes and wait 5 minutes. Stir and serve some really delicious Japanese curry. I've bought this at asian markets in the USA (Hong Kong Market in Gretna for y'all in Louisiana). Great stuff!

Golden Curry is a box of roux cubes. There are two servings. Stir fry meat and vegetables for 10 minutes; add water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes; turn off the heat. Add a pack of roux cubes and wait 5 minutes. Stir and serve some really delicious Japanese curry. I've bought this at asian markets in the USA (Hong Kong Market in Gretna for y'all in Louisiana). Great stuff!

大きな国産チキンカツ, big domestic chicken cutlet, ¥298 Large chicken breast, fried Japanese style. Notice this costs not much more than the uncooked chicken breast of the same size. ¥212 for raw, ¥282 for fried. So for under a buck, I can buy my chicken breast already in super-scrumptious form! I would seriously love to eat katsu every day.

大きな国産チキンカツ, big domestic chicken cutlet, ¥298

Large chicken breast, fried Japanese style. Notice this costs not much more than the uncooked chicken breast of the same size. ¥212 for raw, ¥282 for fried. So for under a buck, I can buy my chicken breast already in super-scrumptious form! I would seriously love to eat katsu every day.

地鶏だし水炊きスープ, jidoridashi mizutaki soup, ¥238 Jidori is free range chicken, dashi is broth, mizu is water, mizutaki is chicken soup nabe. This is 700g (almost a quart) of chicken broth for making hot pot. Because it snowed yesterday. Noms.

地鶏だし水炊きスープ, jidoridashi mizutaki soup, ¥238

Jidori is free range chicken, dashi is broth, mizu is water, mizutaki is chicken soup nabe. This is 700g (almost a quart) of chicken broth for making hot pot. Because it snowed yesterday. Noms.

ブナしめじ, buna shimeji, ¥158 Buna is beech, shimeji is aka brown beech or brown clamshell mushroom. Mushrooms are very inexpensive here! Take the royal trumpet mushroom for example: I could buy them at Whole Foods for $20/lb, an asian market in USA for $4/lb, or here for around $1-2/lb. I eat mushrooms every day now.

ブナしめじ, buna shimeji, ¥158

Buna is beech, shimeji is aka brown beech or brown clamshell mushroom. Mushrooms are very inexpensive here! Take the royal trumpet mushroom for example: I could buy them at Whole Foods for $20/lb, an asian market in USA for $4/lb, or here for around $1-2/lb. I eat mushrooms every day now.

きゃべつ, kyabetsu (cabbage), ¥108 I love that everything comes in small manageable portions here. I have often thrown away half a US cabbage because I couldn't (or just didn't want to) cook the whole thing at once, and the leftover cabbage went bad before I could cook it. Here, they cut them in halves or quarters and wrap them in plastic to sell.

きゃべつ, kyabetsu (cabbage), ¥108

I love that everything comes in small manageable portions here. I have often thrown away half a US cabbage because I couldn't (or just didn't want to) cook the whole thing at once, and the leftover cabbage went bad before I could cook it. Here, they cut them in halves or quarters and wrap them in plastic to sell.

人参   袋入, carrots - bagged, ¥198 The carrots are so big and thick. None of that baby carrot nonsense. Did you know that baby carrots are just big carrots that have been cut and tumbled? Weird. Wasteful. And always wet. Just why? I will cut my own carrots, tyvm.

人参   袋入, carrots - bagged, ¥198

The carrots are so big and thick. None of that baby carrot nonsense. Did you know that baby carrots are just big carrots that have been cut and tumbled? Weird. Wasteful. And always wet. Just why? I will cut my own carrots, tyvm.

海苔巻きチキン, nori maki chikin (seaweed rolled chicken), ¥293 Impulse buy. I could read "chikin" but had no idea what else was going on here. It's like... Japanese chicken nuggets or something. Dark fatty meat, fried. Kind of like if you abracadrabra'ed the bones out of an un-sauced chicken wing, and then wrapped it in a nori (seaweed paper) sheet. These are actually really tasty, but I can get a whole giant fried chicken breast cutlet for the same price, and I grew up on white meat, so I'll stick to katsu unless I'm feelin' a dark meat treat.

海苔巻きチキン, nori maki chikin (seaweed rolled chicken), ¥293

Impulse buy. I could read "chikin" but had no idea what else was going on here. It's like... Japanese chicken nuggets or something. Dark fatty meat, fried. Kind of like if you abracadrabra'ed the bones out of an un-sauced chicken wing, and then wrapped it in a nori (seaweed paper) sheet. These are actually really tasty, but I can get a whole giant fried chicken breast cutlet for the same price, and I grew up on white meat, so I'll stick to katsu unless I'm feelin' a dark meat treat.

清洲鬼ころしパック, Kiyosu onikoroshi pakku, ¥99 Kiyosu (a place) Demon Killing Pack. Sweet name for a juice box, right? I bought it on a whim because I think it is a juice box full of sake. For under a buck. This represents all the temptation of childhood combined with the recklessness of adulthood. It's very exciting, and I hope it lives up to my expectations. I'll have to report back on this later.

清洲鬼ころしパック, Kiyosu onikoroshi pakku, ¥99

Kiyosu (a place) Demon Killing Pack. Sweet name for a juice box, right? I bought it on a whim because I think it is a juice box full of sake. For under a buck. This represents all the temptation of childhood combined with the recklessness of adulthood. It's very exciting, and I hope it lives up to my expectations. I'll have to report back on this later.

ベビーリーフミックス, baby leaf mix, ¥148 This is a tiny packet of baby spring mix. The stuff is kinda expensive and hard to find here. We used to eat two giant tubs of it every week for like $6 a tub, plus heaps of cheap broccoli. Now we've pretty much switched to cabbage and mushrooms. I also still haven't seen kale in Japan. I know it exists, though, because Scott says his coworkers get excited when it is mentioned. Maybe kale just hasn't caught on here yet, but I don't know how it would fit into the flavor spectrum. I don't see mustard greens or collards around either. They are dark and bitter whereas most Japanese foods are umami or sweet (or both, which really confuses my taste buds - remember the mikan chips?). 

ベビーリーフミックス, baby leaf mix, ¥148

This is a tiny packet of baby spring mix. The stuff is kinda expensive and hard to find here. We used to eat two giant tubs of it every week for like $6 a tub, plus heaps of cheap broccoli. Now we've pretty much switched to cabbage and mushrooms.

I also still haven't seen kale in Japan. I know it exists, though, because Scott says his coworkers get excited when it is mentioned. Maybe kale just hasn't caught on here yet, but I don't know how it would fit into the flavor spectrum. I don't see mustard greens or collards around either. They are dark and bitter whereas most Japanese foods are umami or sweet (or both, which really confuses my taste buds - remember the mikan chips?). 

ジャークチキン, Jerk Chicken, ¥100 タンドリーチキン, Tandoori Chicken, ¥100 ガパオ, Gapao, ¥100 (Thai chicken and basil stir fry - "gapao" is "holy basil" - though I was really hoping it was a translation of "KAPOW! SPICY RICE!") ガーリックライス, Garlic Rice, ¥111 タコスシーズニング, Tacos Seasoning, ¥111 I bought these seasoning packs so that I can cook real food when I'm feeling lazy. If Scott's out of town, and there's not enough seasoning in the house, I may end up wandering to the konbini (convenience store, sebun irebun) and buying chips and sake instead of dinner. Be prepared! Scout's motto!

ジャークチキン, Jerk Chicken, ¥100

タンドリーチキン, Tandoori Chicken, ¥100

ガパオ, Gapao, ¥100 (Thai chicken and basil stir fry - "gapao" is "holy basil" - though I was really hoping it was a translation of "KAPOW! SPICY RICE!")

ガーリックライス, Garlic Rice, ¥111

タコスシーズニング, Tacos Seasoning, ¥111

I bought these seasoning packs so that I can cook real food when I'm feeling lazy. If Scott's out of town, and there's not enough seasoning in the house, I may end up wandering to the konbini (convenience store, sebun irebun) and buying chips and sake instead of dinner. Be prepared! Scout's motto!

Around 8% tax.

Around 8% tax.

Bonus shot of lunch - stir fried cabbage, carrot and onion, with a soft-boiled egg and part of the chicken katsu.

Bonus shot of lunch - stir fried cabbage, carrot and onion, with a soft-boiled egg and part of the chicken katsu.

Extra bonus shot of the ¥100 hot drink I bought from the Asahi machine to warm my hands on the walk home. Light floral flavor. Quite nice.

Extra bonus shot of the ¥100 hot drink I bought from the Asahi machine to warm my hands on the walk home. Light floral flavor. Quite nice.