Japanese Walmart 2017/02/18

Seiyu is a subsidiary of Walmart. They're not super-close to my home, but I have been making the trip every other month or so, because they have relatively low prices on a few stockable items like frozen broccoli and gyoza, and they have some inexpensive potato chips in American flavors that I miss. It's hard to get cheddar flavored snacks here that aren't also sweet.

To get an idea of prices, think of 1 yen as 1 penny (meaning ¥100 is around $1.00). The exchange rate isn't 1:1, but in general, that's a good guideline for thinking about food prices, considering the relative cost of other life necessities.

White, yellow, brown, green. Seiyu is apparently not my place to shop for antioxidant foods.

White, yellow, brown, green. Seiyu is apparently not my place to shop for antioxidant foods.

30 gyoza for ¥238 These are so cheap! So I usually grab two packs and several bags of broccoli to freeze. This package says "Gyoza to eat at home is the best!" and I have to say I agree. Want some gyoza? Just open the freezer. I steam-fry 6 or 8 of these with as many frozen broccoli florets and salt and pepper, then serve with a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and red chili oil for dipping. It's really tasty fast food that doesn't spoil. Great for busy or lazy days.

30 gyoza for ¥238

These are so cheap! So I usually grab two packs and several bags of broccoli to freeze.

This package says "Gyoza to eat at home is the best!" and I have to say I agree. Want some gyoza? Just open the freezer. I steam-fry 6 or 8 of these with as many frozen broccoli florets and salt and pepper, then serve with a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and red chili oil for dipping. It's really tasty fast food that doesn't spoil. Great for busy or lazy days.

Frozen broccoli - 250g for ¥170 Broccoli is abundant in Japan, but not as cheap as it was back home. I think Seiyu's frozen broccoli is about half the price of some of the other places I shop, so I like to stock up. I buy all of my vegetables fresh, but when I buy fresh broccoli, I never use it fast enough, and it turns yellow and funky.

Frozen broccoli - 250g for ¥170

Broccoli is abundant in Japan, but not as cheap as it was back home. I think Seiyu's frozen broccoli is about half the price of some of the other places I shop, so I like to stock up. I buy all of my vegetables fresh, but when I buy fresh broccoli, I never use it fast enough, and it turns yellow and funky.

Kaki-pi - pronounced cocky-pea - ¥198 for 6 snack packs This stuff is so good! It has little rice crackers that are shaped like persimmon seeds (kaki-no-tane), mixed with peanuts (pinatsu). I love every flavor of kakipi that I've tried, including original soy flavor. This wasabi version is spicy!

Kaki-pi - pronounced cocky-pea - ¥198 for 6 snack packs

This stuff is so good! It has little rice crackers that are shaped like persimmon seeds (kaki-no-tane), mixed with peanuts (pinatsu). I love every flavor of kakipi that I've tried, including original soy flavor. This wasabi version is spicy!

Yummy crunchy snacky goodness.

Yummy crunchy snacky goodness.

Cheesy soft mochi rice crackers, ¥178 for four snack bags Aside from sweet Cheetohs, this is the closest thing I can find to cheese puffs. And I think I like them better? Maybe? I'm pretty sure they're made from rice instead of corn, so they stick in the teeth a little more, but they have delightful light crispy texture, and the cheese is cheesy instead of sweet. I can't buy more than one bag at a time, because they will all disappear on the first day.

Cheesy soft mochi rice crackers, ¥178 for four snack bags

Aside from sweet Cheetohs, this is the closest thing I can find to cheese puffs. And I think I like them better? Maybe? I'm pretty sure they're made from rice instead of corn, so they stick in the teeth a little more, but they have delightful light crispy texture, and the cheese is cheesy instead of sweet. I can't buy more than one bag at a time, because they will all disappear on the first day.

So soft, so cheesy.

So soft, so cheesy.

I think the katakana says cole slaw salad? But it's just shredded cabbage. ¥91 for a bag, and it's dense, so i always accidentally buy twice as much as I need. Shredded cabbage is so convenient. We serve it with curry, cook it into okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), eat it with salad, top it with meat. It's an easy way to get sulphur/brassica into the diet, but we have to eat it fast - it starts to smell like sauerkraut if we don't eat it within about 24-36 hours. 

I think the katakana says cole slaw salad? But it's just shredded cabbage. ¥91 for a bag, and it's dense, so i always accidentally buy twice as much as I need.

Shredded cabbage is so convenient. We serve it with curry, cook it into okonomiyaki (savory pancakes), eat it with salad, top it with meat. It's an easy way to get sulphur/brassica into the diet, but we have to eat it fast - it starts to smell like sauerkraut if we don't eat it within about 24-36 hours. 

¥157 for five delicious fishes! I admit I didn't know what this fish was when we bought it or when we ate it. But we put it in the little Japanese kitchen grill, as-is, and it was delicious! Now I know that it is "true aji" or horse mackerel. Salty and oily and so tasty. I hope I never have to eat whole fish in public. I try so hard to use my chopsticks, and I've watched instructional videos for fish and chopsticks etiquette - that's really a thing, and there's even a kids game where you can practice with plastic fish. But I always make a mess, and it takes too long, and I get hungry and give up and eat it with my fingers. Maybe I should buy that game...

¥157 for five delicious fishes!

I admit I didn't know what this fish was when we bought it or when we ate it. But we put it in the little Japanese kitchen grill, as-is, and it was delicious! Now I know that it is "true aji" or horse mackerel. Salty and oily and so tasty.

I hope I never have to eat whole fish in public. I try so hard to use my chopsticks, and I've watched instructional videos for fish and chopsticks etiquette - that's really a thing, and there's even a kids game where you can practice with plastic fish. But I always make a mess, and it takes too long, and I get hungry and give up and eat it with my fingers. Maybe I should buy that game...

Tofu - ¥89 It's cheap protein, but I don't know many way to prepare it yet. I still haven't taken the time to learn how to read the difference between firm and silky tofu, because I really don't care. I just want to cut it into little chunks and put it in my breakfast miso with seaweed and tuna shavings.

Tofu - ¥89

It's cheap protein, but I don't know many way to prepare it yet.

I still haven't taken the time to learn how to read the difference between firm and silky tofu, because I really don't care. I just want to cut it into little chunks and put it in my breakfast miso with seaweed and tuna shavings.

Spinach gomaae (sesame-dressed) - ¥198 for a pack with about 2-3 servings This is my favorite prepared vegetable side dish in Japan. It's not something I've ever ordered at a restaurant, but it's exactly what I want to eat when I'm grabbing dinner on the way home from the train station. It's blanched spinach mixed with sesame seeds, dashi, sugar and soy sauce. So good. I've learned to make it at home, but the results are always different (I should probably take the time to bookmark a good recipe), so I still buy it about once a week.

Spinach gomaae (sesame-dressed) - ¥198 for a pack with about 2-3 servings

This is my favorite prepared vegetable side dish in Japan. It's not something I've ever ordered at a restaurant, but it's exactly what I want to eat when I'm grabbing dinner on the way home from the train station. It's blanched spinach mixed with sesame seeds, dashi, sugar and soy sauce. So good. I've learned to make it at home, but the results are always different (I should probably take the time to bookmark a good recipe), so I still buy it about once a week.

Plain old potatoes - 4 medium-sized for ¥197 Usually goes into the curry, but I recently started making a potato and onion miso to go with dinner sometimes.

Plain old potatoes - 4 medium-sized for ¥197

Usually goes into the curry, but I recently started making a potato and onion miso to go with dinner sometimes.

Eggs - ¥235 for 10 Eggs, so many eggs. Every day, so many ways. Well, usually fried, or soft-boiled and marinated in a soy sauce/mirin/water mix. But yeah, we often eat 20-30 a week between the two of us because they're so cheap and easy. Actually, they're maybe not as cheap as eggs in America. I think they're ¥200-230 for a 10-pack here and $2.00-$2.25 for a 12-pack in America. So, similar-ish. They're still one of the least expensive animal protein sources around here. Eggs, fish, and pork seem to be the winners in that department.

Eggs - ¥235 for 10

Eggs, so many eggs. Every day, so many ways. Well, usually fried, or soft-boiled and marinated in a soy sauce/mirin/water mix. But yeah, we often eat 20-30 a week between the two of us because they're so cheap and easy.

Actually, they're maybe not as cheap as eggs in America. I think they're ¥200-230 for a 10-pack here and $2.00-$2.25 for a 12-pack in America. So, similar-ish. They're still one of the least expensive animal protein sources around here. Eggs, fish, and pork seem to be the winners in that department.