This pack of boxed sake was very convenient to take home. We’re gonna use it for cooking mostly, but first you gotta make sure that the sake is not too sweet, not too rancid, but just right! 😉
Unfiltered Sake and Choya Umeshu
Now this stuff is all for drinking! I’m not a big sake drinker, but sometimes I imbibe (usually at a good sushi restaurant like Sushi-Man). We drank Choya umeshu (honey plum wine) often in San Jose, where it was easy and cheap to get at the Asian grocery. Here in Kuching you don’t see it so much, so we brought a bottle of it home. We’ve already cracked it open – it’s gooooood!
Kombu, Bonito Flakes, Fresh Wakame
The kids love drinking miso soup, which calls for us to first make the basic dashi broth. We can get kombu (dried seaweed) and bonito flakes here in Kuching but the products available in Japan are much higher quality. You can actually taste the difference between a dashi made with the locally available ingredients vs. a dashi made with the ingredients from Japan.
Furikake, Senbei and Tarako
We brought home packets of different flavored furikake to sprinkle on top of the kids’ lunches when we are in a hurry to prepare a tasty bento meal for them. Senbei are sweet or savory rice cracker snacks, usually flavored with soy sauce or sugar. Besides the tarako (cod roe) sauce for spaghetti, we also bought a pack of squid ink pasta sauce and a mushroom-flavored sauce.
Soba and Menmi Sauce
Sometimes you want to make a quick meal of noodles but you don’t want to resort to instant ramen. Here’s where soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles) and menmi sauce come in to play. We’ve already cooked up a batch of soba, which we will cover in another post.
Coke in Real Glass Bottles
Not everything we brought back was for our own consumption. Our good friend Mike is a collector of glass-bottled Coke. As we were walking around in Japan, we were on the lookout for him. We were lucky enough to find this Coke vending machine on one of the streets in Machida.
That’s Not All
Food is not all we brought back from Japan, of course. There were the little gifts for our friends and relatives. But we also brought back a lot of fond memories, an appreciation for the Japanese culture (they’re so polite!), a familiarity of how their train and subway system works, and a deep desire to return.
I do hope we make it back someday.
What would you bring back from Japan? Leave us a comment!