Where to Purchase Basic Ingredients for Japanese Cooking in Kyoto

(2 posts) (2 voices)
  • Started 10 years ago by nonolitany
  • Latest reply from Michael
  1. nonolitany

    Hi, everyone,

    I have recently moved to Kyoto from NYC. I am amazed about the variety of food in the market, and they confuse me.
    I would like to use the best ingredients, but don't know what to choose.
    Will you give me your advise about Kyoto's best seasoning, such as Soy source, Sesame oil, Salt, Chiken broth, etc.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  2. Welcome to Kyoto and thanks for your question! Here is a start.

    So far, we have recommendations for shoyu (soy sauce), oil, vinegar and miso.

    Cooking Advice from Miwa (Paku on KyotoFoodie): For cooking the moderately priced oils on the supermarket shelves is fine. But oil, shoyu, and vinegar for use in sauces, dressings, and directly on fish, etc, the premium (EXPENSIVE) stuff is worth the extra cost. A little goes a long way and you will definitely notice the difference.

    Kyoto Shoyu (Soy Sauce) Shinise: Sawai Shoyu Honten (澤井醤油本店)
    Sawai Shoyu Honten is located just a few blocks west of the Imperial Palace (Kyoto Gosho) on Nakachoja-machi Street, Sawai Shoyu Honten is a wonderful shinise and the family owner have been very friendly to me when I have been there and when I asked a lot of questions they just lead in back to the production area and gave me a look around. The shoyu rules!

    circa 1995 website: http://www.sawai-shoyu.com/ (no English)
    tel: 075-441-2204 (assume no English spoken)

    Kyoto Oil Shinise: Yamanaka Aburaten
    Yamanaka Aburaten is a real legend and sells very high quality oils for both cooking and eating as well as traditional Japanese tsubaki (camellia) oil for hair and skin. I understand that they have some modern skincare type products now too. The main store (honten) is a store and museum now. The building is a wonderful old Kyoto machiya (townhouse) and is located in the Nishijin area on Shimodachi-uri Street to the west of Chie Koin Street. This is the old weaving district of Kyoto.

    Yamanaka Aburaten has an extensive variety of sesame oils that are probably just the best in the world. They make olive oil as well now. I have not tried it but I have heard good things about it.

    Tsubaki oil is great stuff for your hair, you might want to give it a try. If you have seen Japanese period dramas on television, you probably noticed the distinctive hair styles, that is tsubaki oil.

    http://www.yoil.co.jp/ (no English)

    Kyoto Vinegar Shinise: Chidori Su (千鳥酢)
    Chidori-su is the brand name of the popular vinegar made by Murayama Zosu (村山造酢). Chidori-su brand vinegar is widely available in Kyoto and many major stores around Japan.

    Located on Sanjo Street on the east side of the Kamo River about half way between Kawabata Street and Higashi-oji Street. It is a little hard to miss as the entire neighborhood smells of vinegar! We can find no website for Chidori-su. This is a big company now and we are not sure if vinegar is sold retail at the Sanjo 'Honsha' location. I think I have seen it for sale at neighborhood shops and surely the Kyoto department store food courts would have it. It should be available in a lot of super markets and liquor stores as well.

    Japan's most famous living novelist, Haruki Murakami is wild about Chidori-su. You can't beat that now can you?

    Kyoto Miso Shinise: Honda Miso Honten (本田味噌本店)
    Honda Miso Honten is a shinise and probably Kyoto's best known miso maker. This is the place to buy fine miso. The honten (main store), like most honten in Kyoto is in a beautiful and historic traditional Kyoto-style machiya (townhouse). Honda Miso products are also available other places, you could try the three departments store food courts, but if want the old Kyoto experience, you will want to visit the honten.

    Honda Miso Honten is located west of Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace) on Muromachi Street just north of Ichijo Street.

    http://www.honda-miso.co.jp/ (no English)
    closed on Sunday

    Recipes (Japanese language, but beautiful photos)


    Posted 10 years ago #


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