February 13, 2018
Last night I was reading a blog written by a Chinese chef living in UK, she was sharing her frustrations over the certain special Chinese ingredients she cannot get hold of in UK. I could put myself into her shoes immediately and fully understood how it feels like. There are some Japanese items for cooking that we can not find here in Oslo, too. So what do you do about it?
I think there are 5 ways + 1 way was suggested by my cooking friend:
1. Improvise and find a substitute ingredient ( I do it often)
2. Buy it online like eBay etc.
3. If you have a chance you can buy at big Japanese supermarkets in London or Paris ( fly Norwegian for 99 kr!!) Sweden has some items similar to Japanese products, like bread flour with high gluten content. USA also has several big Japanese supermarket stores. I went one in San Francisco last November, it was amazing!!
4. Buy from Japan * see notes
5. Ask a friend who goes to Japan to buy it for you ( I hesitate to do this as I know my friends have lots to bring back for their own use but sometimes I ask for light weight stuff. )
6. Grow it in your home garden or on terrace. (For example Shiso plants, I knew a family who grew Japanese pumpkin Kabocha in their garden)
I used to be able to ask my mom to send stuff to me but she is now sick and I can’t ask her anymore. I have made a contract with a Japanese forwarding company in Osaka and I have a postal address in Osaka now and they are sending me whatever I buy online in Japan. I pay handling charge and shipping costs, I can choose how I want to have it shipped, by boat, by air, by SAL etc. They have English site as well. There are several companies like that in Japan, if you are interested, google “Tenso” or “baggageforward” to find more detailed info.
Do you have any tips??