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JAPAN: where to find japanese food?

One of the first things that we worry about when we move to a foreign country is "can I get Japanese ingredients there?"  It is very important when you live away from home that you are still able to get things you need to make cuisine of your own country.

It is not so difficult nowadays in Luxembourg  to get basic ingredients such as rice, miso, sake, soy sauce, rice vinegar, seaweed (nori), pickeld ginger (gari), bread crumbs (panko) or tofu.  Some vegetable which are familiar to us can be found here easily as well, such as shiitake, shimeji, white raddish (daikon) and Chinese cabbage(hakusai).  These items can be purchased in many of the local supermarkets. To look for Japanese ingredients, however, the first places that I think of are the Asian supermarkets.  There are several located  close to the main station. 

In the Asian supermarkets such as Asian Market, in addition to the basic ingredients you can also find many other Japanese items including noodles, curry paste, gyoza skins, edamame, tofu, deep-fried tofu (aburaage), rice crackers, tea, beverages, salad dressings, various sauces and seasonings.  At Mangoo, you can find different kinds of frozen vegetables that might be useful such as bamboo shoots (takenoko), taro (satoimo) and lotus root (renkon).  For sushi and sashimi, you can buy fresh fish at *Provencale such as tuna (maguro), salmon (shake), yellowtail (hamachi) and scallops (hotate).  Sashimi grade fish could also be purchased at POISSONNERIE CENTRALE and occasionally at the fish corner in Auchan and Cactus Belle etoile.  

One shop which should not be forgotten is Naturata.  Naturata has many Japanese items that are all organic. At Naturata you can get most of the basic ingredients and also many other things such as sesame paste (nerigoma), plum vinegar (ume su), dried plum (umeboshi), dried white radish (kiriboshidaikon), wasabi, soba, ramen, tempura-fix and more.     

Some fresh greens are available at Provencale, such as mizuna and shiso. If you need  Japanese tea (sencha, matcha etc.), you can find them at tea shops such as ThéGschwendner or PALAIS DES DES THES

Like I mentioned in the beginning , according as the Japanese food getting more popular, finding Japanese ingredients outside Japan is getting easier comparing to some decades ago.  However, it is true that it not the same as to go shopping in Japan. The assortment is still limited, not all ingredients are exactly the same as in Japan, and many things you can get here are only frozen and not fresh. 

After living in Luxembourg for a while, I learned to accept this and think positive. Instead of complaining, we should try all the different ingredients we don't see in Japan.  I fell in love with Fennel and Artichoke, for example. I use rocket or watercress instead of shungiku for my sukiyaki or shabu-shabu.  I am sure that you can make your own fusion cuisine using the local ingredients arranging  with your Japanese recipe.  So enjoy shopping and cooking in Luxembourg!    

* Please be aware that a membership is required in order to shop at Provencale since it is a whole sale market. 

Tomoko Aymar
Japanese Ambassador for the Club of Just Arrived's Ambassadors