I bought this at a vegetarian shop in Kyoto (~15 minute-walk from Kyoto station).
I discovered this just recently because my husband tasted a takikomi gohan cooked by a friend who used this very product. My husband really loved that takikomi gohan so he bought this seasoning (which happens to be the smallest pack, 500g for ~￥750.oo) and kept on bugging me to replicate that dish. I'm not sure if I perfectly replicated it because the recipe I got from my friend didn't have any measurement (like most of my recipes here ^^;) but my husband loved it so much.
If you want to buy this or browse over other vegetarian products they sell at that store, you can check out the blog I wrote about them.
If you are in Japan, you can buy these stuff at the vegetarian goods store in Kyoto.
If you are in the Philippines, you can check it out at Quan Yin Chay, Happy Veggie, and Tung Fang.
If you're somewhere else in the world, I saw some promising products at amazon like Butler Soy Curls, Betta Foods Imitation Chicken Chunks, and Bob's Red Mill TVP.
I'm sorry I haven't taken a photo of fresh soy protein in my local market. I don't usually buy it because my husband doesn't like it's taste. But the next time I'm not in a hurry doing the grocery, I'll make sure you get to see a photo of this. ^_~
Dried TVP Chunks
Commonly called TVP, meaning textured vegetable protein, this is a hard, tree-bark-like nuggets that needs to be soaked in warm water for ~20minutes or boiled for a few minutes to soften. You can flavor it however you want and it will give you a meaty texture to your dish. Just don't expect too much from it. It's not meat, so it don't be too hard on our TVP friends. They give a nice touch to some dishes, but I don't suggest putting it in all dishes as meat substitute. I personally don't appreciate it floating soggy in my soup. But it is really awesome barbecued.
Ground Soy Protein
Good in veggy meaty lasagna or spaghetti and so many other dishes, this may come as a textured vegetable protein, or a simpler soy protein. As soy proteins, it usually is the dried form of i think the soy bean byproducts when making soy milk or tofu. I don't know much about this, so if you do know, just comment them below. ^_~ thank you!
I'm not sure how to read their company, but it goes something like: Taichu Jitsugyou Kabushiki Gaisha (大中実業株式会社). Their store is located near Kyoto Station, about 15-minute walk. I'm not sure but I think they ship products to other parts of Japan (you can call them to make sure). They have different products-- from frozen vegetarian products (like soy ham) to textured vegetable proteins (TVP), to vegetarian seasonings et cetera.
You can check out some of their products shown in the pictures below. But that's not all they have. I didn't have time when I went there but I really wanted to take pictures of their products for my blog (because they haven't created their website yet). Just click on the picture to see the whole photo.
If you want to buy or ask about their products, you can contact them at 075-671-6022 or fax at 075-671-4531.
If you want to go to their store, the address is written on the picture on the right. I'm sorry I can't translate it for you-- I don't understand it very well. ^^;
Furikake means "dried food sprinkled over rice". This is something I and some other vegetarian friends use when we are on trip and don't have much choice on food. It gives visual and gustatory sparkles to plain rice. And it puts daisy-field-like joy in rice ball. Yeah.
According to a strict vegetarian Japanese friend, this is the only vegetarian furikake. This one has wakame, salt, sesame, ume, shiso, wheat flour, yeast extract, starch syrup, palm oil, amino acid, seasoning, red cabbage pigment, sodium acetate, sodium carbonate, and something that's not written in my dictionary (ミョウバン・myouban).
Toubanjan 「トーバンジャン」 sauce is the Japanese term for this product which may be more familiar in English as chili bean sauce, Sezchuan style.
This chili bean sauce in tube is the 100g version and I bought it at ~￥240.
For the 60g, 130g, 220g, 500g and 1000g bottles, you may check how they look like at Youki's export product index, at the bottom-most row, second from the left.
Aburaage [油揚げ] or usuage [薄上げ] is a soft, deep-fried tofu available in regular supermarkets here in Japan. They are usually in the refrigerated tofu section, together with momen tofu, kinugoshi tofu, fresh TSP (textured soy protein a.k.a. okara, soy pulp) and many others.
I've seen this sold at ￥48, ￥58, and ￥98.
This one is ￥48.
There are three kinds of mirin but let me just focus on this one. For people like me who prefer not to use alcohol, this one's it.
My most reliable source, no less than my husband, explained that mirin simply means sweet Japanese sake.
This one I use is called mirin-fu or as written on the bottle on the left, mirin-fu choumiryou 「みりん風調味料」meaning "mirin-like seasoning". It contains less than 1% alcohol, which, as we know, evaporates when heated. So, for an added zing to your dishes but minus the alcohol-caused reactions, here's your best choice!
Of all these seaweeds I wrote about here, yakinori is the only kind I've seen in the Philippines. If you're not in Japan, you will probably see this at you friendly Asian stores. ^_~
This type of dried seaweed is usually the type used in makizushi (filled-and-rolled sushi) and gunkanmaki (battleship roll sushi). I hope the translations were fine. ^^;
I also use it give a fish-like flavor to my dishes like tuna carbonara and coco-simmered tofu.
I haven't explored this one very much. Pretty much just used it to top my yakisoba and okonomiyaki. If you have any other suggestions on using this, please comment below. ^_^
I first used this in my first miso soup. However, it didn't turn out so good. Not that it tasted bad-- my husband said I should have put more miso. I'll try it again next time and share the recipe with you.
The first time I tasted this was in my father-in-law's cucumber-wakame salad. I was so amazed at how delicious seaweed can be (I was not so much of a seaweed fan before).
I don't know how else to cook this aside from boiling in sake-mirin-shouyu with carrot and shiitake. It tastes interesting, good if I dare say. But I'm not a fan of sake, so after tasting a couple of strands, I never tried again. But my husband likes it. hahaha
Just add this to the best cooked rice you've got (preferably quite sticky to resemble Japanese rice if you don't have Japanese rice at hand), mix well, spread on 3/4 of a whole nori sheet and line up a good mix of vegetables and you have sushi!
But more than that, I love it in salad. Imagine a light, sweetened vinegar. Perfect with lettuce and cucumber.