One of the main differences between Kanto-style Sukiyaki and Kansai style is that when making Kansai style Sukiyaki the meat is fried first in tallow (which is basically beef fat) before adding the sauce and other ingredients. Usually in the kanto region of Japan Sukiyaki is stewed without the meat being fried first.
We decided to buy the sukiyaki meat at Japan Premium Beef which is located on 57 Great Jones Street. Because we don’t eat meat that often, we decided to go all out and get high quality sukiyaki beef. The quality and selection of the beef at Japan Premium Beef is much better, in my opinion, than any of the Japanese or Asian groceries in the city. I hear that have a sale on certain cuts on Wednesdays although I have never gotten the chance to go on a Wednesday. One of the perks is that when you buy sukiyaki meat here they include the tallow for free. It is difficult to find tallow being sold at the Japanese grocery stores in NY so I was really excited.
We did, however go to Sunrise Japanese Supermarket for the other ingredients like shungiku (chrysanthemum leaves), shiitake mushrooms, shirataki (jellied noodles made out of “devil’s tongue”), hakusai (napa cabbage) , and negi (Japanese scallion).
Yokan is a Japanese dessert that is made of bean paste (typically adzuki or white kidney beans), agar, and sugar. We received this yokan as a gift and it was delicious! This yokan is made of matcha and shiroan (white kidney bean paste). I personally prefer yokan made out of shiroan compared to adzuki. In New York you can find yokan at Japanese supermarkets like Sunrise Supermarket (41st Street btw. 5th + Madison) or for a higher quality yokan you can go to Minamoto Kitchoan which is located near Rockefeller Center.
However the one that we had was Toraya Yokan which is very famous and high reputation. If you are ever in Japan please visit one of their shops: Toraya Website
They also have some locations in California!
Last week I purchase my very own Hario drip coffee kettle and drip cone. I had been wanting it for a while and after buying it I have no regrets! Just pouring the water over the coffee grinds makes me happy every morning (that’s probably strange but it’s really true).
This article talks about how popular coffee is in Japan. The New York Times: Coffee’s Slow Dance According to the article, Japan imports more coffee than France each year. Japanese drip coffee is better than regular coffee because the water is poured slowly over the coffee compared to other coffee machines. Some coffee shops in New York use the Japanese drip coffee technique like Blue Bottle Coffee who’s main store is in Brooklyn.
I bought my drip coffee supplies at Porto Rico Importing Co. at their Brooklyn location. This shop has a variety of coffees and teas as well as accessories. I highly recommend it!