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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

For the Flavors of Japan, Travel to Prospekt Mira

I've just returned from a two-week trip to Tokyo and am still swirling from the sheer pleasure of eating Japanese food several times a day. The cuisine is quite addictive. Meals usually consist of a soup, two or three dishes -- something raw, a grilled dish, and then a simmered or fried dish -- plus rice and pickles. Even the lowliest corner restaurant seems to use the freshest ingredients and prepare them in a way that creates a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.


Back in Moscow, it is possible to recreate the tastes of Tokyo by taking a trip to Japro on Prospect Mira. This medium-sized store has the best range of Japanese ingredients in town. Be warned, however: Prices are expensive and many items are labeled in Japanese. If you want translation assistance into English, you can ask for deputy directors Ai Otsuki or Vyacheslav Bulychev.


Many Japanese vegetables are still unknown to Western eaters and can be hard to find in Moscow. A few, however can be bought at Japro: giant Daikon radishes (40 cents per 100 grams), the long onions known as negi, and wakegi, a spring onion look-alike used in soups, dips and other dishes. A wide range of Japanese pickles is also available, with most small jars costing about $7.


Mushrooms are a key ingredient in Japanese cuisine and Japro sells small cans of enoki mushrooms, which are tiny bunches of white funghi with long stems, for $8. Fresh shiitake mushrooms are available at $2 for a 200-gram pack. Other good finds are tofu, which costs $8.50 for a four-piece pack and wasabi, a popular spice paste that tastes like a less pungent version of horseradish, is available for $3.58 per tube.


Two of the most important flavorings in Japanese food are shoyu, which is Japanese soy sauce, and miso. Originally brought to Japan with Buddhism from China, Japanese soy sauce is very refined, with a mild and smooth taste. Kikkoman soy sauce can be found at Japro for $8.43 for 1 liter and Yamasa is slightly cheaper at $8.23, also for 1 liter. Miso, a fermented paste of soybeans and barley or rice, is available for $5.90 and $11.90.


Japro carries a range of meat from the United States that has already been prepared for sukiyaki, a one-pot dish of meat and vegetables. It costs $27 per kilo. Meat for Shabu-Shabu, another classic dish, also costs $27 per kilo.


Stockmann's and Sadko also carry a small selection of ingredients for Japanese cuisine. Stockmann's has a wide array of seafood, including frozen tempura prawns at $7 for six. Sadko sells Yakinori toasted seaweed at $10.50 for 30 grams and Yaki sushinori at $6.25 for 20 grams.


Whether you're preparing noodle soup, sushi or sukiyaki, there's nothing like Japanese beer to wash down your meal. Japro sells Kirin's Beer for $2.90 a bottle and Sapporo for $1.85 a bottle.





Japro, 12 Prospekt Mira, Metro Prospekt Mira or Sukharevskaya. Tel. 207-7247 or 207-2193.


Sadko Arcade, Krasnogvardeysky 1st Proyezd 1, metro 1905 Goda. Tel. 259-5656.


Kalinka-Stockmann, 2 Ulitsa Zatsepsky Val, Metro Paveletskaya. Tel. 233-2602.