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Asian Food Grocer Review and Giveaway

I had a pretty smashing birthday this year, with Mr. Pikko surprising me with a plethora of gifts such as a 3rd gen Kindle, Rome: The Complete Series on Blu-Ray, a box of See’s Awesome Walnut Square Bars, an activated subscription to HBO and Showtime (just in time for Game of Thrones), and a card glued together. He seemed huffy that I wasn’t more amused by the card, but I told him I’ve had 32 years of April Fool’s birthdays. I’ve pretty much seen it all. 🙂

My dad got me a seed sprouting kit and two pounds of sprouting seed (alfalfa and mung), so I’ll be able to use sprouts in my bentos very soon! I’m pretty excited about it, but I still have to clean off counter space for it. Right now I have tons of washed meat trays holding my Jiffy pellets of plants. Jenn got me this freaking hilarious solar Hello Kitty figurine of her reading a book on the toilet. Her head bobs up and down in the sun!

My brother gave me a freaking amazing gift: two nights stay at the Sheraton Waikiki, where he works, plus a coupon for breakfast buffet for four. When we were kids, my parents used to work us to the bone during the holidays, but soon after would make it up to us by taking us on a little vacation to Waikoloa to reward us for working so hard. We have a lot of great memories of Mauna Lani and the Royal Waikoloan, including swimming in the pool and watching movies in the room.

There are funny memories, like the time my mom drank too much and passed out at the table, which caused the waiter to inquire whether we needed a wheelchair to get her back to her room. LOL! There are also not-so-good memories, like the time I ate over fifty strawberries and an omelet at brunch and then spent the morning puking it all up with Grandma Mu at my side. The kids flat-out loved it and it really makes me happy that my brother is making it possible for my kids to have their own vacation memories like the ones we had together.

Asian Food Grocer

Today I am hosting a giveaway by Asian Food Grocer, who was kind enough to give me a coupon code to purchase some items to try. My review of the items will follow in the coming month as I try them out. For today, I am simply reviewing the service of Asian Food Grocer. Read on for details on how you can enter for a $20 coupon code! I will have two to give away!

I did my shopping on March 22nd and accidentally placed my order twice, like a total ditz. Two days later, they had worked out the error and shipped my box of goods and when I checked mail on the 29th (5 days later), the box was there. It should be noted that shipping to Hawaii is rather expensive since they have to use USPS and don’t use flat shipping (they should!). With the accessibility of Asian foods at local markets, it actually doesn’t make much sense for us locals to buy from their store. People who live on the mainland, however, can take advantage of their $6.95 ground shipping offer for orders over $25.

The nice ladies over at the Pepperjam Network offered me a $35 code so that I could order a good amount of items even with the higher shipping costs to Hawaii, so I was actually able to order a lot of items.

My shopping list:

I ate the Myojo ramen already and it was pretty good taste wise, but the noodles were a bit too chewy for my liking, which means you should probably cook it thoroughly instead of al dente. I took the macadamias to work to eat them slowly over the course of a week. HAHAHA! They were gone in two days. They’re out of stock right now because when I bought them, they were on clearance for only $0.75, a steal! All of this came out to $19.40, so you could actually order more to reach the ground shipping requirement.

I’ve already cooked some of the Kagayaki rice and it in indeed delicious, but at 2.2 lb for $6.50, it’s a pretty expensive rice. It’s not that AFG prices it high, it’s expensive everywhere. I consider this to be a “special occasion” rice. I’ll be including it in the next part of my Umami rice cooker review series.

I like that their website accepts product reviews, as I heavily consider reviews when shopping online. When I shop at Baker Creek, I read through all the reviews to find the best tasting seeds. Their search doesn’t always work right as searches for “shirataki” only brought up 1 item and a search for “kagayaki rice” only gave me the brown rice, since their other products have words in between katayaki and rice.

I had been hoping that they would have red yuzu kosho, since I need this to make a recipe in a cookbook I’m reviewing, but unfortunately they don’t carry it. I bought the green at the local Nijiya Market, but they didn’t have red and neither did Marukai. The only place I’ve found it is on Amazon through a third party seller and this would come out to almost $20 for a tiny little bottle. The heck with that!

As I mentioned earlier, I have two coupon codes to give away. All you need to do is head on over to Asian Food Grocer’s website and look around, then come back here and post your own shopping list of at least two yummy Asian foods you’d buy if you won. Limit one entry per person. Entries will be accepted until Monday, April 12, 2011. Feel free to Like them on Facebook!

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  • Harrison

    yea i know i would be a little over, but i wouldnt skip to just the coupon if i win to try new things and to restock on things i love to eat 🙂 especially when i can use it for dorm cooking to flavor something up!
    Mountains Dried Lily Flower 3.5 oz
    Instant Red Bean Cup w/ Glutenious Rice 5.64 oz
    Kikkoman Sweet Cooking Sake 12.7 Fz
    Yuzu Ginger Conserve 5.2 oz
    Snow Cabbage and Rice Mix 0.43 oz

  • Whether I win or not, I may just end up shopping for some new things to try. I’ve already got the Maruman White Miso, the Melon bread, some candy and treats, and some kitchen wears in my cart.

  • Justine

    I’m already over with the first item, but that wouldn’t stop me. I’ve been looking for Unagi everywhere locally and this would be a great alternative. My list:
    Unagi Kabayaki 3-Pack
    Original Soy Wrapper 3.5 oz
    Suntory Lemon Green Tea 16.6 fl oz.

  • Hey,
    I would like to give you an award because your blog is so incredibly great.
    This award is given only by me, and it serves a list of the best blogs create.
    The only thing you have to do is to create a small link to the page with the blog links. (http://japansbento.blogspot.com/p/golden-blog-award.html)
    I hope you are happy about it.

    Regards
    Krisi (from germany)

  • Serena

    I guess I’m one of the lucky ones who lives near some Asian grocery stores (mostly Korean, but there’s one Chinese one close by!). I’d want to get some of that mochi once it’s back in stock, maybe a bento box or two, some of the Japanese seasonings/sauces that I don’t think I can get here, and a bunch of different snacks and candies.

  • Jodie

    So many choices! I like the “Quick and Easy” category, so I would definately stock up on some of the delicious sauces for stir fry (esp Black Bean Garlic). We don’t have much selection where we live (in the midwest) and I’ve always wanted to try Nori so that’s also a definate. Then I would splurge and order a couple adorable kids’ rice bowls so my two little ones would be inspired to try some of my new creations!

  • Elizabeth

    I would have to get a ton of udon noodles as it’s tough to find unflavored ones where I live. Also I’d get some melon bread. Finally, I’d probably get a new bento.

  • Andrew

    I really like Japanese soft drinks! I loved being able to get a drink any time I wanted from the ubiquitous vending machines in Japan, and there were so many different drinks! Not like here where its pretty much coke or pepsi everywhere.

    Anyway, I would get:
    http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/product/suntory-barley-tea-16-5-fz
    Barley tea is delicious and kind of hard to find in the States.

    http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/product/mitsuya-cider-16-6-fz
    Mitsuya Cider is a unique flavor, can’t quite describe it. Not super sweet though!

    http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/product/sapporo-melon-cream-soda
    Melon soda! One of my favorites!

    The only thing I wish the site had was C.C. Lemon…

  • Kay

    Short answer: Kit Kats!!!!

    Long answer:
    Japanese Kit Kat – Framboise
    Japanese Kit Kat – Bitter Almond
    Japanese Kit Kat – Dark Chocolate 1.5 oz
    Japanese Kit Kat – White Chocolate Cheese 1.58 oz
    Japanese Kit Kat – Caramelized Sweet Potato 6 oz
    Japanese Kit Kat – Kouhaku 6 oz

  • Sebastian

    This is my yummy list:
    Glico Syokora Mild Chocolate Pocky
    Hello Kitty Coconut Milk Wafer
    Meiji Hello Panda Cream
    Crunky Banana White Chocolate

    Mmmm… they all looks so delicious, and I promise to share with my family if I get the yummy stuff. 😀

  • adri

    First I would definitely buy some sobs noodles as I use them in a recipe frequently. Since I haven’t had any in forever and its my favorite kind, I would grab some chocolate almond covered pocky! I’d also grab the sweet potato variety out of curiousity!

  • I’d get some good seaweed (it’s really hard to find any here!) and some hi-chews!

  • Monica Lavoie

    I would get Meito Umeboshi Spiced Plum Candy and Spicer Furikake Bonito .54 oz and Orchids Onion Garlic Chips 2.7 oz I could go on and on.

    Thanks for the chance!

  • Jessie

    I just discovered shirataki noodles yesterday!!! I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out what they were. I always saw them in my mom’s fridge and could enver figure them out. Now I’m a low-carb diet (wedding prep) and I read a review about them. AMAZING! I’m planning to head back to the Korean store and get them!

    However Virginia lacks Japanese grocer stores. 🙁 and even the Korean stores lack the Asian facial cleansers. I miss those from my time in Korea.

    My shopping list would include:
    -White Shirataki noodles 7.0oz
    -Matsuda Flat Shirataki noodles 7.69oz
    -Mu Tenka Foaming cleanser
    -a few of the Kid’s rice bowls 🙂

  • wade2121

    Dars White Chocolate 1.6 oz
    Japanese Kit Kat – Caramelized Sweet Potato 6 oz
    Japanese Kit Kat – Blueberry
    UCC Canned Kona Coffee w/ Milk 11.3 oz
    UCC Black Coffee Can 9.7 oz

  • I would for sure want ramune!!! NOM NOM, Yan yan and pocky

  • Happy Birthday! Rome is a great series..loved it!

    Nearly impossible for me to choose…but I’ll give it a go 😉

    Red Blossom Bento Box~because I don’t have an actual bento box yet, and I think this one is lovely..
    Any and all forms of Pocky~I can get plain old chocolate and strawberry fairly close to home but need to drive a bit for anything more ‘exotic’ and I do love the almond pocky so much..
    Kagayaki select premium short grain rice~because it’s hard to find good sushi rice around here
    Sapporo melon cream soda~oh my! I’ve never seen this but it sounds just delicious!

    There is SO much more…noodles, spices, oh heavens, I could make an entire post out of my list!! Thanks for the chance to win!

  • we have asian stores in this area too, so it’d have to be something that’s hard to get on the east coast (Washington, DC).

    so far, I’m leaning towards:
    Yuzu Ginger Conserve 5.2 oz
    Yuzu Marmalade 5.2 oz.
    Kanten Agar Gelatin Powder .56 oz
    Lotte Black Black Gum 4.7oz Tub
    Japanese Vitamin Carrying Case

  • Amanda

    Oh jeez… so many choices…

    I’d probably have to go with rice, udon noodles, some curry sauces and some hard to find Pocky, like the winter fudge and the caramel.. I’m also intrigued by the sweet potato Pretz.

  • yumm…

    My shopping list would include
    Glico Syokora Almond Praline Pocky 2.11 oz
    Szechwan Shrimp Seasoning Mix
    Sushi Combo Set Bronze
    Sauce Bundle Pack

    oh, I really could keep adding to this list 😉

  • Stephanie

    Yum! I have always wanted to try curry, but sadly there are no Asian stores/restaurants around me that sell it… so I would buy the instant curry. For my second item, I would have to try the melon bread because I’ve heard it is amazing, but I have never tried it. Everything looks so good!

  • Spencer E.

    I would definitely buy some of the Peach Ramune, a flavour the local Asian Market does not stock. Also, for sure some of the Nong Shim Shin Bowls of ramen, because they are so spicy and delicious. Oh, and maybe some of the Yamashiro Tokino Ryokucha loose leaf tea, because I have always wanted to review that for my tea review site.

  • Angelene

    My list would be of Japanese snacks because, they’re SO pricey 🙁 So if i win, i can get as many as possible to satisfy my cravings:)

    Mini Yokan Ogura
    Green Tea Chocolate
    Meiji Almond chocolate
    Strawberry short cake kitkat
    Strawberry Hello Panda
    Meiji Apollo Strawberry
    Senjakuame sugar free green tea candy

    NYUMZzz~ gonna grin IF I WERE To get all those:)

  • Dizzy

    I don’t live anywhere near an Asian grocery store and to get to one, I have to travel for quite a long time in the subway only to get there and not always find what I’m looking for. Therefore, if I could buy something from Asian Food Grocer(which, I’ve been scoping them out for over a year now but never bought anything), I would buy these things in a flash!!

    Bonito Tuna Flakes MIni 0.63 oz
    Soft Butter Sweet Baum 2.1 oz
    Daiichipan Melon Bread 9.6 oz
    Meiji Petite Assortment 2.0 Oz
    Maruman White Miso 26.4 oz
    Orchids Tokyo Takuwan 9 oz
    Ume No Osama Pickled Plum 7 oz
    Myojo Yakisoba 3.24 oz
    JenYi Almond Dofu Delight 6 oz
    Bull Dog Worcestershire Sauce 5.6 fl oz
    Kewpie Mayonnaise 17.64 oz
    Bulldog Tonkatsu Sauce 5.6 fl oz
    Marukin Mirin Fu 16.6 fl oz
    Vermont Curry Mild 8.8 oz
    Sakura Denbu Seasoned Ground Codfish 0.94 Oz
    White Shirataki Noodles 7.0 oz

    u_u extremely long list but those things I can’t seem to find near me and going down to China Town is a rather long, crowded, and tiring journey to buy a few things.

  • SammiGene

    If I won, I would most definitely get:
    Melon Pan
    Bourbon Chocolate Covered Baum Cake
    One of the fruit filled breads (I’m such a bakery fanatic)
    Kokuho Rose Fancy Rice (It’s cheaper on Asian Food Grocer. I make my onigiri with this!)
    Different flavored kit kats
    Meji Milk Chocolate (I’m a chocoholic)
    Tangerine Bath Salts

    I would maybe get:
    Udon Noodle Soup Bundle
    Japanese Teriyaki mix

    There’s some other things that I would maybe get, but here’s what I have as a list of things I love and what I’d want to try.

  • Laura in Texas

    Yummm! If I won, I would buy some sauces (like tonkatsu and ponzu), some seasoning packets like the Noh and Sunbrid flavorings, some aloe drinks and I would have to have my Calpis!

  • Stacy

    not paying attention to prices, but i found these things yummy and interestingly delicious and some childhood favorites

    Toppo Chestnut Cake
    Hello Kitty Coconut Milk Wafer
    Hakubaku Organic Soba
    Sichuan Spicy Chilly Noodle Soup
    Golden Curry Instant – Medium Hot
    Orchids Wasabi Paste
    Ajishima Katsuo (Tuna Flake) Furikake
    Ramune Soda Mango
    Korimitsu Melon Shaved Ice Syrup
    Organic Soymilk Chocolate
    Yogu Time White Peach

  • Gina

    My mouth is watering from looking through everything! Yummers!~ <3

    Here's my list:

    Kasugai Peanut and You 2.8 oz $2.38
    Shirataki Noodles 9.86 oz with Fiber $2.18
    Dried Tuna Flakes 3.52 OZ $5.78
    JES Yakitori Sauce 15.6 Oz $2.98
    Orient Chef Spicy Korean BBQ Sauce 14.6 oz $2.39
    Vegetarian Peking Roast Duck 10 oz $1.99
    Kamata Shoten Lychee Ramune Soda 6.7 Fz $1.89

    total: 19.59

  • Okwes

    Thanks for the link!

    I’d LOVE to try:
    1: Shida Sardines in Miso (or soy, or chili sauce… or all of them….lol) cuz I love sardines.
    2: Hakubaku Organic Green Tea Cha Soba
    3: Organic Soymilk Green Tea
    4: Chestnut Rice Cake Mochi Balls
    5: Torokeru Maple Danish 2.2 oz i LOVE maple things!

    That’s my top 5, but i’d really just like the whole site, lol.

  • Heather

    Ochazuke Nori Rice Soup 0.84 oz
    Momoya Kimchee (Kimchi) Base 15.87 oz
    Yamako Kampyo Dried Gourd Strips 1.76 oz
    Yamato Ajitsuke Kampyo Pickled Gourd 0.46 oz
    Tamanoi Sushi Powder 2.6 oz (I love this stuff when I’m in a hurry in the morning!)
    Spinach Green Soy Wrapper 3.5 oz
    YMY Hot & Spicy Teriyaki Nori Seaweed Strips 0.8 Oz (my little boy loves to snack on these!)
    Jin Lih Iron Chopper
    Sapporo Melon Cream Soda 16.6 fl oz
    Sakura Denbu Seasoned Ground Codfish 0.94 Oz
    Organic Soymilk Green Tea 32 Fz (they stopped selling this here… boo!)

    Okay…. I have to stop!!!!!

  • Pam

    They have bento boxes! So… I know they aren’t ‘yummy’ but I’d have to get one.

    Foodwise, I’ve always wanted to try mochi. I can’t find it around here. And I would want to try the various Sichuan noodle soups.

  • cool giveaway! Here’s my list of things I’d get:

    Puccho Stick Mixed Gummy Soft Chews (I can’t get them here and they’re OMG SO GOOD!!)
    Omusubi Tei Sato No Iro furikake (fun furikake is also unavailable here! No fun)
    Hata Ramune Soda Yuzu 6.6 Fz
    Chopsticks – Lacquer Purple Pearl
    Chopsticks – Red Lacquer Bigin
    Eyelashes – Criss Cross Length

    Best of luck to all entrants. Fingers crossed!

  • the Kasugai Lychee Gummy and Meiji Muscat Chocolate Gummy. I’m a sucker for asian candy! 🙂

  • Wyn

    I’m a sucker for chocolate and gummy snacks, so my list would look a lot like the following:

    Japanese Kit Kat – Kouhaku 6 oz
    Japanese Kit Kat – Caramelized Sweet Potato 6 oz
    Japanese Kit Kat – Banana Fruit Mix
    Japanese Kit Kat – Strawberry Short Cake 6 oz
    Kasugai Lychee Gummy 4.41 Oz
    Kasugai Grape Gummy 4.76 Oz
    Kasugai Wasabi Peas 11.63 oz
    Puccho Stick Soda 1.76 oz

    ..and probably a whole lot of others. I’d go wild in a candy store– actually, I have. I should really stop.

  • Caressa Sharp

    Definitely the Shirataki noodles and Hi-Chews! Oh, and a Bento box!

  • Lots of furikake (I wish they had the character ones)
    Children’s Green Giraffe Bento Box (my daughter loves giraffes)
    Kameda Hai Hain Rice Crackers (my baby will soon have enough teeth for these)
    Sushi erasers (for my h.s. students)
    Japanese Lunch Bento Box Erasers Pink
    Fizzling Soda Candy 5 Oz

  • Totoro Chopsticks and case $7.95
    Huy Fong Sriracha Sauce $2.99
    Japanese Kit Kat – Caramelized Sweet Potato $6.99
    3 Glico Caramel Chocolate Pocky $3.98ea
    4 Kasugai Konpeito 5.4 oz $2.48
    5 packs of BlackBlack Super Menthol Mint hard Candy $1.88 (sold out right now)

    The candy mostly because the asian store in my area doesn’t carry ANY of those.

  • ladysaotome

    The only 2 local asian grocery stores nearby are tiny & pricey so I’ve been a customer of Asian Food Grocer for years. They have a nice blog with recipes, too! (the dessert sushi is awesome!)

    I got hooked on the kagayaki rice – we buy the large bag every time I order – and I like when they have shirataki noodles. And I’m always buying different candies or snacks to try, too!

  • Sarah H.

    shoping list
    – jasmine rice
    -Kabaya Saku Panda Chocolate Cookie
    -panko bread crumbs
    -Hello Kitty Coconut Milk Wafer
    -Morinaga Disney Chocolate Cookies

  • Brenda

    Hey thanks for reviewing the site, I did not even know it existed. I’ll be getting some shirataki noodles, Ramune soda and Ramune candy, fizzing soda candy (my fave!), salmon furikake……and maybe try some different rices ( if you review them so I know the difference!)

  • Meryl

    I’d like to try the Sriracha and Chili Sauce.

  • Louis

    The sesame oil and sesame paste.

  • Victor Wong

    OH MAN.. I love that website. I go there all the time just to STARE at the food. =D

    I would get..

    -Meiji Hello Panda Choco 2.0 Oz
    -Meiji Hello Panda Strawberry 2.0 Oz
    -Meiji Hello Panda Cream 2 Oz
    -Giant Hello Panda Choco 9.1 Oz
    -Chocolate Filled Koala Biscuits 1.76 oz

    I love Meiji brand Hello Panda the most. =)

  • Yay!! Cool giveaway. I would love to win this.

    If so, I’d get these:
    1) Piggy Face bento box. So cute!
    2) Mirin

  • giedre

    mmm, lychee soda! I need a new rice cooker, is that brand good? The Oyama brand, it is. I also need to get one of those iron woks.

  • Bill

    Pocky my old favorites strawberry and chocolate plus a new flavor.
    Strawberry Hi-Chew (for my niece)
    and Ramune soda

  • Ohira Kyou

    I’d have to go with some natto and a pack of Nong Shim Hot & Spicy Noodle Soup (what can I say? I’m a fan, even if their commercials are ridiculous).

  • Oh I love this website!! I order from them a lot, so I would probably order some familiar favorites- like the cute little burgers (Bourbon Chocolate Every Burger) or some of the Hot and Spicy Noodle Soup!

  • i would buy the pink soy wrappers — they are “sushi party” brand and i am able to find the green, yellow and orange ones locally, but have never seen pink!

    i would also like to try this six-grain rice blend, looks super healthy! http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/product/6-grain-rice-2-2-lbs

  • I think I’d get some Bankansan Yakitori Sauce and maybe some of their seasoning packets, like the Broccoli-Beef Seasoning Mix! Yum! And what great prices!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  • Leslie

    It was such a hard choice! I finally decided on 4 items that I have not been able to find in Omaha, NE. and one item I know I will never see here (even though it isn’t food, I couldn’t help but include it).

    Fizzling Soda Candy
    Udon Noodle Soup bundle
    Sakura Denbu seasoned ground Codfish
    Paprika Orange Soy Wrapper
    Totoro Bento Box

  • Rexy

    I would buy the Morinaga Keroppi Kawaii cookies, the Keroppi candy gift set in the collectible pouch if they were in stock. If not, then I’d get the Pearl organic soymilk (green tea flavor), the Hachimitsu honey spiced plums.

  • Alex

    Ramen all the way! http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/category/ramen-noodles

    I’ve been looking at getting another santoku and this one looks decent — http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/product/japanese-knife-senzou-santohu

    And this whistle candy is a lot of fun — http://www.asianfoodgrocer.com/product/ramune-whistle-candy-0-77-oz

    After that, a whole lot of spices and seasonings to fill out some gaps in my kitchen!