For those visiting bulk-supplier Gyomu Super for the first time, you might be surprised to find yourself in a confusing sea of cardboard boxes and bright yellow banners. As you stroll the aisles, you’ll find items like 1 kg cans of tomato purée, 2 kg packages of chicken thighs, and bottles of mayonnaise the size of your forearm. Gyomu Super almost exclusively carries bulk-size packaged and frozen items, which come at incredibly low prices (most products produced and manufactured in house!), making it a favorite among restaurant owners and price-conscious shoppers alike.
As the designated shopper of my family of three, I tend to be careful about buying in bulk for a few reasons. The first is that even if an item has a long expiration date, that doesn’t mean it will keep for a long time after opening. For example, a mega package of ham might only be good for several days once opened. Who wants to eat ham sandwiches every single day for a week? My other concern is space, particularly for frozen or refrigerated items. The storage capacity is pretty small for my Japanese-sized refrigerator (even more so for the freezer), so I tend to be really picky about what goes in there.
That being said, these are the items that I head to Gyomu Super specifically to buy, because either I can’t find the item elsewhere, the price is unbeatable, or a combination of both!
- Frozen Brussels Sprouts
A lot of people still think of brussels sprouts as a yucky vegetable from their childhood, but if you haven’t tried these again as an adult (cooked properly!), you are seriously missing out. Cut em in half, drizzle ’em in olive oil, sprinkle salt/pepper and roast ’em on a high heat until charred. I’m drooling just thinking about it!
This is the only place I’ve seen frozen Brussels in my eight years of living in Japan. The few times that I saw fresh ones at Aeon, I actually plunked down ¥800 for 16 tiny Brussels. I was so excited to finally see them, that I couldn’t think straight!
If sprouts aren’t your thing, Gyomu super also has mega packs of frozen broccoli, spinach, cut bell peppers, green beans, and several other kinds of vegetables, all to the tune of around ¥150 per bag.
2. Frozen Raspberries
Another extremely rare-for-Japan find. When’s the last time you’ve seen any raspberries, fresh or frozen, at the grocery store? You can also find 500 gram bags of mango, cherries, and mixed berries.
3. Frozen Shrimp
You might get overwhelmed browsing through the enormous selection of both raw and cooked frozen meat items at Gyomu. There are a lot of great deals to choose from, but for me, the shrimp is an essential. Unlike frozen chicken or beef, which need to be packed carefully in order to be separated easily and used slowly over time, bags of frozen shrimp are just so easy to smack against the counter and break off into handfuls for fried rice or stir fry. These shrimp are pretty large in size and beat Costco’s price per gram of the similar product they carry (¥1,528 for 908 grams).
I’m always on the lookout for deals on pasta that are not spaghetti, and for us, 500 grams is the perfect amount to cook at one time. I always make sure to stock up on a few bags of these Italian-made Fusilli and Penne.
4. Canned Beans
So I know what you might be thinking. If you were really super frugal, you would be buying dry beans rather than canned. I do! But there’s something so convenient about having a few cans of beans on hand that don’t need soaking and can just get thrown right into a chili, soup or salad. I always go for the chickpeas and kidney beans, though the baked beans are also very popular, especially with British expats.
5. Taco Essentials
I used to be a huge fan of the Pace brand Salsa from Costco (¥822 for 2.14 kg), but they discontinued it! Instead, Costco Japan only carries Kirkland Organic Salsa, which is more expensive (¥1,158 for 2.16 kg) and also tastes really weak and watery to me. This La Costena one has a rich taste and smooth texture, and comes at a nice value to boot.
I usually don’t go for hard-shell tacos, but if they’re your thing, Gyomu Super’s price beats the likes of Kaldi and other international food stores by a mile!
Other well-priced or just plain fun products at Gyomu Super:
I hope you had fun strolling the aisles of Gyomu Super with me! For more information and a list of locations, check out Gyomu Super’s English-language website here.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. All views expressed are purely my own.