After publishing my Ingredients/Tools page, I realized I need to share where I get certain ingredients since Hawai’i isn’t known for having extensive (or affordable) selections here. Luckily, Asian flavors are more than available here—I can pretty much walk into any store and find green tea or ume (plum) easily, and it seems now Thai and Korean ingredients are becoming more common mainstays as well.
The following are stores I either frequent or know has what I need:
- India Market: Not only do they have Indian needs, but a whole range of Middle Eastern and European foods, flavorings, and other products. I’ve bought curry mixes, crushed mint, za’atar, basmati rice, black currant syrup, rose syrup, and rosewater here. They have a great selection of jams/jellies, too!
- Nijiya Market: A West-Coast based chain, they usually have a better selection of Japanese goods than Don Quijote and Marukai depending on what you’re looking for. I recently found a stay-fresh packet (bag) of shoyu (soy sauce) I couldn’t find anywhere else, which solidified my need for this store. They also have sakura-cha, or powdered sakura. The one on University Avenue seemed to have a wider range of goods compared to the Ala Moana location.
- Walmart/Target: I lump these two big-box stores together because they usually have great deals on their flours and sugars. Softasilk cake flour is inexpensive at Walmart, while I trust Target brand flours/sugars more than Walmart’s. I notice Walmart has self-rising flour more often than Target, too. I usually buy store-brand raisins and spices at either store, as well.
- Other things to look for are…
- Packaging and presentation materials: Walmart has a great selection of cake boards/boxes, as well as party bags and plates. I recently bought a bunch of party bags, sandwich/snack bags, and craft tags, and with the ribbon, tissue paper, and discounted Christmas boxes I have at home, I’ll be wrapping future bakes in those!
- Inexpensive baking supplies: I started off using Walmart pans, and I bought my kitchen scale from there. If you have room, I’ve bought their shelving units as well to store everything!
- Other things to look for are…
- Ross Dress for Less: I like finding flavors or ingredients I wouldn’t normally be able to find anywhere else or at cheap prices here. I’ve bought a canister of sea salt for about $2, toasted marshmallow flavoring, and specialty jams for baking (and for toast). Other things include tiered presentation dishes, mortar/pestle, and a nice stainless steel set of measuring utensils!
- Marukai/Don Quijote: Don Quijote recently bought out Marukai (although it still exists in Dillingham), so they’re technically the same store. Both stores are great for bigger packages of Japanese flavorings/powders, such as matcha, kinako (roasted soybean flour), and flours such as joshinko, katakuriko, and mochiko. Liquor (Western and Eastern) is usually relatively inexpensive here, too.
- Amazon: When all else fails, or when I can’t find anything here in Hawai’i. This includes floral flavorings, such as lavender and elderflower. Other kitchen gadgets include a flour sifter with a crank, rolling pin with guides, cookie cutters, pie weights, and bulk dried blueberries and cranberries.
I’ll be posting again when I find more places or gadgets that help me out!