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May 23, 2012 06:08 AM

Hot in Tokyo

Does anyone have any recommendations for their favorite pepper sauces that are available in Tokyo? I tried Marie Sharp's, but I found it kind of underwhelming.

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  1. Franks Extra Hot used to be available a few places, one of them being Nissin.

    It's not as good as the regular version (which I couldn't find anywhere, online or in person), but it should have more kick than Marie's.

    1. Something that is always available in Japan is tōbanjan (豆板醤) a Taiwanese style hot sauce made in Okinawa, especially in the western islands. I am sure the Okinawa store close to Tokyo station has it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: edozanmai

        I think toubanjan (for example the Youki brand) is available in most mid-tier grocery stores that have even a moderately-sized Chinese ingredients section, including Precce, The Garden, etc. Perhaps the ones made in Okinawa are special in some way though.

        At one time Butamen Kenkyujyo in Kanda sold a fairly hot ra-yu in the store, they called it "kyojin (強人)-rayu", that had homemade ra-yu and Chinese sansho in it. That was fairly hot.

      2. Have you tried Yuzusco? I haven't tried it, but I've heard really good things about it.

        It's like Tabasco (not my favourite), but with yuzu. (forgot to mention that it's only available my mail order, but that's still sort of like being available in Tokyo, isn't it?


        And there's always sriracha. Who doesn't love sriracha?

        Not exactly pepper sauce, but S&B has a line of really delicious rayu. The one I have had fried garlic, but they also had an Italian one (with anchovy) and other kinds I can't remember. Not super spicy, but spicy enough.

        1 Reply
        1. re: prasantrin

          Yuzusco sounds good. When I was in Hakone, I got some yuzu chilli sauce that looks similar but its red. Can`t remember the name but damn it was good! It was really hot, really salty and really sour- all the good stuff. Does anyone know how hot this Yuzusco is? I like it spicy but not so much it takes over the other flavours, you know?

        2. Thanks for all the tips! I'm looking forward to tasting all these.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Robb S

            Ok, turns out that the original Franks Red Hot is available on rakuten right now. It is pretty delicious with a nice vinegar tang.

          2. In addition to Marie Sharp's, I've seen Blair's Death Sauce here and there - believe at Isetan and definitely Nissin. Blair's is a one drop, all about the heat, kind of sauce. Nissin was also carrying Cholula, which is not as hot but has good flavor (kind of similar to Franks).

            On a slightly related note - after months of searching in flower shops, gardening stores, home improvement stores, we finally found seeds for Jalapenos in the Daikanyama Eately, of all places.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ninnikuramen

              I just discovered a few different varieties of Blair's Death Sauce at Yamaya a few days ago. I will look for Cholula.

              1. re: ninnikuramen

                Well, jalapeños did develop in Italy (Rome in fact). It was originally used in a type of pepper spray that disoriented opponents, think Trojan horse...

                Disclaimer: I'm probably lying.

                1. re: lost squirrel

                  I thought Marco Polo brought jalapeños back from China after he met Genghis Khan....

                  1. re: Robb S

                    Beats me! I'm in italy now and haven't seen a jalapeño yet and it's been a few weeks.