A Very Basic Shopping List for Getting Started with Macrobiotics


The following basic shopping list is intended for those who are just starting a macrobiotic practice. Soon you will want to add more to your stock of macrobiotic foods and utensils. Check macrobiotic cookbooks for a more detailed list. Also, if you’ve had a consultation, be sure to check your individual recommendations for additional items to add to your shopping list. If you cannot afford to buy all of the cookware and utensils at once, don’t worry, you can use any stainless steel cookware you already have, and then acquire the macrobiotic cookware over time. At first, it is more important to invest in the basic macrobiotic foods listed below. Whenever possible, buy organic foods.

Whole Grains
Short Grain Brown Rice
Whole (hulless) Barley

1-2 kinds of dark leafy greens
Chinese cabbage (nappa cabbage)
Yellow onions
Daikon radish
Green cabbage
Kabocha or Acorn Squash
Scallions (green onions)

Sea Vegetables
Wakame Arame Nori
Kombu Hijiki (hiziki)
Si (brand) Sea Salt, Eden or Lima brand sea salt.
Ohsawa® Barley Miso or South River Barley Miso
Ohsawa® Nama Shoyu (natural soy sauce)
Ohsawa® Umeboshi Plums (whole)Ohsawa® Ume Plum Vinegar
Ohsawa® Brown Rice Vinegar
Fresh Ginger Root

Prepared Condiments
Shiso powder

Brown sesame seeds

Dried Beans and Other Dried or Frozen Foods
Aduki (azuki), chickpeas (garbanzo),
Lentils (green-brown)
Dried Tofu
Dried Daikon

Ohsawa® Kukicha (“Twig Only” Tea)
Roasted Barley Tea (This is not an instant grain coffee. It is whole roasted barley, unsweetened. It has to be brewed before drinking.

Oil untoasted sesame oil
toasted sesame oil

Udon (whole wheat)

Prepared Pickles
Organic Takuan-Daikon

Brown Rice Mochi (unflavored)
Shiitake Mushrooms (dried)
Tofu (fresh)

4-5 quart stainless steel pressure cooker
Medium-size cast iron skillet
Medium-size salad press
Medium to large suribachi (grinding bowl) with a wooden pestle
5-6 quart Le Creuset enameled cast iron dutch oven or regular cast iron dutch oven
Several pieces of stainless steel cookware (saucepan, skillet, soup pot)
Several sizes of wooden spoons for stirring Carbon steel vegetable cutting knife

WATER It is essential to use the very best water available to you. Mountain Valley Spring Water is far and above the best bottled water in the USA, in our opinion. The fresher and more natural the water, the better. If you cannot find fresh quality spring water, We recommend purchasing a Multi Pure water filter for use at the tap.


Ohsawa brand products can be purchased from Gold Mind Natural Food 1-800-645-8744 www.goldminenaturalfood.com

If Ohsawa brand products are not available in your area, then use any good quality organic barley miso, shoyu, umeboshi, etc., that you can find.


Take this list with you to a natural food store and ask the manager to assign an employee to help you find these foods. If they are unavailable locally, then contact one of the macrobiotic mail order services listed on the Where to Buy link in the Getting Started section of the Macrobiotics America web site at www.macroamerica.com.


Why Do I Recommend A Gas Stove? by David Briscoe

I have received many questions over the years as to why macrobiotics recommends gas over electric or microwave cooking

I recommend gas or flame cooking for the following important reasons:

Much better flavor in foods. The heat of flame cooking more slowly cooks the food, delivering far better flavors. Electric heat cooks food too quickly and the full flavor of grains and vegetables will not be revealed. More seasoning is usually needed with electric cooking.

Energizing. Flame cooking energizes food. Microwave cooking actually de-energizes food.

Especially for creating healing-quality food, I strongly recommend a gas stove.

People who are scientifically minded have often argued with me that there is no difference between the food cooked by electric, microwave, gas or wood heat. I respect their opinions; however, I must base my recommendations on my own experience and that of thousands of other macrobiotic cooks over the years. I believe gas stove cooking to be far superior.

If it is for some reason impossible for you to install a gas stove, I recommend the following:

Small gas tabletop cookers using butane gas cans, available at many kitchen stores (use in well-ventilated area).

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