HMart: Adventures in a Korean Grocery Store

This past Sunday Donald and I went to one of my favorite places in the city: HMart!  This huge Korean grocery store is right in the middle of Central Square in Boston (by MIT).  We walked there from our apartment in about 40 minutes – But once you’re inside the whole place feels worlds away.

The colorful alleyway next to HMart is basically the portal to a whole new culinary world. Once through, Donald and I grabbed a quick bite at Bao Nation, the small steamed bun joint next to HMart.  I am now a HUGE FAN of steamed buns.

Inside HMart, there are so much to look at and so many fruits and vegetables I’ve never heard of.  This is why I love grocery shopping – Discovering new ingredients every time I go. Except in HMart, everything is a new ingredient. I wouldn’t know where to begin with this banana flower. But that’s what the internet is for, right?

The fish section is always the most mesmerizing. It’s super fresh, high quality, and many of the creatures are still alive. They don’t clean the fish until you buy them if you go to the counter, but they also have plenty of fresh, gutted, packaged sea creatures for purchase.

Sunday’s seafood selection featured a wide variety of whole fish, some great looking fillets, sushi-grade tuna and salmon, and a tub of live, crawling crayfish – a couple kids were having a great time poking the writhing critters until the tub fell onto the floor. We surveyed the selection and decided on a pair of fresh skate wings for dinner – something I’ve never cooked before, but it’ll be fun to try!

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Though this HMart adventure wasn’t solely to ogle the mysterious, exotic groceries.We were on a mission.. well, 2 missions:

Part 1 of Sunday’s mission: Ingredients for Kimchi:

  • Napa Cabbage
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Green Onions
  • Garlic
  • Korean Chili paste

Part 2 of Sunday’s mission: Ingredients for Miso Soup/Dashi:

  • Khombu (Sheets of dried sea kelp)
  • Miso paste

Both missions were accomplished and you’ll be seeing those recipes posted here on Rise and Brine, so check back soon!

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