If you haven’t been to H Mart, then you’re in for a treat — this food paradise awaits you in Hartsdale. H Mart is an American supermarket chain, primarily specializing in Asian groceries, with stores across the country. Westchester County doesn’t just have a large edition of H Mart but also the highly coveted food court featuring a Chinese, Korean, and Japanese counter. On a recent trip we came home with jackfruit, bubble tea, seaweed salad, and a fresh batch of kimchi. Whether you are there for a quick cafeteria-style lunch or to do your weekly grocery shopping, H Mart offers everyday items as well as unique finds and delicacies from the Asian world. The holiday season is a perfect time to surprise your guests with some mochi ice cream or serve up some grilled octopus as an appetizer.
Here are my 10 absolute must-haves from H Mart, especially if you’re a first-timer:
1. A stop at the food court is a must. You can get anything from fresh sushi to bibimbap (a Korean steamed rice dish topped with vegetables, a red chili sauce called gochuajang, and a fried egg).
2. The seafood market is a seafood lovers dream. Whether you are in mood for classic branzino, fresh blue crab, conch or snails, this market has reasonably pieced offerings, including wild-caught selections.
3. The famed kimchi wall makes up the back right corner of the store. Kimchi is a fermented cabbage and daikon radish seasoned with spicy red pepper. This staple of Korean food can be eaten alone or paired with various foods and, like yogurt, is a probiotic and is good for digestion.
4. Sheets and sheets of seaweed, a staple in Japanese cooking, all lined up in one isle. Some sheets of seaweed are about 3 feet!
5. Quail eggs anyone? How about duck eggs? Expand your egg palate in your culinary creations.
6. Who knew there were so many types of miso. A warm miso soup for the cold winter months sounds just about perfect.
7. Mushroom lovers like me will be thrilled. The mushroom selection includes every variety you can imagine from maitake to bunashimeji to enoki.
8. Take a break from your everyday apple and pick up some passion fruit, guavas, jackfruit, papaya, or lychees. The international fresh fruit selection at H Mart is alone worth the trip.
9. Matcha, matcha, matcha! Made from the nutrient-rich leaves from the tips of shade-grown Camellia sinensis plants, matcha is the highest level of powdered green tea. This super food can be added to pretty much anything to give you a natural burst of energy with health benefits. H Mart even has matcha KitKats.
10. Tous Les Jours Bakery is the bakery within H Mart stores. Walking past it you are immediately met with freshly baked breads, French macarons, beautiful sugar sculptured cakes, and bubble tea. How can you resist? I can’t!
Maria Colaco is a freelance lifestyle writer, blogger, and social media creative who lives with her kids, Mr., and giant dog in Katonah.
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