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Japanese Market and Homemade Sushi

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I stumbled upon one of the best gems in LA the other day (thanks to my Seatlle boyfriend who found it on Google...ahem!). On the corner of Venice and Centinenla, there's a giant supermarket filled with everything Japanese....from $4 filets of tuna ready to cut into sushi to those wonderful little carrots, already cut shrimp, those incredible Japanese mint leaves ...tons of Japanese sake and beer. What a great place!

For those who care about these things, it's an adventure in fabulous packaging. Whenever I travel internationally, one of my favorite things is to go to the market and see how food is packaged and sold. Read: look for the Japo-Animation pancake mixes -- I wanted to dump out the contents and frame the bag.

Making sushi is no easy task. One might think it's easy from watching all your favorite chefs, but alas................naht! Here are some pictures from our two dinner making adventures. We made mussel and shitake rolls; shrimp with a dollop of mayo and roe; gourd shavings and avocado; yellowtail with Japanese mint; tuna with scallions and California rolls. And, when I burned the rice, I made crackers of it and topped them in that mayo with roe in it and spicy tuna made of chopped tuna, ponzu, green onions, sesame oil and chili sauce. Looked crazy, but really yummy!

But the rice was too sticky. Getting a roll to look nice was impossible. Cutting the roll without tearing it was crazy.

Anyone have any tips for next time?

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  1. Howdy folks. Let's keep this thread on topic. Replies concerning the good things you can buy at this market are on topic for the LA board, but replies concerning how to cook the things you buy there, or make 'em into sushi need to be posted on the Home Cooking board, here: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/31 .

    1. or better yet, skip mitsuwa and hit up safe n save or granada market on sawtelle.

      your rice is too sticky due to either too much water, vinegar or sugar. pare back and see what happens. don't forget to wet your knife before cutting as well (i'm assuming you are using a very sharp, non-serrated knife).

      2 Replies
      1. re: wilafur

        Yes, that's the name of it. They also have a little food court wtih prepped sushi and Japo yummies. I didn't get to check it out closely, but looked like a great place for lunch.

        1. re: FoodKitCat

          it is indeed. you should try the ramen at santouka. their shio ramen is simply amazing.

      2. That's Misuwa (sp?), and yes it is great (although I've found that the one on Alameda and 3rd in Little Tokyo has a bigger fresh fish selection.) I also love the Nijiya Market on Sawtelle and Olympic, I think even more than Mitsuwa, so check that out. As for sushi prep, I won't comment since that's off topic *cough* use really sharp knife *cough*

        1 Reply
        1. re: chowmominLA

          The 3rd and Alameda Mitsuwa closed a couple months ago. Others are still open.

        2. If you do not mine the extra travel, the bigggest Japanese market is Marukai in Torrance on Artesia and Western. Marukai has a small food court, a dry goods section, small appliances, dishware and furniture. plus the Japanese groceries, produce, meat and fish. Marukai is a membership store but you can buy a one day pass.

          I would recommend that you make a day of your trip and try one of the many Japanese restaurants in the area for lunch and hit Marukai afterwards. Check out the various blogs for suggestions. Many of the most recommended Japanese resaurants are in the South Bay.

          1. these are all great. concur with mitsuwa. Also scope the area around central and fifth Fish markets abound.

            That said -
            http://www.sushi-academy.com/index.html
            shoudl answer basic questions - courses offered.

            not to endorse a single school...
            http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...