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Best of Mitsuwa Marketplace?

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So, I've decided on taking an impromptu trip to Mitsuwa tomorrow morning. For those who frequent this place often (I haven't been in 5 or so years), would you care to share your must-buys, hidden treasures, and even things to avoid?

I also plan on buying a couple of bottles of sake, so if you have any to recommend that they stock here, please fill me in.

Oh, and are any of the restaurants within particularly good? I seem to remember them being OK, but not necessarily worth the trip. But a lot of things may have changed since I last went.

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Mitsuwa Marketplace
595 River Rd, Edgewater, NJ 07020

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  1. my must-buys when i go:
    - cans of matcha powder
    - large bottles of unseasoned rice vinegar
    - genmaicha tea bags
    - packages of roasted nori snacks
    - any seaweed product you might buy elsewhere - the prices at Mitsuwa are much better
    - shirataki/yam flour noodles
    - mochiko sweet rice flour
    - fresh fish/sashimi (whatever looks & smells freshest and appeals to me at the moment)
    - preserved & pickled vegetables, kimchi, etc
    - fresh produce: daikon, shiitake, shiso, bok choy

    i get into trouble there if i let myself roam up & down the aisles and start checking out random ingredients that i end up buying because *imagine* i might want to use them at some point :) the only thing that keeps me from getting completely out of control is that so many of their items contain gluten!

    if you search the board you'll find some previous threads about the food court.

    1. Rice bran oil for deep frying.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Duppie

        +1

        totally forgot about that!

      2. its a good thing i live so far away from this place, otherwise i would shop there every week... for me, must have items include:
        fresh yuzu, when they have it
        fresh wasabi, freeze between uses and use microplane to grate fresh-what a
        difference

        oak aged soy sauce

        brown rice vinegar

        agree with pickles, seaweedproducts, fish, and gorgeous waygu beef

        try one of the sparkling sakes, a new discovery for me, great apperitif..

        japanese junk food! really take your time and check out the chip isle, you can find all kinds of fun stuff(last trip got pekin duck doritos!

        furikake-must have rice "seasoning" i prefer the vegetable one

        yuzu paste

        and so so so so much more......

        1. I almost made a run to Mitsuwa myself today. Not quite as convenient from Toms River as it was when I was in Jersey City! Two things to try if you've not had them before:

          1. Asahi Kuronama. It's a "black beer" from Japan, but it's not heavy like a stout or porter. It has a great roasted flavor. As far as I know, this is the only place to buy it on the east coast. I used to have to travel to California or Asia to bring some home.

          2. Shochu. Distilled spirit, usually made from barley or sweet potato, with a different effect than sake. I prefer the Iichiko brand (made from barley).

          Also, my must buy items when I shop there: sashimi grade raw scallops and a couple trays of uni (sea urchin).

          Have fun!

          1 Reply
          1. re: njfreqflyer

            A lot had been covered already but here's mine:
            -fish sausage snack - childhood favorite
            -iced coffee from UCC cafe
            -ramen noodle from the food court - Santoka (sp?) is the name of the booth.

          2. Some of these are duplicates from others...but here goes:

            I can never pass up the pork shio ramen from Mitsuwa. The pork is frickin divine.

            Whatever looks good from the fish section.

            Uni, salmon/yellowtail kama (collar), smelt, eel.

            Natto, Miso.

            Pork jowels. You MUST try this...imagine if pork belly had the fat reconfigured to be more like toro....this stuff is amazing.

            That's about it I guess. I recently found a huge bottle of unfiltered sake that's only like 17$ and absolutely delicious, but I don't remember the name of the brand. :(

            1. I like the pork shio ramen and miso pork ramen at Santoka too. I also really love the cold noodles / hiyashi chuka there but if I remember correctly, they don't start serving them until April-May.

              1 Reply
              1. re: taste test

                I don't think I've ever seen cold noodles at Santoka...i hope they start serving some soon!

              2. Adding to the above shopping list, mushrooms. Great selection and price.
                And since I'm usually there with snack-crazed children, we buy candy and snacks and prepared foods. The vegetable and fish fritters, fried chicken, seaweed salads, finishing with a slice of green tea cake.

                1. oh, forgot to mention that Boloniya (sp?) bread in the bakery if you got there early enough. it's pricey, but the taste is unbelievable.