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Uni trays, Japanese market?

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Hi Hounds:
I'm looking for a Japanese/Asian market that sells seafood - uni trays, ama ebi, ikura, fish portions for sushi/sashimi, also miso, kombu, pickles, etc. I'm near Point Pleasant but can travel a bit.

Thanks!

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  1. Mitsuwa market in Edgewater is your best bet by far

    5 Replies
    1. re: chefMD

      I second Mitsuwa.
      You can find the some of the items you mention in HMart (preferably Edison location) but for sashimi or sashimi grade fish/seafood Mitsuwa is pretty much your only choice.
      Hmart sells sashimi salmon, tuna, uni but they are no where the quality of Mitsuwa's.
      Don't go to the Chinese markets - Hong Kong, Kam Man, Asian Food Center as their sashimi items are even lower quality.
      Misa and Kombu can be found in Mitsuwa, Hmart or Chinese markets but Mitsuwa has way more variety. Not sure about pickles but if you are looking for Japanese style pickles Mitsuwa has a separate counter for them.
      I know it is 1.5 to 2 hour drive for you but I think it is still worth it.

      1. re: yCf

        Mitsuwa sounds really great, I'll have to save it for a day trip. I see that there's a weekday ferry to Edgewater from NYC, is it a short walk to Mitsuwa?

        1. re: steinpilz

          Depends on how you define "short." Google Maps shows it to be 1 mile from the ferry terminal to Mitsuwa. I don't recall seeing sidewalks along that stretch of River Road, but there might be.

          I do recall a bus / shuttle service between Mitsuwa and NYC. Check the Mitsuwa web site.

          1. re: njfreqflyer

            Per the web site they offer a shuttle service between NYC port authority and the store.

            http://www.mitsuwa.com/tenpo/newj/acc...

            1. re: Quine

              Thanks for the link!

    2. Depending on how you like to travel, There are several H Marts, I go to the one in Marton, but I hear that the one in Edison is bigger and has an awesome food court.
      On RT 18 in East Brunswick there is Hong Kong Supermarket and they have a very nice selection of fish and things. They also have a small cooked food counter where you can get fantastic food to eat there or take home. They also have the roasted meats, duck, pork, chicken All of which is pretty cheap.
      I have not been to Mitsuwa yet, as that is a hike for me I am several more exits south of you (63)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Quine

        Does anyone know how the Hmart in Levittown compares to the ones in Edison and Cherry Hill? For someone living in the Princeton area, which would you recommend? We lived in Asia (mostly Japan) for many years, we miss a lot of the food products from there, and while I go to MItsuwa sometimes on the way home from NYC, it would be nice to have a place closer than Edgewater and better than the Plainsboro Asian market for the more routine things.

        1. re: kamiosaki

          I have not been to the Edison store, nor Levittown, but from the photos shown on the H Mart site, the Levittown one looks slightly larger than Cherry Hill and it does have a small food court. Give it a try, can only be fun!

      2. Excellent comments and advice above wrt MItsuwa and H Mart (Edison). I'm in Toms River and face the same road trip. If you've never been to either, they're both worth a visit if you have a few hours. Pack your cooler and head to Mitsuwa first, and then stop at H Mart (Edison) on the way home.

        Fyi, ikura and salmon sashimi are on sale this weekend at Mitsuwa:
        http://mitsuwa.com/tenpo/newj/eindex....

        And over at H Mart (Edison) you can find this week's flyer here:
        http://www.hmart.com/company_new/shop...

        While I still make the trips to Mitsuwa when I have specific needs that I know H Mart can't satisfy (e.g., the variety of sushi and fresh yuzu), H Mart has become a valued part of my shopping routine. They have a really good full-service seafood department (which Mitsuwa does not), feature live fish in tanks, and usually have several varieties of mollusks too (also, this is where I got my live eels for Christmas Eve 2 years ago). Go on a Saturday morning (brace for crowds) and there are tasting stations set-up throughout the store featuring a great selection of (free) nibbles of products on sale.

        I recently found Metropolitan Seafood in Lebanon, NJ, which while not convenient for us at the shore, has a great selection of sashimi quality fresh fish, and on my most recent visit had live sea urchins. But the specific fish available are going to vary based on what the owner, Mark, finds from his providers.

        http://www.metroseafood.com/home.html

        Likewise, I was surprised to find live sea urchins and live scallops 2 months ago at the recently-opened Shop-Rite in Toms River (on Rt 37 W at the Parkway). The sea urchin were from Maine, so the flavor is a little different (more briny) from what you may be used to with urchin from Santa Barbara or Japan, but they were deliciously fresh.

        Finally, my usual Shop-Rite on Fischer Blvd in Toms River will do special orders. Judy, the seafood manager, has air-expressed fresh uni (trays) from California to the store (2nd day delivery) when I know I can't fit in a trip to H Mart or Mitsuwa. I find that it's not the "Grade A" uni that Mitsuwa gets (and also is a couple of dollars less expensive), but I've never had a complaint from my guests. I know that not all super-markets will do special orders; it depends on the local management team.

        Naturally, you shouldn't expect to find most of the other items you're seeking at these non Asian shopping alternatives.

        Good luck! Now you've stirred up my taste buds for some sea urchin, and it's not even 9 AM yet! What time should I be over for the party, neighbor?!

        2 Replies
        1. re: njfreqflyer

          Thanks very much for the info and link njfreqflyer, I"ll have to try them both. Interesting about the Shop-Rite in Toms River, there's a big newish one here off Rt.35 by Brielle and I'll have to ask them about scallops and uni.

          1. re: steinpilz

            the new Shop Rite on 37 did have uni and all sorts of "exotic" seafood when it opened. Now however, none of that. Just your usual stuff.... Give Picses a try, right before the bridge on 37. Ask Bobby or Jonny for a special order, they always have excellent quality stuff. They used to get me uni and sashimi grade tuna on a regular basis. BTW Hamachi is almost always frozen and they could probably get you that as well.

            Don't know about ferry from NYC to Edgewater. We always give ourselves 2+ hours before we go into NYC via the Weehawken ferry as it's just up the road.

        2. The other day I ate a whole tray of uni by myself that I got from H Mart...it was so glorious.

          Did a little surf and turf with uni and raw bulgogi also from h mart. Wrapped in seaweed and shiso with a little rice. Topped with pear juice soy gochujang. Oh sweet jesus.

          4 Replies
          1. re: joonjoon

            You just made me into a Massive drooling machine with this post!!!! Damned.

            1. re: Quine

              I forgot to mention a little egg yolk drizzle and scallion on top... :D It was out of control.

              This is off topic but when you can get bulgogi at the bbq station "fresh" when it comes out, it's great raw. Some times I straight up prefer it that way.

              1. re: joonjoon

                Was going to ask where do you find raw bulgogi at Hmart but you answered it.
                Do you have to cut up the raw beef into smaller pieces or do you just eat them as is?

                The one time I had Korean raw beef it was all shredded into small pieces and topped with a raw egg and mixed with some apple slices to give it a nice crunch.

                1. re: yCf

                  Yup, I get it from the BBQ station. As for cutting it up, it's purely personal preference. For my uni experiment I chopped it tartar-style.

                  The dish you're talking about is Yook Hwe, (pronounced like yookay), one of my favorite raw beef preparations. It's typically topped with asian pear for a great cool crunch. Love it! Raw bulgogi really isn't the same thing but I guess you can sub it in a pinch.

                  http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/yukhoe

          2. April 5-8, 2012: Trays of uni will be on sale at Mitsuwa. Regularly $12.99. Sale price $8.99

            1. So I went to Mitsuya Market last weekend, took the shuttle ($3) from the Port Authority, and I loved it!

              I got hamachi and awabi sashimi, also unagi and ikura (at 1/8th the price and better quailty for ikura than I'd find in speciaity markets in Manhattan).

              Haven't tried the takoyaki or the scallops with roe yet, so much more to look forward to! Uni trays were $13 each, which I thought were a little high.

              What a great resource for sashimi and so much more styles of Japanese seafood!

              1. October 4-7, 2012: Trays of uni will be on sale at Mitsuwa. Regularly $12.99/LB. Sale price $8.99/LB

                Hokkaido Food Fair this weekend (September 27-30, 2012). King crab specials.

                1 Reply
                1. re: njfreqflyer

                  Thanks, I have to get back there!

                  What would the Hokkaido Food Fair have?

                  @castorpman on Twitter