Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Great Plains >
Dec 9, 2012 09:47 AM

Momofuku in St. Louis - Japanese Ingredient Help

Hello all,
I'm cooking my way through the Momofuku cookbook and have come across a few hard to find ingredients. I've been bouncing around between Jay's, Global, and Olive Market tying to find everything, but I am still coming up short. I was hoping to reach out to the St. Louis Japanese community (and the Japanese food lovers community) for help locating a few ingredients:

-Narutomaki (I have been able to locate the standard red and white Kamaboko, but none with the characteristic naruto swirl)

-Alkaline Noodles (Most contain egg or artificial color, though I have found a few dried varieties made with alkaline salts. Any ideas on where to get good fresh chuka soba noodles... or any other fresh noodle that compares?)

As a side note, I wanted to encourage everyone that hasn't made it out to the Olive Farmers Market to go check it out. It's an excellent source, and the only place I was able to find things like ssamjang, folded steamed buns, and rice cakes in stick form. If you live in the city and are at all interested in Japanese, Korean, or Chinese food it's well worth the trip.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. fresh noodles - have you checked across the street from Olive Market at Seafood City? I haven't been since October, but IIRC they usually have a selection refrigerated back and to the left by the vegetables and bread (I don't recall if it's soba or udon or what, as I'm usually stocking up on shelf stable things). the day of the week might matter.

    but I definitely 2nd the idea that these are fascinating stores worth a visit. I love Jay Asia, but they have only so much shelf space.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hill food

      Thanks, I never thought to check over there for anything but fish! I'll give it a shot.

      1. re: CMroz

        oh yeah, the seafood at 'City' (fresh, live and frozen in a large square footage - where from? ehh not always clear) occupies less than a quarter of that huge place. but to clarify, I can't swear to just exactly how fresh the noodles are, as they are bagged, but they are not dried. although if you're willing to go with dried, there's an entire long aisle of that from all over.

        I will have to check out Shannon's recs.

        1. re: hill food

          clarification - I was in a rush today, and most of the fresh were rice noodle, but a large selection of frozen wheat, etc. I may be confusing it with Olive Street Farmer's. ehh 1 block away, but I avoid any kind of store on X-Mas Eve if I have a choice.

    2. I asked a Japanese friend to help with your requests and he said for the narutomaki, you might try East East (east of 170 on Olive) or possibly a Korean store in Castillons Arcade Plaza, on Olive at Fee Fee. He does not recall seeing any fresh noodles as described above here in St. Louis. He suggested a place in Chicago but I think that's outside the scope of your request.

      1 Reply
      1. re: shannonstl

        Thanks for asking around Shannonstl. I have never been to East East, so I will definitely check it out. Even if it's not there, at least it's another Japanese/Korean market to add to my list. I'll report back on my findings!