H-Mart in the snow

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It snowed this weekend and it was beautiful. The white fluff piled up and up and up around our doorstep and in the street, disguising cars as white lambs, peaceful and chill.

We were warned that people in Washington couldn’t hack it on the roads in the snow, but still, we were determined to make the trek out to Falls Church, VA to the Korean superstore for provisions.

I was craving chili and strange smelling greens and products made of rice and tapioca. I wanted to rest my palm on the spikes of a durian and gape at a tank of geoducks and wrinkle my nose at the dried fungus. I wanted to stare at bewilderment at the choices of nori and buy bottles of soy sauce: light and dark and maybe some variations in between.

We were fairly warned, but still, the two hour trip (in fairer weather, 20 minutes or so) was long and I got cranky, but tried not to be because DC has been so beautiful so far that I didn’t want to ruin it over some ice and silly drivers.

And in the end it was worth it because H-mart had everything I wanted and banana flowers.

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That’s them on the right up above. And they had all kinds of greens like the funny long Thai “parsley” and the shiny lemony leaves that look like they come from a tree, but are soft, and all kinds of basil and mint.

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And, yes! Back there, in the plastic wrapping, there’s fresh turmeric and galangal and other hard-to-find, but totally awesome items.

Which means that I can go back there soon and get everything I need to make NOAM BAN CHOP, also known as Cambodian’s national dish — noodley goodness atop banana flower, cukes, topped with a fragrant, fishy, lemongrass, galangal, coconutty goodness and finished off with beansprouts and all kinds of fresh greens.

H-mart also had a fantastic selection of prepared foods, including crunchy, spicy pickled Daikon with sesame seeds that is so ridiculously yummy and refreshing that I could live off that and rice and a wee bit of egg for days straight.

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That’s new roomie Chris on the left, eating one of the fresh rice cakes from H-mart — the kind that don’t taste like cardboard, but more like sweet, crunchy, light melty yumminess. According to this Washington Post review, the rice cakes are made by Suk Pyo Choi and his wife, Hae Young out of rice, soybean, water and a little bit of artificial sweetener. I wonder if it would ruin the recipe to add some stevia instead? Perhaps I’ll suggest it to Mr. Choi next time I’m there.

Twas a good trip and when the snow melts again, I plan to take my bike out there for a little adventure. I wonder how a whole striped bass would look strapped over my back rack. Too great for words? Perhaps.
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2 comments

1 heddy { 02.01.10 at 6:42 am }

yay korean food!
although i’m jealous b/c i don’t think the h-mart in manhattan has as big of a selection with veggies as the one in VA.
next time, you should grab the “melona” bars in the frozen food section they’re delicious :0)

2 Jess { 02.01.10 at 6:32 pm }

Ooooh. Melona?! That sounds intriguing. I can’t wait to go back.

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