Friday, October 15, 2010

Mitsuwa Marketplace: Flavors of Japan

I visited Mitsuwa Marketplace, which apparently happens to be the largest Japanese Supermarket here in the United States. There are several stores in Southern California as well as Chicago and New Jersey. Having never ventured through a Japanese Market myself, I was very impressed. The marketplace was enormous and very clean. The assortment of Japanese products was also astounding, with everything from fruits (like Mikan or Mandarin Orange) and vegetables (like Daikon or large white radish) to meats (Kurobuta pork), noodles, fish and other seafood. From the center of the supermarket moving to the outer areas are a variety of stores which include a Japanese bookstore, Santouka Ramen, a Japanese restaurant, a deli, a pickle section and Japanese Ceramics. I did venture through the produce section and picked up some baby bok choy (which happens to have a load of Vitamin C, calcium and Vitamin A), some Maitake mushrooms (which are best known for their cancer fighting properties and a side note -- it has been known that physicians in Japan recommend Maitake mushrooms to their patients in lowering blood pressure and blood lipids) and lastly some Yaki-soba stir-fry noodles. (These noodles come with seasoning packets which I do not use! You can use healthier options like Bragg's Amino Acids and some low-sodium chicken broth to enhance the flavor of the dish). Stir-fry is a quick and easy way to make a healthy dinner anytime! Lastly, the staff were helpful when asked questions about a product not typically seen, but it is worth several trips to become familiar with the vast amount of products available at your fingertips!

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