Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Scenes from the Hokkaido Food Fair

Went with a friend and also my 3 and a half year old daughter to the Hokkaido Food Fair at Mitsuwa, the large Japanese market in Edgewater New Jersey. We had to battle for a parking spot and it was very crowded inside.

There were all sorts of delicious looking things for sale, but sadly, most of these things were not available in small portions for sampling. I was tempted by plump looking Alaskan King Crab sushi, but the line was long and it was only available in $40 portions. The crab and asparagus croquettes, and all of the croquettes in fact, looked fantastic. But the line was approximately one city block long.

So we took a number at the Shingen Ramen stall and ordered KokuMiso Ramen, black miso ramen whose broth is reputed to simmer for over 100 hours, not dissimilar in length to the time we waited to receive our bowls. This place was crowded! Shall I tell you about the complicated test of strategy that involved securing a place to sit? Another time.

Well worth the wait, as it turns out. The ramen was delicious - yellow curly noodles were pleasantly chewy and the scallions, bamboo shoots, and pork toppings were good. It was the broth, however, that made this a great bowl. deeply flavored, impossible savory, and not at all heavy.

After eating our ramen we walked through the aisles of Mitsuwa, happily licking green tea soft serve ice cream. Troughs of squid, the most perfect burdock root I've ever seen, at least 50 different miso pastes (I bought Shiro and also a thick red country miso).

We saw bottles of Japanese white, a 1997 Koshu, perhaps the current release. At something like $35, I wasn't tempted.

If you live in the NYC area and you're not going to make it to Japan any time soon, you could do worse than to take a trip to Mitsuwa.


TWG said...

No sake?

Peter Liem said...

That is a serious-looking bowl of ramen. I am envious.

Do Bianchi said...

what grapes do they use to make wine? And what does it say on the label, "aged 11 years in..." can't make out the last word...

Brooklynguy said...

twg - they had a lot of Sake but the friend I was with (who knows about such things) said that they carried mostly industrial brands that were not of great interest. And in browsing i didn't see any of the brands that I know to buy from reading Peter's sake writing.

Speaking of...yes, you would have been into this bowl. not a perfect bowl by any means, but the broth was worth the price of admission.

Jeremy - Levi says that the grape is Koshu, and the label says "Aged 11 years in tanks."