H Mart is a Korean conglomerate and Mitsuwa is a Japanese oriented MegaMart.
I shop at both frequently in the Chicago area.
H Mart specializes in Korean made goods and foostuffs along with Chinese and a few Japanese products. Just because a pakcage says its shoyu, Mirin or whatever doesn't mean its the same thing.
Korean manufactured is quite bit more expensive than Chinese for the same product namely because Korean label thier products and some are organi and HAACP compliant. I have found the quality to be excellent and on a par for the most products similarly made in Japan items. But note: Even in Mitsuwa, you mus read the country of origin because much of what i sold is from China to reduce costs.
We don't purchase any foodstuffs of Chinese origins (PRC) because there is no regulation.
The same type of product from Mitsuwa or H Mart will have different flavor profiles which is why they sell to certain Nationals.
The biggest difference I have found between the stores is the quality of the fresh fish and shellfish. Mitsuwa has better quality dressed fish.
But H Mart has live tanks for crab, lobster, fish and the value is certainly there at that 's where we obtain our live items.
The other weekend, they were breaking down a whole bluefin at H Mart with nary a sole in sight. the same event at Mitsuwa draws a jostling crowd. TheDeprtment head cut me a nice loin piece of about 4#'s and even trimmed the blood groove and gave me a discount. Great bluefin. My last foray to Mitsuwa was a zoo and a bidding war for the bluefin at double the price but it was very good.
In summary, for Korean cusine its H Mart and Korean products, for Japanese cusine it Mitsuwa and Japanese products.-Dick
BTW, I'm a Nuclear Engineer with the latest in Canberra detection equipment that i purchased personally after the Fukushima accident My equipment is not the Soviet era equipment you find on eBay or antiquated Cival defense detectors but the latest sophisticated handheld scintillation and alpha/beta surface contamination detectors.. So far I have found zero radiation contamination coming from Japan in foodstuffs. The Japanese also screen at the local level to assure the food supply is not contaminted and if you know the Japanese, its; not a cusory screen. I have no problems consuming Japanese foodstuffs imported to the USA.
Edited by budrichard, 27 February 2013 - 06:32 AM.