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Wasabi Root at Mitsuwa


budrichard
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Another thing to keep an eye out for at Mitsuwa:  my wife and I stopped by there on August 28th (for her Calpico fix) and the parking lot was packed.  Turns out, they were cutting up a whole tuna right in the middle of the store!  It was fantastic; the guy in charge was filling up a platter with pieces of tuna the size of building blocks.  I tried to get word on whether it would happen again and just got shrugs.  I suppose it would depend on the profitability of the event.  Even with all the people crowding around, I don't know if they could actually sell the whole thing off in just one day.  I'll be sure to post immediately if I ever hear about a repeat.

If it was the same instance, this was actually documented by one of our members, eatchicago, at his blog site... :smile:

eatChicago goes to Mitsuwa

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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I know it's an old post but just in case you're still looking...

J Toguri Merchantile on Belmont carries Mac knives - it's just about at Belmont and Clark - they have all versions from Original to Ultimate as well as several other knives and pieces of Japanese cookware - oshi zushi presses, nigiri molds, cast iron Irori pots... etc.

That's great to know! I'm a little embarrassed because I've walked by this place a million times...wondering if they had knives! I'm going to go check it out today.

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That's great to know!

No problem - it's a great place that carries a wide array of items - when you can't make it to Mitsuwa this place carries a variety of non-perishable Japanese ingredients (including Japanese packed Konbu and Katsuobushi), candy, books, utensils, serviceware and several other things.

Another equally good place is Joong-Bu market, a Korean market at the bottom of the ramp at the Kimball exit off 90/94. Very large selection, everything from Quail Eggs to frozen Unagi Kabayaki - they also have a large "housewares" section in the back with knives and all types of things - I once got a Japanese made "fish turner" spatula (the same kind you would pay $25 for at Sur La Table).... for 69 cents.

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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[Good to hear fresh wasabi is making it's way in to markets. This is hopefully just the beginning.

How much did you have to fork out for it?]Quote

Tru in Chicago has been using Fresh Wasabi Root-grated tableside-for a while now. ANy idea what other restaurants in town might be in synch?

Both of Shawn McClain's restaurants use them. The Kumamoto oysters at Spring and at the raw maki roll at Zebra.

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Another equally good place is Joong-Bu market, a Korean market at the bottom of the ramp at the Kimball exit off 90/94. Very large selection, everything from Quail Eggs to frozen Unagi Kabayaki - they also have a large "housewares" section in the back with knives and all types of things - I once got a Japanese made "fish turner" spatula (the same kind you would pay $25 for at Sur La Table).... for 69 cents.

This is an excellent, huge market. It is easy to pass by without realizing the treasures inside as it appears to be just a large warehouse, but its definitely worth a stop (but it gets packed on the weekends). Part of the market serves as the distribution center for Korean/Asian markets all over the midwest.

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This is an excellent, huge market.

Absolutely, and the prices are amazing in relationship - some of the stuff is priced almost at wholesale here, but I find that the prices at many of the Japanese/Vietnamese/Korean markets are more than reasonable - or possibly put better as "closer to what they should be".

Many places prey on people's skewed perceptions or lack of knowledge when it comes to pricing items such as **cough** wine prices at restaurants **cough** (did you hear something?)... for instance I know of a Vietnamese market in Uptown where you can get a solid marble mortar and pestle the size of a mixing bowl for less than $20. Or large riveted wooden handled steel spatulas like the type they use for griddles in diners - 2 better quality ones (one with holes one without) for half the price of a single one at Sur La Table or similar places.

If someone was a bastard and didn't care about their karma they could just shop around Chicago, open up a shop in Lincoln Park, triple the prices and be a millionare in a year without

ever placing a single order or signing a single reseller contract.

(Incidentally if such a person is reading this - you can have that idea for free.... send me a postcard from hell.)

"At the gate, I said goodnight to the fortune teller... the carnival sign threw colored shadows on her face... but I could tell she was blushing." - B.McMahan

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pardon my French, but I find the Korean markets uniformly dirty, produce limp and the fish, mostly thawed and cretainly not suitable for sahsimi/sushi, if even suitable for eating. Japanese stores are always clean and the best looking produce, fish and meat. I have been in Japanese retaurants, where you would swear you could eat off the floor of the restrooms, they are that clean. There is a Korean store in Glenview(Hyundi Market) where the produce is sometimes OK on the week ends otherwise during the week it's terrible. All the fish is thawed from frozen. Good source for Korean red bean paste and other condiments as long as you look at the expiration dates. -Dick

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Pardon my French, but I find the Korean markets uniformly dirty, produce limp and the fish, mostly thawed and cretainly not suitable for sahsimi/sushi, if even suitable for eating. Japanese stores are always clean and the best looking produce, fish and meat.

The Korean market I mentioned serves as a great place for getting Korean and Asian food stuffs and cooking items. I don't normally buy fish there, but every now and then will buy shell fish and have found these to be very good. As for produce, they get the fresh stuff in at the middle of the week (it is sometimes out on the floor by Wednesday, but Thursday for sure) and so toward the end of that cycle (a Tuesday), what you will find may not be as fresh...But this is true of any grocery store you will go to. As for it being dirty, I have never found it to be dirty to the point I wouldn't shop there. I can't remember which (probably this discussion) it was discussed how interesting it can be to visit all of this city's different ethnic grocery stores and how it feels you are being transformed to another country. Because this is the case, a little bit of dirt doesn't hurt (as long as the food isn't dirty). I have never gotten sick from anything I've bought there and the line of cars entering into the parking lot on the weekend is a sign how highly this place is regarded.

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I agree about dirtiness--it's decidedly relative and its significance may be somewhat over-stated. I shop at some seemingly grungy stores and often find some great stuff therein. Meanwhile, I've seen mice running freely on more than one occasion in the produce department at the north suburban location of one of Chicago's major grocery chains.

Half the food I buy grows in dirt, so I never give it much thought. I just make sure to wash stuff before I use it.

As for seafood, I just need to work with merchants I can trust. Once I've overcome that barrier, the rest is just a matter of making solid choices based on the information they share with me.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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