I Heart H Mart, Gaji Namul (yummy Korean eggplant), and Of Course, Michigan

a peach colored agate
a peach colored agate from the shores of lake superior

I have discovered H Mart, practically in my backyard. Just down the road,
so to speak; a hop skip and a jump from my favorite Indian grocery haunts.
Oh joy!

ingredients for gaji namul

ingredients for gaji namul ~ check out the one *pound* bottle of roasted, crushed sesame seed ~
on sale at H Mart for the paltry sum of $5

Shopping at H Mart is an experience in itself. To quote one Yelp reviewer
from last year: “There are Zip cars in the parking lot, that should tell you alot.
A trip to H Mart is not an errand, it’s an event”!

A giant produce section with every vegetable imaginable — on Saturday I saw actual fresh jackfruit, whole, as big as two footballs!
Oh, how I wished I had a knife big enough to handle one of those.
Oh, how I wished I had brought my camera!

Fresh bamboo shoots are available halved, sliced, cut into cubes or strips.
A myriad of mushrooms awaits; if you’ve ever wanted to cook with hon shimeji, beech, maitake — here they are.

The world is your king oyster mushroom at H Mart.

Usually they have brinjal, long Asian as well as smaller Indian; ridge gourd, silk squash, ash gourd, pumpkin, etc. Fresh peppers, hot and sweet, every Asian green you can think of, herbs, and tofu — oh, the tofu!

Meat and fish of every variety is sold as well — marinated, sliced in specialty cuts for what I can only assume are some of the hallmarks of Korean cuisine, and there is an entire section of prepared Korean side dishes — bracken, spinach, mushroom, you name it — and of course kimchi of all sorts… I could go on and on. Noodles, frozen dumplings of great quality without MSG, oils and vinegars and sauces, shelf upon shelf of seaweeds, even a small section with dals and various spices — although for dry spices I’ll take my Indian markets any day.

At any rate H Mart is a great place for retail therapy — not to mention lunch, with a food court and bakery right there in the store. Next time, I’m going to bring my camera.

Last weekend I was out hunting agates.

me
outfitted for the (agate) hunt against the elements at whitefish point ~ yes, it’s always windy and cold up there!

This weekend I was hunting for an authentic Korean recipe — a side dish in which quick-cooked spinach is seasoned simply with fresh garlic, green onions, soy sauce, and sesame. I stumbled upon Maangchi, whose infectious cooking videos — complete with eclectic music — reeled me right in. In addition to the spinach, I was enticed to make this eggplant dish, called gaji namul. I changed it up a little by adding fresh ginger and cilantro, as well as some fresh chopped bamboo shoot; but mostly I followed Maangchi’s recipe. It’s amazing on rice!

gaji namul with bamboo shoot

gaji namul ~ korean seasoned eggplant
it was so late, I had no time for a pretty presentation but trust me, it’s delicious!

Check out the original recipe here and the video here. Thanks Maangchi!

Requisite Michigan pics :)

majestic mighty mac
the majestic Mackinac Bridge in waning sun

ice bridge
and a bridge of ice on the old pilings at whitefish point

72 million rocks at lake superior
millions of rocks, with maybe a few agates mixed in ~ storm front passing over lake superior

yellow rumped myrtle warbler
a yellow rumped (myrtle) warbler at paradise

brick red agate
a brick-red agate full of fine banding

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5 Comments »

  1. mm said

    Good to see that your creativity is back up and running. Agates and food look great…..you got some real nice aggies there….Wonderful pict of the bridge. Hope you had a good time up north. mm

    Nice to see you here mm — never can go wrong “up north”! :)

  2. Nupur said

    Nice to see a post from you again, Linda- I hope all is well! Gorgeous Michigan pics as usual- the Michigan tourism board needs to hire you. You truly love the place!

    Wouldn’t that be a dream job for me! ;) Hope you’re all doing well Nupur — as usual I have alot of catching up to do.

  3. Wowo this time of the year, you have ice like that,
    Wish we had a shop like that.
    I have been wanting to try myhand in korean food after hearing so much about itfrom my sis. Till now not tried yet.

    Hello Finla, what a lovely name! Happy to know that. If you’re going to try Korean I think you’d enjoy this eggplant — easy and so tasty! :)

  4. indosungod said

    Linda, good to hear from you. I second Nupur! Michigan ought to hire you.You make me want to go up there and meet you every time I see a post.

    We make do with a Q Mart :) It is not as elaborate but still has some of the exotica. Other than kimchi I doubt if I have ever tasted Korean food.

    Your dish there would be a great start.

    I’m just waiting to finally get up there for good, ISG, to invite you :) Then we’ll have to pack our ingredients — no Q or H Mart in the UP of MI! I have not delved too deeply into Korean food, but I sense that will change. Will be by Daily Musings soon!

  5. Maangchi said

    Your eggplant side dish (gaji namul) looks awesome!

    Thanks for stopping Maangcih — I think you may even inspire me to make kimchi! ;)

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