A Beginner’s Guide to America’s Favorite Korean Grocery Store — K-Town

Updated : Nov 10, 2019 in Articles

A Beginner’s Guide to America’s Favorite Korean Grocery Store — K-Town

– [Matt] People go crazy for a Korean grocery store chain called H Mart. To celebrate new store openings, the supermarket is mobbed with people taking in the food and
opening day festivities. – We’re back at H Mart. – Founded in New York City,
H Mart has been around since the 1980’s. In recent years they have
aggressively expanded and now it’s the largest Asian American grocery chain in the US. What H Mart does, which is
really, really incredible is that, it just gives you like such a tremendous amount of choice. I mean, that’s really the
American supermarket experience. With all it’s choices,
some folks might find that it can be a little
daunting to shop here. I’m gonna give you my tips on “Shopping at H Mart for Beginners.” Now there’s one thing to
know about Korean markets is that a lot of them will
have banchan and kimchi. There’s no shame in going to the store and buying it already made. So, buy a lot of banchan
and eat it at home, that is actually a very authentic thing that Koreans will do. (grunting) Okay, this is how kimchi gets made. You get salt, you salt the kimchi. They know that people
are gonna be making them in mass quantities, so
that’s why they have these fricking 50 pound bags of sea salt. But, if you’re not gonna get that, you could always get the more modestly sized Korean sea salt. When you put this in the
kimchi, that’s where you get that distinctive touch. If the essence of Korean food is kimchi, then the essence of kimchi are these huge heads of Napa cabbage. They’re actually larger
than my fricking huge head. I have to get this now, I touched it. So, this is your classic jar of kimchi. If you’re gonna keep this
in your fridge at home, I kinda recommend wrapping
it with some plastic bags and sealing it because if
not, everything in your fridge will smell like this. This was always my
favorite section growing up because I love ramyun. I would always want to get these and then my mom would be
like no, you can’t get that. It’s too unhealthy, so you
gotta get the little one. Yeah, this is like a ramen lovers heaven, I mean look at this. Korean instant ramen
might be some of the best in the world. It’s becoming an increasing part of how Koreans eat every day. Like especially with the growth of mukbang and these foods that
you need to hear people slurping all the time. Instant ramen is hugely important. This is what I was looking for. Ppushu Ppushu, this is
actually the ramen noodles actually designed to be
eaten as a noodle snack. So, it’s not designed to be boiled. (crunching) It needs some MSG, yeah. Nice. Magic dust, flavor. I felt so wrong eating
this when I was growing up in elementary school, and now
they just like figured out that this is what kids do. Oh man, that’s so good. You can also get meats here, so. LA kalbi, it’s already pre marinated, all you gotta do is go
home, fire up your grill. You can even just cook this
on a cast-iron skillet. Growing up like we would go to picnics and my family would go and ask them for like 50 pounds of this stuff. So, you get a whole
bucket, and you’re just grilling this up in the park. This thing cooks up in like five minutes. Korean food has so much seafood in it. The peninsula is surrounded by the ocean and the ocean was a
reliable place to get food. Yeah, let’s get some sashimi. Look, this is not gonna be better than your omakase restaurant but actually it would probably be equivalent to a really good conveyor
belt sushi place. You can take this home, and for 13 bucks you can have a really
solid array of sashimi. The thing that you want is the cho gochujang, red chili paste. And that’s really what you’re
supposed to dip these in. To me, kimbap is like the
quintessential market food. People call it Korean sushi and that’s like an American way
of understanding this. There’s no real need to get
too cerebral about them. It’s a quintessential
like after-school snack. Your parents would grab one, they go to the market during
the day, they grab one. And when you come home,
this is what you can eat. What is so important about H
Mart is that it’s expanding cultural awareness of
Korean food here in the US, and even internationally. It’s organized and
presented in a way that is simple for anyone to have
a little or a big taste of Korean food and culture. But knowing what you are looking for is definitely half the battle. I pretty much bought the entire store and look, I have it on one arm. Did you know that H Mart
stands for han-ah-reum, or one arm full of groceries. Thank you so much for watching. And if you wanna see more of K-Town, click right here.


  • I LOVE korean food and I’ve been here before, let me tell u, I WAS BROKEEEE after going. Like, I spent ALL my money in one store😂😂😂😭 worth it tho

  • I shopped at H mart store #1 wayyyyy back in the days (when it wasnt called H-mart but Han A Reum) 한아름… some 25+ years ago. Man, times have flown by.

  • Their Branch in Edison New Jersey is up the road from Rutgers University on Lincoln Highway Route 27 therefore attracting Asian American college students

  • I’m from the south and we use to eat regular noodles like the bushu bushu noodles. I’ve got to find my nearest H-Mart!

  • Check the expiration date on EVERYTHING YOU BUY. I didn't and came home with half of my items outdated by A YEAR! Not a week or month…A YEAR. Tons of "fresh" jarred Tobagi kimchi in the refrigerated section…which is supposed to be a top brand…expired a year ago. Couldn't take anything back, because I'd have to drive 50 miles down and 50 back.

  • Half comments say it's overpriced find equivalents at cheaper Asian mart; other half say they love the place.

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