Archives for the day Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Palette’s Food Market Guide; Asian store “HMart”

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part 16:Feeding fish“,I wrote that Palette is
seafood lover, and she eats all kinds of seafood. I wrote about how I
feed various kinds of fish to her along with meal examples, mercury in
the fish, and canned fish vs raw fish.

 Also, I have written about caution against feeding raw fish to dogs regarding salmon poisoning.

 In case you missed it, here is the thing about fresh never frozen wild salmon and salmon poisoning.

Feeding wild caught fresh salmon,trout,steelhead and other salmonids from Pacific Northwest..

 When you feed fresh wild caught salmon, trout,steelhead and other salmonids
fish, there is one thing you should know about it and be careful about
how you feed them to your dogs.

If you got wild-caught FRESH salmon or trout or steelhead from Pacific Northwest,you need to
them for a few weeks before feeding them to avoid salmon poisoning.

 Cooking the fresh wild caught
salmon/trout/steelhead from Pacific Northwest will kill the parasite
that can cause salmon poisoning, and you do not have to worry about
salmon poisoning from fresh wild caught salmon from Pacific Northwest.

  In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part 15: Farm raised fish vs Wild caught fish and Palette’s soft shell crab diary“, you can read more about difference in the farm raised salmon vs wild caught salmon. 


Palette loves salmon. She gets wild caught sockeye salmon and, she really goes crazy about the fish.

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part 19:Feeding fish Part 2“,I wrote about fish bones, showed you how Palette eats a whole sardines, and tips on what fish to pick,what fish to avoid.

 In the previous entry titled “Palette’s Food Market Guide:Fish“,I wrote what fish I keep as staple fish for Palette’s menu,how often I feed,where would I find such fish,and tips on how to pick the fresh fish,what particular fish is called in Japanese (some fish at the Asian stores are sold under Japanese names for the fish) and suggestions to checkout local co-op,seafood market etc..

 Therefore, you have got good amount of information when it comes to feeding fish or fish related topics.

 In this entry, I would like to introduce you the Asian store that we like to go to and shows you what you can get there.

 Often times, when you start feeding fresh raw food to your dogs, “checking out the local Asian stores nearby” to purchase variety of hard to find/oddball items such as chicken feet,variety of fresh fish etc.. is one of popular suggestions and,I think it is good one.

 Do you know any Asian stores nearby?

 You can google Asian stores,Ethnic stores in your area and certainly it is a good place to start.

 When I did not know much about local Asian stores, I have visited various Asian stores until I settle with one particular Asian store “Hmart”.

 The very first Asian store I was told to try visiting them from fellow rawfeeders in the area for various organs etc was in Richmond,VA. We visited the store,and it was a very small store but got some stuff those who feed raw diet might find it interesting.

 One thing I did not care for at the store was how the payment method is set.

 You had to pay with personal check or cash, and no credit cards accepted. Since we drove down there, we got some stuff with cash, but I did not get much there.

 Plus, store was a bit stinky,not clean, and some products had dusts on over the cap etc..

 Overall, my impression with the store was not so great because of the restricted payment method,narrower variety, and the store itself was not so clean.

 Then, my husband has heard something about another Asian store called “Lotte” in Firfax,VA from his co-worker.

 Then, we visited there and, it was okay store. The store size was bigger than Richmond one we went to, and more variety of things there.

 What we found there as jackpot item was a big log of beef tenderloin and it was less than $10/lb.Therefore, when we visited there, we brought it home and I portion cut them for our dinner.

 With Lotte, it was more for my needs such as imported Japanese soy sauce, beef tenderloin, and big bag of Japanese rice etc.. than Palette’s food.

However,years passed by,and we started noticing odor in the air there and,I felt that meat section shelf was not as cold as it should be, and it was not that cleaned and, we stopped going there.

 After a while, we came to hit the great Asian store called “HMart“.

 It is located in Fairfax,VA, but it is located in other states as well.

 I do not know if they carry exactly the same stuff I am seeing there at other locations but,store locator shows,there are stores in NY, NJ, MA, PA, MD, GA, IL, TX, CA, CO, WA and OR.

 If you live in those states, definitely check out the Hmart store.

 Very first thing you would notice is the cleanness of the store.No odor drifting in the air and meat shelf is as cold as other local grocery store shelf would be, and store itself is large and you can find many things there.

 What I normally gets other than Palette’s stuff are my cooking related stuff;condiment such as soy sauce,rice vinegar,Mirin etc along with Asian specific produce along with Japanese snacks I miss a lot from home country.It is pricier than what you would pay for back home in Japan, since I cannot come there often, I indulge myself with it a bit

 For Palette, I mainly come there for fresh whole wild caught mackerel from Norway,but since they carry wide variety of whole fish, I get another wild caught fish as well.

 There are 2 kinds of mackerel available there. I get the wild caught mackerel from Norway with wavy lines on its skin as opposed to Spanish mackerel with a little dots on.

 The wavy lined mackerel from Norway is very much look like the one we Japanese can gets back home, we call them “Sa-ba”. They are very tasty fish,and I like to eat them in soy based sweet BBQ sauce.

 For some reasons, Palette likes Wild caught Mackerel from Norway with wavy lines on their skin better.She can eat Spanish mackerel, but not so much keen on eating them. The fish meat color seems different too so it is a matter of taste I would imagine.

 The Spanish mackerel has a little tiny dots on the skin so,you can tell by visual in case you needed to remember which mackerel your dogs would eat if they had preference over another just like Palette.

 Usually, each fish is placed over block of ice, and you will find a pair of tong to pick.

 Look at the points such as eyes,gill,firmness of the meat etc.. the places where you can tell freshness of the fish; you have learned from previous entry on Food Market Guide on fish, and pick the ones you like.

 I usually get about 6-7 whole mackerel,which makes about 6lb to 7 lb total weight and it will tie me over for about 6 months since I rotate the fish among other oily fish such as salmon,mackerel,sardines,and herrings.

 When I put all the fish I want, I hand it to the guy behind the fish counter. He can understand English but, there is a sign board above him and it shows number corresponding to how the fish should be prepared for you;cleaned,fillet etc..

 When you want the whole fish, there is no number associated with it so, I simply tell him to put the price label on the bag and I get the whole thing,no cutting needed.

 He then weigh the bag and put the price label on, and give the bag to me and pay the fish on the way out.

 I just visited Hmart recently and, it was $2.99/lb on that day.Since I got 6.65lb of Mackerel, I paid $19.88 for mackerel.

 Each whole Mackerel was about 1 lb to a little less than 1.5 lb this time, and I cut one mackerel into 3rd and,it made about 21 count meals for Palette.

 I showed you how I cut the mackerel before but in case you missed it, below is the picture of mackerel before bagging them up to freeze.

How the whole mackerel is cut before frozen..

 If you are a member of raw feeding co-op that place order through Oma’s pride, you can get a whole Mackerel from Finland as well.

 I used to get ones through co-op.

 The reasons why I stopped getting a whole mackerel through co-op is that, I paid about $1.99 per fish,and it was described as the price was for mackerel weight range from 14 oz to 16 oz,and I thought it was a good deal,but it got pricier than the Mackerel I get from Hmart when considering the amount of fish you will be getting through co-op with the same amount of cost.

 Very first time,I was very impressed with how fresh they looked,and I could get a 1 lb or so mackerel at such a lower price but then second time,third time.. mackerel got smaller ,smaller while I paid still $1.99 per fish.

 Smallest one was about 8 oz, almost the half of size that I should have been getting. Plus, fish did not look all that fresh anymore and, now I go to Hmart for Mackerel and get the fish for 6 months worth and restock every time I needed.

 I am happy with what I get from Hmart.Very fresh,and it looks good quality fish to me. There are packaged mackerel or another fish in the freezer section right in front of fish counter,but be warned that some of them are salted ones. If you were to get the fish for your dogs, get the whole fish at the fish counter.

 I normally get fish and get my cooking stuff and back home, but this time,I strolled around more at the store and,I found some good ones.

 I found that they do have unenhanced Frozen Duck too,and I can come there to get a whole Duck if I needed to.

 It is a product of America, and it was 6 lb weight whole Duck.

 It got 6% of retained water and no saline solution added. The brand name is “Valley Forge” and it is sold as “Young Duckling”.

 I am not 100% certain but the label seemed familiar.I wonder if it is the same brand that I get from raw food supplier..

A whole Duck from Hmart..

 With this whole Duck,Palette’s portion cut Duck was getting low in stock,I go ahead and got one whole Duck at the Hmart.

 It was $2.99/lb and I got 5.87lb whole Duck and cost was $17.55.

 Through raw food supplier,I get 4.5-5 lb Whole Duck at $16 plus shipping fee. If you consider shipping fee, even though locally purchased whole Duck is $1 more but overall, getting the whole Duck from Hmart might be worth it and cheaper.
 If you visit Hmart in fairfax,VA, you can find the Whole Duck in the freezer area right in front of fresh poultry,fresh beef shelf area.

 Right next to the Whole Duck,I have found a whole Pheasant! I did not think I would find the pheasant at the Asian store,but it was the same brand that I get from raw food supplier and,I now can come there to get one!

 I still had uncut whole pheasant at home, I ended up not getting one but the pheasant price was as close to the price that I get from raw food supplier.

 If you are looking for whole pheasant, the brand that I get for Palette is called “Mac Farlane pheasant” and they are unehanced bird.

 The whole pheasant picture below is the one from raw food supplier but I saw the same product at the Market.Look for the same packaging there and you may find one.

A whole Mac Farlane pheasant..

 The Mac Farlane pheasant brand seems like a big brand name pheasant and, if you have hard time finding pheasant near you, you can contact Mac Farlane pheasant farm located in WI to see if they know pheasant farms in your area or you can order the bird through them. They have online store here.

 The pheasant at the Hmart was about $18 and it was close price to what I normally get through raw food supplier. Thus, pheasant is also one of those products that I can come to Hmart to get one for Palette if needed.

 You can also get chicken feet if you are looking for it (cost about $2/lb),you can find beef tongue, you can find many more.

 I did not write down price for everything that I saw but, if the store was near you, do check the store. You would find the store very interesting and good find for your dogs or your family.

 If your dogs love fish, Asian stores like Hmart would ace it in that department and you would find variety of fish,and variety of whole fish as well.

 But with this current trip to the Hmart, I find that Asian store is more than source of whole fish and, I am happy to report that now I know I can get more than fish for Palette

 Since it takes 90 min drive one way to the store, it is not the kind of store we can go to every week but I definitely enjoy the trip to Hmart.

 Do you know any other Asian stores or Ethnic stores in your area? Share your stories about Asian stores/Ethnic stores with everyone by using the comment section below.

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Mar 03, 2013 | 0 | Uncategorized