It just goes to demonstrate our new-found domesticity that the primary "fun" activity of our weekend involved doing errands. After our trip to Mitsuwa, the massive Japanese grocery store, almost a year ago, Justin has been vowing to take me to H Mart, an equally vast Korean emporium where the prices are lower, and the distance isn't as far to traverse. He's been bringing it up with more frequency ever since we moved closer to it, so I decided to take him up on his offer this weekend.
My motives weren't entirely pure; I mostly acquiesced because I had a cut-up pineapple languishing in the fridge that we weren't eating fast enough, and I had my eye on a recipe for pineapple fried rice that called for a few ingredients that wouldn't be easily found at the local grocery store. Plus, with H Mart's supposedly rock-bottom prices on produce, I figured we could pick up all the ingredients for the dish and a few more veggies for the rest of the week while we were there.
Sure enough, we found everything that we needed at H Mart, but not without inducing a near state of panic attack in me. While Justin was happily munching his way through all the free samples and gleefully checking out all the mysterious and unknown food products, I was being elbowed by little old ladies vigorously jockeying for the best piece of ginger, and having garlic practically ripped out of my hands by eager shoppers. It was hard to know what most of the items for sale even were, much less find what I was looking for, and I mostly lucked into finding the items on my grocery list. By the end of the trip, I found myself completely overwhelmed and taking refuge in the American food aisle (full of cereal, chips, and dairy products), which was the only part of the store that wasn't swarming with people. I'm not sure when I'll want to go back, but the prices were excellent, and the store did have a good selection of Chinese foodstuffs despite being Korean.
Sadly, I'm not sure I'll be returning to buy ingredients for this particular recipe. My usual fried-rice recipe hails from Katherine, and it's very heavy on the garlic, but features little else besides a bit of chicken and some carrots. I find it to be perfect comfort food (plus, it reminds me of my best friend), but Justin thinks it's too bland, which is what had me searching for a recipe we could both enjoy. This pineapple fried rice didn't fit the bill. The fruit was paired with Chinese sausage, which I'm generally a fan of, but the flavor profile of the meat skews towards the sweet side, and there was additional sweetness provided by hoisin sauce. The whole thing was just too sweet. Maybe if there had been more garlic, more ground pork, and more green onions, the dish would have been more balanced, but I doubt I'll be trying it again to find out.