In Edgewater, New Jersey, there’s a strip mall devoted to Japanese goods. It features book, beauty, and toy stores as well as restaurants. Anchoring the mall is a huge supermarket: Mitsuwa Marketplace. Inside you’ll find exotic fruits and vegetables (more than a dozen varieties of mushrooms alone), aisles of dried fish, sake, plum wine, and packaged candies along with a bakery and candy shop.
I wanted to work with some fresh foods out of my comfort zone. I first selected daikon, mainly because it was an ingredient familiar to me from Chopped. Daikon is a long, mild, radish. After peeling it, I used it with chicken and made this very tasty soup.http://www.pickledplum.com/daikon-chicken-soup-recipe/
In addition, I purchased nagaimo, Japanese yam, a purchase guided primarily by cost. I had wanted to try yuzu, but the $14 price-tag for two clementine-sized yuzu scotched that idea. Nagaimo is a hairy tuber but a very versatile one. It can apparently be eaten raw in salads, cooked in soups and stews, baked in casseroles, and fried in a stir-fry. I stir-fried it with mushrooms and onions for a delicious side-dish. Of course, you must peel away the hairy skin.