Monday, October 27, 2014

An out-of-state upstart satisfies my hunger for kimchi at home

The long-delayed relocation of Arirang Kimchi to Ridgefield from Englewood remains incomplete.


The jar of kimchi in my refrigerator came all the way from Pennsylvania.

I had hoped to pick up Arirang's handmade cabbage kimchi in Ridgefield on Saturday, but the family owned company hasn't completed its relocation from Englewood.

The storefront in the H&Y Marketplace shopping center looks much the same as it did a couple of months ago.

I  looked under the "COMING SOON" banner covering the plate-glass window, and could see only three or four large refrigerated cases against one wall.

I have been a loyal Arirang customer for more than a decade, and have loved the crunch of its spicy cabbage, cucumber and radish kimchis.

So many kimchis...

But on Saturday, I had to go into H&Y, a Korean supermarket; look over a dozen brands and purchase a 64-ounce bottle of Mukungwha Mac Kimchi from Joo Young Food Inc. in Willow Grove, Pa. ($8.99).

The ingredients list is short: Cabbage, red pepper, ginger, onion, garlic, salt, fish sauce. 

Costco Wholesale in Hackensack is selling a smaller bottle of cabbage kimchi for $7.99, but I haven't bought any because it contains beef-bone extract and added sugar.

One of my favorite items at H&Y Marketplace is a  2-pound package of Jun's Wild Sesame Seed Tofu ($5), made in the store with non-GMO soybeans. A great snack is a thick slice of this tofu with a little sweet-and-spicy gochujang, below.

A 2.2-pound bottle of refrigerated Sinsong Vinegared Red-Pepper Paste or Gochujang was on sale for $4.99, a discount of $1. I bought two. This brand is made with sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup. The bottles were placed on the shelf above an old, incorrect sign for wasabi.

Mukungwha Mac Kimchi from Pennsylvania.

The cabbage kimchi sold at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack is $7.99, but the bottle is smaller, only 58 ounces.

H&Y Marketplace, 1 Remsen Place, Ridgefield; 201-943-7400.

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