Wednesday, April 29, 2015

At H Mart, fish dinner for four can cost under $10, free seafood samples

On Sunday, my wife baked five fresh wild-caught whole porgy with olive oil, fresh lime juice, onions, tomatoes, sweet peppers and fresh garlic.

Our side dish was cabbage sauteed with sweet peppers.

Editor's note: Today, I discuss food shopping at H Mart in Little Ferry, ShopRite in Paramus and Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, and the meals you can assemble with ingredients from them.


I never know what I'll find when I shop for fresh fish on the weekends at the H Mart in Little Ferry or how low the price will be.

On Sunday, I found whole porgy nestled in ice for only $1.79 a pound, and five of them rang up at $8.40.

While I waited for the fish to be cleaned and scaled, I chatted with other customers and went over to tables offering free seafood samples.

I also picked up nearly 2 pounds of Gaichoy or Baby Mustard Greens on sale for only 78 cents a pound with a store card.

Today, my wife prepared them for dinner with olive oil, chopped fresh garlic, sea salt and Organic No-Salt Seasoning, all from Costco Wholesale.

At H Mart in Little Ferry, free weekend seafood samples are conveniently placed near the fresh-fish counter to give customers something to do while their catch is being cleaned. Samples include seafood pancakes, foreground; boiled octopus, smoked farmed salmon and broiled eel.

The Korean supermarket at 260 Bergen Turnpike in Little Ferry also sells a wide array of dried seafood, above and below, and I expect many of them are for use in soups or stews.

Customers can only hope H Mart management will decide to renovate what is the shabbiest store in the chain.

ShopRite in Paramus

At ShopRite in Paramus on Tuesday, I bought a large Golden Pineapple for $2.99, and two 15-ounce containers of Smart Balance Light Spread made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil on sale for $2.99 each, a discount of 60 cents.

Smart Balance has gone on sale for as little as $1.89 with a store card, but I haven't seen that repeated in many months.

At ShopRite in Paramus, 26-ounce bottles of Colonna Pasta Sauce are on sale for 69 cents each, but the Garlic & Onion and Meat-Flavored contain high fructose corn syrup. Vodka Sauce lists heavy cream as the second largest ingredient. I'll pass on all three.

The 40-ounce bottle of Victoria Marinara is $8.49 at the Paramus ShopRite, 224 Route 4 east, but you can get two 40-ounce jars of the same sauce for $8.99 at Costco Wholesale on South River Street in Hackensack.

I continue to perfect 10-inch egg-white omelets, cooking fresh spinach in a little oil in a separate pan before transferring it to the omelet and folding it. Other ingredients include smoked wild salmon and reduced-fat sliced Swiss cheese from Costco, which also sells 100% egg whites.

A big breakfast omelet stuffed with smoked salmon and spinach, served with leftover organic brown rice and broccoli, allows me to skip lunch.
This morning, I prepared an organic whole-egg omelet with salted fish, fresh spinach and Mateo's Gourmet Salsa, the last from Costco Wholesale, above and below.

The omelet is ready to be folded.

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