World Markets: Far East

 

Fubonn Supermarket

2850 SE 82nd Ave
503-517-8877
fubonn.com

Find-It!

The Find: Peking ducks (head and all) for less than $2 a pound

Although they are slightly different from the French-style Muscovy ducks found in upscale butcher shops, Fubonn’s Peking ducks are ideal for cassoulet or confit. But there’s far more than poultry at this Asian market. Founded in 1996 by Michael Liu, the store became an instant star among the dozens of Asian-owned businesses reinventing once-seedy SE 82nd Avenue. Top Portland chefs shop here for giant slabs of pork belly and other pig parts: heart, kidney, loin, chop, trotter, jowl, tongue, and even fresh hog’s blood. But Fubonn is also a promised land for vegetables, offering more than 10 types of greens, plus hard-to-find items like kohlrabi, key limes, fresh turmeric root, pods of tamarind, okra, gobo root, and long bean, along with eggplants of every shape, size, and color. Seafood includes live lobster, crab, oysters, whole barracuda, sturgeon, and squid. The condiment aisle alone is larger than most neighborhood markets. —MT
Likely to Spot: Saucebox chef de cuisine Gregory Gourdet scouring the racks for fermented condiments and spring-roll wrappers

H Mart

13600 SW Pacific Hwy
503-620-6120, hmart.com

Find-It!

The Find: Kimchi

Think of any animal, vegetable, or mineral: the Koreans have likely pickled it, and H Mart probably stocks it. Whether you’re seeking the traditional spicy, briny kimchi made from fermented Chinese cabbage; kimchi concocted from green onions, daikon, radish, mustard leaves, or even dandelion greens; or the ingredients to make it yourself—the store has entire aisles dedicated to the salt, red pepper, and spices you’ll need—H Mart is a must-try for food preserving fans. The two-year-old store, part of an East Coast Korean grocery chain with 41 North American locations, is the largest Asian grocery store in the Portland metropolitan area. It’s also a nosher’s nirvana, with an expansive produce aisle replete with worldly delights (banana flowers, anyone?) and a behemoth seafood counter selling live fish, abalone, sea squirt, manila clams, and whole frozen octopus. H Mart’s meat department is proof of the Korean obsession with (and mastery of) barbecue—packages of grill-ready slices of pork belly, galbi (marinated short ribs), chicken, and pork abound. —MT
Likely to Spot: Castagna executive chef Matt Lightner buying sesame powder and tapioca flour

Uwajimaya

10500 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Beaverton
503-643-4512, uwajimaya.com

Find-It!

The Find: Fish cakes

In 1928, Fujimatsu Moriguchi started selling home-made fish cakes from the back of a truck in Tacoma, Washington. He named the fly-by-night operation “Uwajimaya” after his seaside hometown on the small island of Shikoku. Prospering despite the Great Depression and Japanese internment, the Moriguchi family opened their third location in 1998, a massive 30,000-square-foot store in Beaverton. (With a little luck, an even bigger store could break ground in Old Town this year.) The chain still makes Moriguchi’s original fish cakes, but now it also stocks an entire continent’s worth of products from Japan, China, Thailand, and Vietnam. Uwajimaya’s ceiling-high fish tanks—teeming with Kumamoto oysters, manila clams, tilapia, geoduck, Dungeness crabs, and Maine lobsters—bring the deep blue ashore. The refrigerators are stocked daily with equally fresh sockeye salmon, red snapper, and black cod. There’s also an entire aisle devoted to gourmet noodles. —MP
Likely to Spot: Grüner chef and owner Chris Israel buying pea sprouts and white Asian radishes