Sunrise Mart at sunset, that is! Sunrise Mart is a japanese supermarket near Union Square that I discovered last year in my quest to find asian grocers in nyc.

I love asian supermarkets. I believe this penchant for exotic/unusual and, more specifically, asian groceries developed back when I was in my asian dating phase. Yep, you heard right…I exclusively dated asian men, better known as yellow fever (now, luckily for Nate, I have beardo fever!). Now don’t go asking me why I had this particular condition, because even I’m not sure of the exact catalyst for this phenomenon encompassing the majority of my adult life, but what I derived from these experiences was a love for asian food…both eating it and making it.

With each relationship, I taught myself to cook the food from the country of origin of the guy I was dating. It was mainly Vietnamese and Korean, but I consider Korean my specialty. In addition, I even learned to speak, read, and write Korean. I wish I had practiced enough to be really fluent, but as with most hobbies that came with guys I dated (paintball and motorcycles to name a couple), the korean classes, along with my desire to study, ceased when the relationship ended. But at least I can read the signs and menus in New York’s K-town ;)

I’m not sure if you’re at all familiar with Korean food, but they have these little side dishes that come to your table when you sit down, called panchan. They are DELCIOUS. They usually involve pickled veggies, or sauteed ones, or a korean version of potato salad, or these yummy black beans, and lots of other things. All korean grocery stores sell them, and this Sunrise Mart happens to sell them too, along with some other Korean items.

Prepared food case at Sunrise Mart

The point of all of this background information (yes, I realize I’m very wordy!) is that i was seriously craving some panchan yesterday. So I decided that I would go to the store and buy some, and then make some asian-inspired dinner to go along with it. I wasn’t sure what I would make but knew it would involve broiling fish and roasting veggies with some sort of asian glaze.

When I got to Sunrise Mart, I went over to the veggie area and selected some Japanese eggplant, along with what I thought was a very large sweet potato, although the label said Satsumaimo. This didn’t deter me because I knew that if it wasn’t a sweet potato, it was some other root veggie that could most likely be cooked similarly. I also picked up some white fish fillets also with a name I didn’t recognize, but it looked vaguely like Tilapia. (I looked up Satsumaimo when I got home and found out that it’s a japanese sweet potato with a milder flavor, softer flesh, and a lighter yellow coloring than an American sweet potato).

Satsumaimo, or japanese sweet potato


I wandered around the store further ( I could literally spend hours in an asian grocery store picking up and investigating every item) and came across a case of Miso paste. I’ve been wanting to buy miso for the longest time, so I took some of that and figured I could incorporate it into my glaze.

Tasty taters!

I walked home excitedly, with my purchases in hand and immediately scoured the internet for recipes for Miso glazes. After getting the feel for what went into a basic miso glaze, I created my own and discovered one of the easiest, most delicious dinners I’ve ever made! I’ll definitely be looking for that Satsumaimo again…both Nate and I agreed that it tasted like candy. While this dinner had more obscure ingredients,  you can substitute most everything for the American versions, but you will definitely need Miso paste.

Mah-is-geh deuseyo! (Bon appetit in Korean ;) )


Miso Glazed Fish and veggies

Recipe by Me

2 Tbsp Miso paste (i used yellow but i don’t think it matters)
2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (you can find in any grocery store)
1 Tbsp sake, vermouth, or dry white wine
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 lb white fish fillets (Tilapia works well)
Assorted roasting veggies (i used 2 japanese eggplant and about 3/4 lb sweet potato), chopped into large cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil

Toss vegetables with olive oil. Spread on baking sheet and roast in oven at 450 for 30-40 minutes or until tender, but not too brown.

When veggies are cooked, remove from oven and brush glaze on top.

Broil veggies until glaze is caramelized and browning. Remove from oven.

Spread enough glaze on fish fillets to cover. Broil until fish flakes easily and top is golden. Brush additional glaze on fish and veggies if desired.