Octopus meet hominy
If I could eat out every day I would. Maybe I would. I wouldn't. OK, there's a happy medium to eating out and eating in. Today I stopped by my favorite Japanese shop in the Essex Market. Until this recent NY Times article I actually didn't know their name. I was just happy to stop by and look around at their hand-written signs, their food and their child (usually sleeping). It's called Ni Japenese Delicacies. If I had to describe it I would say it's a mix between a Jewish deli, a Latin bodega and the best subway market you'll ever find deep underground in the Japanese Metro.
I've been stopping by their shop for a good part of the last ten months, developing a wonderfully sweet rapport with the owners. I know their names but translating them to actual letters on my keyboard is proving difficult. Their shop feels about the size of a thimble but somehow they turn out sandwiches, sushi, salads, bento boxes, soups, cold teas, cookies and more. On top of all the prepared foods they have bags and boxes and tins of other mysterious items.
I am slowly working my way through all of their offerings. Today I sampled their octopus ceviche. The octopus is cured with yuzu, a japanese citrus. Along with the octopus were red onions and a surprise inclusion of hominy. The dish was light, chewy, tangy. The hominy and octopus have a surprisingly complimentary feel and they each gave back a little tug as you chewed. I've had hominy easily less then five times. Finding it in my ceviche was a pleasant reminder of how far I have to go before I've seen it all.