It is always quite refreshing for me to go into H-Mart with Mom since it opened. It provides a slight contrast with a few unfamiliar items since it is a Korean supermarket instead of a Chinese one, yet it is still comforting and makes me feel normal again. I love all their sample stations and especially love their huge variety of kimchi and various spicy Korean sauces. You cannot find such delicacies at T&T and elsewhere. They also have amazing sugar crisp chips and sweet potato chips. When we went yesterday, however, it was quite late so all their bakery items were on sale.
Mom could not resist from buying three of these Cream Twists. They are a typical Korean doughnut. Compared to American doughnuts, they are so much softer, tasting much more like stretchy, chewy bread dough rather than deep fried. The top was covered with a cream crumble that was hardly sweet at all. Overall, this had a nice texture. The twisted doughnut was kind of hard to pull apart but I love that elasticity of the dough. I would have liked it sweeter and a little less oily but Mom enjoyed it very much.
The Red Bean Soboru at first looked very odd, with the red bean paste on the outside. Mom and I have seen something similar with taro or chestnut paste, both of which are closer to the colour of the bread. This just seemed a little surprising at first, but the concept really isn’t. The red bean paste was not very sweet. In fact, it is one of the most unsweetened red bean pastes I have had in a long time. Part of that could be the fact there were raisins and red and green candied orange cubes that are quite popular in Asian baking. That provided a slight tartness, and with the dough that is not at all sweetened, the red bean paste did not take over.
I was craving mung bean paste the other day while we were still at Maxim’s Bakery. Luckily, Mom wanted to try the Greenbean Bread since it looks so pretty. The green was a very pretty but edible shade of green, and with the flower shape, it looked very appetizing. What I love about this bun was that there was hardly any bread, especially in the ‘flower petals.’ It was mostly just the mung bean paste, quite sweet and very yummy. The middle had a buttery crumble sprinkled on top and less paste with more bread so it was a bit gland. The paste was very good though. It did not taste as rich and starchy as a red bean paste, a little more like a vegetable paste. Or perhaps that was due to the colour, but mung bean paste is a very nice alternative to the red bean paste which is too common.
Finally, I picked the Sweet Rice Red Bean to satisfy the minimum purchase of six bakery items in order to qualify for the tax free deal. I was very curious as to what glutinous red bean paste was. Turns out, it was just a regular red bean paste bun except that the red bean paste was surrounded by a layer of sticky glutinous rice. The ratio of filling to bread was nice. The dough was slightly on the savoury side. It was definitely not sweet at all. However, I loved the sticky, moist texture as it was very chewy, or rather dough-y, as if it was not baked long enough. It is just the way I like it and provided a nice balance to the sticky glutinous rice and sweet red bean paste. I loved this bun. It was simple, yet each part was perfectly done and the flavours came through naturally very appealing.
Overall, I was quite satisfied with the Korean version of these buns. Apparently, these were made by Amante Bakery and just sold at H-Mart. Regardless, this Korean twist to my usual comfort breads were actually an improvement, I think. I prefer the more sticky and moist bread that is perhaps slightly more dense because of the moisture. There is also a lot more filling of either red or mung bean paste, which is great in my opinion. These were very fresh and at $1 each, very affordable, too. Next time we are at Aberdeen Centre after 6pm, I’ll be sure to visit again.