The 7 Best Frozen Appetizers to Get at H Mart
My love and appreciation for H Mart (or, as my fellow Korean Americans grew up knowing it, “Han ah reum”) runs deep. Every month we’d take a big weekend trek to the nearest H Mart, filling the car as much as possible. It’s definitely changed since! The store, which first opened in Woodside, Queens, New York in 1982, continued to expand steadily throughout the 1990s and now includes locations across the United States and in Canada and the United Kingdom.
My weekly trip as an adult is one I embrace in fantastic measure, not only to fill up on my favorite Asian ingredients or childhood nostalgia, but also to sample more items than ever before: fresh produce, baked goods, a truly great fresh fish and meat selection, bubble tea, a hot food court, K-beauty, shelves of pantry staples, and, everyone’s saving grace, the frozen food section.
Over the years, there’s been a notable expansion in the availability of and variations on one category in particular: frozen appetizers. Although there are many more great frozen items available, and I absolutely implore everyone to try them all, these are some of my favorite small bites to get at H Mart.
1. Bibigo Pork Vegetable Mandu, $10.99 for 32 ounces
Bibigo, a brand of CJ Foods USA, has become such an influential global brand — it recently announced a major marketing partnership with the Los Angeles Lakers. That said, they make absolutely fantastic food products, including their signature dumplings! These pork and vegetable mandu are truly bite-sized (they’re smaller than the standard), but they’re full of flavor and quick to prepare — whether you choose to steam or fry them.
2. Haioreum Kimchi Dumplings, $7.99 for 2.65 pounds
These kimchi dumplings are the ones I absolutely love fried. These are near-palm-sized servings, each packed with kimchi filling that gives both a true flavor and spicy punch! Plus, the quantity in these Haioreum dumpling bags makes them great for larger gatherings.
3. K-town Vegetable Yaki Gyoza, $3.99 for 1.1 pounds
If you’re looking for a vegetarian-friendly dumpling, this gyoza is it. Full of tofu, napa cabbage, alliums, radish, and sweet potato noodles, it’s the well-seasoned and tasty option that doesn’t skimp on flavor. And it goes great with a good dipping sauce.
4. Hansang Mungbean Pancake, $7.99 for 15.87 ounces
Although there’s really nothing like a bindaetteok (mungbean pancake) made fresh off the grill, these are a tasty alternative. Sprinkle a little loving dash of salt on top after they’ve been fried or warmed up in the oven until crispy. Pair with a good dipping sauce and bottle of makgeolli and your guests will be set. Just be aware: Despite it being labeled a mungbean pancake, this one does have seafood ingredients including anchovy powder and squid.
5. CJ Crispy Seaweed Roll, $8.99 for 1.1 pounds
These were a delightful surprise to have when I first tried them. It’s a battered, fried seaweed roll filled with bean noodles and vegetables, and pescatarian-friendly with oyster sauce and seafood stock. To warm them up, you can choose to fry them for extra crispiness, or heat them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Bonus: They’re also available in Hot & Spicy!
6. Pulmuone Spicy Topokki, $5.49 for 14.9 ounces
Speaking of spicy, this is for the heat-lovers! (Or if your guests are more sensitive to spice, it’s available in Sweet & Spicy.) This is a popular Korean street food: chewy rice cakes in an extra-spicy anchovy broth with gochujang (fermented chili paste) and gochugaru (red pepper powder), served with fish cakes. Although I get skeptical sometimes of how the texture of frozen tteok (rice cakes) can turn out, this brand gets the job done; I recommend using a little less water than what the packaging recommends. My husband will sometimes take a dumpling and dip it in the leftover sauce!
7. Day-lee Pride Karaage Chicken, $.799 for 12 ounces
Easy to prepare and always such a crowd-pleaser, these Japanese fried chicken thigh pieces are marinated with ginger and black pepper and double-fried, which means they’re extra crispy. Heating them in the oven creates the best scent in your home, even though the pieces will disappear soon after they’re ready!
Don’t see your favorite frozen appetizer from H Mart on the list? Tell us about it in the comments below.