Today’s 365 Things to Do in Edmonds feature with Edmonds Realtor Wayne Purser focuses on BooHan Plaza Oriental Market, located at 22618 Highway 99 in Edmonds. BooHan Plaza opened in April 2000 and the market anchors the complex. The Edmonds shopping center, along with two others like it in Tacoma and Federal Way, is owned by the Han family.
Jae Han manages the Edmonds store. His father, Boo Han, initially manufactured tofu. The family branched out into the retail food business in 1980, operating from a 500-square-foot addition to their home that was outfitted with a chest freezer and a little cash register.
Inspired by Albertson’s, Olson’s and Larry’s stores, Boo Han named his store after himself. “It’s not a Korean custom to put the family name on a business, but my father decided to do like the Americans do,” Jae said.
BooHan Market stocks the fiery sauces and other Korean ingredients not commonly found this far north. A brief tour reveals fresh quail eggs, preserved duck eggs, roasted dried laver (seaweed), bamboo leaves, twig-like bracken and sweet-potato stems. At the meat counter, pork neck, beef knee bones and thinly sliced meat for bulgogi or kal-bi are on display. The store also offers octopus and hagfish, a primitive marine fish of the order Cyclostomata, or jawless fishes (see cyclostome), which live in both cold and temperate waters. Its rudimentary skeleton, of cartilage rather than bone, has a braincase, but no jaw. Hairtail, sea squirt, mackerel, soft-shell crabs and other seafood fill the freezer, and you’ll find many kinds of fresh and jarred kimchi, the spicy Korean condiment made of pickled, fermented cabbage and other flavorings.
For more information, call the store at 425-778-7400.