(Photo: Ann T.)
Have you ever heard of Ranch 99 supermarket? If you're a professional chef and experienced home cook, I am guessing many of you have. It's a humongous Chinese supermarket that sells pretty much everything you need to cook Chinese food. But, have you ever heard of Marukai? If you have not, I recommend you go there now, even during the Coronavirus crisis because for one, they are open and most of all, you are allowed to go there. I would refrain from calling Marukai a Japanese mega supermarket, but it's one of the biggest we have in the area (I will make a post on another mega Japanese supermarket)> The physical size is at least four or five times the size of Nijiya Market in San Francisco (if someone knows the exact floor size, let me know). The fish section, like most supermarkets, is located all the way to the back. Now, Marukai's selection is quite impressive, given we are in Cupertino, not Japan.
Not only do you find Saku blocks, but also, you can find the fish collar, trim pieces, scraped tuna, and most of the time (ok, I only go there once in a while, not all the time), you can find bones and small end pieces of salmon and other fish you can use to make a broth and soup. Salmon belly pieces are great to grill if you like belly. Their shellfish selection is also fantastic - some are unavailable at other stores like Nijiya. They have "Tamago", egg for sushi—many fish rows like tobiko, masago, and Ikura.
Most of all, the quantity is much larger than that of Nijiya's. The only downside is every time I go there, I end up buying their ready-made nigiri and rolls assortment because they look so appetizing.
While at it, I recommend getting some wasabi paste in a tube, or trying different soy sauces to see if your sashimi tastes different from your regular kind.
19750 Stevens Creek Blvd
Cupertino, CA 95014