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Mashita offers unique Korean menu

A+sandwich+with+seasoned+sprouts+offered+at+Mashita.
A sandwich with seasoned sprouts offered at Mashita.

A sandwich with seasoned sprouts offered at Mashita.

Lucie Rutherford

Lucie Rutherford

A sandwich with seasoned sprouts offered at Mashita.

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Driving down Market Street towards I-81, Mashita is hard to miss. The light gray truck has graffiti-style writing on its side stating the food truck’s name, which means “delicious” in Korean. The owner of the truck, Mikey Reisenberg, was adopted at the age of four from Seoul, South Korea by a family in the Clover Hill area. According to Spencer Showalter, who has been working at Mashita for just under a year, the Korean-inspired truck has been open for about four years now, and has since then added a cultural twist to Harrisonburg.

As simple as it sounds, “steamed buns” is the most popular item on the eclectic menu. Steamed buns are a fatter, shorter-looking hot dog bun, filled with your choice of meat or vegetables. When it comes to adding the protein, customers have three options of meat: slow steamed pork, slow steamed chicken or beef bulgogi. Bulgogi, which directly translates to “fire meat”, is thinly sliced pieces of meat, marinated and grilled.

The menu also offers odder, even more authentic items such as scotch eggs, which, according to the menu, consists of cured sausage, soft-boiled egg, rice, seaweed salad and blackberry Gochujang (a chili powder-like condiment).

As it was said to be a fan-favorite, the steamed buns had to be ordered, one chicken, one pork, with a side of seasoned bean sprouts. At initial glance, I thought the buns would be more colorful, though instead got a light colored meat on a light colored bun. The taste was about as similar to its looks, not super out-of-this-world. It’s the sauce that does the magic. With the option of four different sauces ranging from sweet to spicy, Mashita aims to please all taste buds. As one with a weak sensitivity to spice, I went for the sweetened soy. This sauce brought on a whole new level of flavor to my steamed buns, making the meal infinitely times better.

The side options call for that extra kick to finish off the meal, with the choice of steamed rice, seasoned bean sprouts, Korean black beans or the nation’s national dish, quick-pickle kimchi, otherwise known as spicy pickled cabbage. With simple ingredients like beans and cabbage, Mashita is able to put a Korean twist in everything they create.

If the mood for a night out is along the likes of Asian flare, Mashita provides a cultural change-up that not many in the area are used to. From steamed buns to kimchi to beef bulgogi, Mashita has added itself to the long list of check marks on Harrisonburg’s eclectic list of cultural food stops.

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