Sunday, March 12, 2017

My Shopping Cart: Asian Market Haul.


Last week, I made a trip to a wonderful Asian Supermarket. They had a wide selection of Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, and Philippine groceries. I've had a few recipes on my list that required a trip and I totally bought 10x more than I had on my list.  The Supermarket had a hot section with Peking Duck, Roast Pork, and Steam buns and of course I had to get a few BBQ Pork Buns for the road. The butcher section was impressive. The meats were packaged nicely, cut well, and carefully labeled. The seafood section had MASSIVE whole fish. The most beautiful whole Salmon. I really enjoyed walking around and learning about new products and groceries. I'll be doing more research before I go back again so I know what else to buy.

I hope you enjoy a tour of my Asian Market Shopping Cart!




Beef Marrow Bones are great for bone broth. They have so many health benefits and can really help boost someone's weak immune system. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and lipids. The trick is to boil them down to release the marrow into the broth, which I do in my pressure cooker for around 2 hours.




Beef Neck Bone - A very commonly overlooked cut of meat. To me, these are as tasty and hard to screw up as the humble chicken thigh. I personally don't mind picking meat off the bone. The flavor that these add to a broth is out of this world and the meat can be separated and added back into the soup before serving. I am also told that the meat is very good for tacos.





Quail Eggs - If you haven't had Quail Eggs, you're really missing out. These delicate eggs are more flavorful than a chicken egg. I remember the first time I had these was in NYC while out at HotPot for dinner with some friends. They were definitely overboiled and when I bit into it, it still have the most creamy center I had ever tasted in an egg. Since then, they have been my favorite Asian Market Treat. 






Quail Eggs for breakfast. The first thing I used from my haul. I cooked up some quick hash from leftover pork, sweet potatoes, and regular potatoes. When the hash was done, I turned the heat to low, cracked in some quail eggs, covered the pan, and let it cook for about 8 minutes. 









Flavored Soybean Cake - To be honest, I didn't really know what I was going to do with this when I bought it. I just really liked the texture compared to regular tofu. 

Most likely, I will end up using this in stir-fry recipes and as a topping for Ramen and other Asian soups. 












Fresh Noodles - I know how to make a lot of things, but I will say that my achilles heel is definitely handmade noodles. I have been successful in the past, but not consistently. When I am in NYC, I will buy real  handmade noodles, but when I am home, these hold me over.















Dumpling Wrappers - for when I'm too lazy to make the dough, I buy these Shanghai Style wrappers for my boiled or steamed dumplings. They are no where near as good as handmade, but they are tremendously easy. 














Coconut Milk is just one of those things that I use so much of that I always buy a few cans whenever I am shopping. Usually the price ranges from $1.50-$2 a can but these were on sale for $.90 so I stocked up!

I love making Thai Curries or putting a little of this in a morning smoothie. But also, who doesn't love a good Coconut Margarita??







Cinnamon Sticks - Something I use in so many different recipes. Baking, drinks, Indian, and Vietnamese. The price for spices at an Asian Market is drastically cheaper than a regular grocery store. I believe all of the spices were under $2 a bag. 

I think that in Asian Cuisine, the focus is the preparation, not necessarily the protein. Because all parts of the animal are used, Asian Cultures have created extraordinary dishes using inexpensive cuts of meat, cooked with care, and delicious spice combinations. 






Star Anise - A star player in my Taiwanese Beef Broth. I had tried this recipe several times in the past and something just wasn't right. I added this and a Beef Marrow Bone and born was the most beautiful broth that has ever been created.













Bonito Soup Stock I end up using for way more than just Japanese soups. Sometimes, when a recipe is missing something and you can't quite put your finger on it, Bonito saves the day. I recently have started incorporating it into my fish chowders and also marinades. 









Thai Red Chili Pepper- Ah yes, the beautiful Thai Red Chili Pepper. I was a little late on the game with my use of Thai Chilies in the kitchen. I just didn't know how to use them. I spent some time in LA for the Lunar New Year with my Chinese sister-in-law and her family who were visiting from China. I had her Ma show me everything.  I wanted to learn as much as I could in my short visit. Now, I put these spicy babies in everything! When I am making Italian Red Sauce, throw a couple in. Beef and Barley Soup, throw a few in. Stir-fry, throw a LOT in. You get the idea :) 







Lemongrass is such a magical herb. It can be simmered in stock, steeped in tea, or cooked into a stir-fry. The citrus like scent is so light and fragrant. The cost is about $1.99/lb. I don't use lemongrass all that frequently so I usually slice mine really thin and put in the freezer for future cooking. 














Bok Choy is an easy to cook green. It keeps its nice bright color and cooks in just a few minutes. My favorite preparations are blanched and served with soup (like Ramen or Taiwanese Beef Noodle) and sauteed with garlic and oil.













Ginger - Oh Ginger, could you be more perfect? I use ginger EVERY DAY. Usually a few slices with some hot water with a little lemon is my afternoon tea. I put equal parts ginger and garlic in my food processor and make a paste that I keep in the fridge to cook with. I blend equal parts ginger and water, then simmer with spices to make an extract that I use for teas, cooking, and drink mixers. 












Green Onion - Definitely saved the best for last. I also use green onion every day. I prefer it over onions in all of my stir-fry recipes. I will cook the white part with garlic and save the greens to use as a garnish. I usually go through two bundles a week. At Asian markets you can get twice as many for the same price as the grocery store and in my opinion, they usually look healthier and larger. 






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