Charting life's circuitous path

Asian Grocery Shopping

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The grocery situation was becoming a bit dire.  There wasn’t any panko in the house.  We were starting to scrape the bottom of the rice bag, and I can’t even remember the last time I had a decent tsukemono to go with my rice (that’s Japanese pickles).  While I had yet to run out of soy sauce (it would truly be the end if I had to sink to buying my grocery brand – ick!) or other essentials, the gaps in my pantry were still huge and noticeable.  Especially if we were going to have our curry with tonkatsu tonight.

So, off I went bright and early with my list and a few recipes in the back of my mind from my 100 list.

First up, veggies!  I won’t post every pic of my veggies here (they’re mean and green and they’re waiting to be stir fried!), but I bought a huge bag of baby bok choy, some Chinese choy sum, two daikon, and three lovely Chinese eggplants.  We’re going to have the eggplants this weekend in a dish that I haven’t had in about a year.  I can’t wait!

I also bought a lot of other staples like gyudon for hubby, rice, tofu, frozen veggies and mackerel (for hubby).  However, as I walked around the store, I picked up a few extras.

So, here’s part of my haul:

Yummy Food #1: Panko

The King of breadcrumbs.

My grocery only had this tiny 7 oz bag for sale.  So I bought 3.  You can never do without panko on hand.  I love to use it in place of breadcrumbs for more crunch and flavor.

Yummy Food #2: Takuan

This baby is about a foot long.  I’m not a huge takuan fan, but I crave a decent slice now and then and the other tsukemono selections weren’t all that great.  The store I went to was mainly a Chinese/Asian grocery and they weren’t well stocked on Japanese pickles.  Still, I cut into this tonight for my dinner and it was delicious!  And the best part: it wasn’t saturated with the yellow food coloring so it tasted even better than normal.  Truly worth the $4.39.

Yummy Food #3: Pad Thai Noodles

I’m well versed on Japanese noodles.  Show me an udon, somen or soba packet and I can recognize the differences and tell you which type of which is better.  Show me any other type of noodle and I haven’t a clue what to do with it.  Take rice noodles for instance.  I have never cooked with them before nor do I have any recipes on hand for their use.  But they intrigue me.  Also, that gal on the front looked weirdly odd for a noodle packet.

I love to eat lo mien at Chinese restaurants and I haven’t a clue if these are the same noodles or not.  The back of the pack said for use in Pad Thai so I thought, hey, that’s similar!  And bought them.  They had three sizes (S, M, L) and I picked M since I tend to like substance in my noodle.  I’m now on a search for a really good and savory pad thai recipe.  If you know of one, and it’s vegetarian, do let me know!  Please. 🙂

Yummy Food #4: Steamed Bun Mix

I was really excited when I came across this!  Look!  It’s like Bisquick!  Not that we have Bisquick in the house (confession: I’m a Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Family Size mix fan), but it’s all mixed up for you to just add the liquid and filling.  One of my goals is to make steamed buns and this was a brilliant way to ease into it.  🙂  I know, it’s cheating, but at least I’m giving it a go.  I can always graduate from the pre-made powder when I get more brave.

And look, instructions!

Just sub the filling and mix it up and voila! Truly one of my most exciting buys today.

Yummy Food #5: Steamer Liners

Okay, so not a food item, but it will help me to make those fabulous steam buns!  They’re permeable liners that sit across your bamboo steamer to keep everything nice and clean yet functional.  I figure it will make it easier to steam the buns than using thin sheets of parchment paper.

Comes in a 25 pack - not bad! That should last a while and it was only $1.89.

Yummy Food #6: Coconut Milk Powder

I’ve bookmarked a number of recipes that require coconut milk.  I went searching for two cans of the stuff, only to find that they cost about $1.89 per can.  Hmm…while not exorbitant, that was a bit pricey for something that I wasn’t even sure was a necessary component (the sat. fat content in coconut milk is high!).  So I looked around and came across this:

One can makes 3 cups of coconut milk and it was only .89!  Can’t beat that in my book.   I’m hoping that it will do and won’t taste like powdered milk.  I have high (albeit cheap) hopes, though!

Yummy Food #7: Sugared Ginger Slices

I’m on a bit of a ginger kick lately.  I had a really nice Ginger Peach Tea from The Republic of Tea with a good friend at Panera Bread the other day (I’ve been searching for that tea with little success), and another friend of mine sent me a bag of Chimes Ginger Chews for my birthday that are absolutely addictive.  They start off sweet and yummy and then they crank up the heat!  I just love them and I’ve been on the lookout for other ginger candies.  I stumbled across this bag of crystallized ginger that looked really good.  The entire bag cost me only $1.89.

And last but not least:

Yummy Food #8:  Swiss Roll

You can't tell, but this was about two inches thick!

The only thing missing in that pic is cream.  Alas, I don’t keep cream on hand so we had to make do without.  This swiss roll could have had more cream inside, but it was still delectable as is.  I was craving something sweet from the store that you couldn’t buy in regular stores.  They have a lot of really nice sweet bread items but you have to be careful – most are made with lard.  Not really vegetarian friendly.  However, in the fridge section was a little packet of 3 slices of swiss roll.  And they were generous slices, too!  And they were only $2.12!  You can’t beat that and I certainly couldn’t turn it down.

I added the sliced strawberries and we ate it after lunch while we watched some Doctor Who.  Love me some Daleks (especially since we’re watching the first Dalek episode) and love me some cake.

Tomorrow we’re splitting the last slice and I’m going to use up the remaining few strawberries and raspberries for topping.  Definitely a great way to end my shopping trip.

Author: iscribbler

A girl scribbling her way through health, love, food and life.

One thought on “Asian Grocery Shopping

  1. Pingback: Steamed buns, nikuman, or baozi | iscribblings

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