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 Post subject: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:55 am 
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I moved to a new city about 2 1/2 weeks ago, and yesterday checked out an Asian supermarket that's about 5 minutes from my apartment. Now, I've been to Asian markets before, but this is like every one of them combined and then doubled. I just walked the aisles in awe. There were TWO produce cases of just tofu!! And a whole freezer case of tofu! And really interesting produce that I have never heard of before at crazy cheap prices. And, and, and... wow. I left with a huge bag of groceries for only $20 and about a million meal ideas.

So, for those of you who have always had access to these amazing places - what should I try? What are your favorite finds? Any killer recipes that call for special ingredients that I'll now have access to?

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:20 am 
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I don't have any advice but I just want to say I'm jealous! My local Asian supermarket doesn't even seem to sell tofu anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:14 am 
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And there was me thrilled with the one I have that has fresh tofu a couple of days a week!

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:45 pm 
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It's great, isn't it. I have to drive about 30 minutes but I too am in heaven. I suggest taking some time and going through all the isles. What I usually stock up on is amazing yams and sweet potatoes I can't get at regular store, hot sauces, fruits, fresh tofu, unusual green veggies, jars of fermented tofu, miso and sea veggies, especially nori wraps. i can get them in a bag of 50 for cheaper than what most stores sell 12. Here in Canada they also have different brands of soymilk (sort of no name brands) but I usually don't like the flavour of them but they are cheaper.
Enjoy


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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:10 pm 
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if your store has the dried tofu jerky type snacks (they are taiwanese) they are fantastic.
I miss the soymilk and tofu the most.
Also, if you like hot pepper, gochujang (korean pepper paste, comes in rectangular, usually red treasure-chest kind of containers) is the bomb.

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:29 pm 
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Oh so much good stuff in asian groceries! Stuff I can't find ANYWHERE else. I wish the ones here were as cheap as elsewhere in the country, but they are still pretty cheap overall

off the top of my head:

- Vegan/Tofu jerky
- Fresh wide noodles (great for Pad Se Ew). Fresh wheat noodles. Fresh ANY noodles actually.
- mock duck / gluten - it looks scary, but it is just seitan in a can or a jar. I like mock duck best
- Soymilk - try a new brand. Most of it is WAY tastier than what you find in supermarkets
- Fresh and/or local tofu
- Fried tofu
- Veggie potstickers/dumplings etc
- Jackfruit, canned, in brine
- proper noodles for Pho
- Sauces I can't find anywhere else: black soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, golden mountain sauce
- there are approx a dozen different vegetarian stir fry sauces (also called mushroom or vegetarian oyster sauce)
- asian greens in the produce section. I love Chinese broccoli (which is not broccoli at all, but a leafy green)
- all kinds of crazy cheap mushrooms, both fresh and dried.


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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:13 pm 
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What everybody said, especially gochujang if you like hot pepper pastes. It has an amazing flavor that's really unique and doesn't taste like anything else (sweet, spicy, sour, savory, uh . . . just amazing). You can probably find lots of fresh fruits you've never tried too. Also it's the only place I can reliably find wonton and dumpling wrappers without eggs.

Go nuts!


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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:30 pm 
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You know what's amazing but only if it's fresh is soft rice noodles. Like the big fat chow fun kind. Now I'm thinking about them and I might have to make a detour through Chinatown before heading home to make dinner :P

ETA have you ever had white fungus? I know it sounds gnarly but my local Loving Hut puts it in pho and I LOVE IT SO MUCH. Also lotus root <3

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:41 pm 
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Do you like szechuan food? Serious Eats has some recipes for mapo tofu and dry-fried szechuan green beans I've been meaning to try that require preserved mustard stems and szechuan peppercorns.

Mapo Tofu: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013 ... ecipe.html
Dry-fried green beans: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/03/2015 ... ecipe.html

I have a friend that swears by this stuff: http://www.amazon.com/Chuan-Sichuan-Pix ... 00KD182RE/

You might get black vinegar; Kenji seems to be a fan: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015 ... ecipe.html

And, yes, gochujang.


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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:06 pm 
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When my husband and I moved here, we would go to the Asian markets and pick out vegetables we had never eaten before and then random jarred foods.

I love Szechaun peppercorns. When I was in China, people were very amused watching me eat them.

Our Asian stores also sell other stuff like Indian/Persian/Mexican/South American goods, so I get tons of stuff. I used to get tamales from one Asian store before it closed.

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 9:55 pm 
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I knew you guys would have excellent suggestions! Unfortunately, I can't eat mushrooms anymore, so I can't benefit from those options (still makes me kinda mad at my body).

Chicki - do you have a recipe for Pad Se Ew? I love that dish, but have only had it in restaurants.

torque - gochujang is officially on my list! Bring on all the spicy!

dandykins - those recipes look amazing!

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:47 am 
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Basically all the things upthread, but also malt soy milk in little cartons, deep fried tofu that you just re-heat, powdered mushroom stock and oishi pea snack! Oh, and there's a super firm vacuum packed 5-spice tofu I like to get for putting on pizzas or using in tacos.

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 5:11 am 
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dandykins wrote:

All of these are regular dishes in our house, go figure!
The dry fried green beans can also be done without a broiler (if you are sad like me without a broiler) and without the pickles, for when you run out, and they are still spectacular.

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:58 am 
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Inari pouches for homemade sushi.
Peanut mochi.
Ice cream mochi.


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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:02 am 
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I have to drive about 45 minutes and because of that blasted place I have way too much miso, I can't stop buying the varieties of the stuff. They also have like a one gallon jar of Sambal Oelek that I have had my eyes on for a while now. Not that I need it but I want it.

Be careful.

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:19 am 
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Here's what I usually get at the asian store:

- frozen, accidentally vegan gyoza & mandu
- frozen edamame ( I love being able to throw a bunch of beans in a recipe without having to open a whole can!)
- frozen abura'age (deep fried tofu) for miso soup
- instant kombu dashi
- dehydrated seaweed & nori
- pickled ginger
- sesame oil
- miso, doenjang (it's stronger and tastes more fermented than miso), gochujang
- coconut milk
- coconut oil
- soy sauce
- sriracha & hoisin sauce
- a million different kinds of noodles
- red rice, wild rice
- cashews, sesame & peanuts in bulk

The produce, rice and beans aren't actually the cheapest in town for me, but it's the only place where I can reliably get lemongrass & bok choy.


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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 8:35 am 
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This stuff!

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:33 am 
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We moved from a small town to the DC metro area last year, and suddenly I had access to all the ingredients that kept me from cooking through Vegan Eats World. If you have that book, now you can get thin soy sauce, Golden Mountain sauce, Thai sweet soy sauce, black soy sauce, Filipino soy sauce, Toban djan garlic/chile bean sauce... and make ALL the Asian-inspired recipes!

My "stuff in bottles" collection is ridiculous now.


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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:52 am 
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pastabake wrote:
This stuff!

Image


That is usually my problem when I go to an Asian market. Many times there are no ingredients listed in English, and you are barely able to tell what it is from the jar...and how do you use it? What is it?

It's all so overwhelming!! How do you guys do it?


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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:04 pm 
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zelavie wrote:
I knew you guys would have excellent suggestions! Unfortunately, I can't eat mushrooms anymore, so I can't benefit from those options (still makes me kinda mad at my body).

Chicki - do you have a recipe for Pad Se Ew? I love that dish, but have only had it in restaurants.

torque - gochujang is officially on my list! Bring on all the spicy!

dandykins - those recipes look amazing!


the recipe in Vegan Eats World is amazing. So good. It really tastes EXACTLY like it does in the restaurants.

The Pad Kee Mao is also really REALLY good and the recipe is on her blog:
http://veganlatina.com/a-drunken-noodle ... d-kee-mao/

if you don't have Vegan Eats World, I highly recommend it!


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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:29 pm 
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There're a few Asian supermarkets near me, and they've become my go-to for grocery shopping. In addition to what others have said, I really like banana leaf dumplings (usually in the frozen dessert section). It's sweet sticky rice with a banana/ red bean paste filling. They're wrapped in banana leaves and steamed, comparable to tamales. Also all kinds of awesome snacks (plantain/ yucca chips!) and random vegan candy. Vietnamese style soymilk in cans (it is super creamy, sweet, and green for some reason).

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:59 pm 
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also, vegetarian barbecue sauce. it comes in a can and, erm, has a swastika on it.

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:40 pm 
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Angelina wrote:
pastabake wrote:
This stuff!

Image


That is usually my problem when I go to an Asian market. Many times there are no ingredients listed in English, and you are barely able to tell what it is from the jar...and how do you use it? What is it?

It's all so overwhelming!! How do you guys do it?


This is angry lady sauce (a.k.a. chili crisp). It's an oil-based, super savory/umami hot sauce and I love it on potatoes at breakfast.


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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2015 6:19 pm 
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I went back today and got a few of your recommendations. For dinner, I had Chinese broccoli and rice with a variety of sauces. The broccoli greens are just a little more bitter than I like, but the stems are wonderful. The angry lady sauce? Holy crepe, I want to put that on everything I eat for the rest of my life. It is amazing. Gochujang is also really good! I got Golden Mountain sauce, which tastes exactly like Braggs to me (not a bad thing!). I also got a jar of... it's spicy vegetables packed in oil and maybe pickled. The only english says "vegetable go with rice." This is also super delicious.

I also got a package of green tea mochi, which I've heard rave reviews for but had never tried. Nobody warned me about that texture. That was one of the worst things I've ever put in my mouth, and I couldn't bear to finish a single bite. I don't even know if the flavor was good - the texture was just. so. awful.

I'll be combing through Vegan Eats World soon. I'm so excited about all these new ingredients to cook with!

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 Post subject: Re: Asian Supermarket Bliss!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:53 am 
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haha, mochi is a bit.... schlerpy!

I am going to look for angry lady sauce next time I hit an asian market! I have never seen it but usually have my go-to chili sauce and I wouldn't normally be testing other ones.

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