What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18634
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:27 pm

I wanted to buy some natto, Japanese fermented soybeans. I found a few local Asian food stores and visited them in search for natto. The last and the biggest one had what I was looking for. But before that, I explored a Vietnamese supermarket. They had bunches of many different leafy greens, but when I asked the woman working there if I could make a salad with them, she insisted that all these green things must be cooked. The woman did not speak good English, and I repeated my question in different ways before I was certain in what she was saying. This was a bit strange because the greens looked similar to common salad greens.

The store had many fascinating items. I ended up purchasing a few things that I could recognize, such as green tea, and something I have not seen before: a Dragon Fruit. The woman told me that, unlike the greens, I should just peel and eat it. I tried the Dragon Fruit today; it's delicious!

Now I am curious what other treasures hide in Asian food stores. My general approach to food is:
- as natural as possible ("single ingredient")
- minimum cooking (favoring salads with a rainbow of vegetables)
- health benefits.

In the Vietnamese store I've seen some dry mushrooms, dry fungi, and other interesting things that probably have some healthy properties. But I have no idea what they may be and how to get them.

Thus, I am curious: What are you buying in Asian food stores? Are there things that you eat raw or with minimum preparation?

(I am not interested in complex recipes, and I don't buy cookbooks. But other readers may benefit from more sophisticated recommendations.)

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

angelescrest
Posts: 947
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: The Third Coast

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by angelescrest » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:46 pm

Oh my, where do I start? Unfortunately I don’t live by a large one like I used to. Where are you located? If you are in an urban area, look for a large Korean run grocery store like Super H or HK market if you’re on the coasts, or even Chicago and Denver. Definitely buy lots of produce and fruit, as it’s often cheaper than what you can find in a regular grocery store. Japanese markets with products from Japan will cost considerably more, so while I love those markets, it’s not the cheapest,

Items that are great to eat in so many ways:
Asian pears (worth the price)
Mung bean sprouts (can out in salads, too, it’s light and crisp)
Bok choy - try grilling or searing it and it’s amazing
Asian egg plant (much tastier than the huge ones you find in regular stores). Sauté this, it is mind blowing good.
Soba noodles (look for high concentration buckwheat as it’s very healthy. You can cook and eat and make soba noodle salads with it. Try green tea soba noodles, with broccoli florets and sesame seeds.
Sesame oil
Rice crackers
Tofu - will taste much better than the stuff you get in regular stores, and will be a third of the price. I eat it raw, I cook it in soups and stews, I substitute for ricotta in lasagna, I marinate it and bbq it, put it in banh mi sandwiches....on and on
Most leafy vegetables in Asia are cooked in a variety of ways, as East Asians for example don’t really eat raw salads in the way you see westerners do. But you can eat them in salads, and while it’s really healthy, leaves will be chewier. It really depends, there are so many kinds.
Oh, and get good yellow miso paste. There’s a lot you can do with that.

Ruger
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:44 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by Ruger » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:58 pm

A salad dressing called Feast from the East. I haven't been able to find it anywhere else.

TravelforFun
Posts: 1556
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by TravelforFun » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:04 pm

I buy all ingredients to make pho and spring rolls with. Of course, fish sauce is a key ingredient.

AlohaJoe
Posts: 3945
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 2:00 pm
Location: Saigon, Vietnam

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by AlohaJoe » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:10 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:27 pm
But before that, I explored a Vietnamese supermarket. They had bunches of many different leafy greens, but when I asked the woman working there if I could make a salad with them, she insisted that all these green things must be cooked.
(I live in Vietnam.)

I can't think of any common greens here that have to be cooked. Though, obviously, without knowing exactly which ones she was talking about it is hard for me to be certain.

The easiest recommendations are the large numbers of Asian fruits that rarely/never make appearances in US supermarkets. Durian, rambutan, mangosteen, jackfruit, longan, sapodilla, and so on. Durian is an "acquired taste" and one of my friends inexplicably hates jackfruit but all of the others are at least okay and worth trying.

There are a large number of sauces & pastes that can be easily applied to any kind of cooking. Think soy sauce but a world of variety. Nam pla (from Thailand) is probably the best known but there are many others. You could try "mam tom" (shrimp paste), which is usually mixed with a bit of sugar and citrus juice to suit one's personal preference.

For greens...bitter melon, morning glory, celtuce, "Chinese kale"

For herbs...Vietnamese mint, Vietnamese basil, Fish herb (it tastes like a fish, some people hate it), betel leaves, banana flower, Vietnamese perilla.

PoppyA
Posts: 428
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:24 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by PoppyA » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:18 pm

Mapo - Fermented bean curd in spicy red pepper sauce!

Love to put it on toast! Sometimes I eat it straight out of the jar. It can be incorporated into recipes, rice, etc.

We also buy white flower oil. It is not to eat. It is for sore muscles.
“Your labor income makes you rich, not your investments.”

InMyDreams
Posts: 418
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:35 am

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by InMyDreams » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:27 pm

Lingham's Hot Sauce for stir fry.
http://www.lingham.com/

Similar to other chili sauces - but not the same.

angelescrest
Posts: 947
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: The Third Coast

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by angelescrest » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:35 pm

PoppyA wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:18 pm
Mapo - Fermented bean curd in spicy red pepper sauce!

Love to put it on toast! Sometimes I eat it straight out of the jar. It can be incorporated into recipes, rice, etc.

We also buy white flower oil. It is not to eat. It is for sore muscles.
Mapo on toast? Oh my...more power to you but I do not recommend this for VictoriaF.

malabargold
Posts: 499
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:16 am

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by malabargold » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:42 pm

Duck is much better price, and can buy fresh rather than frozen

DTSC
Posts: 1180
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:47 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by DTSC » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:42 pm

Being Asian American, I just buy "food".

Live lobsters at $5.99 per pound at H-mart, when they are on sale.

alinna
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by alinna » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:44 pm

Green salads aren't overly common in many Asian cuisines, and a lot of leafy greens sold in those supermarkets are bitter if not cooked, so that's my guess for why she insisted that they had to be cooked.

I typically buy Chinese eggplant, assorted Chinese greens and mushrooms, thinly sliced beef and lamb, fresh (still swimming) fish and crab, sauces and marinades, entire cases of fresh mango and other tropical fruits when in season, and traditional foods such as mooncakes, new year cake, turnip cake, etc. during the appropriate time. I like going to the Chinese supermarket because their produce prices are much lower with a better variety. However, in my experience, it's not the place to go for perfect looking items.

vveat
Posts: 276
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:24 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by vveat » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:54 pm

We get meat types and cuts that are difficult to find in the chain supermarkets - rabbit, duck, goat, etc. The fish department has a lot of diverse choices too. From the produce a variety of mushrooms, and the Chinese cabbage. Kimchi is also a favorite.

I rarely buy from the inside aisles, since I am not sure of the quality of ingredients. (interestingly I am much less cautious in Russian or Polish markets, where nostalgia overrides my better judgement)

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 5500
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:12 pm

DTSC wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:42 pm
Being Asian American, I just buy "food".

Live lobsters at $5.99 per pound at H-mart, when they are on sale.
+1
Moving from Hawaii (hcol) to Northern AZ (lcol) has been a cultural food shock.'
In Hawaii it's just "food". In the mainland, I have to look for it.

Moolala
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri May 27, 2016 11:25 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by Moolala » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:13 pm

Natto is delicious! I think that is an excellent choice.

One of my first jobs was as a cook at a Japanese restaurant, and I learned so many easy recipes there. Here are a few of my favorite ingredients:
  • As angelescrest mentioned, bok choy is a wonderful leafy green - easy to saute or stir fry, and a delicious addition to soups. It's also hearty and healthy.
  • While not as healthy, I also buy furikake (especially the kind with bonito flakes). It's a pretty processed rice seasoning, but adds a lot of flavor to one of my favorite quick meals - rice with tuna and sliced avocado on top.
  • Toasted sesame seeds are also a delicious (and more natural) flavoring for rice and other dishes. I've always thought they are just more flavorful and aesthetically pleasing when browned. It's very easy to toast them on your own in a warm skillet with a tiny bit of oil.
  • Genmaicha is a delicious green tea if you like toasty, nutty flavors. It sources its flavor from toasted brown rice!
  • And - there are all kinds of good seaweeds to eat with rice and fish or add to soups. Wakame is the best for soups (such as miso, which is actually very easy to make from scratch) and there are many dried varieties, often salted, that can be used to scoop up rice. They'll be packaged to show their utility. :happy
  • You might also enjoy trying lychee. Like dragon fruit, lychee berries are tasty and lots of fun!
My four kitchen staples are sesame oil, low sodium soy sauce, sake, and chicken broth. The latter three can be cooked together to create a delicious broth that adds extra flavor to stir fried dishes. I don't like adding sugar to foods that aren't dessert, and many store-bought Asian sauces (like teriyaki sauce) are very sweet. I've found that relying on that chicken broth with splashes of sake and soy sauce (added to taste) creates a satisfying and healthier solution. :beer

And come to think of it - I can't think of any greens I haven't tried raw. Except, perhaps, for green onions. I've definitely munched on bok choy while cooking at home. It might not be classic salad material, but I don't see why it wouldn't work!

User avatar
heartwood
Posts: 1285
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by heartwood » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:17 pm

gochujang sauce. I like the made in Korea versions more than US produced.

itstoomuch
Posts: 5343
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:17 pm
Location: midValley OR

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by itstoomuch » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:25 pm

Ramen noodles :D
Many asian vegetables are belong to the cruciferous (Brassicacaea) family (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruciferous_vegetables). When eaten raw human digestion converts the indigestible plant sugars and sulfur into HSulfides, H2 and CO2. You can mitigate being unwelcomed, by eating raw broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, turnips with miso, unpasteurized brewed soy sauce, or the concentrated magic pill -Beano.

As for Asian Pears (we once had a 1000 trees) have a different plant sugar in the form of Sorbitol and others, which does not oxidize well but is good food for certain gut bacteria that causes CO2 and purging of the gut. Asian pears and pears in general do not ferment but bacterial rot which is why you don't see pear wine.

When we are in a major city we will stock up on meats and vegetables because the pricing is so much better than in Safeway/Costco/etc.

In our house, we welcome socially accepted foods :mrgreen: :sharebeer
YGutMV :?
Rev012718; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax TBT%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 5500
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii😀 Northern AZ.😳 Retired.

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:32 pm

heartwood wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:17 pm
gochujang sauce. I like the made in Korea versions more than US produced.
Love your avatar pic of "chinaman's hat" off the Island of Oahu, just past Kahaluu.

Homemade "kimchee" is also great.
j :D

knick17
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:39 am

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by knick17 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:51 pm

Wow! I didn't know I would found someone else who go look for natto! lol

I trend to eat vegetarian on and off during the year so asian stores have a lot of variety of food I like, such as different types of tofu or kimchi!

I lik to buy soba or udon as well for when i make veg broth.

itstoomuch
Posts: 5343
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:17 pm
Location: midValley OR

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by itstoomuch » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:08 pm

Just for😀,
The Brassicacaea family has a James Bond connection. Do you know what it ? :annoyed :confused 8-)
YMMV😎
Rev012718; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax TBT%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

User avatar
htdrag11
Posts: 1116
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:22 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by htdrag11 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:28 pm

Dragon fruits come in white or red inside; the latter is more expensive. I do not usually find them sweet here.

The other fruits I enjoyed besides Durian (it smells as good as cheese or as bad, depending on your taste) and longan, are lychees, Asian plums (red, green and black), Korean brown pears (the huge ones that one can pick in the Hamilton area of NJ) imported from Korea (about $2.50 each), tiny yellow mangoes (with flat seeds, come in May? for a very short growth season), Japanese strawberries (the smell/fragrance would know you over, so is the price), Japanese yellow pears, hemi (looks like an oval cantaloupe with smooth skin but crunchy like honeydew), etc.

Enjoy.

BTW, I never like salads, as much as I like bean sprouts by themselves (only if cooked).

barnaclebob
Posts: 3082
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:54 am

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by barnaclebob » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:36 pm

The normal produce in the H marts around here is extermely cheap relative to normal grocery stores. 69 cents per pound for fuji apples vs double or tripe that of our normal grocery store. The asian grocery store has some fish that isn't available elswhere. They also had a massive lobster but when I went back to buy it for my wife's birthday it was gone :(

angelescrest
Posts: 947
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:48 am
Location: The Third Coast

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by angelescrest » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:59 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:36 pm
They also had a massive lobster but when I went back to buy it for my wife's birthday it was gone :(
ROFL

letsgobobby
Posts: 11699
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:10 am

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:06 pm

DTSC wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:42 pm
Being Asian American, I just buy "food".

Live lobsters at $5.99 per pound at H-mart, when they are on sale.
exactly, it's hard to narrow it down much more than that. just recently, moon cakes.

PaulBeigh
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:37 am

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by PaulBeigh » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:11 pm

I live in China, so here are 2 very easy recipes for the "leafy greens" that you found:

1) Quick boiled (more common in South China):

Fill a wok or other large pan with water, and let the water boil. Keep the fire on high, and add the greens. As soon as the water starts boiling again, remove the greens, and drain off the water. Put the greens on a plate, and brush the topic with olive oil and light soy sauce.

2) Fried with garlic (more common in North China):

Add a lot of oil to a work (about twice as much as you expect). Heat until it starts smoking. Add the greens (cut into pieces), and some sliced spring onion / scallion. Stir fry until cooked. Just before finished, add chopped garlic, salt and (optional) a small amount of chicken stock powder / bouillon.

hmw
Posts: 569
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:44 am

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by hmw » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:19 pm

We don't have a large Asian population here so the the Asian store selection is pretty small.

We buy basic stuff like soy sauce, fish sauce, Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine, bok choy etc. My wife likes chips and Asian store has some special flavors that is not available at regular grocery stores.

TheNightsToCome
Posts: 356
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:48 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by TheNightsToCome » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:08 am

Korean pears

kimchi

We buy many things, but Korean pears and kimchi are tasty and easy.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18634
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:31 am

Thank you, all, for excellent suggestions! And thank you for mentioning H Mart. It turns out that we have several of them in this area, http://nj.hmart.com/weekly-sales-and-ev ... -virginia/ .

The large store where I found natto is Good Fortune Supermarket in the Eden Center, Seven Corners, Virginia, https://edencenter.com/portfolio/good-f ... permarket/ .

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

metacritic
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:58 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by metacritic » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:14 am

I buy everything from kids snacks — nori — to greens (and Vietnamese food tends to use lots of raw herbs and greens), to green papaya, to kaya. H-mart is great though the ones near me are more limited in southeast Asian staples (they never have holy basil or Vietnamese herbs, for example, and I always have to hope they have in stock fresh tumeric and galangal). Even for Korean ingredients such as kimchi and guchujang I tend to go to a place that flies in handmade versions from Korea. Pricey but nothing like the mass produced versions.

Cunobelinus
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:31 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by Cunobelinus » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:40 am

For a time, I'd just buy some food* that I knew at a farmer's market or Chinatown, then 2-3 things that I didn't know, taking a picture of it with the placard/name so that I'd know what it was later. Fruits and veggies have multiple names, depending on which country of origin you're buying them from.

I like forcing myself to try new things this way though. Sometimes I'd be a little hesitant and look up the fruits/veggies to make sure they didn't need to be cooked (kalo/taro needs to be cooked) but by and large, most things could be eaten as is.

Typically, you can find non-Cavendish bananas. Once I realized there are hundreds of types of bananas, I haven't really gone back to the standard Cavendish banana.

*food is single ingredient in these cases.

There are some wonderful desserts to be had as well. Sometimes it's best to taste them, then find out the ingredients =)

cheesepep
Posts: 787
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:58 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by cheesepep » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:00 am

Me? I practically buy 100% of my groceries from such places. From meat to veggies to seasonings, I buy them all.

41Fin
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:01 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by 41Fin » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:09 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:31 am
Thank you, all, for excellent suggestions! And thank you for mentioning H Mart. It turns out that we have several of them in this area, http://nj.hmart.com/weekly-sales-and-ev ... -virginia/ .

The large store where I found natto is Good Fortune Supermarket in the Eden Center, Seven Corners, Virginia, https://edencenter.com/portfolio/good-f ... permarket/ .

Victoria
H Mart in Falls Church can be a mad house if you don’t get there early.

I love getting the snacks from Asian grocery stores. I have to get a box of these things called hello Panda atleast once a month

User avatar
happymob
Posts: 555
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:09 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by happymob » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:35 am

Vegetables I can't get in standard grocery stores around here (bok choy, garlic greens, etc)
Vegetables that are significantly cheaper (shallots)

Locally-made tofu
Fresh (non-dried) Asian noodles
Dried Asian noodles
Rice

Pork bellies
Frozen ducks (head off, I'm not that bold)

Gochujang paste (we go through a lot of this)
Chili garlic paste
Korean BBQ sauces
Canned curry pastes

User avatar
Fudgie
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2015 12:01 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by Fudgie » Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:53 am

:oops:
Last edited by Fudgie on Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

mouses
Posts: 3856
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by mouses » Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:30 am

AlohaJoe wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:10 pm
For herbs...betel leaves.
I had a flashback to "South Pacific." There is some question about whether betel is harmful. Also it apparently stains the heck out of teeth.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/04/world/asi ... index.html

The Wizard
Posts: 12456
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:01 am

I also go to H-mart, in Burlington, MA, every month or so. It's an incredibly boggling place to shop if you're just barely into Oriental cooking, as I am.
My regular purchases would be rice, sesame oils, various frozen dumplings, kim chi, and usually some fresh produce to experiment with.
Their rice section alone is incredible, with multiple pallets of different varieties. I just bought a 25 lb bag of jasmine rice from Thailand which I quite enjoy...
Attempted new signature...

User avatar
WiscoTrout
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by WiscoTrout » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:32 am

Red Boat Fish Sauce. All the others in traditional grocery stores have iffy ingredient labels. Also, good quality curry pastes.

TheHouse7
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:40 am
Location: Washington State

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by TheHouse7 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:15 am

Tamarind paste is the best for copying Pad Thai

It is a gummy substance that is cut in to cook down with your sauce.

16oz for $3.99(DW uses 3/4 Tbls)
"PSX will always go up 20%, why invest in anything else?!" -Father-in-law early retired.

michaeljc70
Posts: 3926
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:17 am

I live in Chicago and there are a lot of Asian markets. Some are general, and some cater to specific ethnicities more (Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc). Many of the things I buy there you can sometimes find in larger grocery stores in the international aisle, but you have fewer choices and the prices tend to be higher.

Things I buy:
Togarashi pepper
Gochujang chile paste
Galangal
Enoki mushrooms
Octopus
Ginger
Dashi
Lemongrass
Cilantro
Ginger
Hoisin
Rice noodles
Rice vinegar
Fish sauce
Udon noodles
Tofu
Black bean paste

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18634
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:47 am

alinna wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:44 pm
I typically buy Chinese eggplant, assorted Chinese greens and mushrooms
vveat wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:54 pm
From the produce a variety of mushrooms...

(interestingly I am much less cautious in Russian or Polish markets, where nostalgia overrides my better judgement)
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:17 am
I live in Chicago and there are a lot of Asian markets.

Things I buy:
...
Enoki mushrooms
Thank you for mentioning mushrooms. Having grown up in the Soviet Union, I like mushrooms very much but have no idea how to choose exotic mushrooms for their nutritional value and how to prepare them in the simplest ways.

Do you have any tips for me? And while we are at it, do you also buy fungi? If you do, what do you do with them?

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

Kababayan
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:09 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by Kababayan » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:54 am

My wife buys shrimp paste to put on un-ripened mangos. Apparently it's a common street food in the Phillipines. Of course, we have to buy Mang Tomas (spelling?) and Halo Halo.

michaeljc70
Posts: 3926
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:17 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:47 am
alinna wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:44 pm
I typically buy Chinese eggplant, assorted Chinese greens and mushrooms
vveat wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:54 pm
From the produce a variety of mushrooms...

(interestingly I am much less cautious in Russian or Polish markets, where nostalgia overrides my better judgement)
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:17 am
I live in Chicago and there are a lot of Asian markets.

Things I buy:
...
Enoki mushrooms
Thank you for mentioning mushrooms. Having grown up in the Soviet Union, I like mushrooms very much but have no idea how to choose exotic mushrooms for their nutritional value and how to prepare them in the simplest ways.

Do you have any tips for me? And while we are at it, do you also buy fungi? If you do, what do you do with them?

Victoria
I'm no expert at mushrooms, but I know the Enoki are very common in Asian cooking. I like them because they cook very quickly (they can be eaten raw) in stir fries or soups and don't need to be sliced like most mushrooms. They are also 69 cents for a bunch at my local Asian store and seem to keep for a while and look exotic.

jbuzolich
Posts: 292
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:52 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by jbuzolich » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:17 am

Most Asian markets near me are actually Southeast asian only. I buy fish sauce, real Sriracha, rice paper wrappers, rice sticks or noodles, and glutinous rice for Thai sticky rice. Now I'm hungry.

User avatar
wander
Posts: 2586
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:10 am

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by wander » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:24 am

Fish source, soy source, vegetables, fruits, fish and let them clean & cut, ingredients, Asian coffee, ...

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18634
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:28 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:17 am
I'm no expert at mushrooms, but I know the Enoki are very common in Asian cooking. I like them because they cook very quickly (they can be eaten raw) in stir fries or soups and don't need to be sliced like most mushrooms. They are also 69 cents for a bunch at my local Asian store and seem to keep for a while and look exotic.
Thank you, Michael,

I like the combination of quick/no cooking, price, and exotica. On my next trip to an Asian food store I will be hunting Enokis.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

itstoomuch
Posts: 5343
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:17 pm
Location: midValley OR

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by itstoomuch » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:32 am

Victoria,
Does it really matter on what and how you prepare the food. It is food. and If you dont like the preparation, prep another way the next time.
never, turn down a hamburger, no matter how it looks or smells. :sharebeer
Rev012718; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax TBT%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 18634
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:39 am

itstoomuch wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:32 am
Victoria,
Does it really matter on what and how you prepare the food. It is food. and If you dont like the preparation, prep another way the next time.
This is true, itstoomuch.

The reason for my questions is that the Asian cuisine seems too complex for my preferences. And people, like the woman in the Vietnamese store I mentioned in the OP, emphasize the need for elaborate preparation, sophisticated sauces, and other work. I am looking for 80/20 solutions: maximum nutrition with minimum effort. I have created an optimum diet using groceries from Costco, Whole Foods, Mom's, and a local Safeway. But recent visits to Asian food stores have opened new opportunities, which I'd like to explore on my own terms.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

User avatar
bettykayWAAZ
Posts: 136
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:26 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by bettykayWAAZ » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:43 pm

I've tried making baba ganoush -- which means roasting the eggplant (which is some work). This summer in Washington I discovered roasted eggplant in a jar at an Asian Market. We ate a lot of baba ganoush. I haven't started looking for it in Arizona.

I saw jackfruit in the same Asian market. It is bigger than two watermelons. And, I've heard, has many uses. Trader Joe's was giving out samples of jackfruit in BBQ sauce. It looked like pulled pork and tasted great (put the two ingredients in a crock pot, smash before serving). TJs sells it in a can with a green label. I've taken it to 2 potlucks and it disappeared. I think jackfruit might be like tofu -- it tastes like whatever sauce you put on it.

Thanks for this thread. I'm going to start exploring jackfruit and asian markets.

The Wizard
Posts: 12456
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:45 pm
Location: Reading, MA

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:50 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:39 am
itstoomuch wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:32 am
Victoria,
Does it really matter on what and how you prepare the food. It is food. and If you dont like the preparation, prep another way the next time.
This is true, itstoomuch.

The reason for my questions is that the Asian cuisine seems too complex for my preferences. And people, like the woman in the Vietnamese store I mentioned in the OP, emphasize the need for elaborate preparation, sophisticated sauces, and other work. I am looking for 80/20 solutions: maximum nutrition with minimum effort...
I tend to agree on keeping things simple and somewhat intuitive in Oriental cooking.
My staples are simply sesame oil (both plain and spicy), chili garlic sauce, and the Chinese holy trinity: ginger, garlic, and scallions.
The main course items are in addition to the above, of course.

I have other spices and sauces around but I can't say that I have a good gut feeling for what they do for me. When should oyster sauce or five-spice powder be used, for instance?
Attempted new signature...

alinna
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by alinna » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:57 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:50 pm
I have other spices and sauces around but I can't say that I have a good gut feeling for what they do for me. When should oyster sauce or five-spice powder be used, for instance?
Oyster sauce is often used with stir fry, and can also be used as a condiment for sauteed vegetables. Five-spice powder is normally used for meats and marinades. For example, when I make roast duck, I rub five-spice powder all over the duck and also inside the duck. It's also used for chicken and pork. I don't think it's used much for beef.

itstoomuch
Posts: 5343
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:17 pm
Location: midValley OR

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Post by itstoomuch » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:16 pm

I take the measure of people on their willingness to try new foods (things) and in new combinations-permutations. Especially when it comes to Investing. :oops:
YMMV 8-)
Rev012718; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax TBT%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

Post Reply