Our spoils from the Asian supermarket

I’ve mentioned before that I’m quite familiar with most of the ethnic cuisine aisles at my local shop (with the exception of the American food aisle). I’m often at the Asian food aisle, buying soy sauce, oyster sauce, basmati rice, or pastes for red and green thai curry. However, up until this week I had never visited an Asian supermarket. I’ve been really wanting to go for a very long time because I kept reading about how much cheaper they are and of course, I was longing to discover new and exotic foods.

So on a boring Tuesday evening, The Boy and I made an excursion to our nearest Asian food store. I think it was even better than I expected. There were rows and rows of colourful jars and packs, many with no proper english labelling. This meant there was a lot of speculation on what things could be, trying to figure it out from the pictures or the adorably funny mis-translated labels. I loved seeing all the different kinds of noodles and rice, so much more variety than at the supermarket. And then there were all the sauces and spices. And the Japanese sweets. It really was fascinating! I can’t wait to go back for more discoveries.

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We ended up getting a few pantry staples.

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We bought a big bag of fragrant rice, which I’m assuming is similar to basmati rice. Then we got some noodles; I really couldn’t pick out of all the different varieties so I randomly got these vermicelli ones. Doesn’t the meal pictured on the pack look delicious? And then, one of our most exciting purchases, panko breadcrumbs. This is something that I’ve wanted to try for a long time; I keep seeing them used in recipes and people rave about them but I have never cooked with them before. So exciting.

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Then we got water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and a bag of baby pak choy. I like that pak choy grows so well in England; it means you can buy it locally grown around the year. These items will all go in a stir-fry with some prawns we have in the freezer.

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I was really excited to see Siracha Chili Sauce because I could never find it anywhere and some of my favourite food bloggers love and use it all the time. And when The Pioneer Woman says something is delicious, it is delicious. We also bought a bottle of Suki Yaki sauce. We have no idea what this tastes like but it very possibly will go in the aforementioned stir-fry. Finally, my impulse purchase right before reaching the till: a pack of instant teriyaki noodles. You know how in films, college students are supposed to have no money and one of there staple meals is noodles? Well I never had that. I was an undergraduate in Greece and the cheap student food there is gyro or souvlaki, which is delicious and possibly healthier considering all the E-numbers in the instant noodles. But, I just really wanted to try it just one time, and for £0.80 it is definitely the cheapest lunch I ever packed.

And that’s it. There were so many other things I would have liked to buy and we really should have bought that box of wasabi peanuts. But it’s ok, I’m already planning our next visit to the Asian supermarket.

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14 thoughts on “Our spoils from the Asian supermarket

  1. Beth F says:

    Good job! Looks like you got a lot of great ingredients to play with. And yes, back when I was in college it was ramen noodles cooked in a hot pot in your dorm room. I think you could buy six packs for under a dollar.

  2. April @ The Steadfast Reader says:

    Love shopping at Asian markets, I don’t get out there enough. Though, I did break down and buy the 20 lb bag of Jasmine rice this week at the supermarket – I’ve come to accept that we really do eat that much rice. 🙂

  3. olduvai says:

    Oh panko is fantastic. I’m not sure why it’s so good but it really really is!

    By the way, I think the fragrant rice might be jasmine rice, as Chinese don’t traditionally eat basmati rice.

  4. Carole says:

    You have inspired me to have another excursion to an Asian supermarket – we have quite a lot of them because of a large Chinese population in Auckland Cheers from Carole’s Chatter

  5. joyweesemoll says:

    Looks like a great haul from the Asian market. It’s been a while since I’ve been to one. You’re inspiring!

  6. Trish says:

    I really enjoy Asian food but I’m too intimidated to cook it (and my daughter doesn’t do spicy yet so we usually just stick to fried rice). There is an Asian market in the neighboring town but I’ve never been in it. Again, pretty intimidated!

  7. Lucybird says:

    We sometimes go to the Chinese supermarket here in Birmingham, it is a bit confusing but great, and so much cheaper! Next time see if you can get some Pokey, it’s awesome.

  8. aartichapati says:

    Oh, Sriracha! Once you try it, you’ll never go back! Though if you can find some Sambal Oelek – that stuff is absolutely fantastic and, in my opinion, superior in spice leve to Sriracha.

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