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Asian Grocery "Staples" Rec?

Asian Grocery "Staples" Rec?
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  • Asian Grocery "Staples" Rec?

    Post #1 - February 10th, 2008, 9:20 am
    Post #1 - February 10th, 2008, 9:20 am Post #1 - February 10th, 2008, 9:20 am
    Hi -

    My pantry is down to bare minimums in the way of Asian supplies. I'm going to that grocery store on Broadway Just N of Lawrence in the NE corner of the little strip mall on the E side of Broadway later today. I like their prices, and it's usually where I go to stock up on the essentials. What I'm looking for is a new item to try. Probably a jarred sauce to add to my arsenal. They have a decent selection of the little jars of sauces ( you know, like Lee Kum Kee - but many other brands too,) and the prices are very good as far as I know compared to the bigger Asian mkts I've been to. The last time I went to the International Food Club place on Pulaski and I-55 (which is now closed :-( ) a lady recommended a jar of "Holy Basil Sauce" which is now a new staple for me. Looking for something else like this. My list so far:

    Maesri or other brand curry pastes.
    5 x green
    5 x red
    3 x panang
    15 cans of coconut milk
    Chili Garlic sauce:
    2 x the smallish jar with the green top. (probably 8 oz.)
    2 x jar of holy Basil Sauce (same size as above)
    Jar of fermented black bean paste
    Oyster sauce (they usually have an 8 oz bottle on sale for < 1.00)
    Small 5oz btl of reg toasted sesame oil, and one btl of it with hot chile.
    Btl of Kikkoman lite
    All kinds of rice noodles (especially flakes)
    Refrigerated chow fun noodle sheets
    Nice big bag of nishiki or something similar if it's on sale
    ===
    I make a lot of stir fries, coconut milk curries, chow fun/lo mein, and Indian foods at home. This stuff will last about three months. Can anyone throw me something new I should try? Maybe a new jar/can sauce that I don't have on my list that you use regularly? Always looking for something new, and that holy basil sauce was a revelation. Looking for another one. I'm guessing someone - probably even several folks here, will rock my world with something I should have been buying for years now.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #2 - February 10th, 2008, 9:40 am
    Post #2 - February 10th, 2008, 9:40 am Post #2 - February 10th, 2008, 9:40 am
    I'm surprised you don't have:

    1 plastic sqeeze bottle of Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce
    Image

    1 plastic sqeeze bottle of Sriracha
    Image

    1 plastic sqeeze bottle of QP mayo
    Image

    1 bottle of Premium Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce (cheapest around $3.29/bottle) - Accept no substitutions - definitely not Panda brand
    Image
    Lobo Satay Seasoning
    Image

    1 bottle Lee Kum Kee Sa Cha Sauce
    Image

    Some bottle of fish sauce
    Image

    Some type of bottled bulgogi marinade
    Image
  • Post #3 - February 10th, 2008, 9:45 am
    Post #3 - February 10th, 2008, 9:45 am Post #3 - February 10th, 2008, 9:45 am
    HI,

    There are a few things to consider:

    - Fish sauce (I think people favor the 3 squids): Essential in many Thai curries. Don't be put off by the name or give it a deep sniff the first time, just throw it in your preparation to work its magic.
    - Kim Chee - Korean fermented cabbage. Buy a small jar to see if you like it. I am capsaicin-adverse, if you are potentially the same, then you will likely not like it. It can be eated as-is or make a soup from it. There is a recipe in the index I am fairly certain.
    - Rice wine - used in many Chinese preparations. I will also use it as a wine in general non-Asian cooking.
    - Rice vinegar - a low acid vinegar that comes in handy in more conventional recipes. Last summer I made coleslaw that was close in seasoning and missing a special umph. A few generous shots of rice vinegar did it. It is not as sharp as regular vinegar.
    - Mama Sita has all these packages for soups and marinades. My friend Helen influenced me to buy the Tamarind soup mixture. This can be a quickly made soup if you go the fish or shrimp route or long cooking if you do pork. You also add Daikon and at the last minute either fresh spinach or mustard greens. It is a pleasantly sour soup with the base in this Tamarind soup mix costing less than $1.
    - Mama Sita also has a mix to marinade pork chops or mix into pork meat to make the Filipino breakfast sausage: longaniza. This is a sweet sausage. Helen told me her first encounter with sage flavored American breakfast sausage just about caused her to gag. It was the surprise. This will be a surprise, but maybe you like it. These can also be bought frozen.
    - Frozen banana leaves - it sure is cold enough outside to transport it. You can made South American tamales in them. You can wrap fish in the leaves, then grill it. You can wrap rice inside, which the banana leaves impart a nice flavor.

    At the checkout counter at most of the Asian stores, especially in warmer weather, they have these frozen coconut juices for around 99 cents. Erik M clued me in on their purpose: they are used to keep the food cold until you get home. You are then rewarded with a drink later with relatively large swaths of coconut meat.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - February 10th, 2008, 9:48 am
    Post #4 - February 10th, 2008, 9:48 am Post #4 - February 10th, 2008, 9:48 am
    Jay,

    If he is getting the bulgogi sauce, then maybe he should get the fermented soy bean paste to add to the lettuce wrap? Unfortunately I cannot recall the name, because I simply go by visual recognition of a recommended green plastic container. Maybe you can give him more precise details?

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - February 10th, 2008, 9:48 am
    Post #5 - February 10th, 2008, 9:48 am Post #5 - February 10th, 2008, 9:48 am
    In the freezer section at H-Mart, I found SA OT BAM, or Frozen Chopped Lemon Grass with Chili from Vietnam. This is an easy way to add lemon grass flavor and a bit of heat. I have used it in chicken soup and in marinades, but I'm sure it has some traditional applications that others on the board might be able to bring to light.
    Last edited by Josephine on February 10th, 2008, 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #6 - February 10th, 2008, 9:50 am
    Post #6 - February 10th, 2008, 9:50 am Post #6 - February 10th, 2008, 9:50 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Jay,

    If he is getting the bulgogi sauce, then maybe he should get the fermented soy bean paste to add to the lettuce wrap? Unfortunately I cannot recall the name, because I simply go by visual recognition of a recommended green plastic container. Maybe you can give him more precise details?

    Thanks!

    Regards,


    Ssam Jang - I originally couldn't find a picture online. :D

    Might as well get some gochujang (red) too:
    Image

    Ssam jang's in the green and Doenjang in the brown I believe.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gochu_jang
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doenjang

    Heck, get some gochugaru too (crushed pepper flakes) and use 'em in these nifty recipes courtesy of H-mart
    http://www.hmart.com/lifestyle/lifestyl ... p?loc=shin
  • Post #7 - February 10th, 2008, 10:29 am
    Post #7 - February 10th, 2008, 10:29 am Post #7 - February 10th, 2008, 10:29 am
    No dried stuff? I have a whole cabinet of cannisters, many of them asian ingredients:
    Several kinds of mushrooms
    Lily buds
    Fermented Black Beans
    Cashews, Walnuts, Pine Nuts, Peanuts
    Chiles

    The freezer is also your friend:
    Dumpling wrappers (round and square)
    Keffir Lime Leaves
    Curry Leaves
    Fresh chiles

    And what about the canned veggies:
    Baby Corn
    Straw Mushrooms
    Bamboo Shoot
    Water Chestnut
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #8 - February 10th, 2008, 2:20 pm
    Post #8 - February 10th, 2008, 2:20 pm Post #8 - February 10th, 2008, 2:20 pm
    Keffir, curry leafs are all covered and already in the freezer. Lol - just used some C leaf to make an aloo gobi, and a chicken masala for tonight!

    I actually just used the last of my 10oz btl of Lee Kum Kee Oyster flavored sauce last night. It's not the same looking btl, and probably a cheaper version. Hard to spend 3.29 when there are others for < 1.00. MIGHT try the pricey stuff tho. Thanks

    Fish sauce, rice vinegar, rice wine are already present and accounted for.

    Hoisin would have been one of those things I would see on the shelf and go "oh yeah - need one of those."

    I'm not a big fan of sriracha. I use chili garlic sauces instead.
    Sa cha sounds interesting. What is it for, what is the flavor profile??
    Satay seasoning. I'll try it!!
    The kewpie mayo? Hellman's works fine for me.
    Tamarind soup mix will also be tried - thanks!
    Various jars of Kim Chee is something I usually try on a whim.
    As always, thanks for the replies!
    Last edited by seebee on February 10th, 2008, 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #9 - February 10th, 2008, 2:47 pm
    Post #9 - February 10th, 2008, 2:47 pm Post #9 - February 10th, 2008, 2:47 pm
    seebee wrote:Btl of Kikkoman lite
    You can surely do better in the soy sauce area. Try some dark mushroom soy.

    Pickled vegetables? There are scores of different kinds.
  • Post #10 - February 10th, 2008, 3:06 pm
    Post #10 - February 10th, 2008, 3:06 pm Post #10 - February 10th, 2008, 3:06 pm
    LAZ wrote:
    seebee wrote:Btl of Kikkoman lite
    You can surely do better in the soy sauce area. Try some dark mushroom soy.


    Laz - Thanks!!!
    Is there a common brand you'd recommend for this? I've never tried it. Does this work well with sushi as well? Or should I get a btl of reg soy or tamari for that?
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #11 - February 10th, 2008, 5:17 pm
    Post #11 - February 10th, 2008, 5:17 pm Post #11 - February 10th, 2008, 5:17 pm
    seebee wrote:The kewpie mayo? Hellman's works fine for me.


    You cannot serve or make certain Japanese entrees with Hellman's or American mayo - I have tried - it was a disaster.

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.ph ... ght=kewpie

    Although, I never thought I'd need or want it in my fridge, now it's become indispensable... particularly since we're so "jiadou" now (we like making spicy mayo dip for our seared ahi... so sue us...).

    Of course, not to suggest you need it in your fridge; I was just pointing out why it's an Asian "staple" in our household.

    Aside: Incidentally on sale for $2.99/bottle at H-mart this week.
  • Post #12 - February 10th, 2008, 5:31 pm
    Post #12 - February 10th, 2008, 5:31 pm Post #12 - February 10th, 2008, 5:31 pm
    seebee wrote:I'm not a big fan of sriracha. I use chili garlic sauces instead.
    Sa cha sounds interesting. What is it for, what is the flavor profile??


    Sriracha's more for making dips and seasoning prepared foods in my mind - I don't often "cook" with it.

    I have a bottle of sambal oelek which we use more for cooking, although it makes it's way into our hotpot dipping sauce and gyoza sauce as well.

    Sa cha can be used as a component of BBQ marinade, thrown into a stir-fry for meats or mixed into hotpot dipping sauces. Flavors are fairly pungent - a mix of ground fermented brill fish and shrimp, garlic, sesame seed, etc.
  • Post #13 - February 10th, 2008, 6:07 pm
    Post #13 - February 10th, 2008, 6:07 pm Post #13 - February 10th, 2008, 6:07 pm
    Jay K wrote:I'm surprised you don't have:

    1 plastic sqeeze bottle of Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce
    Image


    I much prefer Koon Chun to Lee Kum Kee, if you haven't tried it. Darker flavor, more body and not so cloying (though I realize that saying that about hoisin sauce is borderline humorous).
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #14 - February 10th, 2008, 7:43 pm
    Post #14 - February 10th, 2008, 7:43 pm Post #14 - February 10th, 2008, 7:43 pm
    Dmnkly wrote:I much prefer Koon Chun to Lee Kum Kee, if you haven't tried it. Darker flavor, more body and not so cloying (though I realize that saying that about hoisin sauce is borderline humorous).


    I grew up eating this one as well; Nice recommendation, Dom.


    Image
  • Post #15 - February 10th, 2008, 7:55 pm
    Post #15 - February 10th, 2008, 7:55 pm Post #15 - February 10th, 2008, 7:55 pm
    JoelF wrote:No dried stuff? I have a whole cabinet of cannisters, many of them asian ingredients:
    Several kinds of mushrooms
    Lily buds
    Fermented Black Beans
    Cashews, Walnuts, Pine Nuts, Peanuts
    Chiles


    Bag of tiny dried shrimp.

    Use them to make dried shrimp relish: Lightly cook fine sliced shallots, minced garlic, chili powder, minced ginger, tumeric, salt, fresh lemon and dried shrimp. Grind coursely in mini-food processor. Store in fridge in airtight jar. Use on top of roast chicken breast, etc.
  • Post #16 - February 11th, 2008, 9:14 am
    Post #16 - February 11th, 2008, 9:14 am Post #16 - February 11th, 2008, 9:14 am
    Jay K wrote:
    You cannot serve or make certain Japanese entrees with Hellman's or American mayo - I have tried - it was a disaster.

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.ph ... ght=kewpie

    Although, I never thought I'd need or want it in my fridge, now it's become indispensable... particularly since we're so "jiadou" now (we like making spicy mayo dip for our seared ahi... so sue us...).

    Of course, not to suggest you need it in your fridge; I was just pointing out why it's an Asian "staple" in our household.

    Aside: Incidentally on sale for $2.99/bottle at H-mart this week.


    I generally only use it (mayo for asian foods) when making spicy mayo sauce for maki (it's a guilty little pleasure of mine) I like the oil based version as well, but come on, mayo makes everything better! Maybe I really should try the kewpie brand for this.
    mayo
    Hot chili sesame oil
    Ichmi togarashi (chili pepper blended w/ other stuff / seasonings)
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #17 - February 11th, 2008, 10:05 am
    Post #17 - February 11th, 2008, 10:05 am Post #17 - February 11th, 2008, 10:05 am
    Dmnkly wrote:I much prefer Koon Chun to Lee Kum Kee, if you haven't tried it. Darker flavor, more body and not so cloying (though I realize that saying that about hoisin sauce is borderline humorous).


    I also prefer Koon Chun's line of soy sauces over all others. They have thin soy sauce and double dark soy sauce which is generally for seafood and meats, respectively. Pearl River Bridge is also excellent.

    Don't forget:
    Shaoxing Wine
    Chinkiang Vinegar
    Mirin
    If you can find Me Kwe Lu Chiew, get it. It's a rose scented cooking wine that can make for very interesting marinades. Gin is usually called for as a substitute.

    Tahini also has several uses in the Asian kitchen (salad dressings, sauces, etc.)

    For rice, look for Kagayaki New Crop. It's Japanese short grain rice and I can't imagine switching to a different brand.
  • Post #18 - February 11th, 2008, 10:18 am
    Post #18 - February 11th, 2008, 10:18 am Post #18 - February 11th, 2008, 10:18 am
    kanin wrote:
    Don't forget:
    Shaoxing Wine
    Chinkiang Vinegar
    Mirin
    If you can find Me Kwe Lu Chiew, get it. It's a rose scented cooking wine that can make for very interesting marinades. Gin is usually called for as a substitute.

    Tahini also has several uses in the Asian kitchen (salad dressings, sauces, etc.)

    For rice, look for Kagayaki New Crop. It's Japanese short grain rice and I can't imagine switching to a different brand.


    Thanks Kanin!
    I have a btl of Shaoxing, mirin, and tahini already. I'm not a rice expert, and have only bought Nishiki, Calrose, and Botan brands for short grain.
    Kagayaki is much better?
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #19 - February 11th, 2008, 10:41 am
    Post #19 - February 11th, 2008, 10:41 am Post #19 - February 11th, 2008, 10:41 am
    Rice is a matter of taste, of course, and I prefer mine with a slightly chewy texture instead of dry and flaky. I guess I want to be able to form balls that can hold its shape without being too sticky and gummy
    .
    Image
    I've seen it at Golden Pacific on Broadway if you want to try it. You'll probably need less water than the other brands you mentioned.

    I've also bought it at Mitsuwa a long while back and it seems like their version is imported from Japan since the bag is labeled slightly differently, but I'm not sure. The Kagayaki at Golden Pacific is from California.
  • Post #20 - February 23rd, 2008, 6:29 pm
    Post #20 - February 23rd, 2008, 6:29 pm Post #20 - February 23rd, 2008, 6:29 pm
    kanin wrote:Rice is a matter of taste, of course, and I prefer mine with a slightly chewy texture instead of dry and flaky. I guess I want to be able to form balls that can hold its shape without being too sticky and gummy
    .
    Image
    I've seen it at Golden Pacific on Broadway if you want to try it. You'll probably need less water than the other brands you mentioned.

    I've also bought it at Mitsuwa a long while back and it seems like their version is imported from Japan since the bag is labeled slightly differently, but I'm not sure. The Kagayaki at Golden Pacific is from California.
    Is this similar to the "sticky rice" served in Japanese restaurants?

    I was at Golden Pacific yesterday, and I only saw brown rice. Have you ever tried it?
  • Post #21 - February 24th, 2008, 8:06 am
    Post #21 - February 24th, 2008, 8:06 am Post #21 - February 24th, 2008, 8:06 am
    I am very happy to see this thread. Extremely useful info! Thanks!

    I would recommend adding a low sodium soy sauce to your repetoire. Yes, it does sound like one of those artificial western laboratory concoctions, like fat free sour cream. But I really find it essential when making certain dishes. I made short ribs with star anise and ginger last night and the half cup of regular soy sauce (plain old Kikkoman) reduced down to a syrup that was borderline too salty to eat. But the whole thing was so delicious that we scarfed them down anyway with a crispy noodle cake.

    Another recipe that I have written on in big red marker "LOW SODIUM SOY SAUCE!" is Yakitori (made with chicken thighs, to jump threads here). I think anything that concentrates the soy sauce needs to start with low sodium. What are your opinions on this?

    Can anyone tell me if "rice wine vinegar" is the same as "rice vinegar"? I'm betting that it is not the same. I have rice wine and rice vinegar. I have a sneaking suspicion that there is yet a third product called "rice wine vinegar". Please straighten me out, if you can. And if it is a different product, what would you substitute in a pinch? The rice wine or the vinegar?

    Finally, you know how you would never buy something called "cooking sherry" or "cooking wine" because it is an inferior product? Probably you would only buy a regular sherry that you could actually drink and use that for your cooking. Same with wine. Well, what about mirin? The mirin I have is Kikkoman again. Kikkoman Manjo Aji-Mirin sweet cooking rice wine. That word, "cooking", struck me the other day. Seems I should be buying mirin that is, like sherry, drinkable and not "salted and seasoned" like this product is, according to its label. Do you all agree and if so what brand do you use and where do you find it?

    Thanks to all posters. I love this forum!

    --Joy
  • Post #22 - February 24th, 2008, 10:25 am
    Post #22 - February 24th, 2008, 10:25 am Post #22 - February 24th, 2008, 10:25 am
    Joy wrote:Finally, you know how you would never buy something called "cooking sherry" or "cooking wine" because it is an inferior product? Probably you would only buy a regular sherry that you could actually drink and use that for your cooking. Same with wine. Well, what about mirin? The mirin I have is Kikkoman again. Kikkoman Manjo Aji-Mirin sweet cooking rice wine. That word, "cooking", struck me the other day. Seems I should be buying mirin that is, like sherry, drinkable and not "salted and seasoned" like this product is, according to its label.


    Drinking mirin would be akin to drinking hairspray cause you're an alcoholic and needed to get a fix. :wink:

    Okay, so I exaggerate, but nobody should drink mirin outside of the Edo period. It's strictly a cooking wine - nobody markets table mirin, so to speak, so there isn't a "drinkable" mirin. Your drink of choice in that area would be sake, which incidentally you could use to cook with as well. The flavors would not be the same as mirin has a higher sugar content, lower alcohol content and at times other seasonings as you've listed. If the recipe calls for mirin, one should use mirin. Substituting sake would not be "improving" the product.
  • Post #23 - February 24th, 2008, 12:36 pm
    Post #23 - February 24th, 2008, 12:36 pm Post #23 - February 24th, 2008, 12:36 pm
    Joy wrote:I am very happy to see this thread. Extremely useful info! Thanks!

    I would recommend adding a low sodium soy sauce to your repetoire.


    Hi Joy, I easily agree, and generally ONLY buy lower sodium soy sauce. The "Kikkoman "Lite" in my list is the lower sodium soy's bottle name. Kikkoman has a "Lower Sodium" with 37% less sodium than regular, and also a "Lite" with 50% less than regular. However, I also branched out, and purchased a Kimlan brand lower sodium, a regular Chinese "mushroom" soy(Props to Laz,) and my first bottle of a Ponzu. Prolly should have been buying ponzu forever, just never thought of it.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #24 - February 24th, 2008, 4:17 pm
    Post #24 - February 24th, 2008, 4:17 pm Post #24 - February 24th, 2008, 4:17 pm
    Joy wrote:I am very happy to see this thread. Extremely useful info! Thanks!

    I would recommend adding a low sodium soy sauce to your repetoire. Yes, it does sound like one of those artificial western laboratory concoctions, like fat free sour cream. But I really find it essential when making certain dishes. I made short ribs with star anise and ginger last night and the half cup of regular soy sauce (plain old Kikkoman) reduced down to a syrup that was borderline too salty to eat. But the whole thing was so delicious that we scarfed them down anyway with a crispy noodle cake.

    Another recipe that I have written on in big red marker "LOW SODIUM SOY SAUCE!" is Yakitori (made with chicken thighs, to jump threads here). I think anything that concentrates the soy sauce needs to start with low sodium. What are your opinions on this?

    Can anyone tell me if "rice wine vinegar" is the same as "rice vinegar"? I'm betting that it is not the same. I have rice wine and rice vinegar. I have a sneaking suspicion that there is yet a third product called "rice wine vinegar". Please straighten me out, if you can. And if it is a different product, what would you substitute in a pinch? The rice wine or the vinegar?

    Finally, you know how you would never buy something called "cooking sherry" or "cooking wine" because it is an inferior product? Probably you would only buy a regular sherry that you could actually drink and use that for your cooking. Same with wine. Well, what about mirin? The mirin I have is Kikkoman again. Kikkoman Manjo Aji-Mirin sweet cooking rice wine. That word, "cooking", struck me the other day. Seems I should be buying mirin that is, like sherry, drinkable and not "salted and seasoned" like this product is, according to its label. Do you all agree and if so what brand do you use and where do you find it?

    Thanks to all posters. I love this forum!

    --Joy



    Has this already been addressed in this thread?

    Soy sauce(esp. Japanese soy sauce) shouldn't be employed cross-cuisine.

    A "short ribs, star anise, and ginger" dish would benefit from Pearl River Bridge's soy sauces(light/dark/mushroom). Regular Kikkoman can be considered "light." Also...from my readings..."lite" soy sauce is thought trash. One should optimally have a pantry containing the soy sauces applicable to various Asian cuisines.

    And...fun fact #1!

    Asian grocery stores sell giganto bottles of soy sauce(esp. Chinese)
    comparatively cheaply.

    fun fact numero dos!

    rice vinegar is the same as rice wine vinegar

    DO NOT purchase rice wine vinegar labeled "seasoned"
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #25 - February 24th, 2008, 6:23 pm
    Post #25 - February 24th, 2008, 6:23 pm Post #25 - February 24th, 2008, 6:23 pm
    Christopher Gordon wrote:
    Soy sauce(esp. Japanese soy sauce) shouldn't be employed cross-cuisine.
    One should optimally have a pantry containing the soy sauces applicable to various Asian cuisines.


    Lol -
    I just put like five diff btls of soy sauce away in my cabinet.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #26 - February 24th, 2008, 6:51 pm
    Post #26 - February 24th, 2008, 6:51 pm Post #26 - February 24th, 2008, 6:51 pm
    My February 2008 Asian pantry

    in no particular order///fridge or unfridge///all transliterations off-label

    shichimi togarashi

    MSG

    Ming Teh Food Industries: garlicky peper, broad bean paste with chili, sesame sauce

    Tiger Tiger: Vindaloo paste, tandoori paste(not a big fan of Tiger Tiger products)

    Tianjin preserved vegetable(in ceramic crock)

    Yang Jiang preserved beans w/ ginger(bought when I panicked and couldn't find the big city ubiquitous vacu-packed fermented black beans)

    Maesri curry cans: green, panang, massaman

    Mae ploy curry tubs: masman, red, country-style red

    (the s/o loves him some mussaman)

    Suree shrimp paste

    Whole Foods(bought from Sunflower on a whim and languishing in the cupboard because "simmer sauces" are always disgusting): Rendang curry, creamy chile kaffir lime

    Priya MRE's
    Trader Joe's Indian MRE's(Indian MRE's are great for an impromptu thali...and, surprisingly edible, at that)

    Wild Oats canned coconut milk(bought in bulk before I found a reliable source of Thai coconut milk)...the Wild Oats version isn't bad, if a bit cream heavy...so long Wild Oats, tho'

    Pacific wakame

    Fake-ass msg bomb bonito pellets for dashi on the fly

    Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Liijat papadum(the best!): cumin, green chile, and multi

    Vietnamese rice papers

    Sabudana papad

    Thai Grocery palm sugar

    jaggery

    dried shiitakes

    canned water chesnuts(blecchhh...but, the s/o likes 'em and makes that awesome 70's housewifery fare...bbq sauce baconwrapped water chesnuts...bacon does make everything better)

    canned straw mushrooms

    canned mango slices

    canned lychees

    peanut oil

    shao xing

    sherry(both pale dry and amontillado)

    Squid brand nam pla(I converted from being a 3 Crabs acolyte)

    jasmine rice

    basmati rice

    cornstarch(I haven't made the jump to potato starch)

    Kikkoman(dipping sauces, general Japanese preps, when I run out of Pearl River Bridge and need any kind of light soy sauce)...I prefer the soy sauce regularly found atop tables at better sushi restaurants(it has green and red caps to delineate sodium concentration), but I've never seen it available in quantity like Kikkoman

    rice wine vinegar

    Chinkiang vinegar

    sesame oil(not dark)

    panko

    House of Tsang hoisin: HoT replicates my childhood memories of what a hoisin sauce should be...not like those many abominations available on grocery store shelves as well...Lee Kum Kee, I'm looking at you...I've never had a palatable Lee Kum Kee product...

    Ty Ling Naturals "oriental" tingypingypingpingpingpingyping! mustard

    my hot chile oil

    Bedakar's lime pickle (sweet)

    Priya shredded mango pickle in chile

    Ashoka lime pickle

    tube o' wasabi

    SWAD tamarind and cilantro chutneys(for when I can't be bothered)

    Pearl River Bridge superior light and dark soy sauces

    shrimp paste in bean oil

    fermented black beans(the good stuff) in vacu-pak

    Kabuto shiro miso

    oil chile peanuts(no English---besides description---on label)

    Lotus preserved bamboo strips in chile oil(ehhhhhhh...)

    Sriracha(I despise the Cult of Rooster Sauce...sriracha should be used in discreet doses, diligently...it's not fucking catsup)

    sambal oelek(the usual)

    frozen:

    galangal, stuffed Indian chiles, breads, kaffir lime leaves, fresh turmeric, curry leaves, cilantro roots, lemongrass, potstickers

    I'm leaving out the spice cache's

    and I'm sure I'm overlooking something obvious(oh...duh...there's ginger in the vegetable compartment)...I'm out of several things, and I need to make a produce run
    Last edited by Christopher Gordon on February 25th, 2008, 5:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #27 - February 24th, 2008, 7:51 pm
    Post #27 - February 24th, 2008, 7:51 pm Post #27 - February 24th, 2008, 7:51 pm
    Pucca wrote:Is this similar to the "sticky rice" served in Japanese restaurants?

    I was at Golden Pacific yesterday, and I only saw brown rice. Have you ever tried it?


    It's similar to the sushi rice used in restaurants, but if you mean the stickier variety (mochi gome), then it's not the same.

    Haven't tried their brown rice yet but I've been meaning to. I'll be sure to pick up a bag the next time I go there.
  • Post #28 - February 24th, 2008, 7:56 pm
    Post #28 - February 24th, 2008, 7:56 pm Post #28 - February 24th, 2008, 7:56 pm
    Jay K wrote:
    Joy wrote:Finally, you know how you would never buy something called "cooking sherry" or "cooking wine" because it is an inferior product? Probably you would only buy a regular sherry that you could actually drink and use that for your cooking. Same with wine. Well, what about mirin? The mirin I have is Kikkoman again. Kikkoman Manjo Aji-Mirin sweet cooking rice wine. That word, "cooking", struck me the other day. Seems I should be buying mirin that is, like sherry, drinkable and not "salted and seasoned" like this product is, according to its label.


    Drinking mirin would be akin to drinking hairspray cause you're an alcoholic and needed to get a fix. :wink:

    Okay, so I exaggerate, but nobody should drink mirin outside of the Edo period. It's strictly a cooking wine - nobody markets table mirin, so to speak, so there isn't a "drinkable" mirin. Your drink of choice in that area would be sake, which incidentally you could use to cook with as well. The flavors would not be the same as mirin has a higher sugar content, lower alcohol content and at times other seasonings as you've listed. If the recipe calls for mirin, one should use mirin. Substituting sake would not be "improving" the product.


    The main purpose of mirin is to add sweetness to a dish -- it's debatable but it doesn't really add any other identifiable taste. As a substitute, a cup of mirin is equivalent to 1/3 cup of sugar dissolved in a cup of water (or eliminate the water altogether).
  • Post #29 - February 24th, 2008, 8:46 pm
    Post #29 - February 24th, 2008, 8:46 pm Post #29 - February 24th, 2008, 8:46 pm
    kanin wrote:The main purpose of mirin is to add sweetness to a dish -- it's debatable but it doesn't really add any other identifiable taste.


    I'll debate you on that one :-)

    Mirin has a very distinctive flavor! Perhaps not such that it screams for attention, but I contend that doing the same dish twice, once with mirin and once with sugar solution, and it's going to be a very obvious differnce.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #30 - February 25th, 2008, 12:14 pm
    Post #30 - February 25th, 2008, 12:14 pm Post #30 - February 25th, 2008, 12:14 pm
    Well, if I had just bothered to actually *read* the article in the Trib's Good Eating, I would have learned the following:

    "Mirin is a sweet, syrupy wine made from rice....Mirin is low in alcohol and meant for cooking, not drinking."

    Thank you, Bill Daley!

    The recipe accompanying the article was Mirin Glazed Salmon. That is what I made when I started wondering about the "cooking wine" controversy.

    You can find the article with the whole recipe here in the Trib for a few days before it slips away behind the pay-for-view achive wall:

    Mirin applies a glossy finish to salmon dinner

    That salmon was excellent! The article says, "When brushed over hot food, the mirin becomes a glossy glaze; think of those skewers of chicken yakitori you get at the local Japanese restaurant."

    And this is exactly what happened. The salmon came out glazed and delicately flavored with a golden brown color on the top (I broiled instead of grilled) and a beautiful large flake.

    The ingredients could not be more simple:

    2 salmon fillets or steaks, about 7 ounces each
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
    2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
    1/4 cup mirin

    You sort of marinate the salmon in the soy and fish sauces with the lemon zest, making sure to cover both sides of the fillets. Then grill in a grill pan according to the recipe. The recipe says to brush the fish with the mirin once while grilling and once just before serving.

    Since I broiled, I brushed once at the beginning, looked half-way through and was not impressed. Brushed the remainder at that point and put it back for another minute. Wow. What a difference. Beautiful color!

    It is hard to tell what contribution the mirin made to the flavor because the other ingredients are so pronounced. But this was a really easy dish and it is a keeper at our house.

    Thanks to everyone that replied to my queries! I appreciated your help. I learned a lot! Still sorting it out. --Joy

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