Having access to a car this week has allowed T and I to get a few things we've been needing (Ikea shelves etc.) but also allowed us to venture to the edges of the city to go exploring.
First one our list was the Korean/Japanese Supermarket. We actually went to 2 different places for the best selection.
There are so many delicious things from Japan we have been missing.
So, we stocked up on a few essentials, just in time for this week's
a la Asian supermarket!
Check out the many kind of Japanese mushrooms HERE.
I am a big fan of putting mushrooms in sautees and stir frys. They create such a nice flavour, and they pair extremely well with ginger and a touch of tamari. My favourite in Japan were the bunashimeji. & the maitake. Of course shitake are always great too...oyster...guess I don't really have a favourite.We found many at the asian supermarket. Just like the ones we LOVED in Japan.
The Asian markets always have the best tasting kabocha squashes. I usually buy organic ones from the regular grocery store, or the organic shop...but they are often hit or miss. I've gotten fairly good at selecting the best tasting ones, but even then, they are no match to the always perfect ones I found in Japan. We bought 4 this week (they keep for quite awhile!).
The only burdock I have seen since coming home from Japan has been very sad, shriveled looking nasty root at the Organic Veggie Store, that has a sign saying "burdock root". To my eyes, that was not burdock, and was not something I was willing to pay a sickly high price for, to likely be disappointed. So, we bought quite a few good ones this week, when we saw them.
My organic store sells organic daikon...but it is sold already cut up. Then it sits there in the bins, and gets pretty nasty. I have asked to see if it is possible to buy it before it is cut, and the answer is no, because they don't even get it whole themselves. Big sad face. I much prefer organic veggies, but i'll take crispy, crunchy whole daikon from the Asian supermarket over moldy un-vital daikon that has an organic stamp.
Loose leaf sencha green tea from Japan. I am just about out of the last bit of tea I brought home from Japan. And it's nice to have some green tea once in awhile, along with my daily kukicha.
I'm really excited to try cooking them with rice.
I absolutely love love love the flavour of chestnuts.
Usually I just buy fresh and roast them myself, or sometimes buy the pre-packaged roasted one.
While I can find black sesame at the organic food store I regularly go to, it always seems to be...off. Kind of musty, sometimes even moldy. Definitely not fresh. The stuff at the Japanese supermarket looked a lot better. I haven't tried it yet though, so i'm keeping my fingers crossed.
A fun, very high fibre jelly made from the konnyaku root. We ate this a few times a month in Japan, and it brought us right back to our grocery store adventures there. Didn't take a pic yet, sorry!
Hato Mugi Barley
I've been wanting to try this grain for while. According to my research, it's also known as "job's tears" and is actually not the same as regular barley at all. Hato Mugi is gluten free, I believe. It is also really nice for the liver, and for Spring time. I'm going to make some this weekend.
I never thought I would actually miss this----but I do. Natto comes in little boxes, and is a very sticky stringy fermented soybean dish. In Japan, people often ate this on top of rice. T and I had it quite frequently in the mornings, with brown rice and miso soup. I usually skip the packaged flavouring and top mine with a bit of good quality mustard. Again, haven't been able to find this anywhere except the Japanese/Korean Supermarket.
For T, a delicious treat, quick snack or easy meal. The best instant noodles come from the Asian supermarket---no question about it!
There were SO many goodies...we could have spent much more than we did. The good thing about buying mostly veggies is that it keeps the cost down.
*Expect many meals involving these foods this week :)
What are your favourite things to get from Asian Supermarkets?
What do you think is better quality there?