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Hit the Asian Markyesterday..

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
That was supposed to read.." the Asian Market yesterday' .......  was totally out of mirin, rice vinegar a few other things. however on my way out I hit the snack aisle as i am wont to do..wife was asking  for some sugar free snacks. Well grabbed the candied ginger cause that's just on my list and  then after perusing I grabbed some salted tamarind. It is a little strong but I think I could get to like it.
now we come to the fun stuff. Pusit and Dilis (dried anchovies and squid). lol, the little fishies look so snackable. The clerk was very sweet when she asked if I had tried them before. When I said "No" she smiled and said don't let the smell throw me off.  ??? okay... well i don't  know how many of you have tried this stuff but phew. It smells and tastes like fish food, salty and and a bit bitter. not terrible but not what i was expecting. Real chewy too, I was expecting a little more crispness in my dried fish. The flavor really sticks to your mouth too. The look on my wifes face after about 5 seconds of chewing was priceless, she will never just reach into an offered bag of snacks again.  I will be "sharing" these with a volunteer group tommorow
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #2 of 15
The look on my wifes face after about 5 seconds of chewing was priceless, she will never just reach into an offered bag of snacks again. 

Keep it up, Gunnar. You're gonna enjoy being single again.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
heh, we've made it past the seven year itch. It will be 9 years come this Nov. ,however, she is a brave soul. She had seen that I had eaten some already and figured that as long as it wasn't chili/pepper or wheat tainted she could give it a go. We are just both surprised at how bitter a flavored snack it was. It has (sigh, let me clarify once again, IN MY OPINION) to be a cultural  flavor, I can't beleive that someone is just introducing it because they had made it and thought it was good.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #4 of 15
Hehe you better get her some nicer snacks next time.  Go the prawn crackers - they are so much fun to fry up once the oil is hot enough - planning on some of them tonight.  That's one deep fry I will do, I try to stay away from deep frying most of the time at home, maybe every 2 months.  Love seeing those li'l pink discs puff up and turn and become a terrific snack or side for a banquet type oriental dinner.

Can't see how candied ginger could be sugar free - or was that your treat?

I have the feeling the Pulit & Dilis are similar critters to shrimp paste - not made to be used on their own, but as an ingredient with other things for a hint of flavour. I may be wrong - palates vary widely between the East and the West.

P.S. Glad you made it past the 7 year itch, keep up the good works.  We're at 22 years - not all of it easy, but hey, I cook good  
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #5 of 15
Have you tried the wee sachets of preserved vegetables.  As well as great additions to soups, the make a great snack.If a bit lets say windy. I like the mixed veg and radish.

19 years in June Truly gets better with time
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
The candied ginger was for me, like I said it's on my list.  Also while we have our issues, we are committed and we both have a good sense o' humor. Even if hers is more in a slice of PI then a slice of pie kind of way.

also it is labeled a snack/appetizer... I took that as meant to be served on its own. Marmilite and Vegemite are beloved staples of some Nations. Heaven forbid I nay say the deliciousness of the product...but it is not for me.
Edited by Gunnar - 3/26/10 at 5:06pm
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #7 of 15
not to thread jack but my 1st time at the asian markets with my school was interesting.  i was amazed by the amount of canned and dried foods asian cuisine consists of, i have seen the items you are talking about at the stores. i would rather leave it to the pros to prepare those things.
Chef it up errrrday!!!
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Chef it up errrrday!!!
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post #8 of 15
Asian supermarkets are amazing places. Luckily, I have found that at least one member of staff speaks englishand is willing to explain the uses ofthe more obscure items.

I still have a jar of fermented red beans that a Thai restauranteur told me was essential for a certain dish and i cant, for the life of me remember how to use it,or what the dish was. So, there it sits, gathering dust. Fermenting all the more.Anyone got any ideas?
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #9 of 15
oh i love asian markets, when i visited my mom in VA she took me to this asian store and i was in heaven. they had a thing of just chicken hearts, fresh seafood and fish. i wish louisville had markets like that
Chef it up errrrday!!!
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Chef it up errrrday!!!
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post #10 of 15
Skatz, I betcha they do. You just have to explore at bit and search them out. But it's well worth the effort.

I've spent the past several years doing just that in Lexington, and you'd be surprised how many Asian and other ethnic markets there are. Finding them isn't always easy, because they aren't well known outside their communities, they don't advertise, and, unfortunately, they tend to come in and out of business. The ones that last, however, seem to hang in there two days longer than forever.

I just found out, for instance, about a place called Old San Juan---a combination Cuban eatery and Carribean market. Apparently it's been there 15 years or so, but I only heard about it by accident. We ate lunch there, last week, and picked up a few items. And, it turns out, they always have baccala in stock---probably the only place in town that does. So it was a good tip all around.

I wouldn't make the 60+ mile round trip just for one or two items. But what we do is a weekly round-robin, in which we do the bulk of our shopping by visiting the various shops and markets. Typically, in any particular week, we'll hit 6-8 stores, of the 15 or so we regularly shop at. They're not all small, ethnic places. But by combining the ethnic markets with supermarket shopping we cover about 90% of our weekly needs.

One of the benefits is that if you shop regularly in these places they get to know you, and you quickly stop being an out-of-place stranger.

If Lexington has them, there's no doubt in my mind that the much larger, and more ethnically diverse, Louisville does as well.

One way of starting to learn about them is at the farmer's market. Many of the vendors there are also into these kinds of markets, and are glad to share their names and locations. Another way is to talk to ethnic students at your school, and ask them where they shop for a taste of home. Health food stores are another great venue. About a year ago we learned about two Indian markets we'd never heard of before from one of the sales clerks there.

For many years I erroneously assumed that central Kentucky was a culinary wasteland. Do yourself a favor and don't repeat my mistake.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 15
yeha i know when we visited some of the asian stores i was suprised at how many we had, and i am always trying to see if i can find a good arabic store or russian store. even the world market i walked into was a waste but i do try to ask as many people about some of the ethnic stores because of where im from and the foods i eat. i just wish some of the verieties in bigger cities were available in louisville. most of things i find in the stores are old and not as fresh as i would like. even place like value market has some ethnic items that i never would have expected them to have like tripe or beef tounge. but i appreciate the advise and as soon as it get warmer im hitting the market with a chef instructor from my school. thanks
Chef it up errrrday!!!
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Chef it up errrrday!!!
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post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
just wish I really had a use for a whole dried baby octopus. Alas, no. but I want to do something with it.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #13 of 15
^do u know what its  usually used in the asian cusine? soup, just curious
Chef it up errrrday!!!
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Chef it up errrrday!!!
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post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
I know it's used in soup, just not sure what one and feel kinda silly buying one and just shoving it into a miso soup or something. Not to mention I am not sure i want to eat one, heh. I can appreciate a lot but some things I just have to look at and wish someone else would cook it for me.  If i was told that the soup I just ate had chopped dried octopus in the base, i would be most happy, especially if I enjoyed it. either way though  I would have  had tried it and then known. Now I am just in the air with limited direction  except for shaky internet recipes. Not to mention you stand as much chance at getting an old mexican* grandmothers  tamale recipe then a recipe from someones old asian* grandmother for octopus soup. Not saying it's impossible, just improbable.

* mexican and asian races should not be insulted, especially any grandmother therein. Even if you are not of mexican or asian descent and assume I mean you in some negative manner, I do not.  Also please do not assume that just because you are old I assume you have a good recipe  I would like to get my hands on. My grandmother liked over boiled chicken and carrots, yech. She taught me more then I thought. If I had been born Danish/English/French/Jamaican/Spanish/Brazilian/Japanese/Mexican/East Indian/Chinese/Alutian/Russian/Slavic/Greek/italian,  I wouldn't be here.
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #15 of 15
Gunnar get your hands off my Vegemite. Just Kidding.  It's great if you've grown up with it, not really nice otherwise.  But nothing else spells breakfast more than the delicious aroma of Vegemite on toast in this neck of the woods.   "I love the smell of Vegemite in the Morning" - hmm can't quite see that as a quote from a movie.

With that dried baby octopus, maybe re-hydrate it same as dried shitake mushrooms, pat dry,slice very thinly,
then do tempura?  Just a thought.  Or maybe re-hydrate, whizz in a blender with some shrimp and scallion tops, maybe some egg and water chestnuts,, and make balls for deep frying or poaching in chicken stock.

Aleutian - not many people could claim those islands as part of their heritage.

Walking into a spice store or an oriental store, for me, is my idea of heaven.  So many aromas assail you from their containers it is pure bliss.All the spices from around the globe, varied honeys, goods that you don't have a clue what they are but just want to try them,....oops drooling now lol.  Even when I'm not planning to buy anything I will just stroll thru just  to get that experience. Ok I usually end up buying something by the time I've walked the aisles.  Have yet to find a good one in our new location, but I think I shall have to put some time (no, not thyme :) ) into that.

Gunnar, re the dried anchovies, yes some people use them as a snack (taste a lot like Vegemite actually) and they are very strong in flavour.  I would suggest re-hydrating them too and use as usual.

Bughut - with those beans - maybe something like a potato and bean curried aloo?  That's just a stab in the dark, but it sounds possible, with enough rinsing and enough curry spices. Maybe someone who knows will pipe up.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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