After a night of Thai dining and being exposed to so many different flavors and interesting ingredients, I had to make a trip to the 99 Ranch Market. Megan and I had already made a stop at the 99Cents Only store, so I "coerced" Megan into a quick trip, just down the street to the Asian grocery store to pick up a few odds and ends to cook with. She opted to wait in the car, probably so I would hurry…which I really tried to do. HOWEVER, when I walked into the store, I knew I was in BIG trouble! The store is HUGE! It's bad enough when I go to any new grocery store since every one has a different set-up. But there are so many items there that you will never see at Von's or Ralph's – things like pig's feet, octopus, and savory baked tofu.
I knew I was in a different sort of store when I found the rice aisle…yep! The whole LONG aisle was different kinds of rice, including something that Kay had used the night before…longrain sweet rice. The other side of the aisle was full of different kinds of noodles! I had no idea! I have lived a very limited, sheltered life indeed. Time to spice things up!
Then there's the fact that probably about 80% of the products are covered in Asian characters/spelling. I not only don't know what it is or how to use it, but I don't even know how to say it! I think I need more cooking lessons with Kay so I can figure out how to do more of this! While we were cooking, Kay asked for tapioca starch, which Kim didn't have, so I grabbed some of that. The little pearls were cute, so I got some of those, too. The coconut cream that she used was on sale, so I bought a few…just in case I decide to cook for the masses. I definitely need the wonton and egg roll wraps because that would be fairly simple and for this recipe expansion to work, I must feel some immediate success. I also bought some of that longrain sweet rice, but I'll be on the hunt for that rice steamer that Kay had…it is very cool!
Anyway, this must be what foreigners coming to the United States feel like when they first come here and have to go grocery shopping…LOST! But I do have to say that the store was packed with shoppers, which means that their business is booming.
I would have liked to linger and explore more, and will do so another day. Suffice to say, it doesn't look like much, but that was my collection for today. Looks like a lot of carbs to me, with the exception of the tofu…that's protein, isn't it? The only things missing from the picture are the ground pork and cilantro – not necessarily limited to Asian cooking, but part of the repetoire. I think I will make some of those fried bananas, cream cheese wontons (I miss these from the Chinese buffet we used to go to) and a spring roll or lumpia…are those different? Whoa – that's a lot of fried stuff, huh! I'll try those Pad Thai Chicken noodles if I can go back and find those rice sticky noodles. Too yummy!
Anyway, while rambling through the aisles, I was happy to see a section of Campbell's soups…something familiar! My apologies to Megan as she was abandoned in the car for half an hour. Next time, I'm going alone with an hour or two to spare! This will be my new adventure!
Tags: Asian market shopping