Sunday, 22 July 2007

The wonderful world of the Asian supermarket

I've been getting together a little list of recipes I want to try that have some Asian ingredients in them that my local supermarket doesn't stock. So, I dragged DD out to Chinatown yesterday morning to visit an Asian supermarket.

It was awesome! So much to look at and so many things I want to try, plus a giant Wall of Noodles. And everything is so cheap. I filled a basket and could have kept going but DD was giving me the "don't spend too much" look, so we left after just $30! I got some tamarind paste, authentic hoisin sauce, sushi soy, lots of noodles, some fried garlic... *sigh* It was so exciting. Right next door is a poultry shop where they sell Chinese duck and chicken and have them hanging in the windows, but I was too nervous to go and buy some. (I have a problem asking people for help or assistance - it's a bit of anxiety). I wanted some dashi, but couldn't find it and wouldn't ask (again) so we left without it. On the way back to the car we passed another supermarket, so we nipped in for a look. It was a bit of a jackpot actually, DD loves Ayam Thick Soy Sauce and you can't get it in supermarkets anymore. I emailed them and they said it was out of production. But we found it in this store. So we bought 3 bottles and my dashi and it was a very happy DD.

The other day, I bought Noodles by Beverly Le Blanc and found so many recipes I wanted to try (some of which inspired the above trip to Chinatown) that I decided that dinner last night would be noodles. I didn't use a recipe from the book though, because I was visiting Lifestyle Food's website and found this by Bill Granger and I'd bought an extra packet of fresh mint at the market that morning by mistake. I substituted chicken for duck, using a recipe for Hoisin chicken I had found that morning looking for any recipes that used Chinese five-spice. I love Chinese five-spice.

I made the sauce for the Hoisin chicken, but omitted the cornflour and water paste as it was plenty thick enough. I used my authentic Hoisin sauce for this too! I pan-fried the chicken in a non-stick pan instead of grilling it, but it still worked really well. Tasted good too! I used chicken schnitzel fillets instead of regular fillets and I really shouldn't have cooked them for as long as I did, but with them being a little dry it made them easy to shred. I also used my very first real chilli. I am a big chilli chicken, and lately I've been feeling a little left out because I have been leaving out chilli in so many recipes. I even investigated the Scoville Scale looking for wuss chillies but around here all chillies are just labelled "Chilli" and left at that. And I'm not that good at identifying them by sight.

I chose some big red ones at the market, put on my chicken cutting gloves (I hate the feeling of raw chicken juice on my hands so I always have food handling gloves around), took out a different cutting board and a different knife - what did I tell you, chilli chicken - and got to deseeding. I felt a little silly after all of that kerfluffle when I tried a chilli and got almost no heat, but still...

So, you just mix the shredded chicken, your salad of snowpeas, coriander, mint, spring onions and chillies (though that wasn't in the recipe and it should have had cucumber but DD doesn't like it) with some lovely soy-based sauce with lime and chilli and rice wine and a few other things and the noodles and you have dinner.

It was really yummy, but very unphotogenic because I can't work out how to mix everything through the noodles rather than just keeping the noodles as a big clump with everything else down the bottom.

1 comment:

  1. Not only did I get dragged to the asian supermarket, but we also got a parking fine.

    Love you :)