Asian Grocery and Cooking

Eliza brought me to one of the Asian Groceries in Greenville last night.  It is located out on Wade Hampton Rd. (Supposedly there is another one out on Laurens Rd.).  I was ecstatic to be in the place.  I love being able to find a whole bunch of ingredients that are hard, if not impossible, to find at other grocery stores.  Also, most of the stuff is very affordable.  I will unquestionably be going back.

My favorite find had to be the two types of dehydrated mushrooms I bought.  They were shiitake and something called chicken mushrooms (which were not, incidentally, chicken of the wood).  I was also very pleased to buy a large thing of turmeric powder for under $2 (this was a 4oz container mind you . . . I have not been able to find even a 1.1oz container of turmeric at regular grocery stores for under $5).  I have found that ethnic groceries almost always seem to be the best place for buying spices (along with the turmeric I bought a big thing of chili powder, curry powder, and lemon grass powder, all three being things I was wanting to add to my spice collection).

For dinner I reconstituted some of the mushrooms I bought in a small sauce pan with vegetable stock, vinegar, soy sauce, and a bit of lemon juice.  In a large pan I stir fried onion, garlic, a small amount of crazy hot Thai chili peppers (I mean these things are really fierce), fresh chopped ginger, and two beautiful eggplants.  I also cooked up some soba noodles (but made the mistake of cooking them too early so they ended up being a big stuck together clump by the time everything else was done).  Once the veggies had cooked pretty well I added the mushrooms, and the noodles (which Eliza suggested I slice up with the knife so that they were not a huge sticky block of buckwheat noodlage) and then it was ready to serve.  For a little extra flavoring we garnished our plates with sriracha sauce.  This was a delightful and simple meal (and I have plenty of leftovers for lunch today. Yay!).

As I cook more and more I am finding that I have a really strong leaning toward Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines.  I love all sorts of curries and am find of a good number of the essential ingredients within the specific regional cuisines.  Of course I tend to be a very inventive cooker and rely heavily upon improvisation in the kitchen, pairing flavors where I think they will fit, so likely my primary cooking styles are more of a hybridization of more eastern cuisines.  Whatever it is, it all seems to produce delicious and filling meals.

I fully intend to return to the Asian Grocery in the future (probably the not to distant future at that).

~ by Nathaniel on January 8, 2010.

2 Responses to “Asian Grocery and Cooking”

  1. Another thing I bought, and forgot to mention, was a number of different beverages. I have a very strong fondness for differing beverages from differing regions of the world. During the summer I often buy a wide variety of sodas from Latin America. Now that I know where the Asian market is I intend on buying more drinks form that region. The beverage I drank with dinner last night was an aloe vera and lychee drink that had actually chunks of aloe in it. It was a little strange with the chunks, but the sweat refreshing flavor made for a really fantastic drink.

  2. Nicole took me to Oriental Imports a couple months ago, the Asian grocery you referenced on Laurens Rd. The top floor is more like an explosion of Asian trinkets and clutter. Downstairs has all the food, and it is a treasure trove. I’m not sure what 3/4 of it was, but all I know is that Nicole made the best stir fry I’d ever had with stuff she got there.

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