Online Asian Markets and Food Delivery

Whenever I cook for friends and family I’m always asked about the ingredients I use and where to get them. And since visiting an Asian market alone can be a little overwhelming for some, I decided to put a short introduction together for buying my most common ingredients online. If you’d like to see some recipes first, here are a few on Asianliving.me.

Let’s start with a few well-known online shops in North America:

Amazon.com’s grocery section is loaded with Asian food options.  If you have Amazon prime you obviously won’t have to worry about the cost of shipping. It’s probably worth visiting Amazon first to see if you can find what you are looking for. For those in select areas, you can try Amazon Fresh which is just like Peapod or FreshDirect.

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All Asian

Asian Food Grocer is a trustworthy shop that provides much of what you expect to find in a standard Asian market. Here are a few products that I commonly use in my cooking:

Lee Kum Kee’s Hoisin Sauce is something I use for a sweet, seafood flavor.

Lee Kum Kee also makes a Black Bean Garlic Sauce which I use for home-style pork ribs. Yum!

Actually, just about everything in the Asian Food Grocer’s “Quick and Easy Asian Cooking” section is delicious and, as the title implies, very easy to use.

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Japanese
Sashimi

Marukai’s eStore is a Japanese food shop online which serves North America. Some of my recipes have ingredients that you can find at their shop. Check out their amazing variety of fish options for at-home sushi making!

Also, one Japanese product that I enjoyed a lot in China was Key Coffee’s Drip On brand singles.

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Asia’s Safer Ways to Make Salad

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a detailed study earlier this year about the Attribution of Foodborne Illness in the United States between 1998-2008. As mentioned by Modern Farmer in a recent article, a majority of the cases reported were due to uncooked greens and under-cooked meat products. Although beef and poultry can be cooked longer for a piece of mind, the consumption of raw vegetables is a greater challenge.

It’s common knowledge in the US that eating raw vegetables is “healthier” than eating them cooked- it’s also much more convenient this way…  The downside is that we are more susceptible to pathogens carried on leafy greens. This is probably why my Asian friends prefer to ordering dishes that contain veges that have been skinned just prior to cooking, like potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, etc. Anything that looks the same straight off the farm (like lettuce, spinach, bok choy, etc) are less likely to be cleaned properly in the restaurant kitchen.

Different countries have their own traditional ways of prepping salad. In countries like China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and Thailand the hygiene of its preparation is often questioned. In most cases copious amounts of garlic, peppers, lemon, ginger or other ingredients might be used in order to help naturally kill whatever is catching a ride on the leaves. Here are some samples of “salad” according to Asian tastes.

Thai-syles:

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Green Mango gives this salad a kick!
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Yum! Southern China’s Soup Culture

After getting to the real Southern China (Guangdong, not Shanghai) in 2006, I never became too fond the local pension for homemade soup. I knew it was a great excuse for parents to invite their kids home for a weekend visit and I knew there were loads of health benefits too. But I personally never preferred to eat soup as a meal, except as a free side to Chinese fast food. It was only recently that I discovered how easy it was to make and enjoy. Now it has finally found its place among the other great discoveries here on AL.ME

Maybe I avoided it because it was so Cantonese and I missed the Mandarin world a little. Making soup (煲汤) and Morning Tea (早茶) are very Cantonese and have slowly found their place among my all-time favorite Chinese weekend activities. Now, or when I’m ready to move on, they will join me as I explore the rest of China (and the USA).

Soup Ingredients

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Chang Fen ~ Rice Crepes with Filling

Shrimp Chang Fen 虾仁肠粉

The other day I had a hankering for chang fen; pronounced “Chong Fun” in newspaper-phonetics. It’s not the cleanest option for eats in the neighborhood, but it tastes awesome. Getting good chang fen in China is like getting good pizza in America – the most dilapidated pizza dive is usually the best.

Basically, chang fen is made of rice flour that starts out quite runny- kind of like very runny pancake mix. It gets spooned into a steam tray and spread around as you can see in the photos below. Eggs, meat, chives, etc. are tossed on randomly and then the tray gets put in the steamer. After a couple minutes the tray gets pulled out the the contents get scrapped out. I chose extra egg because I don’t trust the meat in these places…

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Asian Secret #28: Spicy Beer Duck!

Beer Duck 啤酒鸭

Ah, it’s Summer time again! Sun, beach, and beer time has come; and nothing excites me more than beer-infused, Asian recipes! First, I love duck, although it is a bit fatty, and can’t wait to start making this tasty dish back home for my family. A friend of mine in Zhuhai suggested it while she was home for a holiday. So, this new recipe of Chinese deliciousness is based loosely on her Guangxi family recipe – so here it goes without further delay!

Stuff to Prep:
a duck, preferably fresh and chopped into bite-sized pieces.
a spoonful of Dou Ban Jiang (chinese bean sauce).
two cubes of Nan Ru (red fermented toufu).
a few spoonfuls of oyster sauce (any brand will do).
600mL bottle of beer (or two cans).

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