Victim of the market vortex

1-2-3-4-5 Sticky Spareribs

Click here to hear me chat on the radio with KUOW’s Megan Sukys about The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, which has been my source of dinner inspiration for the last week or so . . . Above, 1-2-3-4-5 Sticky Spareribs. Scroll down for recipes.

Last week, I walked into HT, an Asian grocery store near my house, with a very short list:

Shaoxing rice wine
Pandan leaves
Panko

I’d dog-eared a few pages in my most recent cookbook acquisition, The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, knowing I’d have to expand my pantry a bit to make a few of the recipes I’d picked out. But as I stood there at the front of the store, in the shock one inevitably undergoes when one enters a market that’s not totally familiar, I looked at the list again. Is that all?

It’s a well-known fact that if you don’t go into the grocery store with a specific list, you come out with more than you really need. But there’s a corollary to that rule: if you go in with too short a list, you come out with what you need and what you never knew you needed. Multiply by two if you’re in a store you don’t visit often, then by six if you’re hungry, and again by three if your child is sleeping peacefully. (See Why I Don’t Go to Target.)

At HT, I totally got sucked into the market vortex. I came home with the last of the ingredients I needed for the recipes I’d picked from the book, as well as enough for beef pho for roughly six people, fun frozen dim sum for an army, and whatever else I could fit into four giant shopping bags: chilies, tofu, six tiny cans of coconut milk, Vietnamese meatballs . . .

This week, it’s been all about other peoples’ recipes. Gotta cook down the fridge, if you know what I mean. But here are a few for you to try . . .

(And a quick note: try poaching pears in the ginger tea, below.)

From The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, by Pat Tanumihardja:

1-2-3-4-5 Sticky Spareribs (PDF)

Chicken and Eggs in a Golden Curry (PDF)

Ginger Tea (PDF)

*Also, fresh ginger is sometimes available at Mair Farm-Taki at the UD farmers market (not Maki Farm, as I said on the radio!).

4 Comments

Filed under recipe

4 responses to “Victim of the market vortex

  1. Pingback: Tom Douglas » Blog Archive » Our Blog Buddies by Shelley Lance, Blog Editor

  2. andrea

    Sounds like the best kind of market vortex to get sucked into! (Much better than the Target one). Pho for six people would probably just feed 3 in my house. That said, I did make a huge batch recently and was able to freeze two quarts for later. Makes me salivate just thinking about it. If you haven’t seen it, check out the authentic pho recipe at vietworldkitchen.com. Yum!

  3. thehamblins

    There’s such a thing as frozen dim sum????? Ahhhhh, to live in a place with culinary diversity that expands beyond a thousand different variations of pub food.

  4. I do the same thing at the Asian market here in Memphis. Since our favorite dim sum place closed down, Viet Hoa is the only place I can get decent dim sum, and frozen beats none. It’s also my go-to for Atualfo (sp?) mangoes in the spring, and live fish year round. Congrats on the babe, by the way–I’m late with that, I know, but I’ve enjoyed your posts as you adjust and get used to cooking (and writing) with a critter in the house.

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