Thursday, February 16, 2012

Asian Markets - a poor student's friend

In most large cities, there is at least one large Asian market that has a huge variety of products that you won't find at the other supermarkets, where anything that's remotely "ethnic" is premium priced. At the Asian markets, you can save a lot of money and have the opportunity to try new foods. In Boston area, there are plenty of stores with products from all over the world. There's an Indian store named "Shalimar" in Cambridge, a Korean store (forgot the name) near MIT, and Hong Kong Supermarket (formerly "Super 88") in Allston. At HK supermarket, you will find more than just Chinese products. They have Japanese curry and a small selection of Korean and other Japanese products. Their produce and meat sections are probably a lot more diverse and perhaps exotic than what you'd see in an American supermarket.

The fun part about going to HK supermarket is that they also have a food court attached to it, called "Super 88 Connection". I also noticed that they have a new Japanese restaurant there that serves rice (curry rice and "don") and ramen dishes but no sushi. The food court includes a Thai place, a Korean booth, an Indian booth, and a variety of Chinese booths. Dim sum chef has a pretty good selection of dim sum and they have pictures of the dishes on their menu, in case you don't know what they look like. They cook everything fresh, so you might have to wait about 5 to 10 minutes for your food. Fresh is good. Kantin is the place that has the roasted animals hanging in the window. Their menu is pretty long and has every Hong Kong style and Chinese-American style dish that you can imagine. That's the place I go to when I am very hungry.

Here is a selection of things I bought on a recent trip to HK supermarket:

1. Yeo's soy milk is made with Canadian soybeans. It comes in sweetened and unsweetened versions. The sweetened one can be a little too sweet so the unsweetened one can be used to make your drink less sweet by mixing it 50-50. The regular price is $1.29 for a 1 L box and goes on sale for about $1 now and then. It definitely tastes different from the stuff made by Silk or 8th Continent.
Yeo's soymilk - made with Canadian soybeans!
2. Shrimp flavored chips. These come in regular and wasabi flavors. Since they're baked, they're a little healthier than potato chips.
Wasabi flavored shrimp chips
3. Braised beef and wonton noodle soup (from Kantin, Super 88 Connection). If you get this to go, they will give you the soup part in one container and the rest of it in another container. This is so the noodles don't get too soggy and mushy by the time you get home. This is an awesome dish. Look for the booth with the roasted ducks hanging in the window. If you're coming from the supermarket, turn left after you go through the door that connects the supermarket to the food court. The booth is on the left.
Deconstructed Braised Beef and Wonton Noodle Soup

Braised Beef and Wonton Noodle Soup


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