One of my favorite things to do when we leave town is to stock up on my Asian spices. It is one of those things that you take for granted until you permanently relocate to an area where they don’t even sell rice in larger than the 5-lbs bag.
Here are some pictures of my pantry must-have that I got during my trip to Michigan.
Picture 1: I found these cool tofu earlier this year. You know why they’re cool? They don’t have to be refrigerated, which lets me put them in the trunk and forget about it until I have to unload them. So in my mind, I am thinking that they must have added enough additives to make them stay “fresh” without refrigeration. But around where I live, they cost me an arm and leg of $3.99 or $4.99, while these are about $1.19. What about that!!! So anyways, aside from the weird concept of having non-refrigerated tofu, both Red and I had eaten them plenty of time before, and we both are still well, alive, and eating!
Picture 1: I don’t know why I dedicated an entire paragraph on these tofu, but a small paragraph should rightfully goes to ready to eat Peanut Sauce. They sell two variety: one for Satay (Skewered Meat) and another one for Gado Gado (which is an Indonesian-style salad). Gado gado is very time consuming to make, but the satay one is a fave at our house. Red made sure that we bought enough of these paste so we can grill up some chicken in style!
Picture 2: Fried Chips – If you have ever been to Southeast Asia, you would notice that we absolutely love chips (and condiments!). Everywhere you go, you will see so many variety of them that it makes my heart sing! Here are some of the flavors that I was able to find here: shrimp, onion, and paddy oats. They come uncooked, and then you will have to spend an afternoon frying them. And then I will beg Red to bag them up and lock it down in the basement, or I would finish them in one sitting.
Picture 3: Sesame oil (great for a lot of things, like Chinese or Korean style dishes), Pandan Essence (I don’t know yet what to do with it, but I will find something to use it in!), Fish Sauce (2009 may be the year that I finally try my hands on those gorgeous Vietnamese Style Pork Chops!) and tons of hot sauces!
With these items in my pantry, I feel like I am ready to tackle another year, well a few months of cooking, until my next trip to one of my fave places in the world.