Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Recommended Posts

I guess I do about half my food shopping in my local farmers' market and the other half in supermarkets. Today, I went to my favourite supermarket. They have lovely, very fresh vegetables, great fish and well... there isn't much they don't have.

 

Here are a few pictures, beginning with the vegetable section:

 

DSC00664.jpg

 

DSC00665.jpg

 

DSC00666.jpg

 

DSC00667.jpg

 

DSC00668.jpg

 

DSC00710.jpg

 

DSC00711.jpg

 

DSC00712.jpg

 

DSC00714.jpg

 

DSC00715.jpg

 

DSC00716.jpg

 

DSC00717.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and the fruit:

 


DSC00669.jpg

 

DSC00771.jpgDSC00671.jpg

 

DSC00672.jpg

 

DSC00673.jpg

 

DSC00674.jpg

 

DSC00675.jpg

 

DSC00676.jpg

 

DSC00709.jpg


Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seafood etc.

 

fish2.jpg

Sea Fish

 

DSC00660.jpg

Clams

 

DSC00661.jpg

Oysters

 

DSC00663.jpg
 

 

DSC00662.jpg

Freshwater Fish 

 

DSC00657.jpg

Frogs and Eels

 

DSC00658.jpg

Turtles and Terrapins

 

DSC00659.jpg

Tortoise

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although there is a long meat counter, I seldom buy meat here - I prefer the farmers' market. The meat is fresher and I can get the cuts I want.

95% of what they sell here is pork, with a small selection of 'beef' (actually often water buffalo) and chicken. I occasionally buy duck and rabbit when they have it.

DSC00685.jpg

Of course they have chicken feet and every other part of the beast.

DSC00683.jpg

and pig offal.

DSC00718.jpg


Edited by Smithy Duplicate photo removed, at poster's request (log)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So many photos, so many questions I have! In the first fish photo, it looks like they're lying (beautifully arranged) out in the open air. Arethey lying on a bed of ice? Can the supermarket plan to sell that much in a day? What happens to the unsold fish at the end of the day? (Taken back into refrigerator, covered, left as is...?)

There's a fruit photo with what looks like oranges next to something that looks like polished coconuts. The relative sizes make me think I'm wrong about one of them. What are they?

Is this a typical supermarket in your area?

Thanks for the photos!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

So many photos, so many questions I have! In the first fish photo, it looks like they're lying (beautifully arranged) out in the open air. Are they lying on a bed of ice? Can the supermarket plan to sell that much in a day? What happens to the unsold fish at the end of the day? (Taken back into refrigerator, covered, left as is...?)

 

Yes, they are on ice, which is replenished several times a day. The seafood area is also air-conditioned to very cool. It is 35ºC / 95ºF here today and will be for months. I visited around 11:30 am this morning. By 6 pm they will normally be sold out. I've gone in the past after work and found nothing there.  :sad:

 

 

There's a fruit photo with what looks like oranges next to something that looks like polished coconuts. The relative sizes make me think I'm wrong about one of them. What are they?

 

The oranges are large. And what you see as coconuts are indeed coconuts. Two different types. Relatively small ones. But I think the perspective and foreshortening is making the oranges look out of proportion to the coconuts.

 

 

Is this a typical supermarket in your area?

 

Yes. 

 

Glad you enjoyed the pictures. More to come tomorrow. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you like. I can't promise to know the answers, but I will try!


Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it interesting they sell turtles, tortoises and terrapins. Is there enough demand for this sort of product--reptile meat, I guess--that stores sell three varieties of meat that I assume would taste very similar? What is normally done with the turtle meat? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

I find it interesting they sell turtles, tortoises and terrapins. Is there enough demand for this sort of product--reptile meat, I guess--that stores sell three varieties of meat that I assume would taste very similar? What is normally done with the turtle meat? 

 

It is hugely popular. There are even whole streets full of turtle restaurants. It is almost always used in soups or are braised.

 

turtle1.jpg

 

 


Edited by liuzhou typo (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting to see the shell used in the presentation of the final dish.

 

Turtle is a meat I've never had but am somewhat curious about, as I've heard glowing reviews and hugely negative ones (Heston Blumenthal's efforts at making turtle soup in his historical feast series). Have you had it? I mean, judging by the photo, I assume you've partaken. How would you describe the flavour profile and texture? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Have you had it? I mean, judging by the photo, I assume you've partaken. How would you describe the flavour profile and texture? 

 

Yes, I've had it  - often. Usually at weddings. The one I pictured was from this wedding meal. It isn't something I'd go looking for, though. 

 

There isn't much meat on the animals and what there is, is fairly bland and somewhat chewy. I think it is mainly eaten because it is considered to have health attributes under the Chinese traditional medicine system. However, as often as not, the meat is discarded after being used to make the soup.

 

The shell is nearly always presented with the dish to prove that what you are eating is real. (Which, of course, it doesnt!)

Here is a recipe.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your posts are always enormously entertaining and interesting, and this thread certainly qualifies.

 

I was enjoying looking at the fruit, and wondered about mangosteens.  Do you get them in season?  Are they popular?

 

I think they're my favorite fruit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I was enjoying looking at the fruit, and wondered about mangosteens. Do you get them in season? Are they popular?

I think they're my favorite fruit.

 

Yes. Mangosteens are very popular and in season now. They didn't have them in that supermarket today, but the farmer's markets are full of them. Also one of my favourites.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are the green spiky fruits Durians?  Do they really smell as bad as the literature would have it?  I'd love to taste one.  I believe they are available in Toronto.  Here in our local city you can get frozen pieces but I don't know if that is a useful way to be introduced to a Durian.

The fruits and vegetables are beautifully laid out.  So clean and neatly arranged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are the green spiky fruits Durians?  Do they really smell as bad as the literature would have it?  I'd love to taste one.  I believe they are available in Toronto.  Here in our local city you can get frozen pieces but I don't know if that is a useful way to be introduced to a Durian.

The fruits and vegetables are beautifully laid out.  So clean and neatly arranged.

 

Most of the Vietnamese restaurants in Houston offer Durian Smoothies.  Not the same as eating the fresh fruit, but that distinctive "durian" flavor definitely comes through.  IMHO, it puts one in the mind of a pile of dirty, sweaty gym socks that have been rotting in a locker somewhere for a couple of months.

 

Houston has an enormous expat Vietnamese population, so there are hundreds of authentic restaurants that cater to them.  Not sure what your Vietnamese restaurant situation is like, but you might start there in your quest to sample durian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Are the green spiky fruits Durians?

 

No. It's jackfruit. I've never come across durian in a Chinese supermarket. On the street, yes.

 

Does durian really smell so bad? I don't think so. I love the stuff. But I have friends here who can't even walk on a street selling it without feeling violently sick..

We have a shop in town which only sells durian, durian candy, durian ice cream etc. I love the ice cream. My friend won't go anywhere near the place.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your grocery store is amazing.  Simply amazing.  I would LOVE to be able to have access to the seafood and meat.  In the produce pictures...the 5th one from the top.  Are those mushroom stems?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your grocery store is amazing.  Simply amazing.  I would LOVE to be able to have access to the seafood and meat.  In the produce pictures...the 5th one from the top.  Are those mushroom stems?

Those are King/ Eryngii mushrooms. Very nice, especially sautéed with a bit of butter and soy sauce. I cut them into thin strips for my son, and he likes to slurp them like noodles.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Your grocery store is amazing. Simply amazing. I would LOVE to be able to have access to the seafood and meat. In the produce pictures...the 5th one from the top. Are those mushroom stems?

 

As nakji says, they are Eryngii mushrooms,a member of the pleurotus family which also includes the common oyster mushroom. They are known variously as king oyster mushroom, king trumpet mushroom or French horn mushroom or, in Chinese 杏鲍菇 (xìng bào gū). Here is a picture from the Chinese mushroom thread showing the size better.

 

Kingoystermushrooms.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I do about half my food shopping in my local farmers' market and the other half in supermarkets. Today, I went to my favourite supermarket. They have lovely, very fresh vegetables, great fish and well... there isn't much they don't have.

 

Here are a few pictures, beginning with the vegetable section:

 

 

 

 

DSC00710.jpg

 

 

 

This is one of my favorite vegetables. Unfortunately we can't find it in the USA. 

 

I understand it is virus infected wild rice stems. That's why it can't be imported here.

 

Like asparagus with a little nutty flavor.

 

dcarch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the shopping continued. Some dried goods.

 

DSC00679.jpg

 

DSC00680.jpg

Peanuts

 

DSC00681.jpg

 

DSC00689.jpg

 

DSC00719.jpg

Flowers

 

DSC00677.jpg

And, of course, rice

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sausages and Cured Meats. There are fewer of these than you might think. Most people seem to prefer to make their own, At Chinese New Year, there are a lot more.

 

DSC00682.jpg

Dried Sausages

 

DSC00684.jpg

Fresh Sausages

 

DSC00686.jpg

All sorts of cooked and cured meats

 

DSC00696.jpg

Unfortunately, they also have this section full of industrial pork products. There are a couple of companies dedicated to turning pigs into plastic. They do dozens of different sausages which all taste exactly the same - that is, of nothing. To be avoided.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a huge section selling prepared foods. Everything from sushi to Chinese pizza. I didn't take so many pictures here as much of the food is behind glass and the lighting is odd. Here are some:

 

DSC00687.jpg

 

DSC00688.jpg

Salads

 

DSC00691.jpg

Chinese Pizza

 

DSC00692.jpg

Pastries filled with horrible sausages

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some general goods:

 

Don't believe anything you hear about Chinese people not consuming dairy products. It is nonsense. There are several aisles selling nothing else. Milk, flavoured milks,  milk powders, yoghurt, plastic cheese etc

 

DSC00693.jpg

Milk

 

DSC00694.jpg

More milk

 

DSC00695.jpg

Plastic cheese

 

DSC00698.jpg

Cooking oil - mostly peanut oil

 

DSC00697.jpg

Oil

 

DSC00699.jpg

Soy sauce, Oyster sauce, Vinegar

 

DSC00700.jpg

Instant Noodles

 

DSC00701.jpg

Tea

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All that shopping made you thirsty?

 

DSC00702.jpg

Beer

 

DSC00703.jpg

Wine - Chinese Grape Wine

 

DSC00704.jpg

Imported Wine

 

DSC00705.jpg

Imported Spirits

 

DSC00706.jpg

The more expensive stuff is kept locked up

 

DSC00707.jpg

Chinese White Spirit - Baijiu

 

DSC00708.jpg

More Chinese White Spirit - Baijiu

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and lead us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known  for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      AFter lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our seranade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture.
       
      First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new.
       
      So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with.


       
      This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions.
       
      Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look.
       

       
      Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look:
       

       
      As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover.
       
      The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional.
       

       
      The children don't get spared either
       

       
      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Yea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs.
      We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
    • By liuzhou
      These have been mentioned a couple of times recently on different threads and I felt they deserved one of their own. After all, they did keep me alive when I lived in Xi'an.
       
      Rou jia mo (ròu jiá mò; literally "Meat Sandwich") are Chinese sandwiches which originated in Shaanxi Province, but can be found all over China. Away from their point of origin, they tend to be made with long stewed pork belly. However in Xi'an (capital of Shaanxi), there is a large Muslim population so the meat of choice is more usually beef. In nearby Gansu Province, lamb or mutton is more likely.
       
      When I was living in Xi'an in 1996-1997, I lived on these. I was living on campus in North-West University (西北大学) and right outside the school gate was a street lined with cheap food joints, most of which would serve you one. I had one favourite place which I still head to when I visit. First thing I do when I get off the train.
       
      What I eat is Cumin Beef Jia Mo (孜然牛肉夹馍 zī rán niú ròu jiá mò). The beef is stir fried or BBQd with cumin and mild green peppers. It is also given a bit of a kick with red chill flakes.
       
      Here is a recipe wrested from the owner of my Xi'an favourite. So simple, yet so delicious.
       

      Lean Beef
       
      Fairly lean beef is cut into slivers
       

      Chopped Beef (sorry about the picture quality - I don't know what happened)
       

      Chopped garlic
       
      I use this single clove garlic from Sichuan, but regular garlic does just fine.
       
      The beef and garlic are mixed in a bowl and generously sprinkled with ground cumin. This is then moistened with a little light soy sauce. You don't want to flood it. Set aside for as long as you can.
       

      Mild Green Chilli Pepper
       
      Take one or two mild green peppers and crush with the back of a knife, then slice roughly. You could de-seed if you prefer. I don't bother.
       

      Chopped Green Pepper
       
      Fire up the wok, add oil (I use rice bran oil) and stir fry the meat mixture until the meat is just done. 
       

      Frying Tonight
       
      Then add the green peppers and fry until they are as you prefer them. I tend to like them still with a bit of crunch, so slightly under-cook them
       

      In with the peppers
       
      You will, of course, have prepared the bread. The sandwiches are made with a type of flat bread known as 白吉饼 (bái jí bǐng; literally "white lucky cake-shape"). The ones here are store bought but I often make them. Recipe below.
       

      Bai Ji Bing
       
      Take one and split it. Test the seasoning of the filling, adding salt if necessary. It may not need it because of the soy sauce. 
       

      Nearly there
       
      Cover to make a sandwich  and enjoy. You will see that I have used a bunch of kitchen paper to hold the sandwich and to soak up any escaping juices. But it should be fairly dry.
       

      The final product.
       
      Note: I usually cook the meat and pepper in batches. Enough for one sandwich per person at a time. If we need another (and we usually do) I start the next batch. 
       
       
      Bread Recipe
       
       
      350g plain flour
      140ml water
      1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

      Mix the yeast with the flour and stir in the water. Continue stirring until a dough forms. Knead until smooth. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise by about one third. (maybe 30-40 minutes).
       
      Knead again to remove any air then roll the dough into a log shape around 5cm in diameter, then cut into six portions. Press these into a circle shape using a rolling pin. You want to end up with 1.5cm thick buns. 
       
      Preheat oven to 190C/370F.
       
      Dry fry the buns in a skillet until they take on some colour about a minute or less on each side, then finish in the oven for ten minutes. Allow to cool before using.
    • By Chris Hennes
      I just got a copy of Grace Young's "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge"—I enjoyed cooking from "Breath of a Wok" and wanted to continue on that path. Does anyone else have this book? Have you cooked anything from it?

      Here was dinner tonight:

      Spicy Dry-Fried Beef (p. 70)

      I undercooked the beef just a bit due to a waning propane supply (I use an outdoor propane-powered wok burner), but there's nothing to complain about here. It's a relatively mild dish that lets the flavors of the ingredients (and the wok) speak. Overall I liked it, at will probably make it again (hopefully with a full tank of gas).


    • By liuzhou
      We are all used to unami now. Maybe it's time to consider gan. Particularly found in teas, but also in other foods. An interesting article from a great magazine.
       
      Going, going gan
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×