Thursday, July 30, 2009

Asain Market Adventures

Whenever I get the chance, I like to go to interesting and exotic grocery stores. The other day I had just the chance. On the north side of Chicago there is a group of Asain, mostly Thai, grocery stores. They carry all kinds of interesting and hard to find ingredients.

I first stumbled into Tai Nam Market when out with my friend Adam. He had been to other markets in the neighborhood, but not this one. This place is the real deal. I remember they had a cardboard box of chicken feet on the floor, that was so covered in fat that the box had changed color. That aside, this place is great. Need a 50 lb bag of rice...they have it. Need soy sauce for the next 5 years...this is the place.

They do carry a wide range of vegtables that are hard to find. I saw these long beans and couldn't resist. We love them Szechuan style at Lao Sze Chuan

This recipe can be made with any green bean if long beans aren't available.

Szechuan Spicy Long Beans
1 bunch long beans, trimmed, cut to desired length
1 - 2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 inch ginger, diced
1 - 3 Tbs hot sauce (Sambal Oelek)
splash soy sauce

Heat a pan on high and add oil.
Saute beans for a few minutes until they begin to brown. Set aside.
Add more oil and saute the garlic and ginger for a minute until soft.
Add the hot sauce and return the beans.
Splash with soy, toss to coat.

The other great thing at the market are the fresh Lo Mein noodles. They are so fresh that they are still hot when you get them.

Another of our favorite dishes is Kung Pao. I found this simple sauce recipe from Ming Tsai which works great with almost any vegetable, tofu or meat.

We had some salmon and broccoli to add as well.

To prepare the salmon, season with salt and pepper and dust with flour. This will help create a nice crust when cooked.

Saute for a couple minutes on each side then set aside.

I stated the dish by sauting and onion in oil. Remove and set aside.
Cook the broccoli and add to the onion.

Kung Pao Sauce
1 inch ginger, minced well
2 Tbs hot sauce (Sambal Oelek)
6 - 8 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
2-3 Tbs sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 Tbs corn starch mixed with 1 Tbs cold water
2 - 3 Tbs peanuts, plus more for garnish

In a wok or saucepan, heat oil over high heat.
Add ginger, garlic, saute for a minute. Add sambal oelek. Mix well for 10 seconds.

Add soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar. Bring to boil quickly.

Slowly add the cornstarch mix, whisking continuously. Add the peanuts. Cook until the sauce thickens.

Add the noodle and heat though. Add the vegetables.

To serve, place noodles in a bowl. Top with a piece of salmon and top with more sauce and chopped peanuts.

No comments:

Post a Comment