When I arrived at Wing Yip Superstore in Croydon I almost started to cry. From having access to only limited Asian groceries back in Sweden (it was literally a shelf with the cheapest low-quality brands) I am now in London and I have full access to everything you can ever imagine!
The centre in Croydon is a very good one for stacking up on all the basic ingredients you might need. It is particularly good for cooking utensils and serving dishes. The range is really extensive, however, they tend to have a little of everything so if you are looking for variety and especially if you are only interested in Chinese food then I would suggest that you try one of the Chinese supermarkets in China Town. Having said that, I did manage to spend over £100 on all sort of wonderful stuff here!
This will give you an idea of what it looks like inside, it’s like an IKEA. This is the section for restaurants or people who eat like elephants, everything is in enormous bags and jars. There is also a regular supermarket section where you can spend hours browsing (if you’re a food junkie like me). Please pay Wing Yip a visit!
This was an interesting sweet Thai dessert that I bought from the supermarket. Actually, the Thai woman who works there recommended these to me. They come frozen and you can either microwave them or steam them as I did. Not everyone’s favourite, but certainly mine!
London, I love you – London, I love you!
What a great new addition to the London take away lunch. Wasabi has 10+ small food kiosks in town offering a range of seriously fresh and tasty sushi. The pieces are individually wrapped and the selection is extremely broad considering the fact that they only do take away. We bought ourselves some nice sushi and found ourselves a nice spot in the nearest park and enjoyed the fresh food. What a great alternative to fast food and once again, the quality is really good. Please do support Wasabi’s cause!
At any given Korean restaurant you will find Jeon on the menu. These thin and crispy Korean “pancakes” are just great! You can have them with a variety of fillings; vegetables, pork, shrimp and why not fox? LOL, no stay away from the fox Jeon.
You will find a variety of pancake mixes in your local Asian supermarket. Pick your favourite and start mixing the stuff according to the instructions on the package.
I added turmeric powder, sesame seeds, onions and green onions to my mix.
In a pan, fry some onions and garlic with the protein of your choice. I had tiger prawns and pork in the fridge so I went for these.
Add some of the batter and let it fry for a couple of minutes, add some bean sprouts and herbs. Fold over and the pancake is ready! Great!
Tapioca is a great dessert ingredient, you cook it in water for about 10-20 minutes and add your seasoning of choice. My favourite mix is adding coconut cream and some brown sugar and salt. This time around I followed the instructions in the bag. Basically, cook the stuff in water until they are soft. Get rid of the water, serve with honey! I thought they were ok, you could easily improve the recipe by adding some other ingredients. The texture was great and the colours are mad!
Little Chef was kind enough to make these delicious red bean buns for me! I got them frozen, steamed them for about 10 minutes and had them with coffee. Just great!
Seriously, red bean paste is just amazing. Making my own batch has been on my to-do list for quite a while, it is not even that difficult. Please buy these great buns and support Little Chef!
Finally!!! I found the skyward-pointing chili pepper that is THE ingredient in Sichuan cooking. My obsession with Sichuan cuisine started about one year ago when I had some water-cooked beef at a restaurant in Stockholm. I was seduced by all the spices and flavours, it really surprised me! When I was in London I had my very first hotpot and since then I have been hunting for these chillies. I tried to find them in Spain, in Finland and in Sweden! I think I have spent hours browsing through stores (at least 10 different Asian supermarkets), I have tried to find the online and googled like crazy! I have spoken to Chinese people in the stores, asked in restaurants but without luck…
However, I found the heaven facing peppers at a store called Kina Li on Ringvägen 129 in Stockholm. As you can see from the picture below, they differ from the normal dried red chili (which is usually a Thai chili). They are shorter, the shape is different and the colour is darker and the flavour is much nicer.
I can finally start cooking Sichuan food from scratch, God bless Kina Li!!!