Thursday, January 31, 2008

To Market To Market...Asian Market & Great Soup

It is Thursday and tomorrow is another Presto Pasta Night Roundup...number 48 to be exact, so don't forget and I just happened to have two for this week and one of them is soup, but you have to read the post first. Well you really DON'T, you can just scroll down to the bottom for the recipe, but...well, the choice is yours.

If you live in Toronto, or visited, then you know about Spadina ..the "old" Chinatown with every imaginable Asian delicacy...

restaurants where someone else does the cooking...

or markets to buy the best ingredients so you can make it at home. I love the Chinese ladies who bring produce from their gardens to sell on the street.

I've written about it before and, naturally, it's one neighborhood I will truly miss living in Halifax. But even more is T & T Supermarket, an Asian Superstore in the Northern part of the city. It's HUGE, sparkling clean and carries everything from canned, to dried, to prepared packages, to fresh fish, meat, chicken and has a freshly prepared meals section that is second to none. Think Whole Foods or Pusatari or Bruno's for variety and quality and now think Asian versions but bigger!

So imagine my delight when I found Taishan Asian Grocery on Queen near Morris in downtown Halifax (the website is only in Chinese, but they do have pictures). It opened recently and although it doesn't have fresh Asian produce it does have just about everything else (smaller quantities, to be sure, but still too many for me to choose from). Freezers full of dim sum cakes and dumplings, both sweet and savory (I loved the shrimp & pork ones),

thinly sliced beef and lamb for soups, (by the way, the beef was very tender...I used some in the yummy soup I made)

rows and rows of shelves filled with noodles (I tried some shrimp flavored ones in the soup) and all sorts of packaged sweets (that I left on the shelves),

jars and bags of sauces and spices (that I couldn't resist)...

....I'll be back often! And no one has to hear me whine about a lack of tasty Asian ingredients in this town.

And isn't it serendipitous that I just bought a great magazine...Cook's Illustrated soups & stews 2008 with (among other awesome dishes) a quick and oh so tasty Vietnamese style soup. fAnd how fabulous that I can share it with Presto Pasta Night... After all...two kinds of noodles (I can't help myself) Kamfen Hong Kong Shrimp flavored noodles (think spaghetti) are apparently very popular in Hong Kong. They were ready in 2 minutes as was the right-from-frozen thinly sliced raw beef I added after the unbelievably delicious pork & shrimp dumplings (second pasta in one soup...overkill, but not to me) were cooked in the broth.

Quick Vietnamese Soup

I think the next ethnic store will be the Lebanese Grocery just a few blocks from my house. Lucky me!

I'd love to know what your favorite ethnic foods are and how easy/hard it is to find them where you live.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That's a great market! Your soup looks very good!



kittie said...

Wow - what a great place!
I used to think I had a lot of variety (and I suppose I do compared with some!) but that puts it in the shade.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Lucky you, indeed! I'm jealous :o

The soup looks tasty!

Psychgrad said...

I've been to the T&T at the's like a whole new world in there. I wish I knew how to cook with the products there! It's a big eye opener to see how many meal options are available that don't even register on my radar.

Kits Chow said...

I agree, my favourite T&T in Vancouver is at 1st and Renfrew. Across from T&T is a bakery that makes the best crusty, Portuguese rolls.

Soup looks delicious

Bellini Valli said...

Hey Bellini Ruth! I would love to live in large center where we have a Chinatown. Closest one to here would be Vancouver. When I lived back East I always went to TO to browse the markets.

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks all for dropping by. The market is great and Psychgrad...the staff at T & T are very helpful and full of great suggestions. Don't be shy!