Do you live near an Asian grocery store? Maybe you’ve walked past your neighborhood Asian market, maybe you’ve even walked into one, but you were never quite sure what to pick up or know how to even use what you have picked up. Asian grocery stores are an amazing place for a variety of fresh and delicious ingredients. Most Asian grocery stores, be it Korean, Chinese, or Japanese, to name a few, always carry an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and unique Asian snacks. Below are a few of the simplest recipes you can try using ingredients from our local Asian grocery store:
- Breakfast – Miso Soup
For breakfast, try having warm bowl of miso soup with your rice. Miso soup is a staple breakfast dish from Japan made with miso paste. Miso paste is made from fermented soybeans and other grains and has a very umami flavor. Making miso soup is quite simple, taking less than 10 minutes to make. You can always add a variety of other ingredients to your miso soup, but in it’s simplest form, all you will need is your choice of miso paste, water, soft tofu, scallions and wakame (seaweed). To start, cut your soft tofu into cubes and chop up your scallions. Boil a small pot of water (2-3 cups), and when your water comes to a boil, add your cubed tofu into the pot, and a tablespoon of wakame. Let boil for another 2-3 minutes. In a small bowl, add a tablespoon (or to taste) of miso paste, and mix in hot water to help break down the paste. Once mixed, pour your miso paste into your pot. Immediately turn off your heat and add scallions. The key to making a good miso soup is to remove your soup from heat one you’ve added your miso paste. Pour your soup into a bowl and enjoy!
- Lunch – Tuna Mayo
For lunch, try making tuna mayo rice. This is another very simple recipe that is both delicious and filling. To make tuna mayo rice, you will need cooked white rice, a can of Korean Tuna, Kewpie Mayo (or mayo of choice), and soy sauce (optional). This recipe is very simple and customizable, so you can add however much of each ingredient to your personal preference. In a bowl, add your preferred portion of cooked white rice, canned tuna and Kewpie Mayo, and mix all of this together. Add a splash of soy sauce if you prefer, and salt to your taste. That’s it!
- Dinner – Grilled Mackerel
Mackerel is a delicious fish. The mackerel meat is moist and flaky and has a strong but mild flavor. For dinner, try making grilled mackerel. Another simple recipe, all you will need is mackerel that has been butterflied. You can usually find this in the seafood section of your Asian grocery store. If your mackerel hasn’t been prepared, you can do it yourself by buying a whole mackerel and butterflying it yourself. With your prepared mackerel, drizzle oil over both sides and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pre-heat your oven to 360 degrees and line a pan with aluminum foil. Once your oven has heated up, put your mackerel on your pan, skin side up, and bake for 10-15 minutes. When your mackerel is cooked, the skin should be crispy on the outside and the flesh should be soft and flaky. Squeeze lemon juice over your mackerel and enjoy with rice.
- Dessert – Ice cream
Let’s keep dessert simple! Your local Asian grocery store will probably carry a variety of delicious and unique ice cream flavors. Try picking up some that catch your eye and enjoy as a dessert! Some delicious flavors include Matcha, Black Sesame, Melon and Bubble Tea.
Asian markets can feel intimidating if you’re not used to going to one. However, they are a treasure trove of delicious ingredients that can make you a simple but delicious meal. Next time you pass by an Asian grocery store, trying stopping inside and pick up ingredients to make one of these simple recipe