2:12 AM and Amy is hungry

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Rather than look at food reviews for Hilo restaurants and silently cry, I will be productive about the lack of good food available in Spokane! I will make it!

Shopping list of my dreams:

-Sesame oil. Bottles and bottles of it. This is a kitchen staple.

-Hot chili oil. Another staple. As is oyster sauce. 

-Shoyu goes without saying. Aloha Shoyu is the best. Find it. 

-UME! There is nothing better than a friendly, pinkish red ‘hello’ once you get to the middle of your rice ball. Ume salad dressing is to-die-for, and I can possibly make it myself. 

-Baby bok choy. It seems like it is easier to get regular bok choy here, but I much prefer the baby variety because of its tenderness. I could buy a ton of them, chop ’em up and freeze it. 

-Ginger. I have a love-hate relationship with ginger. The Mae Ploy pre-shredded bottles are so handy, but they get moldy pretty quickly. I made a ginger dish recently and bought fresh ginger, which was such a hassle to peel and shred. But it adds such depth of flavor to…everything. Even tuna! The powdered variety is good, but it cannot replace the real thing in stirfrys. 

-Hoisin sauce. Staple for Asian sauces. Also, Mr. Paul’s favorite stuff. 

-White sesame seeds add a nice look and nutty texture to braised vegetables

-Plum sauce for dipping. I don’t really like to heat it up, but mixing it with a little shoyu is great on the side. 

-TOFU. I cannot live without tofu. I can’t remember when I tried it for the first time. I think I ate the silken kind when I was a baby. I love tofu, beyond belief. I will eat it raw, cold, warm, chewy, crunchy…I would buy ten at a time if they didn’t go bad. Even though I’ll still eat it when it gets sour.

-With tofu hand-in-hand is rice! I try my hardest not to eat white rice, but there’s really no replacing it in certain dishes. Brown rice can be good for fried rice, but I feel like it doesn’t completely absorb the flavors that white rice can. I used to make lots of soybean, red bell pepper fried brown rice dishes when I was a heavy dieter. I didn’t put oil in the pan, and I added shoyu and garlic chunks. Ono. 

-Sugar is a kitchen necessity for most people, but I add a little to my Asian sauces as per Sam Choy’s advice.

-Rice wine vinegar too. 

-GOOD VEGETABLE BOUILLON. We always have bouillon cubes at my family’s house. They are so, so useful for sauce and soup starters. You can even use it as a base for a marinade.

-Panko crumbs. Onolicious when used to bread tofu and fry/bake. 

-The best vegetables for stirfry and fried rice, besides bok choy, are: colorful bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, and baby corn. 

-Fresh tomatoes. There is so, so much you can do with them. The problem with buying them in college is that they ALWAYS go bad on me. I suppose I just need to buy them and seriously plan some tomato-y meals. 

-Unshredded cheese. It tastes way better, folks. I like havarti the best, but jack, cheddar and motz are the utilitarian choices. Parmesan too. 

-I forgot GREEN ONIONS. And regular onions of course. But green too!

-Red wine vinegar. Excellent stuff. So is basalmic.

-Basic bread ingredients. Flour, yeast, b. soda, b. salt. Vanilla too, even though it rarely has to do with bread.

-Garbanzo beans, refried beans, pinto beans, black beans, fresh green beans. Not frozen. Fresh. 

-Necessary condiments: ketchup, stoneground mustard, chutney. 

-Necessary spices to have on hand: sea salt, peppercorn grinder, garam masala, cumin, garlic salt, red chillis, TACO POWDER, bay leaf, curry powder (or some kind of curry base), italian seasoning. 

-To buy/grow fresh: basil, lemon basil, rosemary, oregano, cilantro. Probably more, this is just what I would use the most.

-Udon noodles. So good in a flavorful broth. 

-FURIKAKE for….everything. 

-Won ton wrappers. Unless I figure out how to make them myself. Hmm…nope, never will. 😉 

-Good snack produce: celery, English cucumber, green apple, tangelo, green grapes, nectarine, peach, honeydew, ripe tomato, arugula with sea salt, strawberry, watermelon, apricot. Dried fruit too. CRAISINS ❤ 

-Good snack non-produce: seaweed squares, anything with li hing powder on it, rice cakes. 

-Green enchilada sauce 

-Good quality corn tortillas. Only enough for two weeks, they will go bad. 

-Cream cheese. An essential! 

-Iced non-caffinated tea with Mom’s lillikoi juice in it. 

-Tempura mix

-Korean pickled cucumber 

-Frozen salmon, shrimp and lobster tail (who am I kidding?) 

-Dried peas and lentils for soup

-Soy meat crumbles, soy bacon, gardenburgers.

-Miso soup packets

-Plain yogurt. Again, not more than you can eat.

-Granola with your favorite fruit dried in it 

-Jiffy pancake mix. It is so, so much better and cheaper than Bisquick!

-Quaker oats

-Lots and lots of stockpiled butter in your freezer. Wait for a good sale and go crazy with this purchase. 

-Chocolate chips from Winco are always good to have. 

-Ak-Mak crackers. Yum.

-Green olives with pimentos. Black olives.

-Bottled lemon juice. It really isn’t as good as the real thing, but it’s so handy. You can’t really taste the difference either.

-Carbonated water for drinks. 

-A variety of wheat pasta

-Fingerling potatoes and new potatoes. These go bad quickly too. I don’t think you can cut them up, cause they turn pink and weird. It’s best to buy when you know you’ll be using it within the week. 

-It’s always good to have a loaf of bread frozen in your freezer. It stays good forever this way. 

-I love soy milk. I love normal milk too, but it’s always a gamble as to whether I’ll drink it. 

-Mochi flour and potato starch 

-Coconut milk for curries and mochi!

-Tuna fish

-Salty pickles

And that’s all I can think of for now! I sure would be happy to have all this stuff in my house right now. 🙂 

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