Thursday, January 28, 2010

Went to the Local Asian Market

It's been a while since I've been to an ethnic market. Indian markets charge ridiculous prices for their "special aged rice". Besides the big, overpriced bags of rice there's just nothing interesting that they have to offer unless you're after some authentic Indian cuisine. It's impossible to identify anything in a latino market unless you speak Spanish. The prices are good as long as you know what you're buying, though. I don't. Asian markets, on the other hand, are worth checking out.

If it comes in a bag then you can find it in a big bag. If it comes in a bottle then you can find it in a big bottle. If it comes in a can...well...you get the picture. You won't find a better selection of cheap rice anywhere. Herbs are sold in bulk for next to nothing. Most of what they sell is dried or otherwise preserved. You can count on everything being cheap and the employees tend to be very helpful. If you have an asian market nearby then I'd encourage you to go check it out. From a prepper's point of view they're a gold mine.

7 comments:

ralleywolf said...

Chinese noodles are good fast food in a pinch. Not the Mr noodles ones, the real Chinese ones.

Jim said...

We have an Asian market here in Louisville area and you are correct, We buy extracts, herbs, spices, dry mushrooms (lot's of )and a few odds and ends. Store is nice to view and staff is like you stated helpful. I concur that if you got one near you, check it out.

Dustin Tarditi said...

Hard to compete with the price of Ramen, though.

raoul said...

+1 on Asian markets. I live in the SF Bay Area, and there's a plethora of Asian markets here. They're great for cheap bulk rice, herbs, spices, and meat.

Produce at Chinese markets is almost always of incredibly high quality, and dirt cheap - often half the cost of that in mainstream supermarkets. I've found that Korean markets, though, tend to be far more expensive than Chinese markets, and sometimes more expensive than major chains.

Meat is usually cheap, too, especially bits like pork shoulder and ribs. As well, many Asian markets sell organic, free-range chicken (though not advertised as such) for half of what it would cost at a major market.

If you like BBQ sauce, I highly recommend picking up jars of Hoisin sauce, plum sauce, and oyster sauce, (compare the price of these in your Asian market to your local supermarket) and experiment with mixing up your own BBQ sauce. A bit of those sauces above, some vinegar, maybe some ketchup and garlic, and you'll be on to something good.

The Urban Survivalist said...

+1 on the rice noodles. The ones that I like are labeled rice sticks. They're cheaper than ramen. They don't get stale anywhere near as quickly. They don't come with the salt/msg packets. Buy a few of those and a can of seasoning (actual seasoning....not salt/msg mixes) and you'll get more product for less than the price of a case of ramen. Trust me when I say that you can beat the price of ramen if you look around in an asian market.

Raoul, that's one more thing that I forgot about asian markets. You can actually tell what's in the stuff by reading the ingredients. I'm in the produce business so I have to disagree with the whole "best and freshest produce for half the cost" assessment. The markets around here are certainly a lot cheaper and you can get some specialty stuff that you can't find anywhere else (if you do find it it costs 10x what they charge) but they all buy from the lowest bidder and the quality is reflected.

Kate said...

Thanks, everybody. Your comments and recommendations are a great help to me. I can hardly wait to blast my way down the icy streets tomorrow to the local Asian market and check it out.

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