The Asian Market

The other night I went to the Asian Market to buy ingredients for Miso Soup, salad with Miso & Ginger dressing, and egg rolls. I was terrified. Despite living near San Francisco’s Chinatown for two years, I was still intimidated with actually buying the goods I’d need. However, once I figured some things out it is not too hard. Here are my recipes:

Miso Soup

1. Start with a broth. There are several kinds. I bought bonita (fish) flakes and soaked them in water to make a fish broth. About one-handful per cup water. Bring to a boil, then let soak until the flakes sink fully to the bottom. Strain out the flakes.

2. Next, heat the broth back up to a soft boil, add veggies if you want, tofu cubes, seafood, whatever.

3. Break out the Miso paste. They sell different kinds, the darker the richer in flavor. I bought mild. The stuff is very potent. Separately mix one TB of paste per 1 TB of water for each cup of the broth. I started with 4 cups water, figured I boiled some off to about 3 cups broth. So I mixed 3 TB of paste with 3 TB of water to make the miso.

4. Once you’ve prepared your miso, lower the heat on the broth and mix the two. Never bring to a boil after putting in the miso. I read this everywhere. I’m guessing it will burn. Add green onions to the top and you’re done. Turned out really good!

Miso & Ginger dressing

Blend a 1/4 cup of fresh ginger and two carrots. Mix up 1 serving of miso (Remember 1TB paste with 1TB water). Mix together with 1/4 cup of Rice vinegar and 1/4 cup oil. Add more oil if needed. Add salt and honey or juice to taste.

Egg Rolls

1. Buy the egg roll pastries. I have never seen any quite like this from the grocery store. They are awesome. They came frozen, about 25 12″ x 12″ sheets, very thin and super tough (never tore).

2. Cook up 1lb shrimp and 1/2 lb pork cubes. Mix in green onions, ginger, celophane noodles, whatever else.

3. Blend down to egg roll stuffing consistency. I think you know what I mean here. You’re making a filling.

4. Put 1-1.5 TB in the middle of a wrapper. Fold one side over and tuck it under the meat. Tuck the two sides in then roll it like a homemade cigarette. Put a little water on the seal to make it stick. This part is fun. Place them down on the seal so it will stay.

5. Put about 1/4 of oil in a pot or skillet. Bring up to medium heat. Let oil reach temperature, then put rolls in, fry one side, and roll them over. About halfway through you’ll prob need to add more oil and let it come back up to temp. Once your oil is to temp and you know how long to leave them in on each side it is very easy and fun.

Buy some fortune cookies for the kids. Your wife will think you’re a frickin’ genius.

Updated 2/28/2011

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