Guess how much all this cost?16

Posted on June 2, 2008 by ChristieFood News

OK, I’ll tell you – $10. Cheap, huh?

I got all these tasty morsels from my local Asian grocery. I was very excited when it opened recently, but haven’t had a chance to check it out. So you can imagine my surprise when I got to the counter and was told that all I had to pay was $9.99 – my eyes opened really wide and I turned to The Bear grinning from ear to ear like some sort of Cheshire cat. I was pretty darn happy with myself for finding this wonderful (and cheap!) treasure trove.

In case you’re not sure what the ingredients are, let me name them for you. Clockwise from the left; Fried Tofu Puffs, Chilli Paste, Chilli Sauce, Rice Stick Noodles, Fresh Red Chillis, Kaffir Lime Leaves.

Fried Tofu Puffs – These are absolutely delicious in laksa or curries because they have a soft spongy texture which soaks up liquid and takes on the taste.

Chilli Paste – I’ve been looking for this brand for a while now because it contains dried shrimp. Unfortunately it also has 1% MSG which I didn’t realise when I bought it, so I’ll be using it sparingly.

Chilli Sauce – This is a Thai/Vietnamese style chilli sauce, which I personally think is the best kind. It’s really hot and has a nice sour note from added vinegar.

Rice Stick Noodles – These little beauties transform from brittle sticks to silken and slippery slivers of delight when soaked in hot water. Perfect for making pad thai or using in noodle soups.

Fresh Red Chillis – Need I say more? You may have noticed a chilli theme here. I love chilli and have even been known to add it to scrambled eggs. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

Kaffir Lime Leaves – These give Thai Penang curries their intoxicating fragrance and are also extremely versatile. I have something in mind for them with sweet potato – watch this space.

Next time I’ll definitely be picking up some silken tofu, pea eggplants, fresh tumeric and tamarind pulp and with any luck, the price will be just as nice! What’s your favourite thing to buy at the Asian grocery store? Leave a comment and let me know.

Happy cooking, Christie

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  • Y

    6 items, $10, .. sounds like a mystery bag from Ready Steady Cook. Let’s see now.. with the tofu puffs, I’ll make an easy tofu sorbet, garnished with crispy rice sticks and poached red chillis…. ;)

    My fav asian grocery purchase would have to be Pocky!

  • Tofu Puffs…I’ve never heard/seen those before…what a bargain you got!

  • Joy

    Awesome bargain! I love it! I have a Japanese food market near me that I’m completely addicted to because it So yummy and oh so affordable.

  • Aren’t Asian groceries great? I love them! :)

  • Hi Y,
    Haha, good one! I can’t believe I didn’t think of that! Hmmm, tofu sorbet, I’m intrigued – recipe please :)

    Hi Noble Pig,
    You must seek them out. They are incredibly moreish!

    Hi Joy,
    Oooh, a Japanese market, now that would be heaven!

    Hi Maryann,
    Yes! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Kim

    Great finds, I don’t think we have an Asain store in Charleston.

  • pocky….mmmm.

    tofu puffs…i’m not sold.

  • Hi Kim,
    What a shame! But I don’t think your gorgeous Southern cooking needs any Asian ingredients :)

    Hi Michelle,
    Well, I tried. Maybe a recipe in the future will change your mind? :)

    Can somebody please tell me what Pocky is? I’m intrigued!

  • “Guess how much?” is the new cool kid’s game, ain’t it? :-) I want some tofu puffs!

  • Hi Christie,

    You are just like me, you love a food shopping adventure. I am SO lucky because SF has a very large Asian population, and at the end of my street (about 15 blocks) is the new “Chinatown”. Actually, every type of Asian cuisine and shopping is represented. I just loaded up on all sorts of the same goodies.

    But my big score was the Lebanese coffee with cardamom which I have been looking for forever. There’s even a Middle Eastern grocery down there.


  • Hi Natty,
    Cool? I don’t think so :) If you lived nearby I’d gladly share those puffs with you…

    Hey Tangobaby,
    Ooooh, lucky you – Asian grocery down the street! I have to go a whole two stops on the train to get to my local ;)

    If you are at the Lebanese grocer be sure to get some Z’aatar. It’s a spice blend that you mix with olive oil, very fragrant with oregano and sesame seeds. It’s a traditional breakfast item and is also fabulous as a pizza topping!

    I can’t drink Lebanese coffee – it’s too thick! But my Dad does by the bucket-load. He loves coffee.

  • How funny- I just posted about how to save money buying specialty ingredients at Asian markets on my blog an featured my local market, run by a Cambodian couple in my local paper at,0,4104926.story

  • Hi Deborah,
    Great article! But I would definitely have added fresh herbs to the mix – where would Vietnamese and Thai food be without them? ;)

  • Love the Asian markets! We live there and get such great deals. With out these, we’d go broke !

  • Hi WORC,
    Lucky you! :)

  • Tofu puffs??? I wonder if I could find these in Paris. I’ll have to try …

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