My first trip to the local Asian market

I’ve driven by the various Asian grocery stores in the Fargo-Moorhead many times, but never been inside. A few weeks ago, I asked TM to stop into one on Main Ave to see what was available. I have a friend that occasionally posts a status on Facebook alluding to some interesting ingredient she found there.  And, another friend had told me she shopped for spices at the Asian market.

Our experience in the store can only described as sensory overload. First, the store was very crowded that Saturday afternoon when we were there. Most of the packaging was very brightly colored, which I loved, and the text on the packages often was not in English.

We had a great time browsing in the store. TM spent a lot of time checking out the prices and comparing them to what we pay at the traditional grocery store. I was less interested in prices and more interested in all the different and unique things that were available. I agree with my friend who said the Asian market is a great place to buy spices. If you need other grains in larger bulk sizes, you will find them there, including huge bags of rice.

By the time we went through the checkout, I had four things, but that’s only because I was practicing some restraint.  Here’s what we bought:

  • Sina Ginger Candy — an impulse buy at the checkout of a candy that sounded delicious and was. We ate most of it within the next hour.
  • Nori (Toasted Seaweed Sheets) — I plan to try my hand at making homemade brown rice California rolls one day
  • Dried Shitake Mushrooms — not sure yet what I’ll do with them but they look very good and were priced well. Any ideas?
  • Sugar Coated Fennel —  a friend gave us some this summer. I was talking about the fennel that I grew in my garden and he said that in India, they use sugar coated fennel seeds as a “mouth freshener.”