Foreign Recipes for Widely-Available Ingredients

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Foreign Recipes for Widely-Available Ingredients

Postby shawn_c » 19 Jun 2012, 17:15

A lot of us "furreigners" (the type that like to cook) spend a lot of time poking around Taiwan for various ingredients that are rarely available in the chain Taiwanese supermarkets (RT-Mart, Carrefour, A-Mart, Wellcome, PX-Mart) or even at the Morning/Evening Traditional Markets. So, what I'd like to gather up is a bunch of recipes that we can all re-create using ingredients that can be found almost anywhere in Taiwan's big cities. I'll start.

Caribbean-style Plantain
The miniature bananas (芭蕉, bajiao) that I lovingly refer to as Monkey Bananas that can be seen at fruit stalls everywhere in Taiwan, are eaten by the Taiwanese as a big yellow banana would be back in Canada. This, however, I discovered is actually a type of plantain popular in The Philippines. What do the Filipinos, Caribbeans or South Americans do with plantain? Well, they usually don't eat it ripe, like the Taiwanese do. Take a green monkey banana (rock-hard, as raw as you can get it) and do the following:

-Steam it or boil it for a potato-like experience
-Thinly slice up the raw monkey banana and deep fry it for some plantain chips (good with beer)
-You can also take the ripe monkey banana and slice it lengthwise and pan-fry, to create a sweet, sticky, and crispy Jamaican desert
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Re: Foreign Recipes for Widely-Available Ingredients

Postby shawn_c » 01 Jul 2012, 14:40

Bottarga Spaghetti

There's a popular southern Italian food that is widely produced and sold in Taiwan... it's also a very popular food in Japan, known as Karasumi. In fact, many Japanese come to Taiwan specifically to purchase Taiwanese Karasumi, for it's cheaper and tastes just as good. I don't think Italians come over here for it, though...

I'm talking about 烏魚子 (Wuyuzi), if you haven't already guessed. Even if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you've surely seen it: it's sold in vacuum packs, with two flat, organ-like loaves that are brown to red in colour. They're the fish eggs of a certain type of fish, salted and cured, wrapped in wax and vacuum-sealed. In Taiwan, they usually pan-fry with rice wine (to lessen the fishy smell), slice them up, and enjoy them with garlic sprout and white radish (daikon), bite-size. I don't know what they do in Japan, but it's different in Italy. So, here's time for a traditional southern Italian recipe, but enjoyed in Taiwan:

- a loaf of Wuyuzi/Bottarga/Karasumi
- olive oil
- basil (九層塔)
- spaghetti

1. Cook your spaghetti to al dente.
2. Clean and slice your basil into slivers or squares.
3. Unwrap your Wuyuzi from the vacuum pack and the wax paper and get it ready to be crumbled into the olive oil.
4. Heat up olive oil on really low flame.
5. Crumble your Wuyuzi into the olive oil and let simmer (low, low heat) for about five minutes, stirring to break up the eggs.
6. Put your prepared basil in and let simmer for less than one minute.
7. Put the spaghetti into plates ready to serve... and pour your delicious concoction over each serving. Belissimo!

Simple, and super-delicious.
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Re: Foreign Recipes for Widely-Available Ingredients

Postby MEtodo » 06 Nov 2012, 12:13

Please continue with this forum!! I was just wondering if I can get plantains in Taiwan. I would also love to know where I can get raw nuts? Such as almonds (I know Costco has them sometimes), macadamia, cashew etc….

Thank you in advance!!

M
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Re: Foreign Recipes for Widely-Available Ingredients

Postby the chief » 06 Nov 2012, 12:55

MEtodo wrote:Please continue with this forum!! I was just wondering if I can get plantains in Taiwan. I would also love to know where I can get raw nuts? Such as almonds (I know Costco has them sometimes), macadamia, cashew etc….

Thank you in advance!!

M


Yeah, but most traditional herbalists sell blanched nuts for a fraction of what they want at the import supermarkets.

A while ago I actually made a very credible Cubano Arroz con Pollo with only stuff I found at Wellcome.

Actually at the last minute I found a can of RoTel that I'd grabbed some time before from Jason's, and threw it in.
But it certainly wasn't key or anything.
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Re: Foreign Recipes for Widely-Available Ingredients

Postby Icon » 06 Nov 2012, 16:37

MEtodo wrote:Please continue with this forum!! I was just wondering if I can get plantains in Taiwan. I would also love to know where I can get raw nuts? Such as almonds (I know Costco has them sometimes), macadamia, cashew etc….

Thank you in advance!!

M


Scuttlebutt is that somewhere in the vicinity of Sonjiang/Neihu areas there is a market known to cater to South East Asian patrons, and that there you can find plantain, real plantain, which is not allowed for cultivation in Taiwan due to the kind of fungus that thrives in it -could wipe the whole banana industry. However, as said, the smaller ba jiao or monkey bananas taste and look like guineos, so you can basically add them in soups or mash them to make patacones, as previously said.

I've heard of people using bamboo shoots in recipes that call for palmito, but I think that is a stretch.

Raw nuts? Costco, Dihua street inh Taipei, most organic markets. Do expect very expensive prices for cashew and macadamia.
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Re: Foreign Recipes for Widely-Available Ingredients

Postby shawn_c » 06 Nov 2012, 23:51

What I am really looking for right now is lentils, lima beans! Anyone?

I've found canned and dried chic peas at the big Wellcome in Danshui and at Quanlian (全聯) in Xinzhuang... nowhere else. The big Wellcome in Danshui also has canned black beans, canned baked beans and canned kidney beans.

There was organic quinoa at the Matsusei near Xinpu MRT Station...
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Re: Foreign Recipes for Widely-Available Ingredients

Postby finley » 07 Nov 2012, 00:11

shawn_c wrote:What I am really looking for right now is lentils, lima beans! Anyone?

I've found canned and dried chic peas at the big Wellcome in Danshui and at Quanlian (全聯) in Xinzhuang... nowhere else. The big Wellcome in Danshui also has canned black beans, canned baked beans and canned kidney beans.

There was organic quinoa at the Matsusei near Xinpu MRT Station...


Dry goods stores usually have all sorts of good stuff. My local one is near the ZhuWei MRT. Cross the road across the footbridge, walk down the street and turn left into the alley with the food stands and market stalls, but go "behind" the stalls, as if you're heading to the underground supermarket in the plaza. Avoid the supermarket steps and walk towards the bunch of little shops; follow them around to your left. It's just there, with all their stock spilling out onto the sidewalk. Depending on the season, I've found lentils, cowpeas, various unprocessed nuts, lots of rice varieties, buckwheat, chickpeas ... all sorts. Lima beans I have never seen in Taiwan (although I just ordered seeds and may have some for sale next season ;))

btw please continue with the recipe ideas, shawn_c!
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Re: Foreign Recipes for Widely-Available Ingredients

Postby BigJohn » 07 Nov 2012, 01:22

I can do a nice little chicken in white white and mushroom sauce with mashed potaters, although the freshly killed chickens from the fresh markets are better than Wellcome.

Fry the chicken in olive oil, put in chopped onion until translucent, then add garlic and sliced button mushrooms and a bit of butter. De glaze with white wine and a bit of chicken stock, and voila!
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Re: Foreign Recipes for Widely-Available Ingredients

Postby Tempo Gain » 07 Nov 2012, 02:13

You can get lentils at the Indian store near City hall, Trinity.

http://trinityworldwide.com/tss/

Just bought a bag and a bag of chickpeas the other day. Very interesting conversation with the guy who works there.

You can get lima-ish beans fresh in the market often, "huang di dou". Not sure about season
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Re: Foreign Recipes for Widely-Available Ingredients

Postby BigJohn » 07 Nov 2012, 03:12

Lima-ish beans, eh? Never heard of those! :)
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