Thursday, July 20, 2017

Asian Market shopping and cooking. . . . . . . .

On a hunt for foods to serve on these very hot days, I remembered I needed
 rice paper wrappers to make Asian summer rolls. I use veggies (lettuce, carrots,
 radishes, cucumbers, fresh mint and basil leaves) and shrimp.
 A peanut dipping sauce is really good served alongside.
Our favorite fresh rolls are always part of the meal at our local Thai restaurant.
 Instruction on how to make them at home was given to me by my
 Vietnamese manicurist as these rolls are actually a Vietnamese delicacy.
  Always delicious. . . . . . light, cool and nutritious on a hot day.

Last night's supper - Summer rolls with shrimp, peanut sauce and chili-lime almonds.

A stop at the Asian Market this week. . . . . . 
. . . . . . . a place of wonder, plus colorful photo opportunities!
The owner is Thai and very helpful when people like me keep
 picking up, pointing, or asking, "what's this, what do you do with that, 
how do I cook this" etc?

I asked if I could take photos with my iPhone as I didn't have a camera
 with me - he smiled and said, "go ahead take many."

Rows of shelves were groaning under the weight of thousands of items.
I had no idea as to what most were let alone how to cook them
into tasty and fragrant Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese etc. dishes.
Freezers were stuffed with plastic bags hiding shapes I didn't even wish
 to know about. . . . . but the fresh produce was interesting.

My favorites were the fruits and vegetables not usually found in
the regular grocery chains.

These are dragon fruit, a type of cactus - talk about colorful!
Since coming home and reading about them I think I'll go back soon 
and buy a couple. They are great to add to a fruit salad, nutritious,
 low calorie, and so pretty when cut open.  Their flavor resembles a cross
 between a kiwifruit and a pear. Have you ever tried one?


  1. I've never tried dragon fruit, Mary, but it does look interesting. I don't frequent Asian markets frequently. Your photos show it as a wonderful place to explore. Summer rolls are a favourite around here, too, when it's too hot to cook. That's not happening this year so far!

  2. I have dragon fruit in my garden but do not like the taste! i grow it because it is very pretty even as a plant. it has to grow on a concrete pole because the weight of the vine and fruit is very heavy.

  3. Beautiful photographs Mary ..... such colour .... so much nicer than ' brown food ' !!!! ..... and so much better for one's diet !!!
    It all looks delicious especially your shrimp rolls..... I could eat one now and it's only 10.00 a.m. !!! XXXX

  4. Mary, I didn't even know that a fruit called Dragon even existed. Ha! You teach me a lot. I loved seeing the photos of this colorful Asian market.

  5. The rolls with shrimp look really tasty. Very interesting series of pictures that show porducts that are totally unknown for me.

  6. Your shrimp rolls look wonderful! I have never tried dragon fruit. It sounds perfect for a summer salad.

  7. I love exploring ethnic food markets and stores! Living in the Chicago area gives us the chance to do that. Not so much in our area (50+ miles from Chicago), but the closer we get to the City. I've seen dragonfruit, but have never tried it. I didn't know you ate shrimp - are you a pescatarian?

    1. Yes Mel, I am! I love fish/seafood - and salmon is probably my favorite and so good for one!
      But no meat/poultry for almost 40 years!

  8. I have not tried dragon fruit, but I would like to now. How I love visiting Asian markets with a curious mind also. I have the rice paper and must make summer rolls soon. Thanks for the nudge. I usually make sushi in the summer too and haven't yet. Must do both soon.

  9. I love Asian markets but can never figure out what to cook with all things and feel horribly sheltered when seeing so much variety. It always makes me want to go to an Asian restaurant and try something a little more exotic than the tried and true dishes I know I'll like. In the end, being practical wins the day though since I am shelling out cash! lol.

    All that aside, those summer rools look incredible! Wow. You made those? So, have you done anythign with the dragon fruit yet? What does that even taste like?

    BTw, Mary, the link for Scribble Picnic does not work. Did you take down the post? I can;t find it here. Thanks!

  10. Please send me link on my blog and I will update it on the sign up. Thanks.

  11. Dragon fruit grow well here, but I do not expect they would grow in your area. School children eat them for recess. Cut the whole fruit in half horizontally. Place it in a plastic bag with a disposable spoon. To eat, take half the fruit from the bag and spoon out the flesh. Then eat the other half. No mess. Finally, put the bag, rind, and spoon in the bin. Personally, I eat mine for breakfast, but the method is similar. I prefer the red rather than the white which have a very subtle flavour.

    1. Love your 'dragon' story Louise - I will definitely be trying one this weekend. Should I chill it in the 'frig before eating?

      Great hearing from you - it's been a while. I often think of you and did this week when reading of the amazing archeological find (axe) in Kakadu dating the existence of the Aboriginal people in Australia much longer than ever thought - 65,000 years!!! I'll never forget my own visit to Kakadu - it was awesome.

      Hope life is good and you are well and happy - Mary

    2. I hope you are enjoying your lovely range of fruit. Yes, some people eat their dragon-fruit straight from the fridge. It seems more refreshing that way. (Classrooms have fridges for lunches, even though the rooms are air-conditioned.) I would not store fruit on the bench unless I expected it to be eaten that day or the next. Although it never gets as hot here as it does in Raleigh, I don't take chances with food. Do you ever make rice-paper rolls with fruit?

  12. I enjoyed this to see all the different foods especially the produce! I would have no idea how to cook most of those! Love to see different and interesting post like this and hope you have a real nice weekend!

  13. HEY!! Wowza! I finally made it back to where I left off last time I read your non Scribble Picnic posts! All caught up again. I am chuckling how earlier this year (or was it last year?) you were lamenting if you could still continue to do your blog and what would you write about but here you are, still going strong and never running out of stuff to share with us. Your travels certainly help but you know, you have so much richness of life in your home life too. Even your cooking is enough of a reason to come here to see the photos. Thank you, Mary. I love you being here online. What a great friend from afar you are. I hope one day we get to meet you.

    Haha, you know, I just mentioned that you seemed to have more wildlife there than we have here in CO but as I write this, guess what? Lo and behold, I hear actual coyotos howling! No way. Maybe they have come down from the foothills as we have a forest fire up there presently. hmmm. You know, actually, about 20 years ago, apparently, there were some mountain lion cubs found on our very roof! It made the papers. One of our neighbours lived here then and told us about it. Well all before we got here but not surprised as there has been so much growth even in the last few decades. It kind of depresses me that I will likely die here one day as when I moved here I promised myself that would never happen! ha. Well, at least it will be near my children. Oh, but both my sons have no intention of living in the states the rest of their life but we shall see!

    Anyway, my fingers are numb from so much typing (not my forte you know - have to correct so many typos) but that's what one does for posts like yours. Kudos! Keep blogging.


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