Last night I was feeling a bit bored (unacceptable!), or rather, I felt like I’ve been so entertained with TV and video games for the past week that I’ve become boring. Since I was also craving some Japanese snacks, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and take a short walk to Sakura Ya, a small Japanese/Asian grocery store in our neighborhood. This was also a good excuse to take a break from vacation blogging, which I’ve felt a bit uninspired to do recently.
Japanese or Asian grocery stores are always such a treat to visit in NYC. There are some interesting snacks, and you’ll almost always find cheap but useful home goods to try. Last night’s visit garnered me a good variety of these, plus some ingredients that inspired me to make some specific dishes for the week.
Since I was in there for snacks I immediately browsed through the snack aisle and found this. If you can’t read the description, it says ‘Blond chocolate with rich aroma and sweetness was made by heating the white chocolate carefully’. So I was expecting something along the lines of “white chocolate caramel” or “dulce de leche white chocolate”, and that was exactly what I got. I fully recommend this to any white chocolate, caramel, or dulce de leche lovers.
I was actually envisioning Pocky when I decided to go take a walk to Sakura Ya, so it’s not very surprising that I got this.
The other thing I was craving was a Japanese curry dish, so I got one of those sauce mixes that makes it easy to make that in a pinch.
I wasn’t planning on getting salted duck eggs (these are called ‘itlong na pula’ in the Philippines), but I had run out of my stock and I’d never tried this Taiwanese brand before, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
Another interesting purchase was this ‘sweet potato cake’. I had actually picked these over their ‘mitarashi kushi dango’ (skewered rice balls in sweet soy sauce) because I saw them bringing them out as I was shopping, and thought they were probably quite fresh. I’d never had it before, and I thought it tasted similar to the Filipino “cassava cake”, but packaged individually.
I just had to grab some Shin Bowls for Michael. It’s probably our favorite ramen, and we hadn’t had it in so long.
My sister had recently given me a package of flour for making Korean pancakes (think scallion or seafood pancakes), so I thought it would be a good idea to grab some ingredients for it. I’d seen small dried shrimp being used in okonomiyaki (or Japanese savory pancakes) before, so I thought that might work, and I was out of dried red peppers, so those were a good find as well.
They have lots of interesting dried items in there as well, such as these tiny crabs in the snack section. I considered getting them, but had too many other things to choose from, so I told myself I’d get them some other day.
They also surprisingly have a good variety of frozen and fresh items. The scallions were definitely picked up for this week’s scallion pancakes, and I grabbed the bag of fresh bean sprouts (not normally available in grocery stores here) to make a banchan (Korean side dish) out of them. Also, some kani, which would be a good addition to the scallion pancakes.
A good thing to note is that they have a good selection of items for making sushi. One shelf had fish roe, salmon caviar, and uni.
They have some items for making hotpot as well. I saw some golden needle mushrooms, and the chrysanthemum below (I’ve actually never eaten chrysanthemum in my life, but I’ve seen characters in animes put it in their hotpots).
Last but not least, just like any Asian grocery, they had a section of Asian home goods. I saw sooo many things I’d like to get in the future (mostly items we had in our kitchen while I was growing up that I haven’t seen here).
But, I settled for two random things I’ve been wanting for a while but haven’t gotten. You’re probably wondering what the heck I’m buying laundry clips for. I love using chip clips for open packages, but they cost $9 for a set of 8 normally, and we keep losing them so I’ve been a little iffy about buying them again. But these laundry clips will work just as well, and they cost $3.79 for a set of 20 :). Also I bought this shower “towel” for scrubbing your back. I’ve bought several large back brushes but have always found them unwieldy, so I’m hoping this will solve my problem.
So that’s it for my mini culinary adventure! Hope your Saturday night was as ‘fun’ as mine. 😉
73-05 Austin St
Forest Hills, NY 11375