Lots of Asian food grocery options if you know where to look

Ever wonder how to make some of your favorite Asian dishes and what components to use for dishes? Surely, we at Gaming Insurrection are not the only ones to wonder. We’re burgeoning chefs with a wide-open palate and we appreciate many cuisines. One of our favorites includes dishes from the Asian cookbook. This quarter, we look at the ingredients that make up some of our favorite dishes, things we use at home and products we’ve tried and are fond of found in your local grocery stores.


Chili sauce and fish sauce

In most dishes, no matter the East Asian origin, chili and fish sauce are key ingredients. Both sauces punch up a dish and add a unique flavor. Fish sauce is a specially used ingredient in Chinese and Japanese dishes as well as Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. Chili sauce can be spicy and is also used to add heat, sweetness or both to a dish, mostly Thai and Vietnamese but also found in some ramen dishes.


Jasmine rice

Similar in appearance to plain American white rice, Jasmine rice is an aromatic long rice grain used in a variety of Asian dishes, mostly in Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. It is much stickier than American rice, and it is best used in stir-fried dishes.


Ramen noodle soup

Sometimes, there is nothing better than a bowl of ramen on a cold day. Store-bought varieties generally don’t hold a candle to the actual bowl done by a ramen chef, but there are certain brands that stand out. Among those brands are Thai Kitchen, Nissin’s (formerly Top Ramen’s) Oodles of Noodles and Nissin’s Cup Noodles.


Pho Bowl

Pho, for the uninitiated, is of Vietnamese origin at the turn of the 20th century. It’s a type of soup that has street stall and stand origins that brings warmth and deliciousness in a bowl of basic ingredients such as beef, onions and rice noodles. Aiming to bring that street fare to your kitchen are several companies that specialize in quick varieties such as the Nongshim Pho Bowl.


Rice noodles

In most Asian cuisines, a different type of noodles is used. Instead of flour-based products such as those found in the West, most noodles are made from rice. Rice noodles are found in a variety of Asian countries and most notably used in Thai and Vietnamese dishes.


Soy sauce

A staple condiment in almost every Asian cuisine, soy sauce completes meals. As a matter of fact, we consider most dishes not complete if there isn’t soy sauce to add. Our favorite brands include Kikkoman and La Choy, longtime favorites in the Beatty-Hicks household. We’ve been known to add the sauce frequently as a garnish for the late GI Mama’s homemade shrimp fried rice recipe (another longtime favorite) or as a marinade for honey soy porkchops and chicken as well as chicken drumettes. Soy sauce is one of the best ingredients for marinades.


Roasted seaweed

Despite its awful taste, there are some benefits in eating seaweed. Seaweed is used in most sushi rolls and is important to other dishes such as rice balls. Roasted seaweed usually combines seasoning and a paper-making like process to produce the sheets.