As I have mentioned previously, I actually enjoy food shopping. Regular weekly grocery store runs put me in the ‘medium happy’ bracket, but any kind of specialty or ethnic food store sends me over the moon. Today was the day to visit a Korean Food Market.
P.A.T. Central looks like any other small ethnic supermarket, but wait until you get inside! It is not ‘new and shiny’ store with carefully arranged displays and immaculate rows of produce, but I am pretty sure that within its walls you will find anything you need for a night of Asian cooking.
Here I feel that I must make a confession. My name is Violetta and I am addicted to Gamjatang (Korean pork bone soup). I hope that I get the chance to eat it when I die and go to heaven, or wherever it is that I will end up. This particular soup is nothing short of magic. I first tried it at a little kiosk at my work’s food court, run by a Korean family. Aptly called Crispy Greenz, they specialize in salads and healthy smoothies, but have a limited menu of Korean dishes. The first time I bought the soup I was actually seduced my the promise of kimchi that comes on the side of it (in my books, you can never go wrong with kimchi). $10+tax later, the soup, a little dish of sticky rice and a tiny container of kimchi in front of me, I was falling in love with my first ever spoon of Gamjatang. It was perfectly spicy, incredibly flavourful and oh so satisfying. I usually like to bring my own lunch 4 days a week, keeping Fridays as a ‘treat’ day when my food is cooked by anyone but me, so I became a Friday regular at the Crispy Greenz. At some point I realized that I want to enjoy my pork bone soup more than once a week and it was time to learn how to make it on my own. I will be posting the recipe of the soup at some point in the future, but this post is dedicated to the joy of shopping for some of the ingredients.
Greens, for example:
And lovely sprouts:
Meat counter is great and this is where I find a very particular cut of pork: neck bones. This one is used for Gamjatang:
And who can pass unmoved by this display?!! Look at the all the jars of kimchi!
On to a rather rare delicacy, which I do not need for my soup, but felt compelled to take a picture:
Another item that I don’t need but love:
And what about the sauces? They are not needed for the soup, but are a great pantry item. I have an awesome recipe for ‘Lazy Korean-ish BBQ Pork’ that involves jarred store bought sauces (coming to the blog soon):
And last but not least and very important ingredients for my soup: soybean paste and Korean red pepper paste:
And here is a sneak peak at Gamjatang in the making, broth stage:
Do you have any favourite food stores? I would absolutely love to know 🙂