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Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Wet Market

I visited the wet market today, I had such a yearning for fresh fruit and veggies. I could have gone to the fancy supermarket where everything is right there, in air-conditioned comfort, but I just love the wet market.

Lines of the freshest of fresh veggies and fruit (I stay away from the meat section, the smell puts me off) it's difficult not to want all of it. And one of the main delights, the vendors. Mostly little old ladies who cackle away with delight at me when I speak to them in Cantonese. Lots of praise for how well I speak it and of course as is the culture here, you must deny such compliments. So it's a barrage of "waaah, ho leck" and me "mo, mo, ngo jungmun m hai gai ho" (translation: the old lady "wow, you are so clever", and my reply "no, no, my Chinese isn't very good"). They love a little bit of a barter and always give me a little gift of a tomato or a small bunch of green onions. That's their way of being gracious with a sale.

Today I decided I'd have some stir fried snow pea shoots for dinner. To make this I use:

a drizzle of this in the bottom of my wok

to which I add a little:

some chopped:

and julienned:

and then a couple, or three (I do love chilis and these are lovely little hot ones), of these thinly sliced:

those really are my 'holy trio' of cooking (garlic, ginger, hot chilis)

and when those start to cook in the very hot pan, I add my snow pea shoots:

and stir fry very quickly for about a minute, that's all these little fellas need:

and voila, a really delicious and extremely healthy meal, served with a little steamed brown rice.

Oh and I was in luck, the soybean stall still had some fresh soymilk so I got a bottle of that. It's so incredibly good fresh like that, no additives, no sugar. Deliciously nutty.

I exit each stall with an exchange of "joy geen"s....which is literally 'again see'. Can't wait for my next visit.


kissmekate said...

I LOVE going to the markets! Whether it is a food market or a junk market I just love fossicking and the atmosphere of it all.

I could go to markets every weekend. Sad thing is we really don't have alot of them where I live.

Dan said...

Oh Fi! Magnificent! Now I'm drooling all over the keyboard. Wait a second ...


That's better (I just wiped it up).

Happy Easter or Passover!

sophie n said...

thats sounds so yummy!

Sunny Delight said...

Looks and sounds delicious....will you cook for me when I visit? I will visit someday.....just you wait and see!

LePhare said...

I can smell the cooking from here. You certainly know how to get my attention, mmmmmmmmm. Great post.

mist1 said...

That looks better than what I had for dinner tonight.

Wait, what the hell did I have for dinner tonight?

Matt Kohai said...

So making me so jealous of the great food! ;-)

You'd love this one seasoning I used to use, called "Mongolian Fire Oil." Strong flavors of hot chilies and ginger in it. I used it as an ingredient in my beef-and-bean chili, back in the day, along with "liquid smoke". It is exactly what the name implies - the smoke of an aromatic wood (often either hickory or mesquite) condensed into liquid form and fixed with a little sugar to stay liquid. I used to get a lot of compliments on my chili - even had a vegetarian who wanted some, once.

Fusion said...

Yummy Fiona!
Will you whip up some for me?
I wish I could speak a different language, I am picking up Aussie now, does that count?

anna said...

I stil can't get used to the taste of soymilk. Maybe I'm subconsciously expecting it to taste like cow's milk. Your comment about it being nutty just triggered something in me - I should focus on the nuttiness and not so much on the milkiness. Hmm... I'll have to give it a shot. Thanks, Fiona!

Fiona said...

Kate - asian markets are pretty special places and I do love the hustle and bustle of them, the old weighing scales, the measurement of weights we use - catties and taels instead of pounds and ounces :)

Dan careful now, you'll short out your keyboard *L*

Sophie - I'll make a big wok-ful!

Sunny - hell yes, I think we are destined to share food and friendship one on one :)

Ian - what can I say, I knew you'd 'sniff' this one out ;)

mist - bet it came in a glass, woman *L*

Matt - Sounds yummy but I always make my own 'seasonings' I like everything fresh, fresh, fresh...I'm a cook that takes the process from scratch, I love the chopping and slicing and pestle-and-mortaring of it all :)

Fusion - that IS a foreign language, you'll see *L*

Anna - I know what you mean...the expectation of a 'creaminess', the way it seems to confuse the tastebuds...but then I learned young about all these different flavours. Yes, try concentrating on the nuttiness and think of it as soybean DRINK :)


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