"Asian" condiments and staples
I’d like to put together a gift basket of “Asian” pantry items as a housewarming present for some good friends. Pretty sure they don’t have most of these. Would love to know your favorite brands. I’ll be able to go to an Asian market so there should be a pretty good selection.
Sesame oil, peanut oil, chili paste, red curry paste, red miso, tamarind concentrate, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, tamari, coconut milk, soba noodles, rice noodles. Any other key items you can think of? Thanks!
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Some of my "Asian" favorites include ume plum vinegar, ponzu sauce, mirin and yuzu kosho. And needless to say, a bottle of nice sake (so that they can make black cod miso and then drink the rest).
This is so interesting to read... people are adding so many great items. But I forbid myself to get into dried spices or fresh ingredients, otherwise I will (well, my credit card will) go to hell in a gift basket.
In many ways it's a selfish gift. We eat together often and they could seriously use some Asian influences in their rotation.
Voted the Best Reply!
chili paste- Yank Sing
red curry paste- fresh, not canned. Found in clear plastic pouch in refrig section of market,
tamarind concentrate- found in Indian stores, opaque plastic jar with red lid. Thick tamarind paste- like tar. A hard tamarind block is difficulat to work with, and Indonesian Tamarind in jar- is a whole other thing- consistency of jam.
rice wine vinegar- Marukan superior
soy sauce- Japanese- Kikkoman low sodium; Chinese- Superior Soy.
tamari-San J gluten free
Sriracha- bottle w/ Red Rooster on it, Huy Fong
curry powder- Sun Brand Madras curry powder
in case you wish to research further, Serious Eats has done many tasting panels that include some of your items.
Also, your list is mostly Chinese, SE Asia centric, so i couldn't tell if you wanted to cover Japanese (you do mention soba and miso and rice wine vinegar and soy sauce.)
For Japanese, you might want to find white miso instead of aka/red as a more useful miso, but i may be completely wrong about that. You would, however, want to add ramen, and Mirin, Instant Dashi (i don't use the ones w/ MSG; i use the tea bag-like packets that steep in the water.) and Noodle Dipping Sauce (for cold noodle Summer dishes), and Furokake- which comes in many different combos-for sprinkling on rice, noodles, etc to up the flavor. I like it w/ sesame seeds and nori primarily.
Just to warn you, though I am only speaking from experience here in Boston: Japanese stores are usually the only place i find most japanese items; sometimes they are in Korean markets, but rarely in Chinese markets.
What a lovely gift. Won't they be delighted! If you include a card, you might mention the 1000's of recipes on 52 that they can easily access.