August 2011 Archives
We at AsianFoodGrocer are always looking for ways to make our customers better, happier people. And one way we can do that is keep you well informed. We made this quiz so all you wonderful people out there can test your knowledge of your favorite foods. The quiz covers pretty much every area, and we want to see just how educated our customers are. So don't be shy, step up and give it a shot. And no cheating, close that Wikipedia page!Click the link below to get started
Did you pass? How was it? Too hard? Well, you should've studied then. Don't worry, we'll give you all more opportunities to impress your friends. And to those who passed with flying colors- good work. Go reward yourself with some Pocky and hit the showers.
Japan has an ancient tradition of culinary dishes. From their spices, to their eating utensils, to their methods of cooking, the Japanese have enough history behind their cooking to have mastered almost any dish.
Today we're going to go over some of the various ingredients the Japanese use in their cooking, and the different results and recipes you can expect to get with these ingredients.
This is just a basic run through of the types of seasonings and flavors you might to expect in a run into while in Japan. Hopefully this will make you a little more savvy about the ingredients when you order from a restaurant.
If you're like most people out there, you enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee. The way its delicate aroma wafts about you. The way it warms you from your fingertips to your belly.
And just like most people out there, you probably don't want any plain old coffee. You want good Coffee. No. You want the best coffee. Or at least the best that your wallet can accommodate for.
Well, we have good news for all you coffee loving penny pinchers out there. AFG has long sold Jacobs Kronung, which is regarded as not only Europe's best coffee, but one of the world's best coffees. It is one of our most popular products, and in an attempt to show some love to our customers, we are reducing our prices on our Coffee Bundle Kits. That's right, you read correctly. No need to get your eyes checked!
We are making it easier than ever for you coffee aficionados to stock up on the various kinds of Jacobs coffee that we offer. But the bundle kits are also the perfect opportunity for people new to Kronung to get a sampler and figure out what flavors they love, as well as what caffeine levels are most appropriate for them.
And maybe you're are asking yourself 'why is Jacobs the best?' Well, we'll tell you. The coffee beans for Jacobs Kronung are taken from various places all over the world, and are then manufactured in Germany. The roasting and the careful selection process of picking out the quality of coffee beans is what has made this coffee stand out in both quality and popularity.
Jacobs Kronung first began coming over to the United States when Military personnel stationed in Germany and across Europe began trying the coffee and bringing it back home. The Americans loved the coffee so much that they began demanding stores sell it here in America. So that's just what we did! You're welcome.
Here are the three types of bundle kits we are offering.
Jacobs Kronung is a bit stronger, with a more rich and robust flavor. It's still just as easy to make however, and provides the same great quality as any product offered here.
This indludes 4 styles of Jacobs coffee. Mild, Balance, Decaf, and Traditional.
Mild- This is a low acidity, medium roast designed for people with sensitive stomachs who still like a rich aroma, smooth texture, and a great tasting cup of coffee.
Balance- This is a half-caf blend that offers the bold flavors and fragrances that made the coffee famous, but with less caffeine. Jacobs Blend is for people who are caffeine sensitive, or want the delicious flavors, but simply aren't in the mood for energy.
Decaf- This is perfect for people who enjoy a coffee after their dinner, or who are caffeine sensitive. It is a popular option because it offers delicious flavors, a hearty aroma, and a full bodied texture, but just without the energy.
Traditional - May we introduce the grand champion of European coffees. Jacobs Kronung Original. This coffee offers the superbly textured, the earthy aromas, and the rich, full roasted flavor that has got the world eager for its next cup of Jacobs Kronung Coffee.
This gives you everything. The instant for when you're on the go, and the traditional coffees for those who like to invest a little time in their coffees.
Personally, we recommend having a couple styles of coffee around the house, because you never know what mood your guests will be in when you offer them a cup of coffee. And you never know when you'll feel like mixing it up with something new. So don't limit yourself by having only one style!
We at AFG have finally lost our minds. Seriously. We've lost it. Here's what we're talking about- 4 huge sales, and one Mooncake Contest! All the the SAME TIME!
See? Crazy. We don't want to keep you waiting, so we'll tell you the best one first.
Sale #1: Deal of the Weekend
So beginning this Friday (the 19th) we are going to begin our Deal of the Weekend. What this means is that each week we are going to be taking one of our more popular items, and reducing the price for that one item from Friday to Sunday.
We'll announce the deal on Friday, and you will have until Sunday night to finalize your purchases. And don't miss out, because once the deal is done, it'll be done.
Sadly, you don't get to pick your deal. We decide that. It'll be a new item each week, and some weeks we might even have a bundle option. So keep your eyes glued to the site and don't miss out on the deal of the weekend. And because each Deal of the Weekend is going to be a BIG DEAL, we are having a 10 item limit per customer. So each person can only buy 10 deals. Sorry, we just want you to all get a piece of the savings.
Now, just because we like you so much, we're going to give you a heads up on what the Deal of the Weekend is. It's Orchids Shirataki Noodles 7 ounce bags. Normally they go for $2.18, but for the Deal of the Weekend they are going for $1.05. That's right folks. Fantastic Shirataki noodles for just $1.05.
And why are we having such an amazing Deal of the Weekend, you might ask? Well, don't ask! Just accept that we like you.
The Contest: Mooncake Fever
We're going to take everyone;s email, and pull one out of a hat. The winner will take home our Mooncake mascot, Kelly, as well as a $15 gift card to our store. So tell us your best stories, and good luck!
Sale #2: Over $50
Any order over fifty dollars will get a free gift. And here's what's available. Origami Paper. Caramel Pocky. Stickers. Apica binders. And the deal only lasts as long as our supplies do.
And that's it- no extra fees or surprises. Simply spend 50 dollars or more for an order, and you get free stuff!!
Sale #3: Mooncake Fever 2
Every time you order one of our mooncakes, you will be getting a free thermos as well. And this isn't some cheap leftover thermos either. This is the good stuff. Keep your soup warm, your coffee hot, and your ice cold beverages icy cold.
The #4 sale. Over $100
Now, the best thing about these deals is that they are not exclusive. You don't have to pick just one. You can get all of them! You can get your free gift, free shipping, a free thermos, and the super amazing Shirataki Deal of the Weekend- all on one order!
We hope you're still with us, because we're freaking out over here. I'm going to have to lie down for a while, but I hope you're as excited as we are about all this.
Hello all, this is Julian. You might remember me from such films as Asian Food Grocer - Talk Time. We started doing Talk Time in order to provide detailed and personal product reviews to our customers.
But we decided to make it much more than just reviews- we're also answering questions, addressing concerns, and letting you guys get to know us- so you don't think we're just another online company out to make a quick buck. The object here is to make this an open and reliable method of communication between you and us.
So please contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), facebook, twitter, or respond to our Talk Time Videos. Tell us what products you want us to review, ask us any questions you have, let us know if we're doing a good job- or you can always respond with a Talk Time food review of your own.
Anyway, thanks for checking us out, and we hope to hear from you soon.
Noodles have appeared in various cultures and cuisines across the globe. Although Asia has probably produced more types and styles of noodles than anyone. Because of that you may get lost in all the options that are out there. So whether you're trying to choose between a salty, savory ramen dish, or a spicy Sichuan dish, or a super healthy Shirataki dish, we'll help you out. And to make things easier, you can click on any of the photographs below to get a recipe for that particular noodle.
Ramen noodles are probably the most widely recognized Asian noodles in America. They are available in both fresh and in package form, and come in an impossibly long list of flavors. The dish is normally a salty, savory meal, with noodles, broth, and possible toppings such as seaweed, corn, sliced pork, green onions, or fish. Ramen has skinny, Chinese styled wheat noodles, with a broth flavored either by a meat or fish base.
Ramen is a highly regionalized dish, with pretty much every corner of Japan offering its own take on the popular food. The ramen of today is not the same as it was in ancient Japan though. The name, ramen, wasn't even in popular use until the 1950's. But the dish's popularity really began to spread around the post war era when cheap flour became readily available in Japan, and when instant ramen was first invented.
By the 1980's Ramen was becoming a global phenomenon, and while fresh ramen may be difficult to find in the United States, especially if you live in a community without a Japanese population, instant ramen is almost impossible not to run into in most stores.
Shirataki noodles can be either dark and opaque, or light and translucent. Also they are sometimes prepared with seaweed for a higher iron content. They are versatile noodles made from the root of the konjac flower in Asia. The noodles come in various textures and styles, allowing them to be used in almost any fashion. They are famous for their diet benefits: a low fat, low calorie, low cholesterol, and high fiber content.
The noodles are pretty tasteless themselves, but they will absorb the flavors of whatever they are prepared with. Because of this they are often seen as a type of 'replacement noodle' where noodles with a higher fat content, such as egg noodles, can be replaced by the zero fat Shirataki noodle.
The noodles will also expand a little in your stomach, making a person feel more full than they really are. Because eating less is one of the best ways to get fit, the noodles have shown to be very effective in shaping diets and waist lines.
Udon noodles are thick, wheat flour noodles and are very popular in Japanese cuisine. They can be either square or round and they puff up when cooked much like Italian noodles, giving them a uniquely soft yet dense texture.
Udon was first introduced to the Japanese by the Buddhist priest Kukai around the 9th century A.D. when he traveled to China and returned with the noodle recipe.
The noodle is typically a low fat, high energy meal, with small amounts of protein, making it a popular on the go treat.
Soba Noodles are long and thin, and are made from buckwheat flour. Buckwheat is actually not wheat at all, and is classified as a pseudo cereal. The noodle dish is very popular in Tokyo, and can be served either in the informal setting of a fast food stand in a train station, or a high class expensive restaurant. Soba can be served either hot or cold. When eaten cold they are usually served alongside Tsuyu, a dashi based dipping sauce often filled with wasabi, sweet soy sauce, and scallions. Many people think eating the noodles cold allows for greater appreciation of the hand made noodle's texture, as eating it in hot soup changes the feel of it.
Soba, when eaten hot, is almost always eaten as a soup. The dashi used to make it is a lot thinner than the Tsuyu used for cold soba. Various meats and vegetables are served in soba, everything from duck, to fish cakes, to a single raw egg.
Soba noodles are noted for being high in energy, antioxidants, various essential nutrients like thiamine and riboflavin, and for containing all 8 types of amino acids necessary for human function. So while most noodles lack the nutrients to sustain a lot of health benefits, soba is able to offer a more complete dietary plan.
Vermicelli Noodles in Asia are very different from the vermicelli noodles consumed in Italian dishes. The Italians make their with wheat, and make thicker noodles, while the Asians usually use rice flour. The noodles in Asia are also known as Rice Sticks, Rice Vermicelli, or Rice Noodles.
These are popular diet noodles, not only due to their fat free, cholesterol free, and low sodium content, but also for their incredible diversity. They can go with almost any meal, whether it's meat, rice, stir-fry, stir fry, pad thai, soup, or salad. Additionally, they have little flavor on their own, and will take on the flavor of whatever they are cooked with.
Egg noodles are very common throughout Asia. They are generally made by blending wheat flour, cornstarch, salt, oil, and of course egg. The added egg offers a more rich and robust flavor, texture, and color. When made fresh, the noodles are made very long to symbolize good luck and longevity in Chinese tradition.
Countless Chinese dishes specifically call for Egg Noodles. The most popular Egg Noodle meal here in America is Chow Mein, which can be found at any Chinese restaurant. Egg noodles are made to cook fast. When done cooking, the noodles become slightly chewy and are dunked in cold water to stop the cooking process, much like what you would do when making caramel.
Ho Fan noodles are a wide and flat Chinese rice noodle similar in taste to the vermicelli noodles found in Pad Thai or Vietnamese Pho. Ho Fan noodles are white in color and are very slippery when cooked, making it difficult to eat them if you aren't skilled with chopsticks.
Using a fork helps A LOT when trying to catch these slick morsels. Their texture is stretchy and a bit chewy. They can normally be found in many Asian dishes such as Thai Pad, Pho noodle soup, and Chinese Chow Fun. Ho Fan Noodles don't have very much taste themselves but much like vermicelli they will absorb the flavor of whatever sauce they are cooked in.
Sichuan noodles, or Szechuan as they're spelled in the states, are named after the providence in China from which they originated, Sichuan. The noodles themselves are not very unique and are similar to udon in their texture, and in that they are a high energy noodle with a good deal of protein. However the taste of the Sichuan noodle is infamously spicy. They are often served with chilies or a spicy peanut sauce to really make the dish hot. The noodles are very versatile and can be worked into most meals, whether it's served alongside meat, vegetables, broth, or rice.
We hope this noodles blog helps to inform you about what noodles might be best for your needs. So whether you're looking for a healthy, low fat shirataki noodle dish, a savory, salty bowl of ramen, or just some good old fashioned Udon noodles.
When most people think of Japanese confectionaries they usually think of Pocky, Hi-Chew, and maybe Hello Panda. But what they don't realize is that there's a mysterious side to Japanese snacks, a crunchy side. In this blog we're going to go over some of the more savory treats that go unnoticed in Pocky's shadow. So strap yourself in and get ready for your mind to be expanded.
# 5. Health
#4. Crunchy can be sweet too!
For those craving the crunchy AND the sweet, we introduce Karintos. Karintos are small snack crackers, with deep fried bits of doe and caramelized sugar in it. They are the perfect mixture of crunchy and sweet, and have a rich, complex flavor. They're extremely popular in Japan, but are still pretty hard to find here in the States. There are various styles, but two of our favorite flavors are the White Sugar Karinto, which tastes sort of like a churro (basically the same concept), and Gokujyo Peanut Karinto, which tastes sort of like sweet peanut brittle.
#3. Avoiding food boredom:
Food boredom is a real thing, and pretty much everyone is susceptible to it. We eat candy and snacks for fun, because they taste good, but like all things fun, our body can grow bored of it, and yearn for something new. It's no different than video games, movies, or eating mom's tuna casserole every night.
So we invite you to take a break from the Pocky and the Hi-Chews, and give something crunchy a chance. Pick something you're not used to, something unique, something that will make your mouth go "Whoa, that's new." We recommend the Meiji Cheese Curls, or the Tohato Caramel Corn Roast Almond Cracker.
The idea behind this is that you your surprise your taste buds, so that when you do return to your beloved Pocky, Hello Panda, and Hi-Chew, you can return to them with renewed vigor, and a healthy lust for their candy deliciosity.
#2. Pursuit of the Weird:
Who doesn't like to impress their friends with something they've never seen before? Something abstract. Something scary. Something weird. For that we offer you Dehydrated Squid, Shrimp Crackers , and Black Pepper Konjac Fiber Slices. These are some of the more unique items you'll find on our website. You should try them, if not just for the weird factor, then because you just might like them.
#1. Because it tastes good!
The number 1 reason to try crunchy snacks- because they're great! When it comes to crunchy snacks, the Japanese have some really delicious options. From the scrumptious caramel crackers, to the spicy wasabi peas, to the sweet Korinto, to the savory rice crackers, you're going to find the whole gambit of flavors when it comes to our crunchy snacks.
Asianfoodgrocer.com is the best place to get your imported candy. We all know that- but if you've been under a rock for the last few months you might not have seen our line of Boston America Products.
Boston America is a wholesale only company, and they provide some of the most unique and interesting licensed and novelty items out there. They specialize in confectionary items relating to animes, video games, or pop culture.
Check out the list of items they carry below, and you'll see what you've been missing out on.
Every once in a while we all need a boost of energy to help us through our work day, our homework, or just to stay awake. Some people don't care what they drink, they'll take any old thing. But we know our AFG fans have a reputation to keep up, so we're offering some of the coolest energy drinks around. We have the Street Fighter Dragon Punch Energy Drink, for the fighter. We have the Zombie Survival Can for the apocalypse survivalist. We have the Mario Bros for the classic gamer, and many more!
Sometimes people want their tinned candy to mean something. They want to be reminded of something with nostalgic value. Or a favorite video game or anime. Boston America has many of your favorite video game icons, from past and present. We have your Pacman, your Sonic, your Nintendo, Atari, and we even threw in some Hello Kitty tinned candy for the people who could never get on the video game train.
Get your gum here! We have Tinned gum that looks just like a Wii Controller, and we have gum that comes in a Hello Kitty Mini Portable Bag. Don't get your gum without a collectible tin to keep it fresh!
We even have adhesive bandages inspired by your favorite characters. We have Mario Bros. 'Know Your Enemy' bandages, for the gamer that gets hurt a lot. We have Hello Kitty bandages for those who like to doctor their wounds while looking adorable, and we have Happy Bunny bandages. He'll cover your scrapes and scratches with pure sarcasm.
So check out our Boston America Products. They'll offer a touch of nostalgia for the hardcore gamer, and the chance to learn your history if you're new to gaming. They have the cute, the intense, and the hard to find. Take a look and we know you'll find something to love.
Red Beans are one of the most common dessert ingredients across Asia. They're pretty healthy, they taste great, and they're not very expensive. This makes them an easily accessible dessert enjoyed by many people across various social and economic classes.
Red beans are traditionally turned into a Sweetened Paste. People do this by boiling the beans with various sugars or herbs to enhance the taste. Then they take the boiled beans and mash them down into a paste. The beans are sort of sweet by themselves, but by adding your own tasty ingredients you can really make the flavor of these beans shine.
Once the beans have been boiled and mashed, they're ready for a thousand different recipes. The paste can be used to go inside a Mochi Ball, or some Sweet Bread, or it can be used as a spread on Pastry Items. It can be used to flavor ice cream, or some Agar-Agar, which is sort of like Japanese jello. Or you can even use it to make various soups.
You may also notice that red beans are referred to as either Azuki (also spelled adzuki), or ogura. Azuki and ogura are similar, but they're not the same. Ogura generally refers to the beans after they've been mashed and sweetened. Azuki usually refers to beans that haven't undergone this process.
The beans are high in fiber, soluble fiber, protein, iron, and complex carbohydrates. This makes them a very important food item because they help with energy, blood health, digestion health, and muscle health. Try some of our Recipes, and experiment with this wonderful ingredient yourself.