I spent 4 days this week in Exeter visiting my grandad which is alway a pleasure - a drive down to Sidmouth to enjoy the sea air, a wander around the city centre and a visit to the cathedral. This visit was even better though because I found not one but TWO Asian supermarkets.
Now this might not be anything special to a lot of people if they have something like this near them but my closest Asian supermarket is in London and I am not a fan of driving around cities so have never been. I felt like I had walked into some sort of cave full of treasure - it's a bit ridiculous just how excited I was!
There are two stores opposite each other - Yonk Asian Foods and Winmede Chinese Supermarket - and Yonk was the first one I went into. The right hand side of the shop is lined with freezer chests full of all kinds of dumplings which unfortunately I couldn't buy because of the drive back home later in the week so I didn't even look too closely as it would have been too much of a temptation!
The shelves are filled with every type of noodle imaginable, soy sauces, rice wines, pickles, canned vegetables...moving towards the back of the shop I found dried seaweeds, dried mushrooms and other dried ingredients. There were a few fridges but again, I didn't want to tempt myself with things that might possibly ruin during the 4 hour drive home.
Across the road is Winmede. The first thing you see when you walk in is the bubble tea stand. Again, the shelves are filled with all kinds of things I ever knew existed. Winmede seemed to have many more snack food - pickled tofu, fish floss, seasoned seaweeds...There were a lot of the same things that I saw in Yonk but this time I had a sneak peek at the refrigerated foods - vegetables, fresh tofu...
So about an hour and a half later and with a smaller balance in my bank account I was satisfied with my stash (4 bags full!) and couldn't wait to get home to try cooking with some of the things that I had bough, some of which I had never heard of!
And what did I come home with? Well...
Whole and shredded dried black fungus
Laver, kelp and another mystery type of seaweed
Rice cakes and soybean paste
Dried tofu and tofu wrappers
More black fungus, anchovy soup base and black sesame seeds.
I'm so excited to try these new things out so will have to spend the next few weekends experimenting! Tonight though, pork and seaweed gyoza and miso soup with seaweed and dried tofu.
Yonk Asian Foods
01392 411 598
Winmede Chinese Supermarket
01392 499 888