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cooking at home - without spending a fortune!

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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by quackquack:
    Cooking at home is definitely cheaper, healthier and therapeutic than eating out IF you don't buy all your ingredients from high end supermarkets. There is a lot of price difference between Citysuper/ Oliver's and Parknshop International and the latter stocks not all but most of the stuff you would need to make a decent meal.
    is parknshop international the same as taste? or is that some kind of super-taste?

    Today I tried the lee kum kee black pepper sauce with steak and a quick stirfry. It was quite nice but all i'd say is use it sparingly because it's really really salty. should I add a bit of water when I use that stuff, it seemed overly strong?
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  2. #22

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    i think you need to invest in a cook book.

    heres another quick and easy sauce. but a pack or a jar of green or red curry paste. stock up on a few cans of coconut and chicken stock. paste + coconut + meat + vegetable = curry
    paste + stock + noodles + kitchen sink = curry noodle soup

    justjoe86 likes this.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by dumbdonkey:
    i think you need to invest in a cook book.

    heres another quick and easy sauce. but a pack or a jar of green or red curry paste. stock up on a few cans of coconut and chicken stock. paste + coconut + meat + vegetable = curry
    paste + stock + noodles + kitchen sink = curry noodle soup
    haha yeah ive got a few cook books but when i try and get the ingredients for a western recipe i always struggle to find them locally in hk.

    I like your recipe suggestion, particularly the use of a kitchen sink - i'm sure it adds a subtle aftertaste unmatched by even the sinkiest of bowls.

  4. #24

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    i'm the biggest fan of rachel ray, but i know there are a few people who enjoys her 30-minutes cook book.

    always have pine nuts in the house. if basil or any other similar greens are on sale, go and make pesto.

    heres another tip, make chipati and freeze them.


  5. #25

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    Many a times I buy broccoli, cauliflower, some greens, green pepper, tomatoes, from a local shop, and sautee them with some desi masala thrown in to give that flavor. You can eat that just like that or get bread or rice or chapati to go with it, if you please.


  6. #26

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    * which herbs in particular are you looking for?

    at the wanchai wet market and the thai market at kowloon, you can get large bunches of fresh herbs like basil (both sweet and thai), mint, coriander, the asian herbs like sawtooth coriander, lemongrass, tamarind, kaffir leaves, chillis for a few HKD. also the roots like blue ginger, tumeric... the bulbs like garlic and onions are everywhere...

    In the thai market, they also sell the dried spices like cumin, peppercorns, fennel, coriander seeds, tumeric, saffron, paprika, star anise, cinnamon, cloves etc in whole and powdered forms for anywhere upwards of 5 HKD for a small pack. You do have to be able to recognise the herbs though, as the labellings are not in english.

    *happy camper in wet markets*

    I believe those should cover most of the cooking in basic recipes...

    This leaves rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaves?

    The best alternative for rosemary for me was to go to the Prince Edward flower market and pick up a pot of it for HKD 10. =D it's easy to grow it and you don't use that much per dish anyway.

    Thyme, sage, bay, you can pick them up in the dried forms on the supermarkets then, but you'd have saved a pretty penny on the rest.


    if the dish tastes too salty, you've probably added too much sauce. =) You've to remember the bottled ones tend to be concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Water it down to taste.


    if you'd let me know what you're trying to make / what do you like to eat, i could think up some easier recipes?

    Edit: Since finding the wet markets from the kind folks here, I've actually cut down my grocery bills by >50% I think. The items I'm still picking up from supermarkets are things like milk, hams/cheeses, juices. All other things are from the wet markets. I'm cooking mostly for two - four each time, and it's cheaper than eating out, but this could do with the fact that eating out for me tends to be obligatory entertainment, so that is a different price range altogether.

    Last edited by anii; 12-07-2010 at 11:48 AM.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by dumbdonkey:
    i'm the biggest fan of rachel ray, but i know there are a few people who enjoys her 30-minutes cook book.

    always have pine nuts in the house. if basil or any other similar greens are on sale, go and make pesto.

    heres another tip, make chipati and freeze them.
    A (very slightly) cheaper variation on regular pesto - substitute basil with rocket. Otherwise, same method – blend a glove of garlic with a handful of pine nuts, a handful of parmesan, and a bunch of rocket with enough olive oil for a loose paste consistency. Mix with pasta of choice. Takes as long as it takes to boil water and cook pasta.

    Works with sundried tomatoes too!

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by anii:

    In the thai market, they also sell the dried spices like cumin, peppercorns, fennel, coriander seeds, tumeric, saffron, paprika, star anise, cinnamon, cloves etc in whole and powdered forms for anywhere upwards of 5 HKD for a small pack. You do have to be able to recognise the herbs though, as the labellings are not in english.

    Where's the Thai market please? I find it amazing that none of the 'super'markets seem to stock thai basil

  9. #29

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    there are a few in kowloon city but i've never been.
    hopewell PNS aka taste or PNS international have thai basil.


  10. #30

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    Mar 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by limepickle:
    Where's the Thai market please? I find it amazing that none of the 'super'markets seem to stock thai basil
    Wall Road. It's not a thai market per se (as in, everything under one roof), but a street lined with thai grocers and little mini-marts, selling thai ingredients, vegetables, herbs, spices, plus a while range of thai desserts, also all the thai beauty products, besides household goods etc.

    I was bounding everywhere there, they had almost all of the south east asian collection of spices and herbs, down to the thai ginseng. You could also get the rarer vegetables -e.g. the banana blossom, the fern tips too.

    And the chilli padis are the proper kind there, tiny ones with lots of fire. *happy* I picked up a big handful and am freezing them for later use.

    suggest having a meal there too, the food is quite authentic, and you can tell the owner to up the chilli "thai level" as well.

    *very happy camper*

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