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cooking at home - without spending a fortune!

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  1. #1

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    Dec 2009
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    cooking at home - without spending a fortune!

    Lately I've been trying to cook at home. Nothing fancy, just a few quick and easy dishes.

    I'm finding that it's more expensive to cook at home than to eat out, just because when i look for something like pasta sauce I have to pay imported prices. Or when I find a recipe which has italian herbs or indian spices I don't know where to get them. I think cooking sauces are the hardest thing to get in Hong Kong, people seem to eat dry food here.

    Does anyone cook at home using basic ingredients, or ingredients which dont cost 4x more than they do at home? If so - could you share any recipes? Even really simple suggestions would be great.

    Let me start with something gourmet (ha)...

    Jamie oliver's home made beef burgers...
    burgers & sliders | Jamie Oliver recipes

    Very basic, but I'm glad I found that recipe! Everything can be bought in parknshop easy. Goes great with baked potato


  2. #2

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    Oct 2008
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    For sauces (including pasta sauce -- they carry Dean & Deluca pasta sauces) and marinades, my wife and I usually go to Oliver's in Prince's Building in Central. They also stock stuff like whole wheat pasta, wild rice, etc. that you may prefer over white pasta and white rice.

    A lot of local cooking tends to involve generating shiny/goopy sauces from small amounts of cooking juices via generous helpings of corn starch mixed with water, but there are also jars and bottles of sauces on sale in PnS and Wellcome -- e.g. the Lee Kum Kee stuff in red and yellow jars/bottles with red lids/caps.

    Cooking at home may be more expensive because you're buying quality, safe, and aesthetically appealing ingredients from Western-style supermarkets.

    If you can resign yourself to using more local ingredients, including stuff of dubious long-term health impact from the Mainland, and scrumming at wet markets, you can save some (probably a lot of) money. For relatively niche stuff like herbs and spices,if you don't want to be price-gouged, there are probably tiny shops scattered throughout Hong Kong where, if you have the time and patience to search them out in the first place, you can probably get them relatively inexpensively.

    Last edited by dear giant; 09-07-2010 at 09:18 AM.

  3. #3

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    They do pasta sauces in PnS, not sure why you can't find them there. Mind you I did have a strange experience where they had pesto sauce on the shelf but when I went to the check out they told me they did not stock it and so I could not buy the jar I had in my hand! The computer says no.

    dear giant likes this.

  4. #4

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    Apr 2005
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    it completely depends on where you buy your ingredients.

    right now there are the MOST delicious steaks on sale at wellcome, the are aussie (if i remember correctly) marbled sirloin & rib-eye. they are in the frozen section and right now, they are 2 for $68! they are DELICIOUS! so tender, they melt in your mouth!

    otherwise, for our meat, i go to the wholesale frozen meat places. i can by enough meat for a family of 4 to last a month... cost $800-900. that includes fish fillets, steak, pork roast, beef roast, whole ham, baby back ribs, chicken fillets/wings etc.

    THAT cuts down on costs a lot. we also buy 90% of our fruit and veg from the local stands/market. it's often 1/2 the price of the supermarket.


  5. #5

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    Carang- Where are the wholesale frozen meat places?


  6. #6

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    there is one in causeway bay.

    the one i go to is in sai kung.

    they are not much to look at. you have to know what you want. you order it and then they go and get it for you and bring it to your basket.


  7. #7

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    for easy tomato based pasta sauce, we just use a $10-$15 can of tomatoes. hand mixer for 30 secs, waaalaaaaaaaaaaaa. how expansive can it be?

    waitrose has a $15 tomatoes with herbs.


  8. #8

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    thanks for advice people. yeah, I did find pasta sauces in parknshop but trying to get a bit adventurous after watching some cooking programmes! my dad is something of a chef and always tells me 'dolmio is full of ****' but then when he tells me what to cook he talks to fast haha.

    liking the wellcome steak tip. Has anyone noticed loads of meat in parknshop is 'previously frozen'? Sounds dodgy to me.

    Yeah its funny all these waitrose things and hk locals dont even know it's a good brand!
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  9. #9

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    they don't know it is a good brand?

    well simple explanation: they don't like canned or frozen food!

    unless of course we are talking about SPAM....or weird fish in black bean sauce...


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dear giant:
    A lot of local cooking tends to involve generating shiny/goopy sauces from small amounts of cooking juices via generous helpings of corn starch mixed with water, but there are also jars and bottles of sauces on sale in PnS and Wellcome -- e.g. the Lee Kum Kee stuff in red and yellow jars/bottles with red lids/caps.

    Cooking at home may be more expensive because you're buying quality, safe, and aesthetically appealing ingredients from Western-style supermarkets.
    Yeah I was wondering about the lee kum sauces. They seem more like paste than the kind of sauce i'm used to. I don't really know how much to use.

    Haha yeah i've made myself sound so poor now - it's not that I can't afford things but there's some satisfaction in cooking for yourself which dwindles when you discover you could've gone to a nice little restaurant for the same price, and (confession) it wouldve tasted nicer anyway!
    Posted via Mobile Device

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