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Favorite finds at 99 Ranch Market

Wendy8869 Nov 11, 2004 04:18 PM

Just out of curiosity, what are your favorite finds at 99 Ranch market? I always get so overwhelmed when I go aand end up mostly "window shopping." How's the meat/ seafood? Amd everything else?

  1. j
    jim Nov 11, 2004 04:20 PM

    Seafood is especially fresh ... considering the live tanks....They have Alaskan King Crab and Black Cod live...preicey but so good!

    5 Replies
    1. re: jim
      TomSwift Nov 11, 2004 04:35 PM

      At which store have you seen live Alaskan King Crab? I've never seen it at the one at Sepulveda and Victory.

      1. re: TomSwift
        Professor Salt Nov 11, 2004 04:38 PM

        The two Irvine stores don't have live Alaskan crab, either

        1. re: TomSwift
          Jim Nov 11, 2004 04:38 PM

          Rowland Heights (19.99 a pound).... They usually have just a few.

          They also had Crystal crab (Can't remember how much but it was cheaper)

          1. re: Jim
            TomSwift Nov 11, 2004 04:52 PM


          2. re: TomSwift
            Mr. Taster Nov 11, 2004 04:58 PM

            I saw king crab at the Hawaii supermarket in San Gabriel... they had two, and a small bin of live, walking turtles too. It felt more like a pet store than a supermarket.

            Mr. Taster

        2. k
          kotatsu Nov 11, 2004 04:35 PM


          Sorry to hear about your wisdom teeth. Hope you start to feel better. My fav things to get at 99 Ranch Mkt are: dried mangoes (get the one that says Phillipines in blue lettering), hua juen (chinese style bread rolled with just a little chopped green onion), mixed fruit plate (only $3-4!!), mustard miso salad dressing, vietnamese red chili sauce (has a rooster on the bottle, and NOT the squeeze type. the kind that you open and spoon out). I'm afraid none of these are really soft foods, but hopefully you made a speedy recovery.

          1. s
            Slow Foodie Nov 11, 2004 06:34 PM

            I've taken to doing my weekly shopping @ the 99 in San Gabriel. They have Alta Dena milk cheaper than T.J's and I also buy: Chinese chives (with and without blossoms) garlic cloves, mushrooms (a good assortment, very reasonable), fresh noodles, chinese meatballs, all manner of sauces and spices, Chinese hard candy and fruit pastilles, fresh fish, Korean short ribs, chicken bao from the deli, scallion bread and scallion pie from the bakery, and a number of British products, like digestive biscuits that are far less expensive than at "gourmet" markets. And also, to the sprats disgust, chicken feet which make for the world's best matzoh ball soup...

            5 Replies
            1. re: Slow Foodie
              Robert Lu Nov 11, 2004 06:53 PM

              Chicken feet matzoh ball soup...LOL. Reminds me of that line from My Favorite Year: "Catherine, Jews know two things: suffering, and where to find great Chinese food."

              1. re: Robert Lu
                Jerome Nov 11, 2004 07:17 PM

                not only are chicken feet traditional, but if you can get them, unlaid eggs - the eggs still in the hen's oviduct at the time of slaughtering.

                1. re: Jerome
                  daantaat Nov 11, 2004 09:53 PM

                  chicken feet for matzo ball soup!! LOL!! I'll have to tell my Cantonese father about this!

                  on another note, my fave finds at 99 Ranch are any of the Chinese vegetables, mint (fresher and cheaper than the usual grocery stores), Fuji apples, mangoes, papayas, Asian pears (when they're in season), canned coconut milk, fresh fish, Sriacha hot sauce and the usual assortment of various Chinese foodstuffs (potstickers, onion pancakes, bao). I was pleased to find a reasonable version of tofo fa (sweet soybean pudding with sugar syrup) in the bakery section.

                  1. re: daantaat
                    bagdoodle Jun 1, 2007 05:46 PM

                    Chicken feet is for real, as is unlaid (shell-less, hung together in a cluster) eggs. Both are traditional and delicious. The chicken feet are different from the Chinese preparation, though. The Chinese serve the feet, themselves, cooked without the yellow scaly part of the leg. The Jewish preparation is usually just the opposite, with the toes (or at least the claws) trimmed off, and mostly just the yellow part used to richen and flavor the broth..

              2. re: Slow Foodie
                jennyantepenultimate Nov 11, 2004 10:46 PM

                Sounds like a good offering for your next Superbowl party: (chicken) FOOT (matzoh) BALL SOUP!

              3. j
                Just Larry Nov 11, 2004 07:46 PM

                Our regular staples are Bao... Red Date Paste, Taro, Red Bean Paste, and Chopped Spinach. Scallion Pancakes. Sticky Rice wrapped in Lotus Leaf with sausage and mushroom. Fresh Rice Noodles (with bits of orange and green in them). All of these except the rice noodles heat perfectly from frozen in a bamboo steamer.

                1. w
                  wavewench Nov 11, 2004 11:42 PM

                  The house Kim Chee is the BEST! I also really like the huge box of mangoes for about $5. The Steamed CHeesecake is actually cake, not like a thick american cheesecake...but it's yummy. I really dig the bao (any kind) and the marinated fish cake.

                  The best thing is to buy a whole of live fish..say cod or snapper, and have them clean and fry it right there. Get some sticky rice in banana leaves and see if you can't eat it before you get home!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wavewench
                    jschyun Nov 12, 2004 07:00 PM

                    I noticed that the Irvine store on Jeffrey and walnut carries the chongga brand of kimchee which is actually damn good for commercial made. they also carry a pretty nice line of pulmuone products. I usually buy these things at the HK Korean market in Tustin (gotta support my people) but I smile whenever I pass by them at 99Ranch.

                  2. j
                    Joe MacBu Nov 12, 2004 04:36 AM

                    Sometimes they have steak for cheap (if you have a VIP card). I've gotten good NY Strip for $3/lb, ribeye for $4/lb.

                    1. e
                      elmomonster Nov 12, 2004 10:03 AM

                      Check out their website for their weekly specials and coupons. I always look at it before I go to plan out what I want to buy.

                      Link: http://www.99ranch.com/AdsSoCal.asp

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: elmomonster
                        jennyantepenultimate Nov 13, 2004 05:03 AM

                        I haven't gotten one of their mailout flyers with coupons in a while but the stuff they used to put on special often seemed to be on the iffy side. After getting burned a few times, I learned to use those sheets as a guide what not to buy that week.

                      2. j
                        jschyun Nov 12, 2004 10:50 AM

                        $3.29 per lb crab which they steam for you.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: jschyun
                          jschyun Nov 12, 2004 11:19 AM

                          oh yeah, also, I love the king salmon trimmings which I steam and feed to my little pooches as a treat. I also eat a little myself. I also buy skirt steak for my bad boys (half pound is about $2.50). I'd rather to this than buy the doggie treats in the store which have God knows what in them.

                          I also like the fact that you can get ingredients for a hot pot in one convenient location. My brother made a fantastic hot pot the other day. I like the two irvine locations best, esp the one on Jeffrey and Walnut. But I'm biased.

                          Nice bakery section. I love the lotus seed paste bun.

                          Cheap but good chopsticks. I like the ones with grooves on the business end, for cooking.

                          Cheap soymilk that is so fresh, it's still hot from the soy udder. I'm not a big fan of American style soy milk.

                          Cheap and good manila clams.

                          $6.99 per pound Maine lobster that they will steam for you.

                          1. re: jschyun
                            raytamsgv Jun 1, 2007 05:34 PM

                            Yes, the king salmon there is genuine Pacific king salmon, not the farmed Atlantic salmon, which they sell as steaks or filets. You could probably make some great soup with that stuff.

                        2. b
                          bottomlesspit Nov 15, 2004 10:12 PM

                          All of the above plus those addictive dry roasted peanuts they have in the bakery section (at least at the Culver location in Irvine).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bottomlesspit
                            JoyceW Jun 1, 2007 05:24 PM

                            As a Shanghainese, I am very particular about thngs like the brand of black rice vinegar, glass noodles, etc., that I buy. Ranch 99, although owned by Taiwanese (most of the managers at the Ranch 99s I've been to have been Taiwanese) know enough to offer the brands I want. If I were to go to a mom-and-pop operation in Oakland or San Francisco, I would have fewer choices, and usually have to settle for what is to me a lower quality product made either in Taiwan or elsewhere in China. Ranch 99, as the Walmart of Asian groceries, may be bad for the mom-and-pops, but it offers convenience to me as a shopper as I don't have to visit two different stores to buy two different kinds of noodles.

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