Hunting for a few things in Seattle...
- eight_inch_pestle Oct 26, 2009 06:54 PM
1) Great steamed BBQ pork buns and great baked BBQ pork buns. Nice little egg custards, too. Looking for a bakery, not dim sum. (The ones at the Uwajimaya food court don't meet expectations.)
2) Jamaican meat patties. Flaky, rich crust and habanero-laced ground beef.
3) Good little SE Asian grocery. Great as Uwajimaya is, it can be difficult to track down dried thai chiles, fermented bean paste, and other Mekong specialties.
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I can't help with the patties. I've only had it once, and that was a bakery/cafe in Lake Louise, Alberta.
If you can head to the north suburbs, I'd suggest checking 99Ranch, which has more of a Chinese orientation than Uwajimaya. There are buns at the bakery and deli near the entrance. I haven't tried them enough to say how good they area.
Further north is Star. This a produce and multi-ethnic grocery near the Harris Ford dealership, and a block south of Trader Joes (Lynnwood). I believe the owners are Vietnamese. But I don't know much about Vietnamese specialties.
The area is also strong on Korean shopping (including HMart) but that might not help you.
Baked BBQ pork buns = Mee Sum, on the East side of Pike Place, not far North of Jack's Fish Spot. For SE Asian groceries, you can just wander up Jackson street from Uwajimaya to 12th Avenue. They call the area near 12th and Jackson Vietnam Town, sometimes, and there are lots of shops to see in a compact few blocks.
For Vietnamese ingredients, and a wide diversity of SE Asian pickles, sauces, and frozen goods, try Viet Wah (1032 S Jackson St). It's fairly large, and anything that overlaps with what Uwajimaya sells tends to be less expensive. The meat/fish, however, is far lower in quality - you can't beat Uwajimaya for freshness of their seafood!
Also, there's a small market next to Viet Wah, hidden behind the strip mall, next to Tamarind Tree - much smaller, and less expensive than even Viet Wah for veggies.
Some Thai ingredients I've been able to find only at Mekong Grocery (3400 Rainier Ave S) - a bit further south from Uwajimaya, but well worth the trip for things like dried Thai chiles.
I use the HT market in the Larry's location quite often. They sell things from all over the world with a concentration on Vietnamese and Thai Groceries with lots of Korean and Chinese products and a large selection of rice. Mexican groceries are well represented and the produce is inexpensive and fresh with many Asian vegetables. There is inexpensive meat but I can only vouch for the shortribs, which I buy frequently. The Phillipines are represented and there is even a small Russian section.
I strongly concur with Mekong Rainier, a great little market that has pretty much everything one needs to make SE Asian food. Uwajimaya does carry Thai-style fermented bean sauce. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/435646 . I'd be surprised if Mekong didn't have it too.
For Jamaican meat patties, you might try Eloi on Rainier at Genessee (but everything else I've had there was bad). I also had some patties at Island Soul on Rainier that were fine, and I generally like the food at Kallaloo but I don't know if they have patties. For some reason there are several Carribbean restaurants within a few blocks of eachother in Columbia City, but they each have their own style.
I can't say whether any of the patties I've tried have habernero in the mix; if they did, it didn't make them very hot.
Oops, don't now how I missed that thread. Thanks, Equinoise. I'm actually hunting for dao jiao for that same greens and gravy recipe from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet. Have made it several times with various substitutes, but would of course prefer cook it as intended.
Might have try whipping up the meat patties myself; the kind I'm thinking of are fiery. And addictive. Thanks again.