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Are there any good website resources for deciphering Asian products?

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Even after cooking for a number of years, probably 75% of the products at my local Asian grocery store are still very foreign to me. Especially the dried packages, canned goods, sauces, pickles, jars of this and that..

Are there any good web resources to help with this?

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  1. These may get you started:

    http://chinesefood.about.com/library/...

    http://chinesefood.about.com/library/...

    http://chinesefood.about.com/library/...

    http://chinesefood.about.com/library/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      Very nice thank you! Seems like it's mostly the basics though.. No salted preserved duck eggs for example... Next time I go to the grocery store I think I'll make a list of the things I'm curious about, that way I can do some research on each item I guess.

    2. I've had trouble over the years knowing what Korean recipes meant. Recently, much has come clear by searching for videos on various recipes - because you can SEE the product. It's very helpful if you're searching by dish.

      1. I sometimes enter a word, name or term into Google Images for a visual on a product, dish etc.

        1. Not sure what specific Asian cuisine you are trying to learn more about.

          I found these helpful for Chinese ingredients:
          http://www.kitchenchick.com/2007/02/t...
          http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/...
          Korean:
          http://www.maangchi.com/ingredients

          Also, when I go to my grocer to buy something new to me, I usually google it to see if I can see what it should look like and try to get the actual name of the product.

          I also agree with rcallner about starting with a dish. Make a dish with a new ingredient and then try another. Trying to figure out a whole aisle, section can be overwhelming. Good luck!

          1 Reply
          1. re: BigSal

            Very useful links thanks very much, egullet is such a great resource I don't visit as often as I should.

            I have yet to try making something Korean oddly enough, maybe I'll give it a whirl one of these days. I think that's maybe part of the problem is that the Asian grocery stores carry an assortment of things from all kinds of places for various cuisines, and so it just adds to the murkiness of it all.

            We have a ton of them here in Toronto, the one I go to the most must have 12 different kinds of greens alone (choi sum, bok choy, baby bok choy, shanghai bok choy, etc etc). It's easy to get lost. There's a whole wall of vegetables I've never eaten.

            Wish I had internet on my phone but I'm too stubborn to pay for a data plan.. :)

          2. Not a website, but you might consider picking up a used copy of "The Asian Grocery Store Demystified" (Take It with You Guides) by Linda Bladholm (1999, OOP) -- handy reference for just this purpose that you can bring with you to the store.

            1. If you have access to an iphone, Andrea Nguyen has an app for decoding asian grocery store items. This could be handy if you don't feel like lugging a book around.

              1. Wikipedia has some:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category...
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...
                etc.