Which special ingredients do you buy at the International District?
I love going to the ID, buying some ingredient that I can't find in other stores (or that is better there than in other stores), and cooking something with it at home.
For those of you that make a trip to the ID to get a special ingredient, what do you get and what do you cook with it?
I'll start by sharing some of my favorites (some of these are based on excellent recommendations from Chowhound, so thank you!):
* Char siu from Kau Kau - Part of it we just eat as is while it's warm because it's so good. The part that we can manage to bring home, we like making Chinese steamed BBQ pork buns.
* Ho fan noodles from Hau Hau - Really, lots of stores sell these, in the ID. We like to get them at Hau Hau because it's just fun to go there. We like making beef and broccolli chow fun.
* Fresh tofu from Northwest Tofu - Sadly, I am no longer able to eat the supermarket stuff anymore, since I have become aquainted with the real thing. We like making red cooked tofu, or simply eating it as is with some soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, sesame seeds, or whatever other Chinese-style ingredients we have on hand.
OK, now it's your turn :)
We get the brown rice cakes and fried tofu at Uwajimaya and make szechuan rice cakes with tofu. The rice cakes are also great in soups. Wild prawns are on sale this week [$10.99 per lb.]and we also like to make rice cakes with shrimp.
I'll have to check out NW Tofu. We used get the Star tofu back in the day and haven't had anything like it.
I'm fan of the BBQ at 663 Bistro but don't usually cook with it. The roast pork and honey bbq pork are both really good with the roast pork being the stand out.
Uwajimaya is also a great place to buy packaged sausage. They have a good selection and prices are lower than in most grocery stores. SRF Kobe beef dogs, Hempler's andouille and hot links, Taylor's chorizo and Falls Brand Basque chorizo are all good. Sukiyaki/hot pot sliced meats are another good thing to get here. I use the andouille in jambalay and gumbo. The Taylor's chorizo is great if you are making torta's [Costco now sells torta bread]. I like to us the Basque chorizo in paella.
600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA
Sukiyaki meat at Uwajimaya; tofu there as well, but will have to check out Northwest Tofu. Purchase in the ID pretty much all Asian ingredients (pantry staples, noodles, mochi, manju, senbei, barbecued duck) unless I go out to Central Market in Shoreline, which also has a good selection. If we have time before we need it, we also use the SE Asian warehouse stores to buy limes and shallots in particular, because they tend to be good quality for a much cheaper price than a typical American grocery.
600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA