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Feb 22, 2012 09:44 AM

Indonesian market

Hi guys — What's my best bet for Indonesian ingredients? In particular I'm wondering if there's any place to buy these:

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  1. China Merchandise, 120 Cambridge St, Burlington, MA 01803, is pan-Asian and Indian. They have an aisle of Indonesian products. I haven't seen anything like your picture, but you might find the fixings.

    The store is located in an L-shaped strip-mall, back in a corner hard to see outbound on 3A from 128. Look for a low brick building on the right with a white fence around the roof, across from the high school athletic field, and turn right into the parking lot just before it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: peregrine

      It's almost 2.5 years later, but I wanted to say THANK YOU for this post. I needed candlenuts (aka kemiri nuts or kukui nuts) for a recipe. China Merchandise had exactly what I needed.

      Funny thing, I used to shop there sometimes when I worked near the Burlington Mall. Back then, China Merchandise had a large selection of Chinese groceries, plus the other nationalities you mention. Now, however, it is primarily Indian. I would look elsewhere if my goal was strictly Chinese ingredients, but for Indonesian, it is the best source I have seen in the area.

      Thank you Chowhound for being an amazing source of help!

      1. re: PinchOfSalt

        Glad to be of service. Maybe there's a reason that the internet is forever!

    2. Kam Man in Quincy might have some as well.

      1. Interesting. I didn't know there was a place in Burlington besides H Mart. Are both China Merch and Kam Man likely to have a full range of herbs we don't usually have in the U.S.? I've been reading this recipe:
        and scratching my head over the "spice you can replace with tamarind if you have to but it's not really the way you should do it" spice. I have trouble figuring out what's what in Reliable Market, even. Also, I appear to need vast quantities of lemongrass and thus I'd like to find it at a reasonable price.

        9 Replies
        1. re: djd

          Interesting recipe. I have had the beef rendang from Cradle of Flavor cookbook by James Oseland. It was fantastic.

          Regarding lemongrass- I've seen it at Russo's for a decent price. Unless you are making rendang for a huge crowd, buying 3 (as your recipe & mine indicate) won't be too pricey. I've had a very hard time finding kaffir lime leaves & daun salam leaves, either frozen or fresh. During summertime, local lemongrass is available at many farmer's markets.

          Happy cooking!

          1. re: tall sarah

            I actually am making rendang for a huge crowd. Hence the interest in rice dumplings and other side dish options... I need to fill people up so I can make just a dumb amount of stew, not a completely unaffordable amount.

            1. re: djd

              Have you found a good supplier for the kaffir lime leaves? I have been unsuccessful for the last few years & need them in several dishes.

              If you are looking for side dish recipes, I highly recommend the Cradle of Flavor cookbook. The recipes look terribly involved, but really, the instructions are kind of over the top for detail. Most of the time is spent chopping. He also has great recommendations for pairing food- for example, beef rendang pairs well with a fish curry, cucumber & carrot pickle (delicious!), stir fried Asian greens with garlic & chiles, tofu & summer veggies in coconut milk. My old dinner club made the best meal one time using recipes from this cookbook. 4 couples each made 3-4 things so we had quite a feast.

              1. re: tall sarah

                have you not seen kaffir lime leaves at Russo's? I see it there from time to time in the Asian herb section.

                1. re: tammyh

                  I have often seen kaffir lime leaves at Russo's, at the Battambang market in Revere, and at the Thuan Dat market in Quincy. They all have lemongrass too, very cheaply.

                  1. re: tammyh

                    I don't go over to Russo's often enough, apparently! I'll have to keep going & get them whenever I can & just freeze. Thanks!

            2. re: djd

              Kam Man in Quincy always has fresh lemongrass, galanga and occasionally lime leaves
              they had lime leaves a few weeks ago, but they were very dried out
              a decent and reliable source for fresh lime leaves is (best to freeze as soon as you get them
              )I'm actually about to buy a kaffir lime tree from
              dried kokum you might be able to find at a good Indian market like Waltham Indian Market, Patel Brothers or South Shore Indian Market in Braintree

              1. re: theparegorickid

                I've had no problem getting lime leaves at the various Southeast Asian markets, although I've never seen them at Kam Man either. Kokum I've been unable to find in the Boston area, although I basically only looked in the Waltham markets. I actally just bought some more kokum from Kalustyan's in New York when I was there last weekend.

              2. re: djd

                China Merch. is mostly packaged foods with a small selection of fresh fruits and veggies. That strip also contains several Indian stores from various regions which also sell some fresh produce. In Waltham on Moody Street the India Market has lots of fresh produce that I can't identify, but I don't know how far beyond India it goes.

              3. Kam Man in Quincy sells some Indonesian stuff.

                As far as lemongrass, I was at CMart in Chinatown a fewcweeks ago and it was insanely cheap. I didn't need it but bought a bunch for the freezer.

                I haven't seen fresh lime leaves around here for awhile. But if you are ever in NYC look for the most beautiful fresh ones for very cheap at, of all places, Mario Batali's Eataly. I similarly loaded up and froze them.

                4 Replies
                1. re: C. Hamster

                  Truong Thinh has several freezers dedicated to nothing but.. frozen shredded lemongrass. finding Lime Leaves and Galangal is harder than it should be . suspect it's easier in Providence or Lowell. also try Allston, there seems to be a lot of thai around - Sunrise Market had them, i think

                  1. re: ix9

                    Battambang in Revere always has galangal.

                    1. re: ix9

                      any se asian market should have galangal

                      1. re: galangatron

                        you would think, but after trying 2 chinese bodegas in north quincy (a long shot), thuan dat, and finally heading up to fields corner, it wasnt until the 3rd (6th) store that had a sad bruised piece of galangal.

                        Shung Xing and Thuan Dat were both out of Cilantro on recent visits. of course nothing tops 2009-era Super88 in allston for missing time they were out of rice in sub-20lb quantities

                  2. Kam Man has galangal.

                    I've shopped there regularly for many years and never once seen fresh lime leaves there. Where were they? With the herbs ?