Yay! We love Asian food weeks at my house, just not the shopping for it so much. Usually I go alone, but there is a new Asian market in town that is really nice, really clean, only smells weird in the kimchi area, and has the biggest selection of Japanese items at any local Asian market (other than the tiny Japanese market, which doesn’t have enough selection for me to be able to go there for regular grocery shopping). But it is a long, long way away. So, I prefer not to go to this one alone. And besides, it has food stalls in front with really yummmmmmmy food (the mayo shrimp is excellent, DH said the sushi was great for fast food, next time I want to try the noodles, or a bento if they have them).
Unfortunately, I tend to totally blow the budget when I am doing an all Asian week. I do things like buy a 20 pound bag of rice for $18 (try getting Kokuho Rose for that price at Randalls/ Safeway), knowing that it will be at least a couple of months before I need to get more. ^.^
The other thing that gets me in trouble is that I have to go shopping twice: once at the Asian market and once at my regular market. That is because, while some things are MUCH cheaper at Asian markets (produce, rice, fun Japanese sweets), some things I need each week are MUCH cheaper (or frankly only available) at my local market (like the g diapers we have switched to, milk, eggs). Also HEB actually had some great stuff on loss leader this week like asparagus for $2/pound (half the usual price) and whole chickens for 79 cents a pound (it’s been over $1 for months). The asparagus was a good enough deal that I changed my menu plans around for it.
And my lovely husband decides to help. His ideas of shopping are a little different than mine. We work well together, but sometimes I just have to smile at him. His idea is not necessarily to buy stuff only when it’s cheap, but to stock up on stuff when it is good stuff at a very cheap price or at limited availability. So when I go to grab the 20 pound bag of rice, he doesn’t bat an eye, he just moves the cart closer. When I send him to go grab a bottle of Kewpie mayo (makes the best sauce for sushi), he comes back with two, saying “Well, we went through the first bottle pretty quick, and we don’t have to open the second one until we’re done with the first one.” This was the point where I was just smiling.
So what’s the plan for Asian Food Week? Here you go:
Monday – $1.58/serving
Erika’s Favorite Salad with Sake Steamed Shrimp (I’ve got lots of shrimp which will be making appearances in lunches throughout the week) and Japanese Creamy Sesame Salad Dressing
Wednesday – $2.33/serving
Very Traditional Japanese dinner (well, an attempt): Big bowl of rice and Japanese Onion Soup, with Vinagered Carrots, Sesame Asparagus, Nibuta (poached and marinated pork roast), and Cucumber and Wakame Pickles
Friday – I’m not figuring it out 🙂 but it’s cheaper than our favorite sushi bar.
Sushi Night! – Edamame, Kappa Maki, Ya-Taki Onigiri, Teriyaki Chicken Onigiri, Firecracker Roll, Crunchy Shrimp Roll, and Twinkie Sushi for dessert (cuz I’m a dork!)
A lot of stuff is going to be made ahead of time, and stuff will be put into bento boxes. My rice pot is pretty much going to be going all week long, freezing extras for sushi making.