I love Korean food. I like going out to eat Korean bbq so I can have fun grilling various cuts of meats, but more importantly perhaps so I can eat all of the different banchan that accompany your entree. I’m a sucker for anything pickled and coated in a fluorescent red sauce of Korean chili.
Carlo and I often make Korean bbq at home and even though I’ve gotten pretty handy at making kimchi pancakes and a green salad with chili dressing, it just isn’t the same without all of those little bowls filled with mostly unidentifiable foods that you just can’t stop eating or at least I can’t.
Cue Mom’s Taste, a small Korean shop on north Airport in Austin. Like all worthy Asian restaurants and stores (in my opinion), Mom’s Taste is in a non-descript strip mall that is easy to drive by and never notice. But once you open the door, you are hit with the seductively pungent smells of fermented cabbage, shrimp paste, and chili. The store is tiny with a front shop of a few shelves of chili sauce, noodles, and soy sauce, and a series of large fridges with glass doors. It is in these fridges where the real treasures are to be found!
Stacks of clear plastic containers are housed filled with various kinds of house made banchan and kimchi. We stocked up on pickled cucumbers, marinated garlic stalks, seaweed salad, pickled summer radishes, and my favourite, strips of marinated fish cakes! With each container of banchan priced around $4, it makes no sense trying to make your own Korean side dishes at home, especially when Mom’s Taste does it so well. In addition, they also sell containers of marinated meats for you to create a Korean bbq feast at home. We didn’t get any this time, but I’ll definitely be checking out their galbi and bulgogi selections next time I’m in the mood for Korean food. Just make sure to pick up some Hite beer to enjoy with your banchan!
6613 Airport Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78752
There is nothing worse than going to the grocery store or farmers’ market and stocking up on fresh vegetables or fruit, only to have them go bad in your fridge. While Carlo and I have almost perfected the art of buying just what we need for the week’s menu, we still have to toss out veggies past their expiration date every week.
So I was very happy to find Ziploc Fresh Produce Bags at Costco last week. I had first seen them used on the Biggest Loser last season, but I had looked for them at Target and my local grocery stores with no luck. At Costco, you get 4 boxes of 15 bags each for $7.45. This equals out to 12 cents per bag, but it is so worth it considering how much the produce costs that you throw out, and you can reuse the bags a couple of times depending on what you put inside them.
The Fresh Produce Bags totally worked: The strawberries that I buy at the farmers’ market normally go a bit manky after 3-4 days in the fridge, but the ones that I put in one of the bags stayed fresh for a week, which immediately turned me into a convert. I now transfer all of my fresh produce into the bags as soon as I come home from the farmers’ market and store. If you want to cut down on your grocery bill and prevent unnecessary waste, definitely buy a pack and try them for yourself.
Yesterday I went to the Farmers Market in the park by our house. This being Vegas and all, there are only a few vegetable and fruit stands at the market, and the majority of the farmers truck in their produce from Southern California. However, the spread at this one stand from Blythe, California made me forgive Vegas for being in the desert and overlook the fact that my food was still being trucked in from a couple hundred of miles away. They had tons of different greens, lettuces, and hardy winter and early spring vegetables that were all reasonably priced.
Shopping at your local farmers market is a sure fire way to save money because it forces you to eat seasonally. Instead of paying a premimum for produce flown in from Chile because it is out of season in the States, you can buy cheap in season produce, and it tastes better than the Chilean produce that has traveled thousands of miles to your grocery store. Plus you get to support independent farmers, which always makes me feel good.
Please let me introduce you to the produce that I bought which will soon have starring roles in some future Recession Recip.es…
They had the most beautiful bunches of different kale varieties on sale for $2 each. I chose a bunch of Russian Kale because I had never had it before and it looked different from the regular curly leafed kale that you can find at the store.
This orange cauliflower looks delicious and was only $3, which a lot cheaper than what I’ve seen it sold for at the grocery store.
I bought this Kohlrabi for $2.50. I have never eaten this before, but I’ve always been intrigued by it when I’ve seen it in recipes. I’m looking forward to finally tasting it!