Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Asia rising

Posted on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 1:26 PM

The first aisle I walked down at the recently opened ASIAN WORLD FOOD MARKET transported me to Thailand, with shelves of canned jackfruit, pickled eggplant, curries and coconut milk. I pick another aisle, and I’m in ramen heaven, with more instant Asian noodle soups than I ever knew existed.

“We want to help all of the Asians living here looking for their foods,” says Joy Kang, who owns the market with her husband Young. “Many Asian ingredients are hard to get and expensive.”

Asian World Food Market carries food items from Korea, China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and India. Joy says she and her husband are in business not just to make money but to serve the community by offering hard-to-find items at reasonable prices.

The market opened Feb. 18, and there’s still some unpacking going on. But the pile of empty cardboard boxes outside the front door is evidence that there’s plenty on the shelves already.

Sushi lovers will find a whole aisle devoted to seaweed — roasted, shredded, pressed and seasoned. And starting next week, Asian World will sell fresh sushi-grade fish for one-stop sushi shopping. You’ll find pickled ginger, wasabi and 50-pound bags of rice. (You’ll find smaller quantities of specialty rice, also). Need a rice cooker or some extra chopsticks? They’ve got those, too.

I love stores that carry ingredients I don’t recognize. I’ve never tried boiled lotus root, but it sure looks pretty. Pickled plums, golden ginger and salted radish are intriguing, too. Next time I need some quail eggs, I’ll know where to go.
The Kangs will continue to stock the shelves with special requests from customers, and when everything settles, they plan to add a food court with a small number of popular Korean and Chinese American dishes.

Asian World joins nearby El Mercado del Pueblo as a welcome addition to the ethnic food scene in Spokane. Let’s hope this is a continuing trend.

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