When you think you have nothing, you have something!

I have been so busy recently that I didn’t even get to post anything this week!! That’s unheard of. So here we go.

When we are all too busy with work during the weekdays, it goes without saying that we barely have time to go food-shopping or even cook. Then, you end up getting BK on the way home or calling Domino’s for some pizza (not that it’s morally wrong). However, I manage to cook something even though it might be something super simple.

My secret? Garlic and pepper in the freezer!

When I go some serious grocery shopping, I get a lot of bulbs of garlic and peppers-usually jalapenos. I chop them up (BTW, mind you, use your common sense. Use gloves or something when you chop up those spicy peppers. They could seriously injure you and your beloved family at the same time!). Put them in a tupperware and freeze them.

When you have a boring piece of chicken breast and you have no idea what to do with it, put some soy sauce or any kind of seasoning that you like and add a little bit of garlic that you have in your freezer, the meaningless chicken breast gets transformed into a whole new meaning of your life. (You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you?….)

So, when you have just 10 minutes after you put away all the shopping bags from Giant or Harris Teeter or Whole Foods, do a little chopping with a little caution, you will always have something that can make your dish taste much better!

 

Korean (Asian) Supermarket – Great Seafood Selections!

It’s not easy to get fresh fish in the neighborhood. That means it’s time to go to H-Mart in Falls Church. It’s the closest one but there are actually two other ones around that I can go to. H-Mart has been around since 1982. It is run by Korean people and there’s a small food court in the supermarket as well. I’ve tried their food once. It wasn’t anything crazy but to some people it might be an interesting experience, especially if you don’t cook Korean food at home. Just so you know, right in front of the H-Mart in Falls Church is this Chinese supermarket called “Great Wall” – go figure.

Today’s Shopping List: Kimchi, soy sauce, oyster sauce, soba noodles (my favorite summer food, which I eat in winter too…?!), pork belly (the legendary “samgyeopsal” to be posted some time soon), a huge bag of sticky rice, clams and two mackerel.

I cannot help talking about their seafood selections there. They have quite a variety from  dried anchovies (in multiple sizes) to whole monkfish. They are fresh. They are very affordable. Two mackerel, which could feed three people, were 7 dollars. They clean the fish for you too without any extra charge. You might not be familiar with dealing with the whole fish but I love it! The best flavor is where the bones are – meat, poultry or fish! I also bought some clams so I can use them in my doenjang soup later. Remember doenjang? 😉

I am not gonnna lie. If you like a slow-paced, peaceful shopping experience, H-Mart is not for you. You gotta hustle and bustle walking through tiny aisles trying to figure out what all the things say in multiple foreign languages when other people are pushing you around. But it’s definitely FUN! Try the free tasting samples. Maybe buy their best-selling ramen noodles for your late night snack. Be adventurous and get some kimchi to cook with! You will see so many things that Giant or Harris Teeter doesn’t have.

Next time you go to H-Mart, if you don’t know what the heck you are holding in your hand, take a picture of that and tweet it to me! I will be pleased to help you!