asianfoodgrocerI’ve been working on expanding my cooking repertoire and I’ve been doing a lot of investment (aka freezer) cooking.  A few weeks ago I added Thai foods and with the help of the Asian Food Grocer, I’m adding more Asian flair to my cooking.  More importantly, I’m doing it with organic products that are good for my family.

The Asian Food Grocer is an online store that specializes in items purchased in Asia and the Orient for that true Asian taste; but they have strategically placed warehouses around the US to ensure their products are as fresh as can be when you receive them. AsianFoodGrocer.com’s parent company has been in business since 1965 as a wholesaler, and has an established history of customer satisfaction, competitive prices, quality, and customer service.

Shopping their site is easy. It’s attractive, has full-color photos of every item, and complete descriptions including sizing, nutritional information, and directions for ready-made products.  Their selection is comprehensive – from candy and pantry staples to sushi ingredients and seasonings.  You can order difficult-to-find organic ingredients, as well as traditional Japanese food like Shirataki noodles, Pocky, miso paste and miso soup. You can even find Asian supplies like chopsticks, teapots, and origami paper.

They offer a section of recipes as well. Unfortunately, there are only two vegetarian recipes and one calls for imitation crab – that’s NOT vegetarian, but the recipes make it easy to pick out products for an entire meal for meat eaters. I’m hoping that’s a section they expand on.

Fabulous Organic Ingredients = Amazing Meals!

The Asian Food Grocer allowed me to select several of their products to try out. Here’s what I sampled:

  • Hime Organic Brown Rice 2 lb – a very reasonable $4.58.  Hime Rice is a premium, organically grown, California medium grain rice. It is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or commercial fertilizers. This is not instant rice, thankfully, because that Minute Rice that’s so popular in many homes has been processed and much of what little nutrients it had are processed out of it to make it “instant”.  This rice takes a full 50 minutes to cook (required little interaction from the cook) and is delightfully soft, sticky, and yet nutty as well.  I made the entire 2 lbs and froze the cooked rice in single size portions for my hubby.  It freezes beautifully and we have a 4-cup container of it in the refrigerator for several meals this week.  Love this rice, it’s perfect!  For some odd reason the directions on the website are different than on the package – it cooked perfectly in 50 minutes so I’m guessing the website is incorrect.
  • Hime Organic White Rice 2lb – cost is $5.18.  Like its brown counterpart, it’s a premium rice that’s organically grown.  It also takes 50 minutes to cook or can be made in a rice cooker.  Again, this is amazing rice, nothing like Minute Rice, closer to the fabulous rice you get at your favorite Chinese restaurant.  I also cooked the entire bag and froze it in individual servings.  It’s a hit with my white rice loving husband.
  • Organic Marudaizu Soy Sauce 17.6 Fz – cost is $5.38.  Made from organic soybeans and all natural ingredients. Organically grown in accordance with the California Organic Act of 1990. This is an amazing soy sauce.  Because I do freezer cooking, I purchased a gallon of Kikkoman’s Soy Sauce from Sam’s.   It’s inexpensive, but the taste difference between the two is noticible.  The Marudaizu Soy Sauce is deep and rich and the smell is divine upon opening.  Because I do freezer cooking I sometimes get stuck on the quantity over quality as I did with the Kikkoman’s. When it’s gone, I’ll be switching to the Marudaize Soy Sauce. It’s organic and it tastes better – what more could I ask for?
  • Organic Alfredo & Parmesan Cheese Risotto – cost is $3.28.  Preparing Risotto from start to finish takes only 20 minutes. The Secret to excellent Risotto lies within Lunberg’s Arborio rice. Stir in this amazing rice into a hot broth and see the individual grains plump up within minutes. Your Risotto will have a rich creamy sauce, yet the grains will remain pleasingly separate and al dente.  I don’t know that I’ve ever had Risotto.  It’s one of those foods that seemed a little different, boy was I wrong!   This Rissoto has several of my favorite flavors – Parmesan and Alfredo sauce – yum!  It cooked up beautifully and I divided it just before it was finished and added shrimp to my husband’s portion and fake chicken to mine – delicious!

I shopped around the net for these products and found that the Asian Food Grocer’s prices were fabulous. The best part about all of the items I received is that they’re as close to natural as you can get.  No crazy-long chemical names, just good, organic ingredients. Shopping and checkout were easy and my items arrived expertly packed within a few days. I received a tracking number and receipt via email so I knew my order was entered and taken care of.  Shipping was $6.90 via FedEx – that’s an awesome rate.  My package was about 6 pounds, that would be $16 via the Post Office.  Even factoring in the shipping into the cost of the items, they were still a great buy.

Last night I had brown rice with the Marudaizu Soy Sauce. Tonight’s dinner is skinless chicken breasts with a marinade made with the Marudaizu Soy Sauce, honey, and lemon and a side of rice for hubby – the same marinade on fake chicken for me.  Tuesday hubby’s having sweet and sour meatballs from the freezer with another side of rice.  He’ll be thrilled!  I love that he likes the taste and has no clue it’s organic. For some reason a lot of people, including my husband, think that organic means tasteless.  He couldn’t be more wrong!

I live in a large metropolitan area just south of Seattle, but organic items are limited to one isle in my grocery store. Add to that I’m a vegetarian and that limits the items available to me by about half.  I love having an online store to shop for the items I can’t get locally or that are priced more competitively than my local store can offer them.  Eating healthy can be done no matter what area of the country you live.

Enjoy!

Please Note:  Special thanks to the Asian Food Grocer for offering me $20 worth of items to sample.  This did not affect the authenticity of my review.

  • How to Cook Rice — Reader’s Question (christie-corner.blogspot.com)
  • green beans with pecan/ginger/miso sauce (hermenaut.org)
  • The Secret To A Delishious Soy Sauce (treehugger.com)
  • Guide to Good Food – Asking Questions (takepart.com)
  • Vegan iri dofu (iri doufu) with garlic chives (justbento.com)