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Where can I find aji amarillo?

Anywhere closer to the central Contra Costa area, maybe Concord/Pleasant Hill?

Where can I find aji amarillo?

I found a recipe for lomo saltado that I'm dying to try out. I've never cooked Peruvian before and have no idea where to find aji amarillo. Does it matter if I make it fresh or used jarred paste? Would a general Latino grocery store like Mi Pueblo or Las Montanas have it? (IIRC those skew more towards Mexican items?) Thanks!

Banana pastry cream

I've been working on some banana flavored pastry cream which is delicious and banana-y but I can't seem to keep it from turning an ugly grey color! Very unappetizing, particularly as a roll cake filling. What can I do to keep it from uglifying? I've tried adding a bit of yellow food coloring but the top oxidizes no matter what.

Feb 09, 2015
muimi07 in Home Cooking

Megachef Fish Sauce (East or South Bay)

Anyone know of any places in either the East Bay or South Bay that stock Megachef 30 N brand of fish sauce? I've tried the 99 Ranch outlets in both Richmond and Concord with no luck. I'm hoping maybe someone's seen it at a market in the South Bay that caters to a larger Viet population, otherwise I'll have to beg my cousins in the OC.

When is kimchee too funky?

So, I've had this jar of cabbage kimchee (one of those made in-house kimchees from a mom and pop Korean market) in the back of the fridge. It has a "made on" date of 8/29 so it's about a month and a half old.

It was already too funky to eat plain about two weeks ago when I made kimchee fried rice which was awesome. But that was then and I'm not so sure that it's still edible. But how can you tell when it is too funky? There's no rotten spots on it (that I can tell) but it's at that stage where you crack open the jar and the whole house becomes majorly odoriferous.

Do I dare make more fried rice or a jigae out of this or do I just toss at this point?

Oct 10, 2013
muimi07 in Home Cooking

Vietnamese La Lot (piper sarmentosum) leaves

Summer's here so I was really hoping to get some beef wrapped in la lot leaves to grill up. was wondering if anyone knows of any stores (preferably East Bay but I have the feeling I'll have to go down to the South Bay) that sells Vietnamese la lot (piper sarmentosum), sometimes called "wild betel" leaf. I haven't found it in Contra Costa county (not surprising). I'm not sure if this herb is subject to a season or available year round. I'd prefer to find it fresh but I'm so desperate for this dish, I'll take frozen too :)

Looking for bakeware recs

Thanks for the recs, everyone! Currently looking at the Fat Daddios vs. Chicago Metallics right now -- any pros or cons to etiher?

Feb 01, 2013
muimi07 in Cookware

Looking for bakeware recs

I'm in the process (re)building my bakeware stash. I've always gotten cheapo pans which works for a bit but gets warped and rusted after awhile. This time, I have a bit more to start with so I want to buy myself a collection of real, quality pans that can last more than a year or so.

I'm looking for round and square cake pans (6" and 8"), half and full sheet pans and cookie sheets. Would also love recs for casserole dishes, etc.

Jan 30, 2013
muimi07 in Cookware

Fresh onion top ideas

My local farmers market was just teeming with fresh onions -- full sized beauties with their green tops still intact. I'm making onion marmalade from the bottoms but short of fried rice and some excellent scallion oil, I'm sort of out of ideas for the green onion tops. They are big and beautiful and flavorsome so I'd hate to throw them in the compost bin.

May 06, 2012
muimi07 in Home Cooking

Banh chung or banh Tet in East Bay?

I live out in Antioch which is pretty much a food wasteland, especially for Asian food. There's a few Vietnamese restaurants out this way but no Vietnamese centric grocery stores. I want to get a banh Tet for Tet but really, really want to avoid driving out to San Jose if I could possibly help it. Are there any Vietnamese delis/grocery stores in the East Bay (Contra Costa County, preferably) that sell it? I'd rather not go all the way to Fremont (since I know I could get some there) or Oakland Chinatown if I could possibly help it.

Asian/Asian Fusion recs in the Walnut Creek area

Looking for some recommendation for a nice, Asian or Asian Fusion restaurant in the Walnut Creek area for my birthday. I'll take good food over ambiance, though. I looked through some restaurants myself and it seemed to me that a lot of the Asian places seemed overly Americanized. Or at least, their prices were.

Food Festivals? [2010]

In Contra Costa County, Pittsburg is having its 26th Annual Seafood Festival on September 11th & 12th, 2010.

More info here:

Hercules Market Hall impressions?

Has anyone been to the Hercules Market Hall that opened up earlier this month? I passed by it earlier this week but during the week, it looks pretty dead. I've been debating a weekend trip back to Hercules to check it out myself but really would like some opinions from other folks that have been there.

Quince ideas

Hmmm... maybe the quince I got from her is not ripe yet? We've yet to experience any kind of cold weather here and the quince are super fuzzy. They're not particularly fragrant.

Sep 25, 2009
muimi07 in Home Cooking

Quince ideas

A friend of mine has an old quince tree in her backyard. She's tried a few recipes and been unhappy with the results so this year, she decided to give away the quince. She knows I'm up to experimentation so now I've got a paper bag with a good 10lbs of quince!

I looked up some recipes and am finding mostly jams, jellies and the like. I'm definitely going to make some membrillo but am at a loss for what else to do with the darned stuff. I would hate for this stuff to go to waste but I am also not willing to invest in canning equipment just to make some jelly or jam. Is it possible to make some jam without canning it?

Any ideas for this old fruit would be greatly appreciated!

Sep 24, 2009
muimi07 in Home Cooking

Tell me about whoopie pie filling

Specifically, what is the traditional, Pennsylvania Dutch style whoopie pie filling? I live on the West Coast and never heard of these little gems until recently. I'm curious what the old-fashioned whoopie pie filling is supposed to be like. I've seen plenty of recipes involving fluff and though I love the stuff, I am having a hard time believing that these treats originated using fluff. Is the filling supposed to be like a frosting? Is it creamy, gooey, sticky or stiff?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Sep 08, 2009
muimi07 in Home Cooking

Karaage problems?

My sister and I have been making chicken karaage with potato starch. Every time we make it, we end up with a powdery outside. It doesn't taste bad but it isn't as pretty. Any ideas?

Apr 15, 2009
muimi07 in Home Cooking

Vietnamese deli in Contra Costa County?

I actually live a few houses down from Da Nang -- the location is a headscratcher but I've been there a few times. :) The owners are nice and food is decent for the area but oh man oh man, what I would do for decent Vietnamese sweets around here :(

I'll have to check out the deli in Pinole sometime.

Vietnamese deli in Contra Costa County?

Just like the title says -- are there any good Vietnamese delis in CoCoCo? I'm hoping for places that sell things like banh mi, various other banh, etc. I'm dying out here in Antioch :( The local Asian market (County Square) is fine in a pinch for most groceries but my husband and I prefer Vietnamese food which they don't have at their hot counter. They don't carry any Vietnamese sweets and I can't remember if they carry any fresh rice noodles either. HELP!

Guava Cake

Vienna Bakery in Fremont. It bought Aki's a year or two ago and also inherited the very same guava cake recipe.

Recipes for steel cut oats?

I've got a surplus of steel cut oats. Other than the obvious oatmeal (which I love), does anyone have any recipes (esp. baked goods) that call for steel cut oats?

Jun 02, 2008
muimi07 in Home Cooking

Chowish recs for Antioch area?

I actually grew up in Hercules :) My parents still live there so I suppose if I get desperate for things I can tell them to bring it to me :)

Chowish recs for Antioch area?

Thanks for the list!

My husband is Vietnamese so we eat a lot of Vietnamese food. We lived in San Jose for a few years and we got spoiled on being able to trek down to Tully & King nearly every week for some good grub. Not being able to get pho on a regular basis may send the poor thing into withdrawal, I'm afraid. Luckily, we can cook a majority of what we like at home. I'm Filipino and though I can cook whatever food I like at home, I still like Filipino bakery goods that I just won't bother making like cassava cake, etc.

We also like good Chinese food -- nothing too fancy but some good HK style BBQ is always appreciated. We also love Japanese food, beyond just sushi but things like Japanese curry, okonomyaki, ramen etc. I've found non-Japanese owned Japanese restaurants to have rather soulless standards like teriyaki-whatever and over battered tempura though I'll readily admit that Korean rolls are often far more creative than Japanese. Korean BBQ is also a favorite.

Chowish recs for Antioch area?

DH and I are packing up and moving to Antioch in a month or two which my sister warned me is nearly devoid of the Asian food DH and I love to eat. I got word that a new Asian market is opening up in Antioch in July 2008 so that's a relief (I was dreading going down to Pleasant Hill for our groceries) but as far as good restaurants, does anyone have any recs? I only know of the chains around the Lone Tree area. I'm not very fond of Mexican food but any other good food recs are appreciated!

Pinole: Trader Joe's and fresh produce at 99 Cents Only Store

My family will be glad to hear about the TJs in Pinole. They've been going to the one in El Cerrito for awhile now but they live in Hercules. I'm sure this TJs will get plenty of business once it opens up.

Great Japanese Curry: Where?

Oh my god, Curry House in Cupertino?! You have just made my night!

Japantown Guide

I disagree with you about Juban. Juban serves Japanese style yakiniku, essentially Japan's take on Korean BBQ. Korean side dishes at Juban are NOT out of place. But yeah, it's pretty damned expensive but pretty tasty. It's a place I'd recommend if a person budget allows since there's wagyu beef on the menu for grilling. Yummy.

Dduk bo ssam in the Bay Area?

After spending the morning browsing food photos on Flickr and drooling helplessly, I thought I'd ask if anyone knows of a place that serves dduk bo ssam in the Bay Area? I've read of one place in Santa Clara and another in Fremont, Four Season Tofu House which got a 4 stars on Yelp. Have any hounds been there recently? I'm admittedly wary. I normally trust Yelp but the last time I went to a well reviewed place (Old Port Lobster Shack) I was really disappointed.

Garlic Confit - uses?

Yummy! Garlic paste for crostini would be an excellent place to start!

Maybe make a vinegarette out of the garlic infused oil? Or maybe sautee potatoes in the oil?

Oct 31, 2007
muimi07 in Home Cooking

removing brownies from the pan

Echoing all the others that suggest a foil sling, sprayed with non-stick. I spray with Trader Joe's flour/oil mixture and have never had a problem. My brownies always come out wonderfully.

Oct 29, 2007
muimi07 in Home Cooking