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White Girl in an Asian Grocery Store

Hi. My name is Jaimee, and I am an Asian Food Addict. There are probably many reasons for this. I am a Jew from Long Island, so Chinese food represents Christmas to me. I was born without a sense of smell and for some reason Asian food is the only thing I can really taste. I love chaos and urban ethnic food excursions. I’ve spent a lot of my food-oriented leisure time pursuing delicious and hopefully authentic Asian food, passing through different obsessions. Current obsession: hand-pulled noodles. 

Last summer, I went with my family to Italy for a week and still find it arduous to eat prosciuotto, but then I went to China for a month and a year later, still haven’t sated my appetite.

That said, journeys to ethnic food enclaves, while always rewarding, have become rather time consuming. So I have decided to parlay my relationship with tess, AsianSupper co-founder, into an experiment with genuine Asian cooking.

We realized rather quickly that this involved a lot of her following me through the aisle of an Asian grocery store and giggling with self-satisfaction at my ignorance. I'm sure those of you who did not grow up cooking Asian cuisine might find yourself in a similar quandry, asking questions like: what does a lemongrass look like and what do I do with it? Is it lemongrass or a lemongrass? What supplies do I actually need to steam dim sum? What were those special magical pickled cucumbers you made for me years ago?

And so we decided to turn her amusement into yours with this column. Join me as I pursue authentic Asian cookery and the hunt for the ingredients to make it all happen!

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