A Trip to the Chinese Grocery Store

I went to Lambda Supermarket today and found some unusual items that I have been looking a while for. I always thought this store had less selection than T&T and Topps, but today I was pleasantly surprised.

I’m slowly putting together a plan for making ramen noodles. Food grade potassium carbonate, lye water or kansui is used to impart the yellow color and chewiness in the noodles. It’s also used to boil bagels. In stronger concentrations, it’s used in soap making as well as oven and drain cleaner. Sound delicious? Now all I need is a pasta roller attachment for my KitchenAid standmixer.

I’ve been looking for fresh ramen noodles too. The fresh package I bought did not look or taste like ramen. The frozen is pictured below and locally made; I have yet to try it. The most authentic I’ve tried came from a local shop in Toronto.

The third item is frozen pandanus leaves. They are used a lot in south east Asian cooking. I had a use for them at one point; now I have forgotten what it was. Oh well, when I remember, I will have them at hand. I own a copy of Thai Street Food by David Thompson and it has all sorts of dessert recipes that use that ingredient.

Potassium carbonate, pandanus leaves and fresh ramen
Potassium carbonate, pandanus leaves and fresh ramen