chinatown sunday.

26 08 2007

after a lazy sunday morning watching uncle buck on cable, we decided to head out for a late lunch in chinatown. we ended up at nha trang centre, a vietnamese retaurant that’s a mainstay for anyone who has to serve jury duty.

for lunch: frog legs cooked with lemongrass and chilis, some spring rolls wrapped in cilantro, mint and leaf lettuce, vietnamese raviolis stuffed with mushrooms, and some beef salad. vietnamese iced coffee sweetened with thick condensed milk helped wash down all of that food.

to burn off the meal, we went grocery shopping. first stop? bangus, or milk fish, from the fish seller around the corner from thailand restaurant. the fish guy there knows enough tagalog from all of the filipinos who come to chinatown to buy cheap fish — masarap. isa o dalawa? we bought two milk fish, cleaned, left whole with their heads. total cost? $7.50.

next stop? the fruit stall. they had a lot of fresh mangos. not the mexican ones, but the asian mangos that you find in thailand and the philippines. i was going to buy a box, but they looked about half-a-day from being overripe. instead, i bought some dragon fruit. total cost? $1.50. i love how the crazy, fuschia outside looks nothing like the white kiwi-flesh inside.

whole dragonfruitwhole dragonfruit

sliced dragonfruitsliced dragonfruit

after that, we stopped by an asian grocery store to stock up on sauces, sardines, curry pastes, and green mung beans. i haven’t had mongo in forever. mongo is filipino comfort food. all you need is some diced pork or shrimp, some onion, tomato, hot pepper and green mung beans. sauté the onion and tomato in the fat of the pork (if you’re using shrimp, you’re going to need some oil), throw in the mung beans and some water and cook until the beans soften. i’ll be making mongo later this week. groceriessupplies!

at a meat store not too far from the grocery store, i found a bird that i’ve been dying to try forever — the black silkie chicken. the flesh and the bones of the chicken are completely black. apparently, the chinese make a soup flavored with wolfberries, ginseng, and jujubes (red dates) that are supposed to be good for women’s health. who knows. i think you can make the black chicken into adobo.

the head and the claws of the silkie are still intact — i’m going to have a lot of fun quartering this bird. i know that outside of the u.s. you have to deal with cleaning the whole bird. from the feathers all the way to the innards. it’s silly, but i’m a little freaked out that i’m going to have to lop this chicken’s head off.

from this: silkie

to this: black silkie chicken

let you know how it goes. . .

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