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Old 11-30-2015, 07:59 PM   #1
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Asian Condiment Accumulation

So a few weeks ago I had the misfortune of my Refrigerator crapping out, or at least we thought ( it turned out to be a bad outlet, blown fuse or both).

Anyway, this forced us to do the ultimate fridge clean-out. Everything had to be transferred to the back up fridge in the garage.

It was at this time that I realized how many Asian condiments I had bought over the years ( probably decades, without exaggeration) in my quest to duplicate the best vegetarian hot and sour soup I had ever eaten ( at a few Chinese restaurants here in NY and in Philly).

Unfortunately, with all my attempts , and with all the ingredients I had used ( from various recipes I've gotten online and through cook books), I have still yet to duplicate ( or even come close ) the soup which have loved for the past 30 years. Ive tried different products, different brands of the same product...with no luck.

I now know what is NOT in the soup base , but I'm still searching. Almost to the point of offering my favorite restaurant money to find out what they put in it.

I know all the physical ingredients ( sure they vary from restaurant to restaurant), its the soup base that I just can't get. I've had similar tasting soups at vegan restaurants, so I know it can be made without a meat-based stock ( which I would love to assume that the vegetarian versions in non-vegetarian restaurants use non meat based stocks, but Im not naive enough to believe that all follow strict vegetarian guidelines).

Anyway, just thought Id share all the Asian condiments Ive accumulated over the years. Its actually kinda funny. Over the years I pull one or two out at a time. But Ive never actually lined them up and admired my full collection :)

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Old 11-30-2015, 08:00 PM   #2
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As a final note, I now leave all these ingredients in the spare fridge, since I don't use them regularly anymore.

its amazing how much room I have in my main fridge now ( it looks soon empty)
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:05 PM   #3
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Asian Condiment Accumulation

Very impressive, Larry! You have me beat!

I love coconut milk for Tom Kha soup. I'm not vegetarian, but a bit of it is delicious.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:14 PM   #4
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I really don't consider the Asian products we have as condiments. They are ingredients used in different dishes ranging from Chinese to Japanese. Each plays a part in these cuisines.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
I really don't consider the Asian products we have as condiments. They are ingredients used in different dishes ranging from Chinese to Japanese. Each plays a part in these cuisines.
+1. Is there a question here, Larry, or are you showing off. Are you looking for ways to use these ingredients?

btw, vinegar doesn't need to be refrigerated.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:34 PM   #6
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Looks familiar to me. Even some of the same brands. Good luck with finding the right soup recipe.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:49 PM   #7
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Definitely not showing off, more embarrassed that I've accumulated so much, with no solution in sight

When I finally get it right, Ill be showing off ( and be able to clear my fridge out of all the crap I've used once and won't use again).

Id love advice, unfortunately, Unless anyone has tasted exactly what Im looking for, the end result would probably be me ending up with more ingredients I will use only once .

I have great access to a great Asian market, just haven't selected the right things, or the right combination or amounts.

I have confidence Ill get there some day.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:24 PM   #8
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I was joking, Larry I have a ton of Asian ingredients, too.

Are you open to other ways to use them or do you just want to recreate that one dish? As you say, without knowing exactly what you're aiming for, it's tough to give advice, but there are lots of tasty ways to use these ingredients.

You could ask someone at your Asian store for suggestions on how to make the soup. Is it Chinese? Soy sauce and shiitake mushrooms provide a lot of umami (veg but meaty) flavor to Asian dishes.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
It was at this time that I realized how many Asian condiments I had bought over the years ( probably decades, without exaggeration) in my quest to duplicate the best vegetarian hot and sour soup I had ever eaten ( at a few Chinese restaurants here in NY and in Philly).

Unfortunately, with all my attempts , and with all the ingredients I had used ( from various recipes I've gotten online and through cook books), I have still yet to duplicate ( or even come close ) the soup which have loved for the past 30 years. :)
I'm sorry if I'm missing the point, but have you ever called one of your favorite restaurants where they make this awesome soup and simply asked them to share the recipe? Usually the chefs will share if they know you're not a competitor and that you just want to be able to make it for yourself - especially if you're not a local. Give it a shot! :)
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:32 PM   #10
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I knew you were kidding, just joking right back at ya
Occasionally I experiment with what I've got to create new things.
As far as the soup, Ive hit a dead end.

I usually take breaks every few months, then I search around again for new recipes with new ingredients. Its a challenge, but a fun challenge that keeps me on my toes.
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