Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ethnicities Change?

Always on the lookout for good sources for ethnic food ingredients, I was quick to find the Saigon Market in Lawndale soon after moving to Manhattan Beach. As the name implies the place specializes in Asian groceries. Six years ago I was drawn to the Thai, Indian and Vietnamese ingredients. The Asian specific produce (sour gourds and melons, green papayas, DURIAN!, fresh green herbs, etc.) continues to be another great reason to visit.
This week I took a trip to the Saigon Market only to find the addition of Peruvian specialties to the mix. Delicately speckled quail eggs were the first new ingredient I spotted. At the check out counter banana leaf packets tied in string were piled for sale. The woman behind me asked if they were rice or corn - "Corn and Chicken" the clerk answered. I picked up a few dozen of the eggs and one Peruvian tamale.
Last night I cracked (using a serrated knife to cut through the shell - learned that on CHOPPED!) a quail egg into my boys' Udon noodle soup dinner. They said it added a rich yummy flavor.
I gave the second dozen of eggs and the tamale to a Peruvian friend who stopped by last night. I was hoping they would give her and her mom a bit of comfort from their homeland.
The Saigon Market has incorporated one more interesting ethnic twist and I couldn't be happier about it!

Saigon Market
105705 South Hawthorne
Lawndale, CA 90260