Can’t find galangal root? I couldn’t either!

But I did find these…

superGmart_products2

And if you’re from my neck of the woods, I’m sure you’re wondering where.

I’ll be honest. I dream of a day when I can take one trip to one grocery store and find everything I need for every recipe I find. I know it will never happen, but it’s nice to dream isn’t it?

There’s nothing worse than running all over town to every store you can think of that might have what you’re looking for, and then still not be able to find it! If there’s one thing I despise more than anything in life, it is wasting precious time…well, unless it’s time that I choose to waste.

My mom has been talking about this food market near us off West Market Street in Greensboro, North Carolina. It’s called Super G Mart. She’s kept on and on about the huge choice of “weird” and fresh produce, meats and other international foods that they stock.

Well I made plans to go with her today and check it out for myself.

At her recommendation I picked a recipe with as many unknown ingredients, or even known, that are just hard to find around here. So I picked Tom Yum Goong (Thai Sour & Spicy Lemongrass Shrimp Soup).

This is the ingredient list:

4 cups of water
2 stalks fresh lemongrass or 2 pc dried
3 slices fresh galangal root (smashed) or 2 pc dried
3 fresh kaffir lime leave or 4 pc dried
1 tbsp. tamarind paste, with or without seeds
1 tbsp. fish sauce, Golden Boy brand preferred
3/4 lb prawns, medium to large size
12 fresh Thai chili peppers, whole
1/2 small white onion
2 tbsp. roasted chili paste (nam prik pao)
1 (16 oz.) can straw mushrooms, drained and rinsed
1 small ripe tomato, cut into wedges 1/4 inch thick
1 small lime, squeezed
2 sprigs fresh cilantro

Some of the ingredients would be pretty easy to come by at the local grocery store…but galangal root? Kaffir lime leaves? Roasted chili paste? Some of these I’d never even heard of. Others I’ve heard of, but knowing from experience would be hard to find at your neighborhood grocery store.

Well let me just tell you. I didn’t find everything I needed, but a lot of it! Despite that, this place was amazing and overwhelming at the same time!

First we started in the produce section. Some of the produce looked better than most local grocers, others not so much. The kinds of produce were absolutely fascinating though. I could probably spend half a day in there just researching what it was that I was actually looking at. Anyway, I found what I needed and then some.

The avocados looked so fresh and near perfect, especially for the price!? Even though I didn’t need them, I just kept seeing guacamole in my future and couldn’t pass them up.

After the produce, we wandered into the meats section. Well let’s just say, I could see some of these items on my menu of things to try. Either way, it was great to see that it’s all there for when I ever change my mind!

Then we started down some aisles to check out the pastes, sauces and canned goods that I needed. Talk about overwhelming and intimidating. There must have been a paste made from every possible food known to man. There was very little English on the labeling if any. Luckily they have a tag under each product to tell us ignorant American’s what it actually is, which makes me hella happy!

Oops, almost forgot the prawns, or eh shrimp if you don’t care about sounding fancy.

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I got a quick glance at the seafood section and wow! Large shrimp for 6.99 a pound! My mom pointed out some mussels that they just set out, live crab, live tilapia that you pick from a tank and much more.

Our shopping venture was cut short when I received a call from my son’s school informing me that he was feeling a bit under the weather, but we did get through at least half of the store and I’m definitely ready to go back.

I found everything I needed except for the fresh kaffir leaves, which they said they would get a shipment of tomorrow, and the galangal root, which I ordered from Amazon.

If you live in the area, you must check this place out. They also have one in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Don’t be afraid! Break out and try that recipe that you’ve wanted to try but didn’t want to feel the headache of having to find all the ingredients. Now you have options. You can travel the world of food all in one place.

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