I love Flushing Market in Queens. I know its a super far train ride, and the cab ride back (I can’t hold groceries through a subway with HEELS) is pretty expensive, but I sporadically make the trip to find ingredients I can’t find here. Its also good for when you have a friend who is just as much of a raging foodie you are, that you don’t have to eat dungeoness crab + drunken shrimp alone. Oh, I just refuse to go to Chinatown and pay 100+ to eat these delicacies when I can prepare them for cheaper.
I also picked up some of my favorite packaged foods and basically caught some major stares at the market from men who thought I was some creepy spy with a big camera. I ran out of there fast as I could before the manager pulled me aside for questions.
Part 1: The Market
The seafood market section is awesome. They have several different varieties of fresh, live crab, live shrimp and all sorts of snails and large clams.
My favorite part of lobster or crabs are the eggs. In this picture below, you can see that this crab has been dismembered to show the orange goop which are the eggs. It is so delicious and when I go to restaurants I always ask for female lobsters because they usually have the caviar. The waiters always think I’m crazy and look at me as if I’m discriminating against male lobsters…When I order crab from chinese places I like to go with the waiter to the seafood tank and pick out the female crabs for myself. Its easy to tell between male/female crabs. Whether you will land a crab with eggs is iffy though, sometimes the dungeness crab is eggless. I sort of feel like I didn’t eat a crab if there are no eggs inside…
My favorite type of crab..Dungeness.
This lobster was huge + had the largest claws I ever saw. Bigger than most Fashion editor’s!
The frozen foods aisle is also fun for me. I love to look at compartmentalized, frozen dimsum items such as this one below. I love fried sesame rice balls.
Traditional dim sum here (Shrimp Rice Roll), the kind that non-chinese people like to order instead of getting the chicken feet.
Ahh yes, dumplings. In this image you will notice the “soup dumplings” which are my favorite kind.
This is from the refridgerator section of the market, preserved eggs. Sounds weird but its totally delicious. Usually they use it in sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf.
Part 2: Purchased
Hmm now to move onto some things I picked up.. I started out with the thai hot sauces, you know Sriracha. A crazy good blend between hot sauce and ketchup, Sriracha with its infamous green cap, was my favorite. But then I graduated to this. Its just hot pepper flakes in oil, with garlic, shallots, and dried prawns. I know it sounds nasty but its SO GOOD and SPICY. I keep eating it even though it gives me stomach aches because its sort of like crack.
Some preserved eggs. Yea it looks gross but its really delicious too..
Imitation of nature vs. Nature. Which one do you prefer? In this case I prefer the imitated version. Its all the concentrated goodness of Durian without having to deal with opening/handling a real durian and then dealing with leftover smells in your fridge. This stuff smells like ass but tastes like an eggy creme brulee except its a fruit…WEIRD.
No, really, its like an egg custard/creme brulee..except its A FRUIT…WTF? People hate the smell but honestly I don’t really think its that OFFENSIVE. I’ve smelled worse.
Part 3: Cooked
Now onto the cooking component; Dungeness crab + Drunken shrimp…
Chinese Dungeness crab is done in several ways; Fried with garlic + salt+ hot peppers, or Ginger and Scallion style, or they even steam it with sticky rice in a lotus leaf. The last method is my favorite. I love the sticky rice component and the tender crab meat, and eating those two together is definitely hands down, my favorite meal. Drunken shrimp is one of those snoody high end meals you can get in nice restaurants in HK. They put on this whole performance for you, pouring alcohol on LIVE SHRIMP and them flaming the shit out of them. They taste amazing because the alcohol smell kills of the fishy stench and the shrimp is so sweet. After you peel the shrimp, naturally you’d suck the head out and then dip the shrimp in a soy/cilantro/hot pepper mixture. Again, one of my favorite dishes due to its inherent simplicity.
Dude, my live dungeness crab totally tried to escape the water bath I made for him. When I watched its life go in my own hands I was a little sad. I had to crack it open and dismember the parts before cooking it so that the dish is USER FRIENDLY.
The flavorings for the rice and crab…Peanut Oil, Scallion, Toasted garlic bits with salt, Cilantro, and sticky rice drenched in water. We can’t be friends if you hate Cilantro..JUST KIDDING. No really, I eat cilantro straight from the fridge. I just love it so much.
I drenched the lotus leaf in water so that it became flexible and put the sticky rice in first. The sticky rice is flavored with toasted garlic, cilantro, oil, and scallion. I don’t think this is the traditional way they do it but this is how I like to flavor it.
Dismembered parts and the shell. The steaming crab juice drips onto the rice which is REALLY the beauty of this dish because of the crab flavor + rice. The flavor that gets lost through cooking just lands in the rice so eating these two together is the perfect combination for me. I flavored the crab with more of the toasted garlic bits + salt.
Then you can close the dish up. Its sort of like the pumped up version of STICKY RICE IN LOTUS LEAF dish I love so much. Except this ones got a giant crab inside….
Bok choy. This is the reason why Chinese people are so healthy. They eat a ton of greens sauteed with garlic.
Now onto Drunken shrimp prep. Live shrimp goes into water to stay live.
Shrimp get some vodka libation…I had to cover it because they start jumping everywhere after you pour alcohol on them.
One tried to jump out.
I steamed the shrimp instead of lighting them on fire…I didn’t want to deal with any accidents…….
Okay guys. I’m finally done. Whew. Really taking food photos is hard and time consuming so that is why I do them less now. I will try and keep up with your demands though.