The chinese supermarket and why I love it so...

Splashed the cash earlier and bought myself a new Ken Hom wok, so thought I'd swing by the Chinese supermarket and grab some provisions for a cheeky wee stir fry.

Is is quite shocking when you compare the price of basics (e.g. good quality rice) in there to even the cheapest supermarket is SO cheap. 10kg bags of rice for half the price I saw in Lidl the other day...big box of green tea 65p.....giant bunches of coriander 50p. I got half a litre of Oyster sauce for £1.80 and some gorgeous pak choi for £2 (massive bag).

Anyhoo, I though I'd share with you a version of a Rick Stein dish that I knocked up for my lunch in the old Ken Hom - it was really tasty and dead cheap.

Pak Choi in Oyster Sauce w/ rice (serves 1)

Pak Choi (2 heads, washed and roughly chopped)
Chopped spring onions (4/5)
Chopped clove of garlic
Chopped fresh ginger
Sunflower oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce

Put rice on to boil

Oil into wok, when hot add garlic and ginger, fry for 1-2 mins
Add spring onions, fry 1-2 mins
add Pak choi, cook until green leaves wilted and white parts begin to soften (2-3 mins)
splash in some soy and a decent glug of oyster sauce

Serve with rice.

Was delish and I reckon less £1 in total



  • weezl74
    weezl74 Posts: 8,701 Forumite
    Hi sadiedoll, if you don't mind me asking, how much were the 10kg rice and the oyster sauce?


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  • sadiedoll
    sadiedoll Posts: 132
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    There were loads of different types, Weezl, but all between £5 and £7.
    There was a 10kg bag in Lidl the other day for £11. I've loads of long grain rice in so just bought 1kg of Jasmine rice for £1.

    I bought Amoy oyster sauce as I like it - £1.80 for 500ml. There were others slightly cheaper.
  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128
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    Really useful post Sadiedoll, thanks.

    I wish I had a Chinese supermarket nearer to me than B'ham.
  • sadiedoll
    sadiedoll Posts: 132
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    That's a pain, thriftlady......I wonder if there is an online retailer?

    I'm lucky to live in Edinburgh for all kinds of reasons, the superb shops are just a bonus. The chinese supermarket I frequent has a competitor directly opposite, so they keep their prices in check. Its always really busy so I take that as a good sign. In fact, the proprietor of my nearest chinese takeway was right in front of me in the queue.
  • mineallmine
    mineallmine Posts: 3,053
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Also found these to be competitive at shops like these:
    - coconut milk
    - sweet chilli sauce (1 litre size)
    - bag of onions (netted bags)
    - spices

    On the rice front, perhaps you could buy a bag and share/split cost with family/friends and decant into containers? You could do that with spices too.
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  • emma396
    emma396 Posts: 760 Forumite
    yes chinese supermarket prices r ok, but even better, go to the cash and carry if you have one near you. my dad owns a chinese restaurant, he gets most of his chinese foods from the cash and carry nowadays becuase it's cheaper than the chinese supermarkets. most people dont't realise that you can go into the cash and carry (ask for a day pass), and they do sell small amounts of some things.
  • meanmarie
    meanmarie Posts: 5,328
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    Sadiedoll...if you use sesame oil...also very cheap in Chinese supermarket, you will get a slightly different flavour to your bok choy...just for a change

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  • sadiedoll
    sadiedoll Posts: 132
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    How spooky! I made it with sesame oil tonight!!! and it was delish. Great minds think alike.
  • HappyIdiotTalk
    HappyIdiotTalk Posts: 1,443 Forumite
    Excellent post, I wholeheartedly agree. The so called Big Four supermarkets love to tell us how cheap they are, but the truth is they are incredibly expensive if you take the time to look around. And to add insult to injury, they fresh produce (IMHO) is awful... green bananas and other unripe fruit, tasteless tomatoes, skanky meat, half arsed fish counter...

    Its a shame because there are great deals to be had in alternative markets. During the planning of the Lidl that opened near to where I live, I read comments from people suggesting that Lidl products where somehow inferror and that only the nearby Sainsburys sold *quality* produce... Its that mentality that keeps the big four going, because if people knew the truth, they'd be a revolution. Its also a pity that alternative supermarkets like Lidl and chinese/asian supermarkets aren't available to everyone.

    Anyway rant over.... sorry about that.

    What I meant to say was that another good one in chinese supermarkets for those of you that like to make up batch food and freeze are plastic and tin trays. I bought about about 30 tin trays for the price of 6 at my local Tesco last time I went... Wheres the value in that Mr Tesco you money grabbing so and so (sorry blood still boiling)?
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  • laurajayne
    laurajayne Posts: 629 Forumite
    Chinese Supermarkets rock :D

    Me and my family go to our local one about every 3 months (Wing Yip in Croydon). The prices there are just amazing, compared to the big 4.

    We buy a huge box of chicken breast (10kg I think) for £23! It's frozen, and it's a bit of a pain to hack off some when you need some, but the price difference makes it sooo worth it. Ok, it proably isn't 'happy' chicken, I'll conceed that point, but the price is too good to miss.

    We don't tend to buy rice or veg while we are there (other than picking up a couple of peppers etc), but we buy catering size packs of chinese curry paste (little sister's favourite), thai curry paste, coconut powder, chilli sauce, tomato sause, and of course, white vinegar lol. We eat a lot of 'eastern' foods, so it makes sence to do it like this. Does mean it's a bit of a liabilty when you open our cupboards for the first few weeks :rotfl:
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