Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Shopping for Fresh Ingredients & a Tally of the Cost of Dinner

I went shopping for all my fresh ingredients today and got very lucky at one of our local Mexican groceries. They have an in-house butcher shop with fresh meats and seafood at some of the lowest prices in town. I also found many of my specialty items there, including jicama root, tamarind paste, chorizo, jalapenos, and fresh mangoes. I had to go to another grocery store for the Asian items like ginger root, bok choy, bean sprouts, and oyster sauce.

Since the holiday weekend is upon us, I had to shop a couple of days early, as all the grocery stores will close early on Christmas Eve and will be closed on Christmas Day. I'm going to make my 'American Adobo' Filipino dinner the day after Christmas, and since the produce at the grocery store on Sunday won't be any fresher than what's in my fridge, I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed that everything will keep in my crisper and freezer until I'm ready to use it.

A Tally of the Cost of Dinner

The cost of the ingredients for my 'American Adobo' Filipino dinner are listed below. Keep in mind that the prices are based on buying everything new rather than using ingredients that I already have in my pantry. Of course there will be lots of things left over for future meals, so the actual cost of the dinner based on the quantities of the ingredients used to make the dishes will be much lower than the grand total of stocking a pantry from scratch for preparing Filipino cuisine.

Specialty Ingredients:

Tamarind paste or powder - .75
Jicama Root - .57
Oyster Sauce - 2.59
Chili Garlic Sauce - 2.49
Patis - 2.49
Cinnamon - .99
Pastry Crust - 3.58
Palm or Rice Vinegar - 2.49
Coconut Milk - 1.49
Sesame Seeds - .99
Sesame Oil - 3.59
Soy Sauce - 1.99
Bay Leaf - .99
Chorizo - .91
San Miguel Beer - 4.99

Fresh Ingredients:

Chicken Breasts - 1.41
Chicken Legs & Thighs - 2.99
Ground Beef - 6.22
Shrimp - 3.99
Fresh White Fish - 4.99
Whole Fish - 1.07
Limes - .50
Onions - .48
Garlic - .66
Carrots - .29
Scallions - 2.07
Potatoes - .35
Jalapenos - .07
Butter Lettuce - .99
Vinegar - 1.19
Ketchup - 1.49
Ginger - .50
Red & Green Peppers - .94
Green Beans - .81
Napa Cabbage - 1.15
Bean Sprouts - .49
Bok Choy - 1.61
Tomatoes - 1.49
Spinach - .99
Rice - 1.49

Basics:

Eggs - 1.12
Cornstarch - 1.19
Flour - 1.99
Cooking oil - 2.49
Sugar - 1.59
Brown Sugar - 1.19

Total - (in U.S. $) $78.70