FOR BOTTLED SAUCES to frozen dumplings, sake glasses to rice cookers, Mo’s Food Market (2404 W. Clybourn St.) is a shopping wonderland for the at-home cook. Just browsing the store is a blast, too.
Thai black sweet rice
Try this fragrant grain as a change from white rice. Steamed, it’s tender and slightly chewy. It’s also known as “forget husband” rice – so good, the name implies, that a wife would forget her husband.
Among the very wide variety of noodles is this protein-packed buckwheat noodle, used in soups or cold, as in a noodle salad. When you eat them, etiquette dictates using chopsticks and loudly slurping them.
Dark soy sauce
Use it in marinades and stir fries to build a rich, dark-amber sauce, as in beef and broccoli. It has molasses added to it, so it’s thicker and sweeter than regular soy sauce. It’s also not as salty as light soy sauce.
Native to Southeast Asia, this spike-covered fruit is beloved for its sweetness and maligned for its smell, which has been compared to stinky gym socks. Neither the spiky skin nor the seeds are edible, but the inner pods of creamy, sweet fruit are.
Pickled daikon radish
Also known as takuan in Japanese, this pungent pickle, sold refrigerated, in yellow strips, is believed to aid digestion, so serve it at the end of a meal. It’s also a refreshing side to eat with steamed rice.