DDD #91 – Vegan Spicy Lemongrass & Ginger Beef with Purple Cabbage Fried Rice

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the image above to watch the video.  I had a head of purple cabbage in my fridge that was the size of a basketball.   I decided to add half of it to some leftover rice to accomplish two things: not waste all the cabbage & to extend the quantity of rice with some guiltless & vibrant cabbage.  I am very happy with the result both in color & the crunch the cabbage adds to the texture.  I recommend it very highly.


Purple Cabbage Fried Rice


(I used a tad more cabbage than rice but the ratio is up to you.)

2 cups cooked rice

2 cups chopped purple cabbage

1/2 onion – diced

1 cup grated or slivered carrots

1-5 cloves garlic – chopped

2 or more TBS fresh minced ginger

1 TBS sesame (or other) oil





Heat the oil in a large wok or saute pan.  Add the onions, & cabbage & saute until they begin to soften.  Add the carrots, rice & ginger & stir to combine & warm through.  Add the garlic and saute another minute or two.  Serve.






Vegan Spicy Lemongrass & Ginger Beef

Serves 2 very well (this is HALF the recipe I made in the video)


2 or 3 stalks of lemongrass – cut into 3″ lengths & smashed with the handle of a knife (to bruise them & release the flavor.  The cooked lemongrass is inedible so pick around it in the finished dish.) . Or – use the juice of 1/2 lemon.

8+ ounces seitan (or other meat replacement like – Beyond Meat Chicken or Gardein beef or pork products)

3 dry red chilies (optional – they are quite spicy) – crumbled a bit

3 garlic cloves – chopped

2 or more cups of fresh green beans – trimmed

1 TBS sambal oelek or garlic chili paste (more for extra heat)

3 TBS vegan mushroom or oyster-favored sauce

2 TBS minced ginger

1 TBS ground anise or szechuan pepper

2 TBS dark soy sauce (it gives the seitan that dark & beefy color)

1 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

1 TBS shao xing rice wine

2 TBS brown sugar

Potential garnished: sliced red or green jalapeno peppers, basil or mint or cilantro leaves











Heat the oil in a wok or large pan & add the dry red chilies – if using.  Add the lemongrass & saute a minute or two.  Add the green beans & saute on high heat until they begin to sear a bit.





Add the remaining ingredients.  Add about 1/4 cup water to aid in steaming the beans a bit & create some sauce.  Heat through – until the sauce thickens.  Serve with rice.





Super King Grocery Store in Los Angeles


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


My friend Bobbe emailed me today & said that there was a grocery store in Glassell Park – a neighborhood on the east side of Los Angeles – that I simply HAD to experience to believe.  She warned that the parking lot would be nuts but promised I would “Die!  I mean DIE!” when I went to this joint.  She mentioned hard to find fresh herbs (red basil) for prices like .69 cents a bunch.  ‘Nuff said.

An hour later – I fucking went!


I navigated the parking lot fairly well (10:30am mid-week) & approached the entrance.  It was like a farmer’s market out front with tons of produce piled up everywhere for crazy low prices!  Check this out.


I was immediately overwhelmed & my heart started racing.  I cannot explain why.  There was just a general sense of frenzy in the air – like at a Filene’s Basement or Fred Segal blow-out sale.  I blew off everything outside so that I could begin the more intimate exploration of the interior of Super King.

Super King, it seems, caters to a lot of Eastern Europian & Middle Eastern folks.  Hispanics, too, but the foods there that they had in conspicuous quantity seemed Mediterranean or Eastern European or Middle Eastern.  Look!  Raw almonds!  REALLY RAW!


And an entire roasted nut bar!


I’ve never seen fresh grape leaves at a supermarket – but Super King had’m!


Look at all these pickling cucumbers


The produce section was the most congested of the entire store and that is saying a lot because it is MASSIVE.


I notice it doesn’t look very hectic in that photo but it was.  Once you head in & to the left – people are all zombie walking & leaving carts in the way & grabbing at vegetables.  I was most impressed by the fresh herbs which really were very varied & abundant & CHEAP!


Five bunches of parsley or cilantro?  99 cents.  For FIVE.  Mint – 3 for .99.   I pay $4 for an anemic little bunch at Gelson’s.  And look at the cost of kale.


Several varieties and practically free.

Also impressive was the VAST selection and not just of standards.  They had the sometimes hard to find celery root & kohlrabi & just everything imaginable.  They even had these golden beets (that would cost about $5 each at Gelson’s – if Gelson’s ever had them).


At Super King?  They were .69 cents a pound!  I got three huge ones for $1.81!!!

When I was taking the panoramic shots, this guy stopped me.


In the blue with the vest.  See how suspicious he looks?  He stopped me & asked what I was doing.  I explained that I was amazed at the store & was just taking some photos.

“No photos!” he spat at me, like the Soup Nazi.  No photos?  WTF?  Super King isn’t exactly on the Homeland Security Department’s list of high risk targets.  What did he think I was doing?  Casing the place?

“I have a blog,” I explained.  “I want to do a story about this place.”

“No photos.  Not allowed!” he said, sounding less convinced himself that this was actually a rule.  “The competition…”

Competition?  I thought he meant there was some kind of competition involving blogs & supermarkets.  I looked at him stupidly.

“Our competitors.  We do not want them seeing our prices.”

Competitors?  Prices?  First of all, competitors can just walk in the freakin’ door, just like I did, and see the prices.  And B, their prices are what makes Super King so great.  And they have a fucking web site – HERE – telling everyone about their prices.  But, for some reason, the silver fox Armenian in the sweater vest didn’t like me taking pictures.  So – I said, “Just this ONE, ok?”  And I took the shot that included him in it.  From there on out, I felt like a terrorist every time I took my camera out.  Which I did – many more times – but mostly in the aisles that sold non-perishables.  Those aisles were ghost towns. It was the produce & meat sections that had throngs of pushy, desperate people cockblocking you at every turn.  At any rate – between my accelerated pulse & the furtive nature of my photography – the photos in the blog are scant & lame.  Apologies.

OK – let’s talk about the meat department.  I took a number, number 92, and then looked in the mile of cases.  It seemed every cut of beef was near $4 a pound and pork was closer to $2.  Isn’t that cheap?  I don’t know.  I never buy meat.  They had marinated meats & regular meats & prepared meats like these lulas.


I guess lula is what you use to make kabobs.


On the shelf beneath the meat cases there were about 76 million brands of lavash.

Seafood was cheap, too, but didn’t look super awesome & didn’t indicate whether or not it was farmed.  Still – I bought a pound of shell-on shrimp for $7.99.  I opted to eschew the head-on variety.  Oof.


Here is another very special thing about Super King.  SPICES.  A wall of spices.  Ethnic groceries are always the best source of cheap spices & Super King did not disappoint.


Also – if 40 kinds of rice is too limited of a selection for you – look no further.


Like a big selection of dry pasta, too?


And where else can you spot a SELECTION of ghees??  (Ghee is clarified butter.  I use it making Indian food.)


The olive oil aisle was over the top, too, as was the cheese aisle – especially as regards feta cheese.


They also sell liquor at Super King.  I had just come from Costco where I priced a bottle of tequila for May 5.  Unless I am mistaken – the bottle I looked at (in the bright green box) was $69.99 at Costco – but only $36.99 at Super King.  But – sometimes the signs at Costco can get confusing.  Maybe I misread them.

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At any rate – I am absolutely IN LOVE with Super King.  Apparently, there are several locations so go to their site & see if there is one near you.  A little extra drive is worth the effort.  I promise!

Bangluck Thai Market



All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

I touched upon this place a while back in my Drunken Noodle post.  I feel it deserves another, more complete review.

First of all – I suppose I could be accused of being a shopaholic.  I shop & shop & stock up & buy multiples of the same thing.  I have nowhere to put stuff – and still I buy more.  But – I’m not talking about clothes or shoes or any other items typically the object of desire in a shopper’s life.  I am fascinated by & cannot resist ethnic spices & sauces & condiments etc.  Let me prove it by showing you my pantry & spice drawers (and cabinet).  I realize some of you might see these & call one of those hoarder reality shows on me – but I am gonna show you anyway.



Before you ask – NO – I do not eat Spaghettios.  Those are for my boyfriend who has unusual tastes of his own.

The best thing about ethnic markets whether they be Spanish or Indian or Thai or whatever – they tend to sell spices REALLY CHEAP.  I saw a std jar of cardamom pods at Gelson’s today for $16.  This size (stock photo)


I bought this whopper of a ten ouncer at the Indian market for $20.


More than ten times the quantity for $4 more.  The same supermarket size of turmeric was $8.  I got 16oz today (the biggest jar here) for under $6.


Often the cheapest spices come in cellophane bags and you will need a jar to transfer them into – but you will save SO much money – buying some cheap spice jars won’t hurt you at all.

Here is the store front at Bangluck – 5170 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027 –


And here are some shots of the wealth of treasures to be found inside:


8000 brands of bamboo shoots.


An entire aisle of dried noodle varieties.


EVERY Asian condiment ever conceived.


Your favorite brand(s) of canned quail eggs.

And then canned curries & soup stocks from which you can make restaurant quality Thai food by just adding a can of this stuff to some noodles or veggies or rice.




I have no idea what that hotdog & balls are (Better penis jokes to follow.  Be patient).  Nor do I want to eat a can of smiling fish – whatever the Hell that is.  Whatever it is – it seems fitting that it is right near the phallic/testicular wonderland above.

Oh, wait.  They are seasoned cockles.  Ew.  I tend to be a purist when it comes to cockles.  No seasoning. Ever.

Speaking of penises – there is no shortage (pardon the pun) of cock jokes to be had at BANGLUCK.  Perhaps intentionally so.  Here – somebody pickled ma-cock.


Wooohooo!  It sure is fun making fun of things I don’t understand.  It keeps me from feeling inferior.

Speaking of things I don’t understand – last time around I shared this completely unmarked package with you:


There was a great deal of guessing as to WTF these could be – in the frozen section of meat & fish department.  I think they are silkworm pupae.  Click that phrase there – see if you agree.

Today – I found something even more upsetting.  WAY down in the secret meat & fish section – see?  Way back there?


Ready?  Because – I mean – yuck.


Yup!  That’s right!  For $4.49 – you could be the proud owner of four frozen giant water bugs.  Come on!  Who hasn’t – in college or some time – gotten a terrible case of the munchies and bemoaned the dearth of  – you know – Ben & Jerry’s or – YES – giant water bugs in the freezer???  You know who you are.  Anyway –

Good news!  Bangluck has LOTS of them!  AND – for those of us watching our waists – you can guiltlessly eat the entire package for the low, low count of only 35 calories – only 15 calories coming from fat.  (That’s actually almost 50% fat.  Are avocados that fatty?  Who knew exoskeleton was so rich?  Or are these guys the equivalent of an eclair?  Egads!)


Among the other exotic selections are – BALLS – made of I-don’t-know-what.


CHEAP produce & what seems to be cheap meat:


And shallots the size of apples


Hot outside?  Want somebody’s forgotten soda?  No worries!  Bangluck has THAT, too!  Right there is fridge #15.  Just keeping it chilled for you!


Cooking tools & serving dishes:


Need rice?   YEAH!  Got THAT!


How about some shrimp crackers in a really cool package?  CHECK!  And you can feel good about eating these because they were made under the VERY strict manufacturing oversight of China!


Fish chips?  Yeah – even that frothy beer doesn’t make that very wet & raw white fish there a decent sales rep for a CRACKER.

“Love these crackers.  I just wish they were more like raw scrod,” — said NOBODY EVER.


So – in closing – I’d just like to promote Bangluck as an amazing source of FRESH noodles


like I used in my vegetarian PHO recipe.  And the wide flat variety from the Drunken Noodles.


Every sort of curry in a rainbow of varieties can be found here – powdered, canned, as a paste, as a curry ready for just adding vegetables to.  Spices dirt cheap.  EVERY kind of Asian dry noodle.  Rices you have never heard of in quantities from under a pound to “feed a prison system.”  Produce is really cheap & if you are brave or – or if maybe you just really enjoy lower intestinal distress – you could sample the meat & fish offerings.    You can buy nori here for making sushi for .99 cents – where the EXACT SAME THING a mile away at the evil Gelson’s costs $5.

And the best thing is – you can fill your little red basket thing until it is too heavy to carry – and still get outta there for under $30.

Don’t forget the giant water bugs for the kids!!!

And PS – the Thai place next door – Samalammadingdong?  If only I could PHOTOGRAPH how good the smells coming out of there are – ALL THE TIME.  Also – definitely worth a trip!