I've been through the ingredients of all of the recipes and listed items I need to source that are either not easily found in British supermarket chain shops, or can be found there but are stupidly expensive for small quantities. Now I'm trying to break them down into categories. These are:

  • Type 1: Items that will be relatively easy to acquire and store
  • Type 2: Items that will be relatively easy to acquire but are perishable
  • Type 3: Items that I'm uncertain about the ease of acquiring
  • Type 4: Items for which I will almost certainly have to find a substitute


I plan to do a reccy in Birmingham at the Wing Yip superstore (tomorrow, if I'm not feeling too ill, otherwise after the Royal Society exhibition). I'll acquire as many items as I can store to have on hand, and determine what can be obtained when I need it to make a particular recipe. If anyone has input on either acquisition of or good substitution for Types 3 and 4 in the UK, that would be most helpful. Thank you! I quickly Googled all of them but didn't come up with anything.

Type 1
  • Achuete seeds. I think these are also called "annatto seeds".
  • Rice vinegar. Like shoyu, can be purchased in chain shops but prices are almost always stupidly high for small quantities. Much better to buy in Asian shops. Same goes for many things in the Type 1 list.
  • Mochi rice
  • Mochi rice flour
  • Banana blossom (tinned/bottled)
  • Mongo (mung bean seeds)
  • Patis (clear fish sauce)
  • Dried lily flower
  • Bagoong (salted/fermented fish and/or shrimp paste)
  • Langka (jackfruit; tinned not fresh sadly)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Ground peanuts
  • Flaked coconut
  • Bottled pimientos


Type 2
  • Pig's feet
  • Banana leaves
  • Lumpia wrappers
  • Ube (purple yam)
  • Kamote (sweet potato leaves)
  • Papaya (both green and ripe)


Type 3
  • Ampalaya (bitter melon and bitter melon leaves)
  • Pirurutung (dark purple rice)
  • Guayabano (soursop; I think you can only get the juice here)
  • Bihon (rice sticks)
  • Kaong (sugar palm)
  • Tabungao (white squash)
  • Kamias (small oblong green tart fruit)
  • Kangkong (swamp cabbage; seems to be possible to grow it in the UK!)


Type 4
  • Bangus (milkfish)
  • Katuday flowers (from the Sesbania tree)
  • Chayote shoots
  • Malunggay leaves
chickenfeet: (Default)

From: [personal profile] chickenfeet


Frozen milkfish and bitter melon are both available in Chinese stores here so they may be available in your equivalent. Not likely to find them at tesco though.
cxcvi: Red cubes, sitting on a reflective surface, with a white background (Default)

From: [personal profile] cxcvi


For the pirurutung, either Camargue red rice (which I've seen available in Bristol, and bought previously) or wild rice (which isn't technically a rice, but it's similar) might be a viable alternative. Unless the colour is important.
nou: The word "kake" in a white monospaced font on a black background (Default)

From: [personal profile] nou


I think I've seen kangkong in a Vietnamese supermarket, but I can't remember which one. I'll keep an eye out!

Have you checked out the Filipino supermarkets in Earl's Court?
nou: The word "kake" in a white monospaced font on a black background (Default)

From: [personal profile] nou


You'll probably get a chance to go there before I will, then! (I'm currently telling people that I'm next free in mid-September.)
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