Tag Archives: Chinese cooking ingredients

Students Will Find Trusted Asian Brands In This Food Store


Melbourne is a multi-cultural city with many students from Asian countries attending the excellent universities and other education institutes based in and around the city.  These students often find themselves missing familiar foods, which they can’t find in ordinary supermarkets. So they are delighted when they hear about TANG the Asian Food Emporium at 185 Russell Street. When they first visit the store they are thrilled to find many of their favourite snacks, special drinks, familiar seasonings, easy cook meals or favourite sweets and the brands they trust from home.

Owners, Mr. & Mrs. Tang specialise in supplying regional foods from countries such as Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Korea. Mr. Tang often travels to these Asian regions to source local brands and add to the range of products already stocking the shelves of this popular Asian grocery store/supermarket.

There are regular in-store promotions with great specials and a Privilege Membership program for regular customers. To join the program sign up to in-store and receive a discount on all purchases you make at TANG.

The Tangs make sure their customers are well informed, with an active Facebook page to keep them up-to-date and a website with a Products Page that lists the most sought after as well as unusual products within categories. On the website there is a store map so customers can familiarise themselves with the store before they visit. The staff in-store are also very friendly and will help with any questions or requests for specific brands or foods. Like our Facebook page to stay in touch.


Asian Cuisine A Great Option For Vegetarian Diets in Australia


tan-fresh-foodMany more Australians are becoming Vegetarian. Roy Morgan Research found that between 2012 and 2016, the number of Australian adults whose diet is all or almost all vegetarian rose to almost 2.1 million people (11.2% of the population) from 1.7 million ( 9.7%. of the population). Sydney leads with 14.4% of its residents adopting a vegetarian (or little meat) diet ahead of Hobart (13.3%) and Melbourne (12.7%). Many report that they have gone vegetarian in order to eat more healthily and maintain a low carb, low fat diet.

The Asian diet is certainly up there in terms of healthy eating and offering good, tasty vegetarian options. Tofu, or beancurd, is a popular ingredient in East Asian and Southeast Asian dishes and is often used in place of meat or seafood. Tofu is low in calories and high in protein and iron and, depending on the coagulants used in manufacturing (e.g. calcium chloride, calcium sulfate, magnesium sulfate), it can have a high calcium or magnesium content as well. Fresh vegetables are also a mainstay in most Asian dishes.

Healthy eating is aligned to healthy drinking habits as well. The traditional Asian approach to drinking with your meal is to limit fluid intake when eating so that digestive enzymes do not become diluted, as these are so important for proper digestion. Green tea or other hot teas are offered before a meal to support enzymatic activity and help aid digestion. It is suggested that a thirty minute period between drinking green tea and eating is the optimum.

You will find good quality green tea, tofu and all the ingredients you will need to make delicious Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese or Korean dishes at TANG The Asian Food Emporium at 185 Russell Street, Melbourne CBD.

Multi-Cultural City Melbourne Devours Diverse Cuisines

eating hotpotMelbourne truly is a multi-cultural city and nowhere is this more obvious than in the explosion of diverse cuisines available at eateries in this fair city.  With sizeable populations of people from many different countries you will now see grocery stores specialising in ingredients, snacks and beverages for specific cuisines.  One of the most prolific of these are Asian groceries; apart from residents who have come from our closest neighbours and hanker for ingredients to make the tasty dishes they ate back home, all manner of Melburnians are embracing the delicious tastes of Asia.
Reflecting recent trends in migration to Victoria, the 2011 census shows that those born overseas from North Africa and the Middle East, South-East Asia, North-East Asia and in particular Southern and Central Asia, have increased the most in both absolute numbers and as a proportion of the total. The top ten countries of birth for Victoria in 2011 were: England, India, China, New Zealand, Italy, Vietnam, Greece, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Philippines.

It is therefore no wonder that Ingredients for Malaysian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Filipino dishes are sought after. One of the longest established and best stockists of these foods, TANG The Asian Food Emporium, is situated for convenience in the CBD at 185 Russell Street. They also stock well-loved snacks, beverages and lollies sourced from South Asia as well as Chinese traditional medicines and Korean, Japanese and Thai groceries. Catering to busy students and office workers the store is open every day of the year from 10am to 11pm.

Elisa Tang serving a customer

Elisa Tang serving a customer

Elisa Tang runs the retail side of the business and is well known to her customers, whilst her husband Sio is in charge of sourcing and supplying stock.  Their website has a store map and products page, helping customers to find the right ingredients for that special dish.

Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage

sausages rice and mushrooms

This staple dish is delicious and easy to make. Pre-cooking the rice is an adaption of the traditional method, but makes it quicker and easier and it still tastes good! Authentic, good quality ingredients are available at TANG The Asian Emporium, including dried shiitake mushrooms, Thai glutinous rice and Chinese style pork sausages.

•    2 cups uncooked glutinous rice/sticky rice
•    1 tablespoon oyster sauce
•    1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
•    2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
•    ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
•    ¼ cup chicken stock
•    ½ teaspoon salt
•    2 tablespoons cooking oil
•    ¼ cup dried shrimp, soaked for 15 minutes in warm water
•    1 medium onion, finely diced
•    5 dried shiitake mushrooms
•    3 links Chinese sausage, cut into small discs
•    1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
•    white pepper, to taste
•    2 spring onions, chopped

Pre-cook the glutinous rice (in a rice cooker or pot). Better to slightly undercook than overcook.
Soak shiitake mushrooms in warm water until softened, then dice.
Soak dried shrimp in warm water for 15 minutes.
Combine oyster sauce, soy sauces, sesame oil, chicken stock, and salt in a small bowl, set aside.
Heat the cooking oil in a wok over medium heat.
Add shrimp, stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Add onion, mushrooms and Chinese sausage, stir-fry for a minute, be careful not to burn the onion.
Add Shaoxing wine, stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Add pre-cooked glutinous rice to the wok, breaking it up with a spatula. Mix well, ensuring the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the wok.
Add the combined sauces and stir-fry until the rice is uniform in colour.
Season with white pepper to taste.
Add the spring onions.
Serve and enjoy!

You will find ingredients for this recipe and many other Asian regional dishes at TANG The Asian Food Emporium at 185 Russell Street, Melbourne.

What Is The Difference Between Rice Wine or Rice Vinegar?

rice vinegar and bowl
Do you get confused about the difference between rice vinegar and rice wine when cooking your Asian dishes? You are not alone, it is a common cause for confusion, particularly amongst non-Asian cooks trying out delicious Asian recipes. Some of the confusion comes from the term rice wine vinegar for rice vinegar. Both rice vinegar and rice wine are made from fermented rice, but different processes are employed.

Freshly steamed glutinous rice is fermented to make rice wine, which has a comparatively low alcohol content compared to other wines and beer. Sake and mirin are common rice wines. You will find that Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese rice wines are all quite different in clarity and flavour. To make rice vinegar bacteria is added, which turns the alcohol into an acid.

Black rice vinegar is very popular in Southern China , it is dark in colour and has a deep, almost smoky flavour. It works well in braised dishes and as a dipping sauce. Red rice vinegar is lighter than the black rice vinegar and is a lovely mix of tart and sweet. Good for dipping sauces and noodle, soup and seafood dishes. White rice vinegar is colourless and has a higher vinegar content with a hint of sweetness. It is great for pickling vegetables, in stir fries and for sweet and sour dishes.
Rice wine is great when you want to add depth or sweetness to a dish, especially shao hsing cooking wine, which is aged and mellow. Rice wine can be used in stir-fries, braises and stocks. And of course you can drink it with your meal – sake is traditionally served with Japanese food and can be taken hot or cold, depending on the type of sake.

You will find a good selection of rice wines and rice vinegars at TANG The Asian Food Emporium at 185 Russell Street, Melbourne.

Tang Yuan or Glutinous Rice Balls – How To

Tang Yuan

Coloured Tang Yuan

This popular snack from China, glutinous rice balls (tang yuan) are filled with a variety of fillings including red bean, sesame, peanut and lotus. The fillings ooze out from mochi-like dumpling skins, which have a pleasantly gummy texture, due to being made from glutinous rice flour, which produces a chewier dough.  You can make your own or pick up a great selection of flavours from TANG The Asian Food Emporium at 185 Russell Street, Melbourne.
Take 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts or sesame seeds. Grind in a mortar and pestle to a fine but not powdery consistency.
Melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a small bowl.
Mix the coconut oil with 2 tablespoons of sugar and the ground nuts (or sesame seeds).
Chill the mixture in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes before use.

Mix 1-1/2 cups glutinous rice flour with 2 tablespoons rice flour.
Add 1 cup tepid water.
Combine to make a soft but not sticky dough.
Divide the dough in half.
Roll out each half on a floured board into a cylinder about 1-1/2 inches thick.
Cut the dough cylinders into segments about 1 inch wide.
Take a piece of dough and make an indent with your thumb.
Place the filling in the indent and draw up the sides of the dough to make a ball.
Roll it into a smooth ball shape with your hands.
Lay the dumplings on a rice flour dusted tray, ready for cooking.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
Gently stir to avoid sticking.
Simmer for 15 minutes, avoid boiling.
The dumplings are ready when the skins are nearly translucent.
Ladle dumplings into soup bowls with the cooking water.
Ingredients available at TANG The Asian Food Emporium.

Get It Right with Sticky Rice

mango-sticky-rice-4Sticky rice is a glutinous rice that is grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia. It has opaque grains, a very low amylose content and is especially sticky when cooked.  It is recommended that you use Thai sweet rice when cooking to get that true sticky rice texture, rather than Jasmine rice because the grains don’t hold together as well. Sticky rice is often found in Thai and Indonesian dishes, it is sticky to the touch and can be easily rolled into balls.  A great place in Melbourne to source your Asian ingredients is at TANG The Asian Food Emporium.

How To Make Sticky Rice:
Take 1 cup of raw rice and add 1-1/2 cups of water, this will make enough rice for two servings.  Add ½-1 cup of extra water per extra cup of rice.
Soak between four hours and overnight. Drain well through a colander.
Steam the rice in a Thai bamboo rice basket or a wire mesh rack over a steamer.
Wrap the rice in muslin, and steam on one side for 10-15 minutes, then turn over and cook the other side for another 10-15 minutes.
Be careful to not overcook the rice, or it will become mushy. It should be a sticky texture, not watery, and hold together well when cooked. Test the consistency of the rice after 10 minutes and cook for a few more minutes before testing again. When it is sticky to the fingers and will roll into a ball it is ready.
Take the rice off the heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving.
Be careful as the cooked rice is very hot.

Serving Suggestions:
You can simply roll into rice balls and serve with a dipping sauce, soy or chilli are good.
Mould into a serving bowl then upend on the plate.
Serve in a small bowl per person.

Enjoy!  Authentic Asian food ingredients can be found at TANG The Asian Food Emporium at 185 Russell Street, Melbourne.