Last week I visited two different Asian markets for the first time: Tai Nam, which is in a shopping center on N Broadway just south of Argyle, and Golden Pacific, which is about three blocks north of Argyle on N Broadway. Part of the reason I wanted to check out these markets is I had read that they offer Japanese products, and for some time I have been looking for this dressing, which we used to get from our local Japanese market when we lived in Columbus. I have had a hard time finding it here, except at Mitsuwa, but since we don't have a car, we don't get out to Arlington Heights very often.
Anyhow, while I didn't find this dressing, I did find all sorts of other fun stuff, including pan-fried noodles, fried onions and fried garlic (makes a tasty garnish for stir-fries and salads), miso soup mix, pomelos, and chinese broccoli.
I didn't know for sure it was chinese broccoli until I looked it up; in Tai Nam there was such a tremendous array of unknown (to me) green vegetables that I just picked a bunch and hoped it would be good. It was. Strong-flavored when raw, but cooked with a sweet chili sauce and served over those pan-fried noodles, chinese broccoli tastes just delicious.
Hunting around the ethnic neighborhoods and markets around the city for groceries makes eating at home a terrific adventure. And cheap!