Hi just wondering if anyone knows where to buy Mexican ingredients in Taipei. Looking for canned hominy, epizote, vanilla, tomatillos, various Chilli like chilli de arbo (want to make pezole Verde, refried black beans guacamole, enchiladas, ECT.) Thanks!
de arbol? I haven’t seen that, but if you don’t care about authenticity, I find refried black beans, guacamole, and enchilada sauce sometimes at Jason’s, Carrefour, and various online shops at Shoppe. You should look at a Shoppe shop called Tu Tienda. If there’s anything Mexican available in Taiwan they usually have it.
- Hominy, dried or canned: never seen it here. I bring dried back from Canada. Not all that easy to find in Vancouver either!
- Epizote: ditto.
- Other chiles: ditto. A few years ago fresh jalapeños showed up in supermarkets for a few months, but they didn’t last long. Every few years I investigate North American websites that could deliver a range of chiles, but I’ve never found anything that works for Taiwan. iHerb used to sell dried ancho chilies, but no longer. As far as I know, we’re stuck with jarred or canned jalapeños, and canned chipotles in adobo, the latter almost always diced. I have bought ancho seeds (yes, so labelled) at the Jianguo Flower Market. I presumably killed those seeds before they had a chance to give me either ancho or poblano chiles.
- Vanilla: vanilla extract available pretty much everywhere, I think. Pods often available in higher-end baking stores & supermarkets (City Super, Jason’s, maybe the Tianmu Carrefour).
- Canned tomatillos: to my surprise, currently regularly available at the two Carrefours I frequent (Danshui & Zhishan-Tianmu). I’ve never seen fresh here. They’re in the “stock up while they’ve got them category”, since they previously vanished for five or six years.
- Not on your list: I’ve seen masa harina the past couple of times I’ve been to the Taipei 101 Jason’s, which is unusual - that’s another ingredient that can disappear for a year or more.
- Implied by your list: I don’t think I’ve ever seen dried black beans here in supermarkets here, or at least the “right” kind. Maybe I saw these for sale at Kook’s (restaurant in Danshui), but I’m not sure. EDIT: I get them from iHerb.
As for processed stuff:
- Guacamole “cups” often available at Costco. They’re not the best but I do buy them because they’re a manageable portion. My wife isn’t fond of guacamole, I can’t get through a whole avocado’s worth on my own, and it’s not a food that keeps well. I’ve also seen jarred guacamole dip but I’ve never bought it.
- For better guacamole: Haas avocados are easier to find than they used to be: most supermarkets stock them, I think, although once in a while they’ll vanish for a month or two.
- Canned refried black beans usually available at the right Carrefours.
- Canned enchilada sauce, both red and green, often available at the right Carrefours, City Super, Jason’s.
I can make the salsas myself using local chilies. Though it’s not quite as good /different flavor it’s not so bad I think. I tried guacamole here using local chili as a substitute and it still came out pretty good.
The other things are good to know. I didn’t see at my carrefour but I’ll back I probably just missed it. Those tomatillos mean I can make modified salsa Verde!
Luckily I found dried black beans at Jasons. If there’s one thing I just can’t tolerate it’s canned or machine processed refried beans! But now I can just make it myself (though too bad about epizote) I’ve subbed epizote with a mix of cilantro and oregano and it’s… Acceptable
You know about this guy yeah?
Nope! But I’ll be investigating. As far as I can tell that’s the first time he’s been brought up in the forum - I can’t find him anywhere else in search results.
I order jalapenos from him and they are wonderful!
Good luck! I’m guessing those are dried black soy beans. (I’ve heard those don’t work, but I’ve never tried.)
You can use most black beans interchangeably, though turtle beans are a little smaller. Just make sure you don’t use black soy beans , which have a completely different flavour and texture.
Ah okay, thought you’d be aware of him. I’ve never bought anything from him (except a couple of second-hand pans), but he seems to regularly sell various types of chilis.
That’s a good list. It’s weird how we see masa harina for awhile and then it’s gone.
Places like Masa tacos make their own masa for Taiwanese corn. I think that means there must dried hominy somewhere here.
We get polenta and occasionally grits and cornmeal. I’m surprised grits (Georgia ice cream) aren’t more of a thing here because they remind me of congee. They taste like whatever you put on them.
Didn’t you ask them about buying their masa? I remember someone did, and it wasn’t an option.
Re: Mr. Chili Pepper: does he only do business via Facebook? I quite deliberately haven’t logged in to Facebook for a few years now, and it’s a platform I try to avoid. I may have to give up on that … so many restaurants and shops here seem to be pretty much only on Facebook.
It specifically said black beans not soy but I didn’t buy it. Next time I will it was just a bit expensive
Taipei 101 Jason’s had Masa harina. A bit expensive though
I believe almost all “black beans” here are black soy beans - they just don’t bother to say the soy. However, I may be wrong. Can anyone confirm if these different Dr. Oko products are soy or turtle beans, or something else?
I asked him when they are going to make us tamales. They struggle to make enough masa for the tacos.
Mr. Chili Pepper is on FB. I’m sure we could get a local number for him. He ships via 7-11.
I know people have used 花豆 as replacement for pinto beans… it’s cheap here.
Yeah, this has been my experience. I bought one bag at Jason’s labeled “black beans” and another from City Super. Both turned out to be soy beans, not good when cooked.
I find this at a place called DGF. City super has things like taco sauce and chipotle sauce. Jason’s often has proper corn tortillas. City super too. I pickle my own chili’s. And have started growing my own beets and chili plants. Tequila is fairly cheap. Jason’s used to have chipotle seasoning mix. That stuff was good. Haven’t had it since they were bought out by carrefour.
You found real black beans? Damn, i have looked for ages. Black soy beans are common, but i have yet to find black beans that arent canned! Nice score!
I found what I thought was black beans at Jasons, but some others said they weren’t so I’m not sure. I learned how to adapt the recipe when I was living in the Midwest USA where I didn’t have a car or an easy way to get to a Mexican store.