tenpou_books

Craving An Pan

In Log Horizon Akatsuki, the tiny amazing ninja lady, often turns to an pan when she's in need of comfort. They're a Japanese bread, with red bean paste in the center, so it's a sweet. She gets them and uses them to try and comfort Shiroe and the Princess Lenessia at different times during the series.

I'd had one, I think, in San Diego, when we went to the Taiwanese bake shop, I see a picture of it at least, and I'm sure I had a bite of it when one or the other my boys bought it. And I've had a lot of other sweets that have had red bean paste in it, and after seeing them so many times in the series, I started craving them.

I even looked up an amazing recipe for them, but I also knew that there were two fairly large Asian markets within driving distance of us. H-Mart is really well-known, and I was sure that their little bakery would have something close. Pacific Ocean is a local Asian market chain that also has a pretty extensive bakery. So I went to both today...



I had 911 for the morning, and it went really quickly. I had about eight reports to do, and usually they take anywhere from fifteen minutes to hours, depending on the way a crime resolves. Some things just don't resolve... and I have to follow the involved officer through the whole time, which can cover multiple days' worth of radio traffic. That is, if the lawyer really wants all the radio traffic involved. I got really lucky today and five of them only wanted the incoming call. That's pretty much the start of every case, so it's utterly deterministic and very very easy to find in the call stream.

So I was in at 8:30 and out by 10:10. The one long one was actually done by someone else and the whole thing was already spun into a single directory so I could just copy the whole thing onto a CD and I was done! That was really great.

John had conference in Denver, so he'd taken the Passat to the city. So I had the big silver Eurovan full of construction equipment. *laughs* I studied several maps to figure out where the H Mart was, and then tried to get there via Colorado state highway 287, and then taking 36 along a diagonal section. But 36 had so much stopped construction traffic I got off early and realized I was right by the Pacific Ocean Market. So I stopped there instead of going directly to H Mart.

We mostly shop at POM, so I knew that they'd have the eel/unagi and the short grain rice we've been using for the last year. And they had the frozen ramen we like a lot, so I ran through the store trying to find all that, and I stopped by the bakery just to look. And they had red bean breads. They weren't as small or as brown as I was expecting, but they looked pretty good, so I got two. I was also starving as I hadn't had lunch, yet, and they had these Pork Sung breads in the case. So I got one of those, too. Pork sung is an amazing thing, it's actually pork that's been slow cooked until it falls apart and then pan fried until it dries out and crisps into these amazingly fine threads of sweet, salt, meaty goodness. Jet used to call them "Fuzzy Sprinkles".

When I got out into the car, I unwrapped the pork sung bread and bit into utter bliss. *laughs* It was a sweet flat bread covered in thinly sliced deep fried shallots and paper thin chips of Virginia-like ham. Big sheets of that bread were cut into smaller squares, and the squares were split, slathered with butter, and then stuffed with pork sung. It was amazing. I wish I'd taken a picture, but after I described them to the boys, I think we'll go back for more. *laughs*

I debated not going to H-Mart, but realized that it was only a few miles from where I was, when I'd gone tens of miles to get so far already. So I went. I'm glad I did.

King Oyster Mushrooms
The first thing I happened to spot while scoping out the produce section were these... they called them King Oyster mushrooms, but they really reminded me of the matsutaki mushrooms I'd seen in anime! And the kids who found them had sliced them lengthwise and sauteed them in butter. Turns out that they're a different mushroom than the matsutaki, but are good in and of themselves.

Mushroom Slices in Butter
When Jet and I sliced them and cooked them slowly in butter for a long time, they smelled amazing! And they ended up meaty and chewy and very very tasty, so I'll be looking for them next time I'm there, and at $1.99 for the package of three, it wasn't that huge an outlay for something exotic and delicious. Jet was very pleased with them.

It was really fun and cool to have him say, "Vegetables are delicious!!" And with vegetables like these, why wouldn't they be?

I was pretty disappointed with both POM and H-Mart's bok choy and scallions, even if they were only twenty-five cents a bunch they were very ragged and sad looking. The problem with having to ship in nearly all our fresh produce this time of year. H-Mart did, however, have a brand of frozen ramen that I'd never seen before, and it was in shoyu, tonkatsu, and miso varieties, so I got shoyu and tonkatsu to try it out.

Red Bean Bread
H-mart's bakery didn't disappoint, though, as they had the red bean bread in roughly the shape and color I'd been expecting. So I got two of those, too! I'm eating one right now, and it was pretty much everything I'd craved. Jet and I shared one of the POM ones, and it was tasty, but the bread had a far more open structure, and the texture was firmer, not as soft or buttery as the H-mart one or the one we had at 85C.

I need to go back to San Diego, buy a dozen, freeze them, and then bring them home on the plane in my baggage. *laughs* Or just bite the bullet and make my own. At altitude... at least H-Mart had the black sesame seeds I needed for that endeavor.

I managed to drop by the Boulder Trader Joe's on the way back toward home, and they had clean, beautiful baby bok choy, of all things. *laughs* So we're all set for ramen tomorrow.

What was truly amazing, though, was that with all the walking I did at all the shops, I had more than 6000 steps simply by the time I got home from shopping. So I went out for a small walk, and ended up with 11,000 for the day! Yay! I have walked... and I've slept for 8 hours one night out of the last four, but I hope to do well tonight. I'm now tired enough.
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Thank you!! I need them.

I should wish you good sleeping too!

It's only in its lack that I appreciate how nice it is to be able to sleep well...
YUM!

I am VERY lucky & spoiled as we have a little set of Japanese shops and tiny restaurants (seriously, some of the restaurants seat 8-10 people!) all together on the first floor of a building (they're called "the Shops at Porter" now although it used to be the Porter Exchange) that's within a 10 minute walk of my house and there is a little outpost of my favorite bakery, the Japonaise Bakery (http://www.japonaisebakery.com/) in there.

They do a delicious An Pan that has a light, airy bun with red bean paste inside and topped with poppy seeds. They also make a delicious melon pan and often have these super tasty takana onigiri (pickled Japanese mustard greens). Lesley University bought the building and chased out the Japanese grocery, so the Japonaise Bakery took over carrying a few snacks (it's a tiny space) and they almost always have Pocky if my cravings overwhelm me.
You are very lucky!! I envy you, now. *grins happily* But also am very glad you get those delicacies!!

Wow. Yum.
Pork sung sounds a lot like the pork floss I can get at Vietnamese markets. It's a very tasty snack.