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I mentioned in my last post that I spent a little too long in a major supermarket chain the other weekend. Well, part of the reason for spending as much time in Tesco wasn’t just the fact that the New Malden store has TWO FLOORS, but that they’d chosen the exact moment I entered to launch their Korean food product range (apparently New Malden supports the largest Korean population in Europe and this event helped Korean SMEs promote their products).

You may have noticed, I quite like my Asian cuisine. Tempura battered aubergine anyone? Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese – I love all of it, yet it remains the only continent in the world I haven’t yet visited. I need to remedy this.

Anyway, catching me at 12pm on a Saturday afternoon, many, many hours after eating my breakfast? Tesco didn’t know their luck. I tried samples of dumplings, bbq cooking sauce, some popcorn type thing that is supposedly ridiculously low fat and some amazing pomegranate alcoholic beverage with fruit. Now I don’t ever feel guilty about trying samples. I will taste things and decide whether they’re worth it. Farmers Markets must hate me. But in this instance, I had to stop myself buying the entire range one week before payday.

I bought some lovely thin noodles (a bargain at less than £1.50 for roughly six portions), which I promptly used that evening under some slow cook Asian pork – a Skinnytaste recipe. Then I also picked up this soybean paste from Bibigo, because I’d been after something similar for a while.

I might as well cut to the chase – it’s amazing. I now have a huge tub of paste ready to whip up a batch of miso-style soup whenever I want. I can’t express my delight. Ok, so I don’t know how ‘authentic’ it is, but it tastes fantastic to me. Also, see that expiration date? Now that is something I like. No mention of how long it can stay in the fridge open, but this takes the panic out of things. I’m not going to be carelessly throwing it away because it’s edged past the best before (sorry, pet hate).

So far I’ve kept it simple with some shredded chicken, spring onions and shitake mushrooms for lunch. Although I imagine some silky tofu would really set it off. And I envisage it playing part in a slightly thicker sauce over some beef at some point in the future too.

Go out and buy it now!