When Alex started following Hannah Minimart on Instagram weeks ago, she wasn’t exactly looking for a source of food supply. She and her father visited the store before and discovered that the store’s homemade kimchi was less expensive than usual grocery prices. But the non-food item that she wanted to buy was out of stock.
Hannah Minimart wouldn’t get mentioned again in the house until we started having problems with the delivery dates of online groceries. Only two deliver in our area. And we still can’t go inside the groceries we regularly shop in. The crowds are still thick and their respective managements have not instituted any system to observe distancing inside the stores.
Yesterday, I finally visited Hannah Minimart’s website. I registered and with very efficient chat support, I ordered a few items (on trial, as usual because it’s my first time ordering from them). There was a choice between delivery or pick-up. Speedy, who’s often itching to view scenes beyond the walls of our house, said he’d pick up our purchases.
When he got back, he said there was only one customer in the store. That meant pick-up was not a bad option because there were no crowds to wrestle with. Great. A safe place to buy food. And spending time inside the store to browse through the shelves was not even necessary. Choose everything online and just pick-up.
We had a pretty nice dinner last night. Korean fish cakes and kimchi stew that could be served with rice or noodles, and an optional egg. We ate amid another government announcement. I braced myself for the enhanced panic buying that would follow.
When I woke up today, Speedy had already scanned the neighborhood on his motorbike. As expected, enhanced panic buying was in full effect. So, even before I had a chance to have coffee or wash my face and brush my teeth, I was on my laptop accessing the Hannah Minimart website. No more trial shopping this time. I filled the cart with items that we can cook with plus items that my daughters wanted including snacks and drinks. Over the next two days, my purchases from the bigger online grocery will be delivered. Finally, we will have enough food supply for the next two weeks.
Yes, that’s how challenging it has been. And, yes, I’m talking about getting food supply only for the next two weeks. Finding online groceries that deliver to our area, and deliver in a timely manner, has pretty much taken up my waking hours over the past week. I’d get excited whenever I discover a new source of vegetables or fruits or meat, I’d send e-mails and messages and then, bam, the replies that they don’t deliver to Antipolo.
The frustration is hard to explain. But, like I often say, life is different here in the boondocks. I won’t complain though. At least, we still have the luxury of being able to order our groceries online, no matter how limited the available services. There are a lot of people who don’t have that kind of access and they have no choice but to go to the stores and markets physically and wrestle with everyone else.
Of course, there are also people who are simply too stubborn. Two days ago, Speedy bought cassava cakes from a stall just outside our subdivision and he encountered a group of teenagers milling around and taking selfies. *Insert sigh of frustration here.*
Oh, but anyway… You probably came here for a recipe. If you live in Antipolo and you like Asian food, try Hannah Minimart. It sells mostly Korean food but the selection is good. No, this is not a sponsored post.
Fish Cakes and Kimchi Stew
- 6 cups broth (see notes after the recipe)
- 1 cup kimchi (you may use more)
- ¼ cup kimchi juice (you may use more)
- 500 grams Korean fish cakes
- ½ cup sliced scallions
- salt to taste
- cooked rice or noodles to serve
- 4 raw eggs (optional)
- Pour the broth into a pan and start heating.
- Cut the kimchi into slices. Add to the broth along with the kimchi juice.
- Cut the fish cakes into strips. Add to the broth with the kimchi.
- Bring the contents of the pan to the boil, stir the scallions, cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or just until the fish cakes swell.
- Taste the broth. Add salt, if needed.
- Ladle the stew into bowls. Crack an egg into each bowl while the stew is still hot.
*This dish was cooked on a day when we had limited access to ingredients.
***For more recipes, see the main blog.