So we have an Asian food store near me, and I enjoy checking out their wide selection and trying new things. In particular I enjoy trying new things from the produce department, which carries all sorts of things that I don't see in my regular grocery store. I'm a real newbie when it comes to all things Asian food (I think the story is heavily on the Mandarin side of things, but that is a wild guess).
Yesterday I went to the market to get some mustard greens to make a soup from Hakka, and it took me a good 10 minutes, with the assistance of my phone, and guessing from the shape of the leaves, to find something that might work. Most of the labels use the traditional names for things, and even where they are translated I'm not sure what I'm getting.
So my question: is there a good resource for learning about these vegetables? Does anyone have any suggestions for being less of an idiot at the Asian Market (I'm not afraid of looking like an idiot, or I wouldn't go, I just want to not have to stand with my phone looking up every thing)? Also I bought something called Moa gua, any ideas on how to cook this?
Right now I just buy stuff and try it, sort of hit or miss on the right prep. I bought some Taiwan Spinach and steamed it like regular spinach and then put it in with some shallots, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and oyster sauce. It was pretty good, but I'm not sure how it differs from regular spinach.