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Asian Street Markets

BuHi

While cities around metro Atlanta boast of weekly Farmers markets, the Asian side of metro Atlanta pride themselves with street and sidewalk markets. Grandmas hawking fresh, organic fruits and veggies, seafood, sauces, and many more.

BuHi

Right outside Quoc Hong, mostly on weekends, Grandma sells the sweetest oranges on earth. Softball-sized variety is $10 per a 10-pound bag. Huge, freshly-caught, Gulf Tiger shrimp as long as 8 inches (stretched out) go for $5 a pound (6-8 count). A steal considering they go for $15 and upwards a pound at supermarkets.

BuHi

But what you shouldn’t miss is her organic veggies. Potato leaves work just as well as spinach. And the water spinach? It’s the only place you’ll see them. Also known in English as straw vegetables (there’s a hole inside like a straw), the USDA has classified this plant as a noxious weed in 2010. That means you won’t find this plant in any Asian store. But you’ll find it in our own Buford Highway! $5 a bunch gets you freshly-harvested ong choy (Chinese) or rau mong (Vietnamese), or kankung (Malaysian), or pak boong (Thai). Stir-fried with soy sauce or steamed with oyster sauce and you have a fantastic veggie dish.

Duluth

Over in Duluth, Grandma sells her goods out of a mini van, in the parking lots of Korean restaurants. She makes her own kimchi (both red and white), doenjang (miso paste), and gochugaru (chili powder). She sells organic fruits and veggies from her garden: sweet potatoes, persimmons, green Korean pepper, napa cabbage, peanuts, and dried red chili peppers. Her sweet potatoes are so sweet. Boil or roast them then slather lots of butter for a great snack.

Kimchi

She makes amazing kimchi. This big bottle of special kimchi goes for $20. It includes fat, organic green onions. There are other grades of kimchi — $10 for the not so special (no special green onions), and $30 for the huge jar of white kimchi.

While Chinese grandma stays put inside Asian Square, Korean grandma is more of a gypsy. You’ll find her mini van all throughout the week in Duluth and as late as 8PM — in the Super H parking lot, Point Berkeley International Village, Market Square — all within 5 miles of each other on Pleasant Hill.

As always, merchandise vary. Check often. Also, these grandmas barely speak English. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to communicate. I do. And of course, cash only please.

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Robert // Nov 17, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Sounds like a cool market. However, you may want to know that tiger shimp in the Gulf are an invasive species and could threaten native species. Most tiger shrimp in the area are the result of releases from aquaculture farms in Central and South America. Besides that they’re ugly compared to our native species, IMHO. Sorry, probably more than you wanted to know. Here’s a link but you can find much more information on a simple search.

    http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/tiger-prawn

    AND, Wild Georgia Shrimp are the best anyway. Beat real gulf shrimp by a mile.

    Thanks.

  • 2 Lorenzo // Nov 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Any particular time of day for the best shot at finding the grandma hawking the rau mong? I’d love to get my hands on some.

  • 3 Chloe // Nov 18, 2011 at 11:22 am

    She’s there weekend mornings until 2-3PM.

  • 4 Lorenzo // Nov 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Thanks!

  • 5 Meng // Nov 19, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I had lunch at Quoc Hong yesterday. I saw them but didn’t buy anything since I had to go back to the office. You must be very knowledgable about asian food since you know all the names for chinese water crest. I love those vege stir fried in fermented bean curd or shrimp paste. The shrimp paste can be stinky for westerners:)

  • 6 helen // Nov 20, 2011 at 2:16 am

    I was at Quoc Huong the day these pictures were taken. We have bought many things from the nice folks here and have never been disappointed! They’re great folks with great products. Now I just have to find Korean kimchee grandma…..

  • 7 Lorenzo // Nov 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    She wasn’t there on Saturday, but the man who was there believed that rau muong is done for the year–too cold now. Darn–too late. In the meantime, we contented ourselves with those tiger prawns. Again, thanks for the tip! Bonus: lunch at Quoc Huong.

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