Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chasing Whole Foods' 99 cents turkey drumsticks

The homely monkfish on a well-iced display at Whole Foods Market in Paramus. The huge mouth is perfect for hunting in deep waters. The store pledges that all the seafood it sells is free of antibiotics and preservatives, and that fresh fish is delivered six days a week.

Editor's note: Today, I discuss a Black Friday food sale I always shop, whole wheat pastas and a spicier stew at my favorite Korean tofu house.


I had to make two trips to Whole Foods Market in Paramus before I found a parking space in a lot that was packed with Black Friday shoppers besieging other mall stores.

On the second trip, after 7 on Friday evening, I found several empty spaces not far from the entrance, and only a handful of shoppers inside the organic supermarket.

I picked up two packages of naturally raised turkey drumsticks for 99 cents a pound, and another two packages of turkey backs and necks for $1.99 a pound.

I couldn't find any 16-ounce boxes of organic whole wheat pasta shells sold under the store's 365 Everyday Value label for $1.39.

So, I bought two 16-ounce packages or 365 Everyday Value Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti.

Whole Foods sells organic whole wheat pasta made in Italy -- linguine, spaghetti, shells and other shapes -- for $1.39 a pound, but Italian brands of organic whole wheat pasta on the same shelf go for more than $5 or $6 a pound.

A new ingredient in So Gong Dong's "more spicy" soft-tofu stew are chopped, hot green peppers, above. The broth is hot enough to soft boil a fresh egg that comes with the meal. Excellent cabbage kimchi is one of four free side dishes, below. We also ordered a seafood pancake.

Turning up the heat

I found a new ingredient in the Oyster Soft Tofu I ordered on Saturday evening at So Gong Dong in Palisades Park, our favorite Korean tofu house in North Jersey.

I asked for my soft-tofu stew "more spicy," as usual, and when it came to the table, I noticed chopped green chilies sprinkled on top.

They added a new level of heat to the stew I hadn't encountered before at the second-floor soft tofu parlor, which also serves an array of other traditional Korean dishes, including barbecue and bibimbap.

Soft tofu is comforting and a bargain, and it's not uncommon to see three generations happily enjoying the meal, including infants that have to be fed by their parents.

For $9.99, a complete soft-tofu meal includes the stew, a second stone bowl of steamed white rice and four side dishes, including bean sprouts, two kimchis and a fiery preparation of raw squid.

We asked for and received a second set of side dishes, and a third portion of the wonderful cucumber kimchi.

As a comfort food, soft tofu is especially good in the chilly months of winter. It's also available "no spicy," "little spicy" and "medium spicy." 

I love poaching the fresh egg that is provided, breaking the soft yoke over the rice and eating them together.

We also ordered pajun, a seafood-and-scallion pancake that serves four ($11.99).

On the bill, prices are rounded up a penny and include tax ($10 and $12).

So Gong Dong, 118 Broad Ave., Second Floor, Palisades Park; 201-313-5550. Open 7 days. BYO. Free parking on side streets.

Two organic brown eggs sprinkled with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese from Costco Wholesale and served with Thanksgiving leftovers.


  1. A couple weeks ago you posted a picture of yams roasting in the oven with their sugars coming out. Since this weekend, I have been enjoying a sweet potato for breakfast and dinner following your baking instructions. Thanks for all the cooking ideas, tips, and great photos.

    1. Glad to hear it. Aren't they delicious? Had two small ones for breakfast today with an egg-white omelet.


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