I do a lot of grocery shopping at Ranch 99. Being from the Bay Area, I am often envious when I go back home to visit my parents and go to the asian grocery stores which are so much bigger than the Ranch 99 here, and offer so many more things. Better bread, better cooked foods, better dim sum items, etc.
However, there have been a few items that I have discovered at the Ranch 99 in San Diego, which I have not seen anywhere else. One of these things is the taro flavored chinese steamed rice cake. The chinese steamed rice cake is a traditional dessert that is normally white. You can usually find this dish during dim sum. It's one of my favorite desserts. It's not very sweet, and has a teeny bit of a sour taste also.
I once looked up how to make it, but seeing how complicated it was, I decided to forget it. You can find a recipe here and here. I don't know if they are any good. It's much easier just spending a few dollars and getting an order of it at dim sum. Sometimes, Ranch 99 will make and sell it. I never know when they do it. There doesn't seem to be a set schedule. Sometimes I see it there, sometimes I don't. I find that the traditional white one they make is too sweet.
A couple of months ago, while browsing the cooked food section, I noticed these beuatiful purple treats. Purple steamed rice cake?!? Who would have thought. Since I love the color purple, I had to buy some. The cake is pretty good. It is taro flavored, so it's not that they just decided to change the color. They changed the taste too. Not as sweet as the white one they make. If you enjoy taro flavored foods or you like steamed rice cake, I recommend trying this out sometime.
7330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, #112
San Diego, CA