Tran’s World Market is a family run Asian market in the Pioneer Valley, and probably the best local option for specialty Asian vegetables. In addition to Asian groceries from a range of countries, they also sell groceries from South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Tran’s also has an excellent selection of frozen dumplings and buns, and an endless selection of sauces and marinades. They also have a variety of canned fish, crab and shrimp in spicy sauces that I am both intrigued and scared by. Up by the cash register they sell sesame buns, Balut (fertilized chicken or duck eggs with an almost developed embryo inside) and recently, mom’s home made Steamed Pork Buns.
These fist sized, light and fluffy buns were amazing. The ingredient sticker on the to-go tubs lists egg, onion, shallot, garlic, jicama, ground pork and pork sausage. But this list doesn’t nearly do the filling of these buns justice, they are filled with big chunks of sweet and spicy Chinese sausage, half a hard boiled egg and wads of seasoned ground pork – delicious. These are not traditional Chinese BBQ buns and I am torn in coming up with an analogy to describe them, they are like a full on-the-go breakfast but also remind me of Scotch Eggs.
The Location: Tran’s World Market is on Russell Street in Hadley, MA. It is just past the bridge over the Connecticut river on the way from Northampton to Amherst, next to Mi Tierra Mexican restaurant.