All the groceries you need for Susan Vu’s ‘Week of Meals’ recipes

A spread of multiple dishes on a table, from Vietnamese pork spare ribs to a sheet pan shrimp boil.
(Lindsay Kreighbaum / For The Times; prop styling by Dorothy Hoover)

Week of Meals” is a weeknight dinner series that brings you five easy-to-prepare weeknight recipes from one shopping trip that costs less than $100. Here’s your grocery list for Susan Vu’s recipes and the prep work to do on the day of the shopping to set yourself up for effortless cooking the rest of the week.


These ingredients will need to be purchased if you don’t already have them.

Meat and Seafood
4 pounds pork spare rib ends
1/2 pound ground pork
16 extra colossal shell-on, head-on, wild pink shrimp (about 2 pounds)


2 packages firm tofu (14 to 16 ounces each)
1 cup unsweetened coconut water
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

7 to 8 large limes (for 1/2 cup fresh juice, plus more for wedges)
30 garlic cloves (about 3 heads)
10 ounces mini king oyster mushrooms or other small, meaty mushrooms
1/2 medium green cabbage
5 inches fresh ginger
4 small shallots (6 ounces)
6 scallions, plus more for serving
6 small Japanese eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 pounds baby or marble potatoes
1 head green leaf lettuce leaves, for serving
4 Persian cucumbers, for serving
1 bunch cilantro or other fresh herbs like mint, basil or parsley, for serving

12 ounces bun tuoi (rice vermicelli noodles)
5 rice paper wrappers (22 cm / 8 1/2 inches)
1 cup Shaoxing wine
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more to taste
1/4 cup Sichuan-style chile crisp, plus more for serving
1/4 cup mushroom-flavored dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
1/4 cup dried kimchi seasoning
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 can (15-ounce) baby corn
Snack-size roasted seaweed (nori) sheets, for serving

White bread, for serving


We’re expecting you to already have these ingredients. If you have to buy them, you will use them again and again in other recipes.

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 bag jasmine or other white rice, for serving


This is the cooking you’ll want to do on your shopping day, preferably Sunday, to get more of the laborious or time-consuming tasks out of the way.

Make the Nước Màu (Vietnamese Caramel Sauce):
In a medium saucepan, combine 6 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of water and place over medium heat. Stir gently until the sugar dissolves, 1 to 2 minutes. Stop stirring and continue to cook the syrup, swirling the pan occasionally, until it darkens to a deep, dark brown hue similar to soy sauce and the mixture is beginning to smoke, 7 to 10 minutes.

Immediately turn off the heat and remove the saucepan from the hot stovetop. Carefully pour in 2 tablespoons of water; the mixture will sputter. Use a heat-safe rubber spatula to stir the caramel until completely smooth. Stir in another 2 tablespoons of water and then transfer the caramel to a small heat-proof bowl.

Allow the caramel to cool to room temperature (it will thicken as it cools), then cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 5 days. Return to room temperature before using in the Pressure Cooker Suon Ram Man (Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Spare Ribs).

Vu’s neighborhood grocery store:
H Mart City Center, 3500 W. 6th St., Suite 100, Los Angeles, (213) 235-1917

Get the recipes:

Nori Wraps With Baked Spicy Peanut Tofu

Time1 hour
YieldsServes 4

Sheet Pan Shrimp Broil

Time45 minutes
YieldsServes 4