Asian grocery shopping can be a great time to explore new ingredients and learn more about the cuisine. We’ve all been there before, wandering around the store for hours, juggling carts and trying to decide what to get. Don’t worry; I’m here to help! In this article, I will give you some tips on how to find the best Asian grocery stores and introduce you to some staples that are essential in any Asian kitchen.
1) Asian Grocery Stores
Asian grocery stores are very popular in both Asian countries and countries with large immigrant populations. They typically have staples from Asian cooking, including rice, soy sauce, noodles, and more as well as fresh produce.
2) Asian Supermarket
The best place to go grocery shopping for Asian foods is an Asian supermarket. Unlike your regular grocery store, which may only offer one or two different types of soy sauce and sesame oil, an Asian supermarket will carry 20+ different types of those things. They’ll also have interesting varieties of rice that you won’t find at other stores, like black rice and brown rice.
3) Neighborhood Markets
In terms of grocery stores, there are many options available depending on where you live. In some neighborhoods, you will find one or two convenience stores with groceries. A few miles away in another neighborhood, there might be 20-30 grocery stores within walking distance. All these neighborhood markets are considered Asian markets because they mostly sell Korean and Chinese groceries. The selection may not be as wide as what you find at one of your bigger grocery chains but typically they have all of your basics – rice, soy sauce, noodles, noodles soup mix packets etc.
4) Online Asian Groceries
One of my favorite kinds of recipes to make and share are vegan Vietnamese food. One of my favorites to make is vegan Pho. This recipe tastes best with chicken, but I don’t eat meat so I made it vegetarian instead. One thing you might need in order to make it is rice noodles, which you can find at an Asian grocery store. The other ingredients you will need include things like ginger root, broccoli, fresh cilantro, green onions and lemongrass. You will also need some soy sauce, tamari (a gluten-free variety), hoisin sauce and vegetable broth or water for boiling rice noodles and cooking vegetables in.