What to buy at the Asian market! Here is a simple PRINTABLE list, to help you build your Asian pantry, organized by sections! Simple and easy- just print the list out and take it with you!

What to Buy at an ASIAN MARKET! A list of my favorite "go-to" ingredients! #asianmarket
Food is the ingredient that binds us together. – Unknown

Wondering what to buy at your local Asian Market? Here is a list of my favorite “go-to” ingredients that I always take this list with me when I go – that way I don’t forget because it’s very easy to get distracted!

Of course, you probably won’t need  ALL of these items (we used these in our catering business) but if you are interested in establishing an Asian pantry at home, some of these are quite useful!
Create an “event” out of it, such a fun thing to do with your kids, family or friends, and it is community buidling. Our Asian communities need our support right now, and this is one simple way to show it. I have had some of the sweetest conversations through the years, (and gotten some pretty valuable cooking tips) just standing in line and asking a stranger, “what do you make with that”, or “how do you cook this?”. People truly love sharing, and the topic of food seems to bridge cultural barriers and open hearts.  Try it and see. 😉
I especially love going in the colder months, when our farmer’s markets slow down, and try to pick one new ingredient each time.

Why shop at an Asian market?

  1. Asian markets offer up specialty ingredients not usually found in mainstream grocery stores.
  2. Asian Markets introduce you to new ingredients and help expand your cooking skills.
  3. Asian Markets are often less expensive than a regular grocery store!
  4. Exposure to different produce, herbs, spices and ingredients inspires creativity in the kitchen!
  5. It helps get you out of a cooking rut.
  6. It’s community building.
  7. It’s mind-opening.

 

Tips to shopping at an Asian Market:

  1. Every Asian Store is different. Visit several to find your favorites. Here, where I live there are several! There is one that is more Korean-focused- offering up Koren Style Sushi, always a treat. There is one that has a huge selection of Indian spices and Middle Eastern ingredients- so handy!
  2. Always ask what day their produce comes in. I love going on these days or the very next day because there is so much more selection!
  3. Get to know the owners/employees- they are a wealth of information! If they are not slammed, they love to share how they use ingredients or how to cook something. I have learned so much from people who work there and surprisingly just from people in line! For example, if I see something in someone else’s basket that I’m not familiar with, I simply ask, what is this? or how do you use this?
  4. People, love to share. I have made some of the most amazing connections with strangers simply waiting in line. It really makes the whole experience more enriching and meaningful. It is really amazing to me how cooking connects us.

What to buy at an Asian Market:

FRESH ITEMS:

  1. Peeled Garlic
  2. Shallots
  3. lime leaves ( or frozen)
  4. Ginger Root
  5. Galangal Root
  6. Fresh Turmeric Root
  7. Curry leaves
  8. Fresh mushrooms- try a different kind!
  9. Fresh herbs- Thai basil, cilantro, chives, and mint!
  10. Seasonal and unusual vegetables, fruit, fresh  chilies and sprouts (daikon or bean)
  11. Fresh rice noodles or ramen noodles in the refrigerated section
  12. Wonton wrappers
  13. Fresh Tofu ( or spicy fried)
  14. Pickled Things – Korean “pickles”
  15. Seaweed Noodles ( like Sea Tangle)
  16. Seaweed Salad
  17. Miso paste – try white miso!
  18. Quail Eggs

FROZEN SECTION: ( Tip: I always have these on hand in my freezer)

  1. Frozen chopped lemongrass– so handy!
  2. Frozen Lime leaves (or sub fresh, and freeze the extras)
  3. Frozen galanga root- again, so handy!!!
  4. Frozen Curry leaves
  5. Dumplings and Wontons
  6. Frozen whole fish

CONDIMENTS and Sauces :

  1. Coconut milk
  2. Toasted Sesame oil
  3. Soy sauce
  4. Extra dark soy sauce
  5. Green and Red curry paste
  6. Laksa Paste
  7. Gochujang
  8. Sriracha Sauce
  9. Mirin wine
  10. Chinese Cooking wine
  11. Tamarind paste or concentrate
  12. Shrimp paste, or dried shrimp
  13. Fermented Black beans
  14. Black bean or brown bean Sauce
  15. Chili Oil

SPICES, CHILIES, SEEDS:

  1. Toasted Sesame seeds
  2. Furikake
  3. Whole or ground spices
  4. Dried Chile Threads
  5. Dried Whole red Chilies for wok stir fry
  6. Korean Chili Flakes ( for Kimchi)
  7. Fried shallots or fried garlic
  8. Hondashi  (for miso soup)
  9. Togarashi Spice Blend

MISC STAPLES:

  1. Rice (sushi, jasmine, basmati, forbidden black)
  2. Dried Seaweed- kombu, wakame, hijiki, kelp
  3. Nori Sheets
  4. Dry Beans- mung beans, black beans, chickpeas, etc.
  5. Spring roll wrappers
  6. Dry Noodles
  7. Japanese Green tea (try it with brown rice -Genmaicha)
Hope this helps! If I’ve forgotten anything, please mention it in the comments below and I will add it to the Printable List Below! Thanks!!!
xoxo
PS. Rising violence and hate crimes towards Asians affect all of us!  A simple way to support Asians in your community is to shop at Asian Markets.  If you feel compelled to donate,  I found this article Where to donate to Asian Communities useful and informative.

Asian Recipes you may like:

If you live in Spokane, Washington, please take a look at Simply Suwanee’s post on where to buy Thai ingredients! 
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What to Buy at an ASIAN MARKET! A list of my favorite "go-to" ingredients! #asianmarket

What to buy at an Asian Market!


Description

What to buy at an Asian Market! A simple list to help you build your Asian pantry. PRINT and Take this list with you when you go!


Ingredients

FRESH ITEMS:

  1. Peeled Garlic
  2. Shallots
  3.  lime leaves
  4. Ginger Root
  5. Galangal Root
  6. Fresh Turmeric Root
  7. Curry leaves
  8. Fresh mushrooms- try a different kind!
  9. Fresh herbs- Thai basil, cilantro, chives, and mint!
  10. Seasonal and unusual vegetables, fruit, fresh  chilies and sprouts (daikon or bean)
  11. Fresh rice noodles or ramen noodles in the refrigerated section
  12. Wonton wrappers
  13. Fresh Tofu ( or spicy fried)
  14. Pickled Things – Korean “pickles”
  15. Seaweed Noodles ( like Sea Tangle)
  16. Seaweed Salad
  17. Miso paste – try white miso!
  18. Quail Eggs

FROZEN SECTION: ( Tip: I always have these on hand in my freezer)

  1. Frozen chopped lemongrass– so handy!
  2. Frozen  Lime leaves (or sub fresh, and freeze the extras)
  3. Frozen galanga root- again, so handy!!!
  4. Frozen Curry leaves
  5. Dumplings and Wontons
  6. Frozen whole fish

CONDIMENTS and Sauces :

  1. Coconut milk
  2. Toasted Sesame oil
  3. Soy sauce
  4. Extra dark soy sauce
  5. Green and Red curry paste
  6. Laksa Paste
  7. Gochujang
  8. Sriracha Sauce
  9. Mirin wine
  10. Chinese Cooking wine
  11. Tamarind paste or concentrate
  12. Shrimp paste, or dried shrimp
  13. Fermented Black beans
  14. Black bean or brown bean Sauce
  15. Chili Oil

SPICES, CHILIES, SEEDS:

  1. Toasted Sesame seeds
  2. Furikake
  3. Whole or ground spices
  4. Dried Chile Threads
  5. Dried Whole red Chilies for wok stir fry
  6. Korean Chili Flakes ( for Kimchi)
  7. Fried shallots or fried garlic
  8. Hondashi  (for miso soup)
  9. Togarashi Spice Blend

MISC STAPLES:

  1. Rice (sushi, jasmine, basmati, forbidden black)
  2. Dried Seaweed- kombu, wakame, hijiki, kelp
  3. Nori Sheets
  4. Dry Beans- mung beans, black beans, chickpeas, etc.
  5. Spring roll wrappers
  6. Dry Noodles
  7. Japanese Green tea (try it with brown rice -Genmaicha)

Instructions

Print the list and take it with you! Highlight any favorites for next time!

****Please mention in the comments below if I’ve forgotten anything and I will update.  Thanks!!!!


Notes

Pick a day when you have time to browse!

Keywords: what to buy at an asian market, asian market ingredients, favorite farmers market ingredients

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What to Buy at an ASIAN MARKET! A list of my favorite "go-to" ingredients! #asianmarket

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. Sylvia I am so greatfull to have found you 🙏 you are God sent 🤗 everything you shared has been so helpful, on my new journey of learning new Recipes with other cultures . Thank you so very much Sylvia I look forward to being present in this class 🥰

  2. I absolutely LOVE your recipes. They have changed my family’s eating habits for so much the better since the beginning of the pandemic! So much more delicious and plant-based. Anyway, I just saw this article on CNN about the racist background of the label kaffir and thought you might be interested…
    https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/17/business-food/waitrose-lime-leaves-scli-intl-gbr/index.html

  3. Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce would be a good addition to the list. A little splash of it improves the taste of anything that you could add soy sauce to. I visit my local Asian stores in San Diego almost every week, where I feel like a kid in a candy store. I especially like their wide selection of mushrooms and the delicious Jack fruit, when ripe, which tastes like a combination of pineapple, mango and banana.

    1. I have never tried that sauce Batoul! I will keep an eye out- thanks for the tip! You are lucky you have such a good one nearby. Currently, I’m in Sedona for the winter and I haven’t found one here- I’ve had to beg restaurants to sell me ingredients. 😉

  4. Great list – thanks! In the MISC STAPLES: section, you have 7 items, but they are listed twice, so there are 14 total when it should only be 7.

  5. Hey! This is a great list. A few notes:

    Kombu IS kelp so kombu can be its own line item, and removed from the seaweed section. And saying kombu and kelp is redundant, one will do 🙂 Also, that entire list is repeated twice in a row.

    Kafir is actually a demeaning racial slur to the people it refers to. It’s in this article at least twice (one time it’s spelled like kefir the drink). I’m sure you didn’t know, but please consider replacing it with Makrut which is not a racial slur.

    Great list! It made me realize I’m on the right track and gave me a few ideas to pick up!

  6. Chinese rose wine, Sichuan peppercorns sliced Korean rice cake, frozen raw duck & fish cake, abalone/abalone sauce bottled or canned and Laoganma’s Spicy Chili Crisp! So good!!!

  7. Freezer section- pork dumplings. Makes for great quick dinner, pan steam-fried and served with sauce made of soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar, cilantro and garlic chili oil. My teenaged boys ask for this often.

  8. Love this list- one thing I always am looking for that you might add is the brand names you choose for your sauces- ie fish sauce, oyster sauce etc. I look for these and never know which one to choose-
    Thanks!