Have you ever wanted to go into an Asian grocery store because you’ve heard of the amazing deals and variety of products there, but have no idea what to buy? This is the start of several blog posts where I will be sharing with you what I personally get.
Each time I go to a grocery store, I’m going to share with you some products that I love and you will too. I know how daunting it can be to go into an Asian grocery store, but I promise you it gets easier each time.
Below, you’ll pick up some helpful tips and tricks. All of the recipes that I share on this site will be based around my grocery store hauls that you will definitely be able to pick up at your own local Asian grocery store.
Asian Grocery Store Haul
This is an image of everything I got on my quick stop today! It was a Sunday, and the City Market was opened with a bunch of food vendors, so you’ll see some fruits on the right that weren’t part of the original Asian grocery store haul.
Asian Grocery Store Receipt for This Haul
Before I go through the details of what I bought, I wanted to show you what my receipt looked like so you can kind of see the prices in general. I’m based out of Kansas City, so these are definitely midwestern prices!
I will say that you will save A LOT of money on staples like soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, rice noodles, spices, herbs, and vegetables that are typically twice or thrice at your average national grocery store chain.
Seriously, the savings is unreal and undeniable.
I’ve never spent more than $100 inside this store, and my typical run into a normal grocery store is $100.
My Objective for the Asian Grocery Store This Visit
I really wanted to make Vietnamese spring rolls for my kids and grandkids, so I needed to pick up some spring roll wrappers. That was my ONLY intent during this shopping trip. Obviously, I came out with a lot more than that!
Related Post: Easy Authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Let’s talk about my haul in detail.
Spring Roll Wrappers
This is also known as rice paper. You dip each of the sheets in water, and it will become soft and flexible. You then add your spring roll fillings and roll it up! Typically, this can be found under $2.00 at the grocery store. If you see the rose on the packaging, you’ll know that this is my favorite brand to get!
Ramen Noodles – Found in the Pre-packaged Noodle Aisle
Back when my family first came to the United States, we didn’t have a lot of money. Our family survived on these. We bought them in boxes of 36 at the time.
These ramen noodles have had the same packaging for the last three decades. It’s still as delicious as it was back then. If you’ve been only buying the Maruchan cup noodles
To this day, as I eat it, it brings me fond memories of my mom and my kids with my mom!
This is another ramen noodle that came in second for us. The noodle is a little more “chewier” than the one I showed you previously.
However, I will say that there are WAY better brands of ramen noodles that are available at your Asian grocery store. These are the two that were part of my haul because they were tried and true as well as something that brings back nostalgia.
Canned Longans – Found in the Canned Fruit Aisle
If you have never had longan, you need to try it! If you catch the season right, get them fresh because it’s absolutely delicious. If not, the canned syrup variety like the one below is also delicious (and a tad sweeter because of the syrup).
You just eat it out of the can – that’s what our family does! Pro tip: You can put the can in the fridge to chill, and it is absolutely divine during the summer.
You’ll also be able to find other sweet fruit in syrup as well like the infamous lychee and rambutan! If you have never tried it, please pick up a can, chill it, and eat it as a dessert on a hot summer day.
Shrimp Chips – Found in the Snack Aisle
These have also been around FOREVER. They taste like vegetable straws, but with a shrimp flavor.
These shrimp chips are delicious on the go. If you don’t like shrimp flavors in ramen noodle, you might not like this. But if you want to try a different version of veggie straws, this is a great alternative!
Seeds – Random End Cap
You can discover hard-to-find Asian vegetable seeds! As you can see, there are a ton of seeds that you can get. Most of these you probably won’t be able to find at your local nursery (unless they specialize in Asian vegetables). It’s typically out right before spring and fall planting season!
I really wanted to get Chinese broccoli (it looks nothing like regular broccoli) , but they didn’t have any. I did find Chinese kale, which is absolutely delicious in stir-fry Thai noodle dishes (I’ll be sharing recipes on this soon).
Baby Bok Choy
Can you believe that baby bok choy is under $3.00? It’s unbelievable! I will be using this to stir fry with sliced pork with a sweetened oyster sauce mixture.
Here’s a picture of the other vegetables that you can find. The top left shows Thai basil wrapped in plastic on a styrofoam plate.
Asian Grocery Store Tip
On each of these grocery store hauls, I want to share with you ONE thing that you should consider getting that I may not have added to my own cart.
Fried garlic is delicious. It reminds my of fried onions that you would add on top of a green bean casserole dish. Fried garlic can be added to pretty much anything to make it flavorful. Examples include ramen noodles, peanut sauce for spring rolls, rice porridge, the list goes on! It’s so delicious and also fragrant when you are cooking with it. You won’t go wrong buying a jar of this aromatic herb!
Related Post That Uses Fried Garlic: Authentic Vietnamese Peanut Sauce
Summary of my Asian Grocery Store Haul
Your first trip doesn’t have to go all out. You can just pick up a few things like I did, and that way, you’ll get to be a little more adventurous on the next thing you get!
If you are a newbie to shopping Asian grocery stores, check out my post for first timers visit to an Asian grocery store for tips and tricks (you might find that you are able to get your other staple groceries at half the price).
I hope this first grocery store haul makes you feel a little more comfortable in potentially making your way to your local Asian grocer. You’ll find a whole new delicious world will open for you. Subscribe to my newsletter for my FREE ultimate shopping list for your first trip on what to get!
I know how hard it can be to find ingredients when you may have no idea what the packaging says! If there’s something you want me to find for you, leave a comment below. The next time I go to my local Asian grocer, I’ll find it for you and show you what it looks like.
What things do you like picking up at your local Asian grocer?