Located on Central Avenue in Albany
Coming late to Asian cooking, my repertoire of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai and Korean recipes is limited, but there are a number of ingredients that have quickly become staples. These ingredients can be difficult or unreliable to find at the supermarket, so a trip to the Asian Supermarket means stocking up on the things we use most.
Shopping at the Asian Supermarket can be as disconcerting as visiting a foreign country. It is a cultural experience we don’t often get living in the homogenous northeast. While around you you’ll hear many languages other than English being spoken, if you can’t find something you can ask. There is plenty of staff around. Most food labels are in languages other than English, but the aisles are well-organized. If you know what you want, you’ll probably find it easy enough.
There is an entire aisle of dried noodles—dozens and dozens of varieties. There are at least a dozen different kinds of dried mushrooms in big bags. Need tamari? You’ll find at least a half dozen brands, in a variety of sizes. There’s a fresh fish market, where eels and live fish swim in tanks. The produce department has vegetables and fruits you just can’t get anywhere else.
On one particularly memorable trip, we bought a case of straw mushrooms, four large bags of dried shiitake mushrooms, a gallon of soy sauce and a case of Tamari. The cashier asked us, “Do you own a restaurant?” “No,” we admitted. “We just really like Asian food.”
1245 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12205