What makes a Asian Grocery Shop special?
Translate Icon

What makes a Asian Grocery Shop special?

Do you want to make delicious and authentic Asian meals in your own kitchen? We know, it’s a daft question - of course you do, who wouldn’t? The many and varied food cultures to be found in Asia offer a vast array of styles – a veritable cornucopia of flavours and textures that blaze a culinary trail  from Hong Kong to Shanghai to Kuala Lumpur and beyond. Each different cuisine offers healthy, flavourful meals that can be cooked incredibly quickly – something that makes them an ideal fit for the busy lifestyles of time poor Western families.

If you are to make your Asian dishes authentic, however you have to use high quality authentic Asian groceries. You may have some recipes which suggest “alternatives” that are easier to find in a supermarket than the authentic Asian ingredients but do not be taken in. While they might do in a pinch “best fit” ingredients rarely produce a satisfying result. Falling into the trap of thinking that dry sherry will give you a similar result to rice wine, for example is an error that many UK cooks make when they first begin to explore Asian cuisine and it is a real shame because authentic ingredients are well within their reach.

All you need is a good Asian Grocery Shop and while your nearest brick and mortar store might be a couple of hours away, if you are reading this you have already found the best online Asian Supermarket with all of the Asian culinary supplies you could possibly need.

Of course, finding a good Asian Supermarket is merely the first step. Here at HiYou we aim to give our customers a truly special experience by introducing them to the best possible fresh ingredients and authentic Asian culinary products. But we do not stop there because once you have those ingredients you need to know what to do with them? How can you learn to take those authentic ingredients to make each authentic dish?

Of course the best way to learn how to cook authentic Asian food is to have been raised from childhood in an Asian home where you were taught to cook all of the traditional dishes by older members of your family.  However we understand that such a culinary education is beyond even the most enthusiastic Western cooks who will have to resort to the second best way to learn.

This starts with finding some really good recipes. There a great many fantastic cookery books about Asian food, and browsing the cookery section of a really good bookshop is a pleasure you should not deny yourself. But the advent of social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok means that you can easily find “how to” videos that have been made by real home cooks from all over Asia – which means that even westerners now have the ability to learn real Asian home cooking from real Asian home cooks without even leaving the kitchen.

Asian store

When you learn from real Asian home cooks in this way you will quickly learn to ignore the “celebrity” chefs who keep insisting that truly authentic food requires that you make every sauce and paste from scratch. This is nonsense. For the occasional special occasion you might choose to do that sort of thing – but authenticity does not require you to do so. Think about it, as a British home cook do you make Ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise from scratch? Of course not! You could, if you wanted to, but what you actually do is go to the supermarket and buy in the brands you know your family likes.

It should be no surprise therefore that Asian cooks will generally buy sauces, pastes and preserves from a store. This means that the real trick to producing genuine authentic Asian food is to make sure you have the same brands that cooks would buy in Asia. This is something else that makes your Asian grocery shop so special. At our Asian supermarket you will find all of those brands so that you can build a store cupboard that any Asian home cook would recognise.

Another thing that can make your Asian grocery shop special is discovering just how diverse a product rice is. Here in the West we tend to think that “rice” is just “rice”. If we are feeling fancy we might use Basmati, and if we are feeling really advanced we might use Arborio for risotto, but beyond that rice, as we said, is just, well, rice.

But when you shop for Asian store cupboard items ensuring you have the right rice for the right dish really matters.  In the same way that European food cultures boast a multitude of breads that are crucial to each specific style of cooking, from the Irish sourdough to the French Baguette to Greek Pitta and beyond Asian cuisines tend to demand their own kinds of rice. Using the wrong rice can mean that your dish will have the wrong textures or flavours. Fortunately our Asian grocery carries a vast variety of rice. Whether you are seeking the sticky glutenous rice that many Thai dishes call for or the perfect rice for Sushi, we have it - alongside every other kind of rice you can imagine, and maybe even a couple you may never even have heard of.

Noodles need the same level of diligence. If rice is never “just rice” then noodles are never “just noodles”. Egg noodles are very different to rice noodles, for example. Ramen noodles are nothing like Udon noodles, and so on. Each noodle style gives a different texture or flavour which means that using the wrong noodles can turn an otherwise authentically delicious dish into a mis-matched mess.

Honestly, preparing your own authentic Asian meals is not hard at all if you have the right ingredients. So seek out the recipes for the dishes you want to make and then come directly to our Asian supermarket to get all the authentic ingredients you need. Rice wines? Fish sauces? Curry pastes? We have them, just as we have herbs and spices, vegetables, meat and fish, fresh, frozen and dried produce of all kinds. Whatever you are looking for you are sure to find on our virtual shelves.

But still, that is not all that makes a real Asian grocery shop special. We need to talk about snacks. Chinese snacks in particular are a whole new experience. From Imei green tea flavoured cream wafers to October Fifth brand Phoenix Egg Rolls to toasted sunflower seeds and beyond there is a whole wide world of Chinese snacks featuring new flavours, textures and aromas out there just waiting for you – and we think nothing will connect you to Asian food culture faster than discovering its snacks.

So come with us and discover a whole new world that is just a click away. A new world of exciting meals are not just satisfying to eat, but also healthy and quickly prepared. You really are just one click away from a new relationship with food, so discover the amazing cuisines of Asia because once you do, you will never look back.