Recently I estimated that over the past 8 years, I've taught close somewhere between 400 to 500 cooking classes. (And I don't even want to think about how many dumplings we've made in all those classes!) And whenever I teach, the most common questions I get from students are about where to buy ingredients around the city and the best brands to get. Navigating those grocery store aisles for unfamiliar ingredients, sometimes with dozens of varieties for something like rice vinegar, can be a very daunting task.
So in the past few years I've begun emailing students a resource list with good stores for Chinese ingredients (with links to addresses), some of my preferred brands for the ingredients, and recommended Chinese restaurants around New York.
While most of the list is New York-specific, I hope that those of you who live outside the city can make use of the recommended brands section to find these ingredients closer to where you live.
I will be continually updating this, but feel free to make suggestions for your own favorites!
- Manhattan - Hong Kong Supermarket (one stop shopping, big supermarket, big produce section)
- Manhattan - New Kam Man (also a big store, basement full of Chinese cooking equipment and serving dishes)
- Brooklyn - New York Mart
- Brooklyn - Fei Long Supermarket
- Queens - Jmart inside the New World Mall (this place is enormous, probably the best selection in the city)
- Queens - Hong Kong Supermarket of Flushing
Recommended Brands for Chinese Pantry Staples:
- Soy sauce (Kikkoman, Yamasa)
- Sesame oil (Kadoya)
- Chinese black vinegar (Gold Plum, Koon Chun)
- Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing with red label)
- Hoisin sauce (Koon Chun)
- Dumpling and wonton wrappers (Twin Marquis)
- Manhattan - Nyonya (Singaporean/Malaysian with many Chinese dishes)
- Manhattan - Xian Famous Foods (locations in Brooklyn and Queens too)
- Manhattan - Noodle Village (best Hong Kong-style wonton noodle soup in NY)
- Manhattan - Hot Kitchen (very good Sichuan food in the East Village)
- Manhattan - Buddha Bodai - Very good fully vegetarian Chinese restaurant (taro "duck" highly recommended, and vegetarian dim sum too!)
- Manhattan - The Bao - Chinese spot on St. Marks (soup dumplings & Sichuan chili-fried chicken highly recommended)
- Brooklyn - Pacificana (best dim sum in NYC. spacious, too)
- Queens - Nan Xiang (great soup dumplings)
- Queens - Fu Run (cumin crusted rack of lamb. 'Nuff said.)