The Best Asian Online Grocery Stores
Not so long ago, tracking down all the ingredients needed to prepare standard Asian dishes was a task for many home cooks across the country. Finding this special soy sauce for you at your local Kroger has been a rare occurrence. See rice cakes in the frozen aisle for tteokbokki? Forget it. While this might have been a little easier for those living in major metro cities, it wasn’t for me, a Filipino who has lived most of my life in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. Simply getting the right noodles for Pancit or coconut gel in a jar for Halo-Halo meant wandering the city and visiting the few Asian markets within a 40-mile radius. It was either that and/or reluctant to pay for heavily tagged items on Amazon.
Thankfully, that’s no longer the case thanks to a number of Asian online grocery stores that have sprung up in recent years. Whether you’re looking for food horses, fresh produce, specific cuts of meat, nostalgic snacks, or all of the above, retailers like Weee! and Umamicart make it easier than ever to find everything you need, including that special fish sauce your mom smuggles in her suitcase every time she visits you. Below we’ve listed some of the best Asian grocery stores on the web, just in time for your Lunar New Year needs. All you have to do is click “Add to Cart”.
If you dream of a website to do all your grocery shopping, consider Weee! Your one stop shop. It’s one of the largest online retailers dedicated to selling specialty ingredients for Asian and Hispanic cuisines, but it also stocks the staples you would find at any Safeway. So yes, you can finally buy your Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce, yuzu sparkling water, and fresh bitter melon in the same place you buy your oat milk and eggs. Weee! carries over 250 types of products along with meat, seafood, frozen foods and pantry items. You’ll find everything from sliced pork belly to instant paneer butter masala to red bean mooncakes. You must never leave your couch.
Chili crisp connoisseurs—and those with a taste for it—will appreciate this Taiwanese vendor. It carries premium soy sauces, hot sauces and cooking oils to add depth and flavor to all your meals. BA staff can vouch for pretty much anything at Yun Hai, but senior trade editor MacKenzie Chung Fegan especially loves those fermented black beans and that soy paste, which has a thick texture akin to barbecue sauce. Whatever you buy, make sure you get dried pineapple, mango, guava, and wax apple as well.
Associate Christina Chaey writes, “If Umamicart had a physical store, I would move just to live on the same corner.” For her, this location is Asian supermarket heaven. You’ll find classic condiments like Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp and Chundan Black Vinegar, as well as newer favorites like Fly By Jing Zhong Dumpling Sauce. But what Chaey loves most is Umamicart’s selection of premium Asian produce and meats: “Where else can I get fresh perilla leaves, pickled mustard greens, and wafer-thin slices of hot pot meat all in one place?”
You may have heard of Bokksu, which started out as a subscription box for Japanese snacks and teas. Fegan says it’s the best snack subscription box out there. In 2018, the company launched Bokksu Market, a carefully curated Asian online grocery store (which also ships to Canada). In addition to the premium snacks and drinks it’s known for – lychee mochi, shrimp chips and boba – Bokksu Market stocks its virtual shelves with a range of pantry items, haberdashery and condiments from Japan and beyond. Think soba noodles, chili chips, miso tuna and kewpie mayo (aka the best mayo in the world). What more do you want?
When it comes to Asian online markets, Yami is one of the OGs. It’s hard to compete with its massive offering of snacks, beverages, ambient foods, and lifestyle products. Once you’ve filled your shopping cart with Chinese Sausage, Milk Tea, Matcha Pocky, and Japanese KitKats, head to the Home & Beauty Department for BA’s favorite rice cooker and a very cool collagen face mask. Pro tip: Yami has one of the largest selections of ramen noodles, instant noodles, and hot pot soup bases I’ve seen online. Do not hold back.
To say I freaked out with excitement when I found out that Sarap Now was wearing Goldilocks Pandesal and Ensaymada is an understatement. This virtual Filipino market focuses mostly on pantry ingredients, snacks and pastries — and if you’re on the west coast, you’ll also get frozen items like tocino and pre-made lumpia. Here’s a sneak peek at the bestsellers that always make it to my shopping cart: Mama Sita’s Palabok Mix, Silver Swan Soy Sauce, and my favorite Mango Sunflower Crackers. But lately I’ve been enjoying some new stuff, like this Ube Pancake Mix.
If you’re looking for premium, well-stocked Korean groceries, there’s no better store than Kim’C. The store’s creator, Ryan Kim, once said his goal was to be like the Whole Foods of Asian food. To that end, Kim’C offers everything from fresh meat and seafood to ready meals and snacks. You’ll find things like pickled wild-caught shrimp, kimchi made to order in Korea, pesticide-free tangerine juice from Jeju Island, and an impressive array of artisan rice, noodles, and grains — like this single-origin rice made in New York City is ground and shipped the same day.