Those who complain that Bensonhurst is oversaturated with Asian groceries have clearly never visited the gourmet Queens superstore, with its expansive aisles of imported goods from the Philippines, Vietnam, China, India, Malaysia, and beyond. But the truth is, in addition to lower priced fruits and vegetables, many delicious treasures can be found at our neighborhood’s smaller Asian markets.
We’ve rounded up five of our favorite foods found exclusively at Asian groceries that we think would appeal to a wide range of palates and do not require much preparation.
1. Red Bean Ice Cream Bars
At 170 calories a bar, you can’t go wrong with these babies. They are subtly sweet and creamy, and the legumes contained inside offer a unique crunch with every bite. Not bad for a dessert.
Even the pickiest of eaters love dumplings. We selected some pork, chive, and vegetable potstickers. Even while still frozen, the aromatic chive smell wafted from the bag. On a diet? No problem. Bake ’em in a toaster oven and you’re only clocking in 130 calories for five dumplings.
3. Korean Pears
These monstrous, apple-shaped pears are juicier than your average American fruit and more mild in sweetness. As you near the core, the fruit gets slightly tarter. These fat, juicy babies are rather pricy — we doled out $7 for three of them — but they are luxurious and decadent, and so, so worth it.
4. Fish Sauce
For the potstickers. This low-calorie Asian condiment trumps soy sauce and ketchup any day. Though it’s made from salty fermented fish, the sauce doesn’t taste fishy. Rather this magical ingredient has the potential to add pizzaz to everything from pizza to soups and salads.
5. Green Tea Pumpkin Seeds
The green tea flavor lends these snackable seeds an Eastern twist. Nutritious and salty, these grass-colored pellets are a great substitute for chips, and can be eaten whole — shell and all.
Share your favorite Asian snacks in the comments and check out some of these grocery stores when you have a chance:
Best Fresh – 6719 Bay Parkway, (347) 374-4100
Legend Supermarket – 1811 86th Street, (718) 837-8231
New Group Market – 7012 18th Avenue, (718) 236-1168
Fong Zou Supermarket – 8514 18th Avenue, (718) 872-7022