The 20 Best Things You Can Buy at an Asian Grocery Store

The 20 Best Things You Can Buy at an Asian Grocery Store

Asian grocery stores always stock a wide variety of unusual flours with diverse uses. Potato starch, known as katakuriko, is often used to coat foods for frying and is essential for crispy Asian chili beef and Korean fried chicken. It can also be used similarly to cornstarch to thicken soups and sauces.

Tapioca flour is also readily available and is used to make dumplings, Asian cakes or as a thickener – it also makes a wonderful, light dough. Sweet rice flour, also known as glutinous rice flour, is the flour you’ll need to make your own mochi at home, as well as many other Asian cakes and desserts. Its sticky and chewy texture is also used to make dumplings and other dim sum, as a topping for fried chicken, and in pancake batter and crepes.

Rice flour, which should not be confused with glutinous rice flour, can be used to make sweet or savory rice cakes, pastas, and pastries. It cannot be used interchangeably with glutinous rice flour because the two are completely different. Other flours to look for include buckwheat for making soba noodles and buckwheat pancakes, bean flours such as kinako, or toasted soybean flour, and gram flour, which is made from chickpeas and used in falafel, pakora and other Indian dishes. Mung bean flour is often used as a filling for dumplings or to make glass noodles.

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