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Thai grocery???

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Thai food is a particular favorite. Family favorite is Thai Garden on Mission Blvd in Hayward. Been going there for years. Anyone ever been to Peppers Thai also further down Mission at the other end of Hayward? Would like to know about your thoughts.
So here's the real important question.......... got a great Thai cookbook, and am looking for some of the ingredients, but not having much success. Looking for tamarind paste, masaman curry paste, red curry paste (preferably Maesri brand), and green curry paste, and kaffir lime leaves. Spent last Sunday looking thru many Asian markets in Chinatown Oakland without much success. Where does an aspiring (and perspiring) Thai cook find typical Thai ingredients between Oakland and Hayward line/Fremont???? Thanks.

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  1. There is (or was) a Thai grocery store in Berkeley on the north side of University at Acton near Sacramento. I haven't been there for a year or so but I believe they are still there. Also, I've found that most big Chinese grocery stores (at least in SF) carry most of the same things that the smaller Thai places do.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bart

      Here is the name and address of the Oaklnd Thai market

      Sontepheap Market (It only has Thai script written outside)
      the pronounce it centipede.

      1400 14th ave @ International Blvd. 510 456 3826

      They have fresh Galanga,kafir leaves ect.(very inexpensive)
      Plus they are the only place I have found where you can buy a small bottle of fish sauce that fits easily in your frig.
      Plus on sunny days they BBQ tasty satays of beef and chicken for one buck.

      1. re: Mission

        Sontepheap is actually a Cambodian market, the script on the sign is Khmer, not Thai. But they do have a decent selection of grocereies appropriate for any style of SouthEast Asian cooking. Try the homemade prahok! mmmmm....

    2. A bit further afield, there is (or was) a small Thai market tucked away in the rear of the Pacific East Mall in Richmond.

      1. I think Berkeley Bowl stocks most of what you're looking for.

        1. On International Blvd in Oakland their is a great thai store. Im not sure what the cross street is but if you are heading South on International it is in a strip mall which is in the se corner of an intersection with a light. There is s sign in the front in Thai writting. The lady in there is super sweet. And they have fresh Kaffir Lime Leaves.

          1. I believe the name is "Tuk Tuk " the Thai grocery on University.

            1. Some other good possibilities:

              Tuk Tuk Thai Market, 1581 University Ave, Berkeley (with great little food court!)

              Sun Hop Fat Asian Market 1, 549 E 12th St, in the San Antonio neighborhood of Oakland nearby are Sontepheap Cambodian Market (above) and Lao Market (1619 International Blvd)

              The Ranch 99 Market at the Pacific East Mall in Richmond is pretty good as well

              here's a link to Kasma Loha-unchit's recommended SouthEast Asian markets in the Bay Area:

              3 Replies
              1. re: CunningMcFar

                I can't recommend CunningMcFar's comment enough; Kasma's web site is the go to resource for Thai ingredients in the bay area, she writes cookbooks, she does Thai cooking classes, and she's the one who steered me to:
                ** Battambang Market
                339 Eddy St.
                San Francisco, CA 94102
                (the asterisk indicates a market she finds particularly comprehensive, and she gave this one 2 of them!)

                The other two markets she gives 2 stars are in the east bay:
                **That Luang Market
                1610 23rd St.
                San Pablo, CA 94806
                (510) 232-2625

                ** Sontepheap Market
                1400 International Blvd., #C
                Oakland, CA 94607
                (510) 436-3826

                Has anyone reading this taken any of Kasma's Thai cooking classes? Can you let us know how helpful they were?

                I also have to add her list of favorite brands that are available in the bay area for various ingredients is a must-read for any home cook:
                An excerpt:
                " Coconut milk (gkati) – Note: November 2004: Recently Kasma has become concerned about two of her favorite brands of coconut milk, Chaokoh and Mae Ploy. She has had a number of cans that have been very watery, containing almost no coconut cream. In addition, a student had some trouble with a metallic taste in some cans of Chaokoh. She is not quite ready to rescind her recommendation – she has not yet found replacement brands that she likes. She is no longer buying the cans by the case, however, preferring to shake the can for sounds of too much liquid, a sign that there is not enough of the cream. The flavor has remained good in the two brands.
                Kasma recommends shaking each can to make sure it contains sufficient coconut cream.
                Chaokoh (14 oz.) – has a delicate, sweet, natural flavor and a good deal of cream. Beware of look-alike cans of inferior brands; make sure Chaokoh has an "a-ok" in it! Mae Ploy (19 oz.) – has a good flavor. Bangkok (14 oz.) – has a good taste and is preservative free. Be sure to shake – it's not always creamy. (May be ordered from Bangkok Market – see online market page.
                )Have a coconut milk taste session sometime to try all the locally available brands and discover the vast differences in different brands."

                1. re: SteveG

                  I've taken her beginner and intermediate classes. The beginner class is great. I used to cook multi-course Thai meals for friends when I had more time (before kids). It spoiled me for eating at Thai restaurants though.

                  1. re: SteveG

                    That Luang Market is a Lao market and Sontepheap is a Cambodian market. However, most Southeast Asian markets, whether Lao, Thai, or Cambodian carry products that are suitable for various SE Asian cuisines.

                2. I would suggest any Asian markets located on Clement Street between 2nd and 6th Avenues. You can find pretty much any Thai ingredients there and the prices are cheap, especially fresh Thai veggies and sauces/pastes.