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Mar 1, 2008 01:12 PM

ISO Chinatown grocers/markets for Hunan ingredients ...

I'm going to be cooking along with the Cookbook of the Month for March (actually two cookbooks - but I only have one), and want to go to Chinatown tomorrow to get a lot of the ingredients. The book's recipes are from the Hunan province, and I'm wondering if any 'hounds have favorite places to shop? Some English speaking by the staff would probably be helpful for me, though the book does have the chinese characters for the ingredients and I figure I can photo copy and mark the things I need!


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  1. I do most of my ingredient shopping at Kam Man Food Products. They're a bit more expensive than some of the smaller places, but they have a very large selection and nearly everything is labeled in English.

    Kam Man
    200 Canal St, New York, NY 10013

    8 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      Thanks - I think Pitu mentioned them on the HC thread.

      1. re: MMRuth

        yup - I'll be headed there too. Canal @Mulberry St
        the condiments are upstairs, the dishes and teas are downstairs

        MMRuth, while you're in the nabe you might enjoy the miniscule but well stocked Thai grocery, 2 blocks south of Canal, 104 Mosco Street (between Mott and Mulberry St)

        1. re: pitu

          Dishes? Did someone mention dishes? Should I buy some new ones for this purpose, LOL?

          Seriously - thanks - I'll check the Thai out as well. Trying to figure out what I actually "need" to get in terms of ingredients.

        2. re: MMRuth

          Oops, I always forget those handy place markers...

          Bangkok Center Grocery
          104 Mosco St, New York, NY 10013

        3. re: JoanN

          Just got back - they are open 9 am to 9 pm, btw. Got pretty much everything I needed (I think - I'm still not sure about all of these jars of chiles), except for the "Chinese cardomom". There was a man working there who was very helpful for the last things that I couldn't find on my own.

          1. re: MMRuth

            Try writing out the chinese characters. I did and a woman at Kam Man found them for me

            1. re: wew

              Also had luck at the pharmacy- herbal supply on Grand near Mott

              1. re: wew

                Thanks - I was in a rush and had just written out the phonetic spelling. I'll try next weekend maybe.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Call Hong Kong Market 212-227-3388 and ask if they stock Hunan ingredients.
              109 East Broadway at Pike St.

              1. I like Dynasty Supermarket - 68 Elizabeth St (between Canal St & Grand St). The store is crowded and a bit cramped, but they have pretty much everything, including the salted chilis shown on the left in the "Kitchen Chick" weblink posted on Home Cooking ( - in green and red - and BTW the little cartoon pepper on the label - who looks feisty indeed - is very cute.

                6 Replies
                1. re: buttertart

                  Thanks - already have a trip planned for next weekend to buy a wok, so will check it out.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Hey guys, I'm reviving this thread because I recently started cooking through Land of Plenty. I have most of the ingredients, but I could really use some help with a few of the trickier ones. First, I want to say thank you so much for everyone who posted on the other Dunlop threads from COTM, they are an amazing resource.

                    So down to business. Today I made a second trip through Ctown markets this week and I'm having trouble finding the following:

                    fermented black beans: I haven't seen anything that says fermented. They just say blacks beans...some are either dried or vacuum packed. I have a feeling the vacuum packed are the right ones?

                    facing heaven chiles: Haven't even come close to finding these, getting annoyed.

                    What brand of pickled chiles does everyone use?

                    I really want to make the fermented glutinous rice wine, but I have no idea where to even start looking for a wine yeast ball, which Dunlop says should be easy to find. Has anyone tried to make this? I also saw Thai glutinous rice, but not long-grain glutinous rice as called for in the recipe. Are these the same?

                    Thanks again!


                    1. re: ChiefHDB

                      I've never found heaven facing chile in Manhattan, but there are reports of finding them in flushing, where there is much more Sichuan influence. I just cook with regular dried chiles without much impact.

                      On the beans, the are soft and usually have some salt on them. They don't really look like dried black beans. They are everywhere, so you can just ask.

                      1. re: tazerowe

                        Thanks! I'll post on the outer borough board for a specific Flushing rec.

                        1. re: ChiefHDB

                          The Hong Kong Supermarket on Hester at Elizabeth had "Fishwell" brand packaged facing heaven chilis the last time I looked (they're in a cellophane-ish plastic bag with white and yellow printing, the Fishwell name in English, the chilis themselves are rounded rather than long). These were along the dried foods aisle across from the freestanding freezer with eafood in it. The fremented black beans come in plastic packages as well, if they're a bit squishy (not just like a package of regular dry black beans) they're the right thing. In the condiments aisle they carry several brands of pickled chilis - my favorite is the one that has a very cute cartoon very angry-looking chili blowing off steam on the label, it comes in red and green and a mixed one with the fermented black beans in it already. The Flushing HKS has even more types of the pickled chilis but no need to leave Manhattan for these unless you want to...if you do, go to Hunan House and to the Great Wall Supermarket across the road from it for a real China-in-NY experience.

                          Hong Kong Supermarket
                          109 E Broadway, New York, NY 10002

                          1. re: buttertart

                            Thanks buttertart! That would be a good excuse to go back to Hunan House... but on the other hand my lips are cracked and my mouth is still slightly buzzing after cooking Sichuan food 4 days straight. I was in Hong Kong Supermarket yesterday, but didn't see them. I guess I was looking in the wrong place.

                            I definitely had picked up the squishy black beans, but they didn't say fermented so I wasn't 100% sure.

                            Hong Kong Supermarket
                            157 Hester St, New York, NY 10013