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Palm sugar

I've tried two Asian markets (Sunset Park and Bensonhurst) looking for palm sugar and no luck. Does anyone know where I can find it in Brooklyn?

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  1. try some health food stores. also, be aware that it's sometimes labeled as "coconut sugar" (even though the type of palm sugar used in most traditional Thai recipes doesn't come from the coconut palm).

    if all else fails, you can always buy it online.

    1. there is date palm syrup at the bengali stores on Church Ave. Of the Chinese groceries, Hong Kong, which has more SE Asian foods, seems the best bet. Kalustyan has the syrup and probably solid form too. Its catch as catch can whether it can be found in indian or chinese stores - jaggery - indian brown sugar - is more common in the indian stores. I have three kinds of palm sugar (in addition to the above) in my closet, testimony to the difficulty of finding this item - one in a jar, one a flat disk and the third two dark colored cones. All I think from a Kam Man in NJ which serves a diversified asian clientele. You might also try the thai or SEA grocery in Manhattan Chinatowns - you would most certainly find the item there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jen kalb

        I should caution everyone that date sugar is not the same as palm sugar, the way it's understood by Southeast Asians. Palm sugar comes from a type of palm tree that is called the sugar or Palmyra palm. And with a little research, I've found out that even though Thai and Malaysian/Indonesian palm sugars come from the same type of tree, there are important differences between the products:


        In Malaysia, palm sugar is called Gula Melaka or manisan in Malay and has the wonderful caramelized, smoky taste Pim talks about in the above-linked post.

      2. Blue Apron on Union Street between 7th & 8th Aves has it. So does the Food Coop down the block and I believe D'Light (sp?) on 150 7th Ave by Garfield Pl.

        1. Just go to Bengali Church Ave. Nearly every store will stock it. They'll call it gur or jagari.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JFores

            lots of times thats just indian brown sugar though. Not that its likely to make a big difference, but they are not the same.

            1. re: jen kalb

              It is the same. They just store it for a longer period of time and that's why the color and texture is a bit different.

          2. I called the food coop and they said they didn't carry it. I found something called red powdered candy (which was some kind of a dark Chinese sugar.) I used this in my pad thai as I had no other alternative. I'll keep looking for the real deal and stock up and post when I find it. I'm also going to look at the Thai grocery on Mosco st. I imagine they will have it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodforu

              You're looking for Big Tree Farms (Bali) brand Heritage Palm Sugar. Both Blue Apron on Union Street by 7th Ave, and the PSFC should have it in stock.

            2. I know this isn't brooklyn, but if you ever eat at sripraphai in woodside, pop into the thai grocery down the street. they carry it--a brand from thailand. that's where i got mine.

              1. I looked for it at the food coop, and couldn't find it. Is it near the other sugars?

                3 Replies
                1. re: foodforu

                  I found mine on one of the "new"(?) shelves. There's one across from the eggs and another across from the poultry cooler, right where the express line wraps around. Did you try Blue Apron up the block?

                  1. re: bigmackdaddy

                    I tried blue apron but they were out of "cocoanut" palm sugar, which I think is different from what I am looking for. Will check the coop again. Thanks for the help

                    1. re: foodforu

                      this type of sugar product is artisanal and variable - also inexpensive (maybe not at Blue Apron) why not try a few and see what you like?


                2. unfortunately I don't have a specific address but I've bought palm sugar (large cone-shaped pieces, sometimes semi-circles) at mexican markets in the bronx, so they should def. have it at mexican markets in sunset park; e.g. places which sells tons of chilis, various cheese and meats in fridge cases, etc. they are a pain to use, I use a fruit peeler to get curls of it off (very nice for marinades and for use in som tam).

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: bigjeff

                    I didn't know Mexicans made or used palm sugar. Do you know what kind of palms they're getting the sugar from? How dark is the sugar?

                    1. re: Pan

                      It's my understanding that piloncillo, the Mexican brown cone sugar, may sometimes be made from palm sugar, but, like gul, the indian brown sugar, is more often made from cane sugar.

                      If you're set on getting palm sugar, your best bet is an asian market that carries thai products. (There are a couple of big ones in Sunset Park that might carry it, and, as I posted above, def the small thai grocery in woodside down from sri.)

                      But IMHO, i'm not sure it's worth going to a lot of trouble. If I don't have it, I just use brown sugar and I defy most people to be able to tell the difference in the finished dish.

                      1. re: missmasala

                        ya not sure if it is really made from palm sugar but its got a very strong, unrefined taste and texture.

                        1. re: missmasala

                          I've also done the same thing when I'm out of palm sugar -- just substitute brown sugar or Succanant or jaggery or whatever I have on hand.

                          OP -- if you want palm sugar and don't mind going to Manhattan, they definitely have it at the Thai grocery store on Mosco street in Chinatown, as well as a few other stores there.

                          1. re: Miss Needle

                            I'm always open to substitutions, but I found what I think to be a very authentic pad thai recipe, so I want to follow it as closely as I can. Thanks for all the suggestions. I know I'll find it one of these days.

                            1. re: foodforu

                              You tried Hong Kong Supermarket (8th & 60th)? I do think I've seen it there.