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Jul 31, 2009 01:32 PM

Asian Supermarket (Central Ave., Albany)

Went to Asian Supermarket and got 1/2 roast duck. As good as Kaman on Canal. Had a red bean curd bun. Also good.

They have a large section with fresh whole fish. Has anyone tried their fish? How was it?

Please note prepared food and supermarket have 2 separate registers. Prepared foods is CASH ONLY.

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  1. FDR,

    Asian Supermarket is not far from me but I have never been there. Thanks for the heads up on it. I will have to try it. I would appreciate more of your impressions on the place.

    I was really surprised they have prepared food. Asian covers a lot of territory, indeed. Do they concentrate on any particular Asian cuisine or do they try to do it all?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Greyghost

      I went through very quickly. They had chicken feet, roast ducks and chickens. Tried to do a quick price comparison (vs. Chinatown) on some pantry items. Didn't really notice if they also had Korean, Japanese, etc. items. They also had a good size produce section. Need to explore more when I go back.

      Please report back if you get a chance to go.

      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        Thanks or the reply, FDR. I will check it out. I really do need a good dose of Lapsang souchong tea. Some of the precooked items sound interesting as well.

        Thank you for the heads up on the chicken feet as my wife is a very sensitive vegetarian and freaks out even with images of deer heads on walls in movies. I will be checking out this place alone, for sure. As I am not an Asian style cook, I have no idea what they are used for. The only thing I can imagine is for making stock and that makes some sort of sense.

        I do admit I have had some reluctance in shopping at Asian stores, due to all the contaminated products from China in recent years. This reluctance was increased when a nearby Asian store was busted by En-con agents for selling unapproved live food which is illegal in this state, anyway.

        I do need my Lapsang souchong tea however, so I will visit this fairly new Asian Market and report about it.

        I will not tell you what that location used to be, but there was trouble with law enforcement and they went away for a long time. In that issue, no Asians were involved, however. These were homegrown bad guys. I am glad to see a respectable looking market has taken over and I will be happy to try it, chicken feet and all.

        1. re: Greyghost

          Greyghost, I have had chicken feet at dim sum in Chinatown. They are a little bony to eat but quite flavorful (must be spices used to prepare them). Please note the whole roast ducks are hanging upside down, as is typical practice in the Asian markets I have been to.

    2. You had me at roast duck (even before as good as Canal St.) About where on Central Ave?

      4 Replies
      1. re: mjoyous

        mjoyous, I know it's near a Key Bank (on the same side of the street) with a drive through ATM because I had to go get cash for my duck. I recall the Asian Supermarket is closer to Albany then Schenectady because I went to Honest Weight Food Co-op the same day. A link to the Times Union article (has address which is 1245 Central Avenue):

          1. re: jaylhorner

            Thanks, jaylhorner. BTW Grandma's is at 1273 Central for others who have no sense of direction or are just visiting :)

            1. re: financialdistrictresident

              Thanks all! Will stop next time I'm in Albany.

        1. Is Asian Supermarket the relatively new Chinese market that opened up in Albany? If it is, my MIL purchased two live Dungeness crabs from the place that we ended up throwing away because they smelled like ammonia. As the crabs were still alive when she ended up cooking them, the ammonia was probably not coming from the crabs themselves but from the lack of cleaning out the tanks. We haven't tried any fish from them, though.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Miss Needle

            Miss Needle, yes the Asian Supermarket is relatively new. According to the Times Union article they get their fish from NYC three times a week. Thanks for the report so we avoid amonia smelling Dungeness crabs.

            1. re: financialdistrictresident

              Just wanted to mention that my MIL sent us home with a couple of stone crabs that she purchased from the market. We had them for dinner last night and no ammonia taste. But they weren't very good as the flesh was a bit waterlogged and the shells were kind of brittle. I think it was the case because it's not really stone crab season now. Come to think of it, I think Dungeness is out of season as well.

              1. re: Miss Needle

                Thanks so much, Miss Needle. I'm back in NYC next week and need to get my food fix. I can find pretty much everything in Saratoga/Albany except Kossar's bialies, bagels, good Greek food and Trader Joe's. I'll have to post on the Manhattan Board to see where I should eat next . . .

          2. Thanks for the recommend, and a ditto on how good the duck is. Just bought a half, and am now in serious duck fat overload. The meat was wonderful; very moist, lots of hoisen sauce. And I obviously loved the skin. Saw a passel of stuff I want to buy--I'll definitely be back!
            The fish counter blew me away, so I hope we hear more about it.

            1. Alright, I'm going to go ahead and revive this thread. So, I love Asian Supermarket but I'm completely overwhelmed every time ago. I end up stocking up on snacks, a little produce and some pantry items. Each time I go I make sure to try something new and up until my last visit I hadn't built up the courage to order from the fish counter. I'd like to hear from other people, what are you buying and making from find at the AS? I realize this might be a silly question for an Asian person who does all their buying and shopping here, but maybe not for those who are exploring and trying new things.

              So far I've used..
              -Dumpling Wrappers for pork potstickers.
              -The small Beech mushrooms, sauteed into omlets (yum)
              -King Oyster mushrooms with Miso glaze, grilled. (interesting)
              -Grilled head on prawns with garlic butter
              -Grilled (small) Striped Bass with soy,ginger, scallions and drizzled with hot oil.( The fish was from the live tanks, I felt kinda bad ordering his execution)
              -Stir fried/steamed Baby Bok Choy.

              Things I want to try...
              -Making bacon from pork belly
              -Braised pork belly
              -'Old' Chicken for stock
              -Any authentic Szechuan, Cantonese, or Hunan dish
              -Homemade Char Siu Bao
              -The carbonated beverage, that a small asian boy seemed so excited about, where you have to push some kind of plug into the top pretty forcefully.

              Snacks I like..
              -Frozen Bao
              -Potstickers(of course)

              What are your favorite snacks, ramen, condiments/sauces, etc...?

              One last thing. I really want to dive in and try more things from the fish market but it creeps me out a bit. Sometimes there is lots of dead fish in the live tanks, some of the fish can look a little old and cloudy eyed on the iced table. Am I being to sensitive here or should I carefully pick out which fish I want and try and only order from selections that look the freshest? What have you eaten and enjoyed from the fish market?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Graphix

                Thanks for the report Graphix.

                Suggest you select the fish you want from the tank or iced table. When shopping at a fishmonger, always select fish with clear (NOT cloudy) eyes. As you mentioned, that is one sign of freshness. Something about the gils is also a sign of freshness, I don't remember what. Maybe another hound will post.

                I really enjoy the duck (hanging in prepared food section).