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fresh South Asian herbs, cooking staples


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Restaurants & Bars 14

fresh South Asian herbs, cooking staples

plum | Jan 18, 2002 11:17 AM

Can anyone comment or add to this list? I am looking for places in New York to buy fresh Malaysian and Indonesian herbs and cooking staples.

My best sources so far are in Chinatown:

Asia Food Market (71 1/2 Mulberry St at Bayard) for various Malaysian and Indonesian dry goods (candlenuts, daun salam, toasted shrimp paste) and frozen herbs (galangal, tumeric). Their produce market out front is also good.

The small Indonesian shop on Bayard between Mulberry and Mott reliably has fresh kaffir lime leaves. It also the best shrimp and lobster krupuk (the long ones) in Chinatown, in ziploc bags at the front of the store. Be warned that the pushy shop owner and his wife will tag team you at the front of their very narrow shop.

The Thai shop on Mosco street between Mott and the park on Mulberry has fresh Thai herbs, including holy basil and kencur (= lesser galangal, sha jiang). They also have fresh curry pastes in plastic containers in the refrigerator case, as well as a number of Thai dishes and desserts up by the register.

The only place I have seen fresh tumeric is Patel's in Jackson Heights (they also have fresh white tumeric = zedoary?). I can't find tumeric leaves (daun kunyit, temu lawak, huang jiang ye) anywhere.

Does anybody have a source for fresh pandan leaves (screwpine, xiang lan yei)? The best substitute I have found is "Koepoe-Koepoe Screwpine flavoured paste", which smells nice but makes my coconut rice a disconcerting green colour. (The plants are available at, if anyone has a green thumb)

Also, any reliable source of fresh galangal? Non-crummy lemongrass? Anyplace at all to buy Vietnamese coriander (daun kesum, ku wo ye)?

Thanks much for any comments or advice.


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