Not so long ago, for many home cooks across the country, tracking down all the ingredients needed to make standard Asian dishes was a task. Finding that specialty soy sauce for youfan at your local Kroger was a rare occurrence. Seeing rice cakes in the frozen aisle for tteokbokki? Forget about it. While this might have been a bit easier for those living in big metro cities, it wasn’t for me, a Filipino who spent most of my life in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona. Simply getting the right noodles for pancit or jarred coconut gel for halo-halo meant trekking across town and visiting the few Asian markets located within a 40-mile radius. It was either that and/or reluctantly paying for heavily marked-up items on Amazon.
Luckily, that no longer is the case, thanks to a slew of online Asian grocery stores that have emerged in recent years. Whether you’re looking for pantry workhorses, fresh produce, specific cuts of meat, nostalgia-inducing snacks, or all of the above, retailers like Weee! and Umamicart make it easier than ever to find everything you need, including that specialty fish sauce your mom smuggles in her suitcase every time she visits you. Below, we’ve listed some of the best Asian grocery stores on the web, just in time for your Lunar New Year needs. All you need to do is click “add to cart.”
If you’re dreaming of a site where you can do all of your grocery shopping, consider Weee! your one-stop shop. It’s one of the largest online retailers dedicated to selling specialty ingredients across Asian and Hispanic cuisines, but it also carries the staples you’d find at any given Safeway. So yes, you can finally buy your Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce, yuzu sparkling water, and fresh bitter melon at the same place you buy your oat milk and eggs. Weee! carries over 250 types of produce along with meat, seafood, frozen foods, and pantry items. Find everything from sliced pork belly to instant paneer butter masala to red bean mooncakes. You may never leave your couch.
Chili crisp connoisseurs—and anyone who wants to go hard on flavor—will appreciate this Taiwanese vendor. It stocks high-quality soy sauces, hot sauces, and cooking oils to add layers of depth and spice to all of your meals. BA staffers can vouch for pretty much everything at Yun Hai, but senior commerce editor MacKenzie Chung Fegan specifically loves these fermented black beans and this soy paste, which has a thick consistency akin to barbecue sauce. Whatever you purchase, make sure you also get the dried pineapple, mango, guava, and wax apple.
Contributor Christina Chaey writes, “If Umamicart had a physical store, I’d move apartments just to live on the same corner.” To her, this place is Asian supermarket heaven. You’ll find classic condiments like Lao Gan Ma chili crisp and Chundan black vinegar along with newer favorites like Fly By Jing Zhong Dumpling Sauce. But Chaey mostly loves Umamicart’s selection of prime Asian produce and meat: “Where else can I get fresh perilla leaves, pickled mustard greens, and paper-thin slices of hot pot meat in one place?”
You might have heard of Bokksu, which began as a subscription box for Japanese snacks and teas. Fegan says it’s the best snack subscription box there is. In 2018, the company launched Bokksu Market, a thoughtfully curated online Asian grocery store (which also delivers to Canada). In addition to the top-tier snacks and beverages it’s known for—lychee mochi, shrimp chips, and boba—Bokksu Market fills out its virtual shelves with an array of pantry items, dry goods, and condiments from Japan and beyond. Think soba noodles, chili crisp, miso tuna, and Kewpie mayo (a.k.a. the greatest mayo on the planet). What more could you ask for?
When it comes to online Asian markets, Yami is one of the OGs. It’s hard to compete with its enormous inventory of snacks, drinks, shelf-stable groceries, and lifestyle products. Once you’ve filled your cart with Chinese-style sausage, milk tea, matcha Pocky, and Japanese KitKats, stop by the home and beauty departments to pick up BA’s favorite rice cooker and a very cool collagen face mask. Pro tip: Yami has one of the biggest selections of ramen noodles, instant noodles, and hot pot soup bases I’ve seen online. Don’t hold back.
To say I freaked out with excitement when I learned Sarap Now carries Goldilocks pandesal and ensaymada is an understatement. This virtual Filipino market primarily focuses on pantry ingredients, snacks, and pastries—and if you’re on the West Coast, they’ll ship you frozen items like tocino and premade lumpia, too. Here’s a sneak peek of the best sellers that always make it into my cart: Mama Sita’s palabok mix, Silver Swan soy sauce, and my favorite mango sunflower crackers. But recently, I’ve been enjoying some new stuff too, like this ube pancake mix.
If you’re looking for premium, well-sourced Korean groceries, there’s no better store than Kim’C. The store’s creator, Ryan Kim, once said its goal was to be like the Whole Foods of Asian groceries. To that end, Kim’C offers everything from fresh meat and seafood to prepared meals and snacks. You’ll find things like pickled wild-caught shrimp, kimchi that is made to order in Korea, pesticide-free tangerine juice from Jeju Island, and an impressive line-up of artisan rice, noodles, and grains—like this single-origin rice that’s milled in New York City and shipped out the same day.