The Hong Kong Grocery Shopping Experience!
I love the diversity of grocery shopping in Asia, especially in Hong Kong! You’ve got so many choices, market types, and variety! Part of the beauty of being in Hong Kong is this exact accessibility to a lot of the Asian cuisines, ingredients, and shared experiences.
There’s no right or wrong in how to make Chinese soups. The simple act of bringing together raw and dried ingredients to create a concoction of love to share with our friends and family is highly rewarding!
One of our mission at The Chinese Soup Lady is to bring our love of Chinese soups to the world!
TYPES OF GROCERY STORES:
The Japanese Superstores
You’ve got your Juscos, Apitas, AEONs, Don Don Donki, and other Japanese department stores that come with a lower level grocery store. These are clean, bright, and carry a happy variety of Japanese products. They also have a fantastic selection of sushi, seafood, and cooked foods!
A lot in these shops are imported, so don’t expect a lot of English labels, but they do over label with some Cantonese and minimal English. And, most of their products are super cute and have fantastic packaging!
The Wet Mart
One of my favourite and places to shop when it comes to making Chinese food and soups. This is as local as it gets! It does take some getting used to, once you overcome some of the smells, the wet floors, and the truly open market concept. The amazing thing about wet marts is that you buy the amount you want. There are some prepackaged items such as tulip bulbs, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, but in general, meat, seafood, and vegetables are sold in whatever amount you want! And they fascinating thing is that everything is calculated in terms of “catty”, which is equivalent to 604.8 g! Sometimes, I just make the size of meat or vegetables I want and they adjust accordingly. Explore my video on my wet mart shopping experience!
The Local Chains
These are the most common ones that are distributed everywhere. You can find them in most of Hong Kong, in almost every neighbourhood and they carry a variety of local and mixed groceries and goodies. I tend to go to these for basics such as rice, toiletries, and condiments. The great thing is that they do something localize it more depending on the area it’s in. Some may carry more western goods, while others also lean towards Japanese or Korean. I like these. They are predictable, stable, and also do online shipping, which is amazing when you want to buy the heavy things like toilet paper, drinks, water, rice.
These are the mom and pop shops. There are a few categories which include: dried foods, convenience stores, candy, fruit stands, herbs, frozen foods, etc… These are also amazing and really have that neighbourhood feel to them. You get to know the owners closely and then share experiences and ideas. This is where some of my soup ideas and how to use the ingredients come from!