These top three Asian grocers in Sacramento offer a wealth of Asian products, from a wide variety of sauces to unheard-of pickled condiments. If you hail from an Asian background and love to make authentic dishes or if you're not Asian but consider yourself to be an adventurous eater, check out these local suppliers. Sometimes you've just got to have fried rice, General Tso's chicken, chop suey, Thai chicken with hot sweet and sour sauce, Chinese sticky rice dumplings or spring rolls. So go on, get your wok ready and head to one of these markets where you are sure to find the ingredients you need.
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SF Supermarket opened its first store in Monterey Park, California, in 1993, and since then has expanded to 15 stores in California and Nevada and is the fastest growing Asian grocery chain in the United States. SF Supermarket says it focuses on freshness and variety and carries a large inventory of Asian products from China, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and India. It carries canned straw mushrooms, banana blossom, baby corn, hearts of palm, Indian legumes and curries. This selection makes it easy for anyone to create favorite Asian dishes at home. There’s even a small section for Mexican and Latin food products. If you need to pick up a few staples, you won't need to make another stop since SF Supermarket sells familiar American brands like Kraft, Proctor & Gamble and Kellogg's.
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Seafood City is a small chain of Filipino grocery markets throughout Northern and Southern California that also has stores in Las Vegas, Nevada; Seattle; and Waipahu, Hawaii. Seafood City sells a variety of Southeast Asian vegetables, fruit, meat, condiments, and snacks. These markets also carry American brand items that are only sold in Asia, like the Asian edition of Maxim magazine. The centerpiece of the store is its popular seafood counter. You can pick out a fish, have it cleaned, scaled and gutted, and then fried for free. This is the epitome of personal service and makes it easy to have Asian-style seafood even if you are clueless about how to cook it yourself. For instance, a favorite fish order is a whole fried tilapia. Instead of paying upwards of $12 for a tilapia fillet at a restaurant, you can get a whole one for a fraction of that amount at Seafood City Supermarket and still not have to do any cooking.
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Oto's is family-owned Japanese grocery store where customers are greeted with a hearty "Konichiwa," Japanese for "hello." The store went through a $4 million, 12,000-square foot expansion in May 2007 but still has a neighborhood corner store vibe. Oto's has a great selection of sushi and sashimi items so that you can make your own at home. Oto's also has a nice inventory of Hawaiian Sun drinks. Along with the usual guava nectar or pass-o-guava nectar flavors, Oto's also carries the diet versions, so you can enjoy these tropical drinks without the guilt.