I love Korean grocery stores like H-mart but I do get overwhelmed by all of the goodies that I can get. To make things simple for you, I narrowed down my must get items at korean grocery stores split things by category. Most of these are Korean items (some Chinese ◡̈ ) , so keep in mind they are for Korean cuisine. For Chinese and Japanese grocery store items, I will do a new blog post for them!
Now, you can take this list of my favorite items to your next Korean grocery store run! Check back often because I will keep updating new favorites. 😉 (Date Updated: September 21, 2022) In the newest update, I added recipes you can make with the grocery items for inspo!
If you don’t have a korean grocery store near you, I added amazon links to purchase as well. Happy eating!
Not your average Shin ramen faves…I love an instant ramen packed with flavor!
- Mama Tom Yum – I love the texture of these noodles. The broth is not tom yum flavor exactly but it does have great spice and lime flavor. I can see why its a favorite instant noodle in Thailand.
- Omori Kimchi Stew Ramyun – soft delicious noodles (not as chewy) with super flavorful broth. The kimchi is not too sour but you can still taste some acidity and umami!
Soup & Noodles
- Fresh Knife Cut Noodles – these fresh noodles are so springy and soft. They taste great in chicken soups.
- Anchovy Packets – you need these anchovy packets whenever you are cooking Korean stews and soups! With this anchovy packet as your base, you can make restaurant quality soondubu (korean tofu soup).
- Wang Korea – red pepper powder – this korean red pepper powder is more mild (to my liking and for those that can’t eat too spicy) than others. Gives fantastic flavor too!
- Furikake (nori seasoning) – seaweed seasoning (sweet, a little salty, and umami from seaweed) is great for those that are making a salmon bowl or need some flavor for their eggs or rice!
- Kikkoman preimum soy sauce – this light soy sauce its packed with flavor and goes great with sushi and meat.
- Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce – the best oyster sauce for cooking. Its savory and has tons of seafood flavor (sweet and salty!) without being fishy.
- CJ Foods Gochujang – this is a flavorful red pepper paste that s not too spicy. The sauce has a lovely bitter and fermented flavor. This will bring lots of depth to your korean dishes!
- CJ Foods Soybean paste – this korean soybean paste is similar to Japanese miso paste. Its earthy, salty, little bitter and great for stews!
I don’t drink soft drinks or soda often. But if I want to treat myself, you know I’ll be choosing these:
- milkis (carbonated milk and yogurt) – tastes like a mild sprite! so delicious!
I believe a side dish is worth it to buy when you can’t make it at home (or it takes too much work). Here are a few of my favorite side dishes that go so well with white rice:
- seasoned radish
- mixed seasoned squid
- stir-fried anchovy
- Jongga kimchi – pickled cabbage and radish as known as kimchi! I like this brand because its not too spicy, flavorful and has the right amount of acidity. I’ve noticed that a lot of kimchis can be very sour, but this one is perfect for me!
Frozen items are always a hit or miss for me. Sometimes the quality of the food is not the same or not even close to the real deal (for example: korean corn dogs). However, the frozen aisle is great to get delicious fish cakes and imitation crab! Here are a few frozen items that I’ve tried and loved:
- K-fish fish cakes – flat fish cakes are used for tteubokki (korean spicy rice cakes), budae-jjigae (army stew)
- Osaki brand imitation crab – this imitation crab is the most delicious in crab rangoons, sushi, kimbap, and more! Its sweet and shreds really nicely.
The meat at korean grocery stores like h-mart are great for Korean BBQ (duh!). They also have great selection for shabu shabu/hot pot. I recommend the beef and pork belly here because the meats have a good ratio of fat and meat (great marbling). As for the seafood, I recommend skipping because its not that fresh in my opinion. One time I bought shrimp there, I ended up throwing all the shrimp away after opening the bag immediately 🙁
Here is a list of my favorite meats for your next korean bbq:
- beef short ribs
- pork belly
- jowl meat – pork neck is so tender and fatty! Its great for korean bbq with some salt and pepper. Or marinate it in a sweet sauce and you’re in for a treat!
- bone-in short ribs
You know you’re at a good korean store when they have walls of different seaweeds. This is one that I always go with because I love the flavor of the roasted seaweed:
- Haio Seaweed – individually packed and tastes super fresh with a hint of sesame oil! I love this seaweed when I want to eat with rice and side dishes.
Happy shopping and come back to see my newest food additions to the blog post ◡̈
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