Where to Find Asian Ingredients in Dubai {And a Free Map}

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Looking for Asian ingredients in Dubai to make authentic Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, or Korean homemade meals? I’ve compiled a map of all the specialty grocery stores in Dubai that stock Asian ingredients. 

Tip: If you are looking for something specific and possibly obscure, find a few photos of it and save them on your phone. Google is a great place to search for images. Many of the shop assistants (especially in the Chinese stores) don’t speak English.


My parents and I were born in Vietnam but our ancestry is Chinese. So growing up, my mom prepared a mix of homemade Chinese and Vietnamese dishes every night. And growing up in New York City, there was no shortage of Asian restaurants like Korean, Thai, etc.

Since moving to Dubai in 2007, I’m always on the lookout for specialty Asian stores as well as for the Asian ingredients aisle in Western grocery stores to make my own homemade dishes.

I’ve compiled all the Asian specialty stores that I know of in a Google map. Sign up below to gain access to the map:

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Online Shopping

Lots of ingredients can now be purchased online at Amazon AE like teriyaki glaze, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, Kewpie dressing, organic noodles, jasmine rice and more.

If you sign up for Amazon Prime UAE, you get free shipping on items shipped via Amazon UAE  and you also get free international delivery on items sold via the Amazon Global store. Plus you have access to Amazon Prime Video which is like Netflix. There is a one-month free trial so check it out.

Amazon Prime UAE

Vietnamese Products

I have not found Vietnamese fish sauce in Dubai but a great substitute is Squid brand fish sauce from Thailand. The Philippines also export their own fish sauce but it’s quite different from Vietnamese. I can usually find Squid fish sauce in the larger hypermarkets like LuLu’s or Carrefour.  For fresh Vietnamese herbs like Vietnamese coriander (also knowns as “ngo gai” or recao), try Thai Smile in Al Quoz and their Karama branch.  Fo Asian/Thai basil, this is usually stocked at Park ‘n Shop: sometimes at the Al Wasl branch but almost always at their DIP branch. Sometimes also can be ordered online at Kibson’s.

I love using Vietnamese coriander in this simple sweet and sour soup adapted from my mom’s recipe.

For summer rolls, rice paper wrappers in large and small sizes can be found sporadically at most supermarkets and almost always at 1004 Mart, the Korean grocery store in Al Barsha.

For fried Vietnamese spring rolls, you can get square-sized wrappers in the freezer section of almost all regular grocery stores – usually by the shortcrust pastry and samosa wrappers.


 

Thai Products

Thai Smile in Al Quoz and Karama stocks a lot of Thai products. They have fresh herbs and also make their own curries and will sometimes have fresh durian.

Thai basil can be found almost always at the Park and Shop DIP and sometimes also can be ordered online at Kibson’s.

TIP: If you find fresh Thai basil, you can easily root the stems in water and grow your own plants in your garden. I’ve had Thai basil year round in my garden because one year, I rooted the stems, grew a bunch of plants, and then saved the seeds so that I can grow more plants every season.

During the cooler months, the Royal Thai Consulate in Um Suquiem by Raffles School has hosted weekend markets where they sell lots of Thai produce like fresh vegetables, herbs and locally made Thai food that you can pre-order. For more information visit the Royal Thai Consulate Facebook page and also check out this post I wrote about my experience at the market.

Thai Consulate

 

Korean Products

There are a few Korean grocery stores in Dubai – Hanarum by the Karama post office, A-Mart on Sheikh Zayed Road by Safa Park.

There is also 1004 Mart in the Greens which has an wide variety of products. They used to be located in Barsha in what is now called Family Mart. 1004 Mart stocks many Korean products but also other Asian products like Vietnamese rice paper, Japanese rice and sauces, miso, pandan leaves, dumpling wrappers, and much more. They also have a meat section where you can buy Korean short ribs.

In Barsha, there is Family Mart by Al Khoory hotel apartments.

Filipino Products

Because there is a large population of Filipino expats in Dubai, every grocery store will carry a good selection of Filipino products but the hypermarkets will have the best selection and variety.

My Filipino friends often point me to West Zone for certain pork products like Longanisa (usually frozen).


 

Japanese Products

Again, the Korean markets mentioned above stock quite a lot of Japanese products.

Two great specialty stores for Japanese food and products in Dubai are Dean’s Fujiya by Lamcy Plaza and Gurumeya by DIFC.  Dean’s also owns the adjacent sushi restaurant so you can shop and dine at the same time.

LuLu’s hypermarket Al Barsha often stocks gyoza wrappers and wonton wrappers and lots of different tofu – all by the refrigerated section kind of near the fresh eggs.

Waitrose (Marina and Al Thanya) has a small frozen section that sells Japanese gyoza wrappers, fish cakes and other stuff that I have no idea what they are. They also have a good selection of dried goods to make sushi (like short grain rice, seaweed, wasabi, picked ginger, spicy mayo, Kikkoman soy sauce), miso soup and soup stock (dashi, kombu).

All the other grocery stores (Geant, Carrefour, Choithram’s, Al Maya, West Zone) also have random stocks of Japanese products.


 

Chinese Products

These days, if you are looking for Chinese groceries in Dubai, I find that it’s no longer necessary to drive all the way to International City for the Chinese supermarkets. In Al Barsha, there is one Chinese supermarket (called Wan JiaLe) across from LuLu’s Hypermarket and 1004 Mart also stocks many Chinese products.

Many of the larger hypermarkets will also have Bok Choy, Napa Cabbage, and I have even seen garlic chives at Waitrose with the other fresh herbs (though once in a blue moon).

Wan JiaLe Chinese grocery store in Al Barsha
Chinese Grocery Store in Al Barsha

Chinese Grocery Stores in International City

There are four main ones: Le Jia Jia, Phoenix, Tyan Yee (which was the old Phoenix location at China Cluster B01), and Wenzhou as well as smaller ones in the same general area and one that even stocks locally grown organic produce (at China Cluster B04).

chinese markets in international city dubai
Left: Le Jia Jia (2008 photo); Right: Phoenix (2011 photo)

At Phoenix market, I’ve picked up many of the food items that I usually bring back from NYC to Dubai such as Chinese sausages, rice noodles, egg noodles, marinades and sauces. They had many, many – oh! so many – things that made a Chinese-food-deprived girl like me quite happy.

I could even have bought a vacuum-packed Peking duck (see lower-right of photo below) and black-feathered chickens. They even have packaged jellyfish – sounds weird to a lot of you, I know, but yum to me!

Chinese Food Items - Dubai grocery store
Chinese Food Items

The vegetable and fruit section had some lovely garlic chives (top-left in photo below) that can only be found in specialty markets like this and the Thai groceries. Garlic chives are so versatile and are just great in dumplings, Vietnamese Spring rolls, stir-fries, for soup garnishes, and many other things. Raw or cooked, the mild garlicky taste of these chives are just wonderful and can’t be substituted properly by anything else. Regular chives? No way.

A bundle of garlic chives cost me about 7 or 8 dhs. I love these chives so much I bought all the ones you see below. Haha – just kidding! I only bought one bunch and they lasted me (I kind you not) nearly a month in my vegetable drawer which is amazing considering how fast food tends to spoil here (like within days).

Chinese Vegetables and Spices - Dubai grocery store
Chinese Vegetables and Spices

I also picked up a packet of salted eggs and a packet of century eggs. I usually use the in my rice congee.

Chinese Salted and Century Eggs - Dubai grocery store
Left: Salted Eggs; Right: Century Eggs

Wen Zhou Supermarket also has many food items similar in selection to Phoenix. Both markets have a pork section.

Wen Zhou Supermarket Dubai - Dubai Chinese grocery store
Wen Zhou Supermarket

I can’t read Chinese so didn’t know what many of the things were but I can tell you that the photo below contains pork sausages (great for fried rice!), seaweed, and an assortment of fishballs and meatballs – all Chinese style of course.

Wen Zhou food items - Dubai Chinese grocery store
Wen Zhou food items

My son, Wee Scotch, decided to surreptitiously help with the shopping by throwing items into the cart when I wasn’t looking. Upon arriving home, I found mystery items like beef jerky, preserved vegetables, and candy in my shopping bag – at least they were things I liked and could use. He could have thrown in something like pigs ears or stinky tofu – then I would have been totally confounded.

Chinese grocery store in Dubai International City
Wee Scotch helping with the shopping

One thing that I will continue to transport from NYC would be dried Chinese mushrooms. The quality that I saw in the stores here in Dubai still leave much to be desired.

For access to my Google maps pinpointing all the Asian grocery stores mentioned in this post, please signup below to receive the link:

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If there are any other Asian shops that I have missed, please let me know by commenting below or dropping me an email at sandy {at} gingerandscotch {dot} com. Thanks!

Also check out my other Dubai post on “Where to Find the Haberdashery Shops in Dubai” (includes a free map and suggested walking itinerary).

This post was originally published on May 4, 2008 and last updated April 20, 2020.

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108 Comments

  1. Love your post! Do you by any chance know if I can buy ready made steamed buns anywhere? I’ve bought them back in Australia and you just put them from the freezer into the over.

  2. Hi Sandy!!

    Thanks for the blog post. Do you have any idea where i could purchase white snow fungus mushroom in dubai? I would like to incorporate it to my diet as i read it is a good source of collagen. Thanks!

  3. Thai basil always in stock at park’n’shop DIP get packets of it every week.
    Still yet to track down Vietnamese mint/Rau ram here though ?

    1. Are you referring to flour for making steamed buns? If so, I have never purchased it but my first thought would be to check the Chinese or Korean supermarkets.

  4. Dear Sandy,
    Thank you for the website.

    Where can we find shirataki noodles and rice AKA miracle noodles and rice. I searched online in amazon and desert cart both are costly and the time period of delivery is quiet long.

    Thank You Shalima

    1. Hi Shalima, you should be able to find shirataki noodles at Japanese supermarkets or Korean supermarkets. Call ahead to check. As for shirataki rice, I’ve never looked for it so don’t know which stores carry it. Again, your best bet would be the Japanese grocery stores. Also check the Japanese section in Waitrose or Spinnets.

  5. Hey Sandy. I am looking for canned Jackfruit in Brine. Do you know where is best to find this? Thank you so much

    1. I know I have seen in Dubai but I’ve never bought or used it myself. I would check the canned sections of hypermarkets where canned corn, canned mushrooms, canned bamboo are located as well as the Asian aisle. Carrefour has a specific aisle for “Ethnic Foods” so check under Filipino and other Asian sections. I would think Al Maya or West Zone would stock it. Also, LuLu has it available on their online web store. Finally, I’m pretty sure I saw cans of the stuff at the Thai supermarket in Karama when I was looking for canned sugarcane. Good luck!

  6. Desperately trying to find rice paper wrappers currently. I’ve checked everywhere and still can’t find anything. Researching where to find it is what led to discovering your blog. lollll. Really appreciate if you can tell me if you’ve cited any recently. Thanks!

    1. Hi Abi – have you checked the Korean market in Barsha (1004 Mart)? I have bought from them the last few times. Give them a call just in case.

  7. I am looking for anchovies and preserved cabbage (tung chai). Don’t seem to find it there. Where can i get these 2 item?

  8. Hi,

    As I am based in Sharjah, I wonder if someone could tell me which store will have most Chinese cooking condiments like:

    1. Century and salted eggs
    2. sesame oil
    3. Rice wine and normal cooking wine (for cooking)
    4. Ma Po Tofu sauce (lee kum kee brand is good enough)
    5. Wide range of Lee Kum Kee Chilli and oyster sauce
    6. preserved beancurd (red colour kept in earth jug)
    7. Typical Chinese porcelain spoons and bowls.

    I may have limitation in transportation, so am looking for a store that I can kill all birds with 1 stone.

    Thank you and much appreciated.

    1. You can find sesame oil in Carrefour in the cooking oils section as well as the Asian food section.

  9. Hi,

    I am writing to tell you about Hanarum, a Korean Grocery store, which I just visited and maybe useful for other customers. It is not too large in size and away from main streets and inside back streets and near a construction zone. I saw the owner/manager working in a corner plus 2-3 Indian guys working there. It does not have so many selections but has most of the items you may need for Asian cooking. I was not under the impression that it is a busy store, visited by many, but I guess it has a dedicated customer base. It had the Nori, wasabi, noodles, Miso and other things I needed. they also had a very small selection of kitchen items but don’t make the trip if you want to get pots and pans. The store is about 5-6 meters deep and 12 meters long. Not too friendly or service oriented but nobody is rude or unhelpful either. Just get your stuff and leave. I found the prices to be normal or not outrageous at least.

  10. Hello,
    Thank you for the map and chineese groceries address.
    I am a food enthousiast, and I have a fascination for chineese vegetarian recipes, and also shrimps and fish.
    I am looking desperately for wheat starch ( tang meen fun ) to make Har Gow. ( you used it in your recipe Reincarnated Cheong Fun )
    Can you find in those groceries ? Does have another name ?
    Thank you
    Fériale

    1. It is possible that the wheat starch you are looking for is available at the stores in International city but I don’t know for sure as I bought mine in New York. Take a photo of the product with you (on your phone) to show the shop assistants.

  11. Hi there,

    Thank you very much for the useful address, as I am new here (just arrived 2 weeks ago), thanks to your info, I had found all I need.

    I thought that you had mentioned a small restaurant that had Peking duck done by a mother and son but I can’t find the address any more from your site. Is it already closed down?

    Thanks again for the info and please keep going, very interesting and I will try to grow some herbs soon in my garden too.
    BR,
    Ammesa

  12. Does the Phoenix shop still exist? Any contact number or operating hours known?
    Thank you in advance.

    I came to Dubai from Germany and miss the Chinese food so much as well!!!!!!

  13. Great info 🙂 I’ve been there last Friday and the two Chinese grocery is still there ;)) I got myself some fresh veggie, fook Chou fish ball and ( lala clam) and some ready to serve dim sum like red bean bun, onion pancake, Yao zha guai, zin dui and etc. Also there are a small restaurant ( sari nusa ) chef from Malaysia selling some Asian meal. I love going there ;))

  14. Hello i was wondering if the stores r still there because i am visiting dubai soon and i woulde like to go there, thank u