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Boston magazine’s Food Editor Leah Mennies, explored Boston’s Asian dining scene as part of the February issue’s “Winter Dining” feature.  We connected with Leah and she shared with us additional details on her discoveries.  And here they are:

Leah Mennies Shares Her Must-Haves from Asian Supermarkets

For February issue’s “The Complete Guide to Asian Cuisine,” I spent quite a bit of time in Asian supermarkets like Ming’s (in the South End) and H Mart (in Burlington). Here are my must-have items:

Chinese black vinegar: Similar to balsamic and perfect as the base for a dumpling dipping sauce.

Hot sesame oil: Adds a spicy kick to soups, stir-fries, and salad dressings.

Brown rice cakes: These sliced rice cakes have a texture similar to a flattened piece of gnocchi and they’re a great (and gluten-free) alternative to pasta.

Pocky sticks: Chocolate-dipped biscuits that are a (relatively) low-calorie, sweet indulgence.

Dried mushrooms: Soak in lukewarm water for about ten minutes, drain and squeeze, and chop up for stir-fries, soups, or fried rice.

Yu-Choy: If mustard greens and broccoli rabe had a baby…it would be this.

Fried shallots: Works on everything—basically, a skinnier, less puffy version of French’s fried onions.

Oyster sauce: Adds a salty, earthy depth of flavor to sauces.

Fish sauce: Go for the Three-Crabs brand, perfect in Thai-style salads.
  
I don't even know where I'd begin if I had to make a list.  
 

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